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Want a chrome-encrusted, rear-drive V8-powered American sedan without the premium charged for a Lincoln? The Grand Marquis fits the bill perfectly.
Plenty of interior room, diversified trim lineup for 2002, comfortable ride, excellent crash-test ratings.
Large size makes it difficult to park and maneuver, squishy ride unless you're driving the LSE, Grandpa-car image.
Available Grand Marquis Models
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Antilock brakes and traction control now come standard on all Grand Marks, while revised cupholders and a new front seat storage pouch improve the cabin. No-charge leather is available on LS Ultimate models. LS Ultimate and LSE models get standard steering wheel controls for the stereo and climate system, and a new trunk organizer is optional across the board. Three new colors are added this year.
If you've been pinching your pennies to buy a new full-size rear-drive V8-powered American sedan, we hereby direct you to the Mercury Grand Marquis. It's mechanically identical to the Ford Crown Victoria and similar to the Lincoln Town Car; Ford, Lincoln and Mercury are the only brands building such cars these days. Decades-old technology allows Mercury to keep the prices low, and the car is a favorite among people who need space and don't want a minivan or sport-ute.
For 2002, the Grand Marquis is available in standard GS, sporty LSE or luxurious LS Ultimate trim. Base GS models include all the family-sedan basics, like air conditioning, a stereo with cassette player, remote keyless entry, ABS, power windows and locks, cruise control and tilt steering wheel. Also standard are unexpected items like traction control and power adjustable pedals. Leather seating and a CD player are optional.
Buy an LSE, and you can look forward to more power and torque from the 4.6-liter V8 engine (235 horsepower instead of 220), rear air suspension, larger rear stabilizer bar, lace-spoked alloy wheels, five-passenger leather-upholstered seating with a center console and floor-mounted shift lever and a suspension tuned for better handling. LSE also boasts cabin upgrades like automatic climate control, audio and climate controls on the steering wheel, a HomeLink universal transmitter, illuminated visor mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated compass.
Step up to the LS Ultimate and luxury awaits in the form of special alloy wheels, a power passenger seat, digital instrumentation, a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel and premium sound. Leather is a no-charge option on the LS Ultimate. Options on all Grand Marks include a new-for-2002 trunk organizer and a full-size spare wheel. LSE and LS Ultimate can be equipped with a six-disc CD changer.
Changes for 2002 are limited. Last year's LS trim level is available only in LSE and LS Ultimate format. Antilock brakes and traction control now come standard on all Grand Marks, while revised cupholders and a new front seat storage pouch improve the cabin. A new trunk organizer is optional across the board. Three new colors are also added this year.
The Grand Marquis was never a slouch in terms of acceleration, with the 4.6-liter V8 engine pumping out 220 horsepower while still managing 25 miles per gallon on the highway. The only transmission offered is a four-speed automatic. In stock trim, this Merc drives and handles like you would expect a big American sedan to. It's comfortable, but it's all too happy to float around over bumps. We recommend the slightly stiffer and more powerful LSE to anyone who enjoys backcountry highways more than mind-numbing interstates during road trips.
And if you do plan to haul around a family, you can sleep better at night knowing that the Grand Marquis scores well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests. With a crash-severity sensor, safety belt pre-tensioners, dual-stage airbags and seat-position sensors, the Grand Mark protects occupants like few smaller cars can. Added standards for 2002 like ABS, traction control and power adjustable pedals mean this big Mercury can avoid obstacles better in the first place.
The Grand Marquis is one of the best-selling cars in Florida. Why? Because it looks and feels just like a Lincoln for lots less than what a Town Car or Continental costs. If this appeals to you, the Grand Marquis is right up your alley.
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