2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercury Grand Marquis Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 224 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis

  • The 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis is old, handles like the U.S.S. Nimitz and is outdone by a variety of equally large, safe and powerful competitors -- including Mercury's own Sable. Only those who yearn for 1970s-era land yachts need apply.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, spacious interior with six-passenger capacity, comfy ride, torque-rich V8, good crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Ancient design and underpinnings, sloppy ride and handling, outpaced by newer competitors in almost every way.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Mercury Grand Marquis sails into 2008 with only minor changes to the options list. A new rear air suspension is available, while last year's Handling Package that increased power and improved handling has been eliminated.

Full 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Review

What's New for 2008

The Mercury Grand Marquis sails into 2008 with only minor changes to the options list. A new rear air suspension is available, while last year's Handling Package that increased power and improved handling has been eliminated.


When is a car retro without trying to be retro? When it's the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis. Based on an automotive platform design that dates back about 30 years, the Marquis features rear-wheel drive, a live rear axle and body-on-frame construction -- the latter of which is a design attribute kept alive in modern cars solely by the Grand Marquis and its relatives.

This old-school approach to car design does have a few benefits, namely its robust simplicity and cheap maintenance costs (which, naturally, make it a favorite of the nation's livery and law enforcement communities). But there's a reason other full-size cars are no longer built like this big old Merc -- actually, there are quite a few reasons. More modern competitors offer just as much interior room, and they deliver it in a more stylish, functional package. And by virtue of their more sophisticated engineering, most offer a vastly superior driving experience.

For non-fleet buyers, the 2008 Grand Marquis' principal selling points are its ample size, rock-solid safety performance and relatively low price. Anyone in this country who has at some point ridden in the backseat of a Grand Marquis or Crown Victoria taxi (or perhaps a cop car) knows how large the interior and trunk are. Hip and shoulder room are particularly impressive thanks to the ultra-wide body.

But compare the Grand Marquis to Mercury's own full-size '08 Sable (formerly the Montego) for instance, and the advantages fade away. The Sable's trunk is a tad larger; its rear-seat head- and legroom are more generous; and its crash test scores are identical -- in fact, IIHS rated it as a top safety pick. Plus, the Sable's about the same price, has a similarly powerful but more fuel-efficient V6 engine and a higher-quality interior, drives substantially better and has a wider array of available features. Notice a pattern?

The 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis' longtime platform-mate, the Ford Crown Victoria, is now sold only to fleet buyers. That means regular folks who still want one of these automotive relics must stick with the Grand Marquis or the more expensive Lincoln Town Car. Although the Mercury has some limited appeal, we simply cannot recommend it when there are other full-size sedans that meet or vastly outdistance the Grand Marquis. In addition to the Sable and the nearly identical Ford Taurus, other large sedans like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon are much better choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis is a full-size sedan available in two trim levels -- GS and LS. Base GS models come with 16-inch steel wheels with faux chrome wheel covers, air-conditioning, a CD player, a front bench seat with power adjustments for the driver, cruise control, automatic headlamps, full power accessories and keypad entry. The Grand Marquis LS adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power seat adjustments for the front passenger, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat fold-down armrest, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors and an overhead console with a compass and Homelink garage door opener.

On the options list for the LS, you'll find stand-alone items like a sunroof, heated front seats and an upgraded audio system with a CD changer. The Palm Beach Edition Package includes chrome wheels, chrome-trimmed mirrors, cashmere leather seats embroidered with "Palm Beach" logos and satin-finish metallic interior trim. A rear air suspension is optional on both GS and LS trim levels.

Powertrains and Performance

Only one engine and transmission are offered on the Grand Marquis: a 4.6-liter V8 coupled to a four-speed automatic that sends 224 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Fuel economy is on par with other large V8-powered sedans, with 2008 EPA estimates at 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway. However, those competitors offer much more horsepower.


Antilock disc brakes are standard on every 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis, while traction control is optional on the GS and standard on the LS. Power-adjustable pedals and front seat-mounted side airbags are optional on the LS, but side curtain airbags and stability control are not available on any Grand Marquis.

Despite missing a few safety features, the Grand Marquis nevertheless has scored well in tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It rates a perfect five stars in frontal-impact crash protection and, when equipped with side airbags, it earns five stars for front and rear side-impact safety as well. (Without the bags, it gets four stars.) The big Mercury sedan also earned the top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Grand Marquis has a wide, spacious interior that can seat up to six in a pinch. Nevertheless, the rear seat is matched or surpassed in roominess by newer, better-driving full-size sedans. Controls and instruments are simple and easy to decipher, but the overall design is dated. The trunk is quite large, with 20.6 cubic feet of space capable of swallowing copious amounts of luggage or several sets of golf clubs.

Driving Impressions

Like the interior, driving the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis is none too different from piloting one from 15 years ago…or even 15 years before that. Due to the vehicle's size, pillow-like suspension and low-effort steering, it has all the road feel of a two-mast schooner. These may seem like positives to some folks, but quite simply, newer full-size sedans are easier to maneuver and better to drive, while still offering safe structures and comfortable rides. On the upside, the standard V8 provides plenty of acceleration for any situation, particularly on the highway where the Grand Marquis is best suited.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

Most of the reviews on the car are positive. However,if you read the Edmunds review, it sounds like this car belongs in the 19th century. What is the purpose of a car? To get one from point A to point B safely, comfortably, and reasonably economically. The Grand Marquis does all of this very well. I get 27 MPG on the highway and average 23 around town. I drive it conservatively. I'm tired of Edmunds and others running down these cars in favor of more sporty handling vehicles that corner better. What the heck do you need that for? As for interior space, the claim that the Sable is just as big is just not true. The Sable is 6" narrower. Maybe the 'experts' need to reassess a cars purpose.

Gone for a reason

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

I write this tonight as we have just sold our 2008 Grand Marquis LS. It's pillowy ride can lead to car sickness if you drive it on a curvy road. It wallows and bounces up and down like an ocean liner in a bad storm. Speaking of storms, it does horrible in adverse weather and to top it all off, we had a few quality concerns, though the drivetrain has ran flawlessly. Our previous Mercury, a '97 Sable, was the exact opposite experiance. The ride and handling were ballanced well and traction was never a problem. It also seemed to have more leg room which is why we sold the Grand Marquis and are purchasing a 2012 Taurus tomorrow. The quality of the leather alone in the Taurus is 10X that in the G

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Wonderful car!!

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

My wife and I love her 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis "Palm Beach" edition. We purchased her Grand Marquis 14 months ago. It had 15700 miles. My wife had been driving a 2006 Lexus ES330 that was purchased new. It only had 18000 miles when we sold it. In many ways the Lexus was nice, but it had very uncomfortable seats. The Grand Marquis has exceedingly comfortable seats with lumbar support on both sides. Her Mercury also has the air suspension system and it rides like a dream. We would highly recommend this car. It is really a shame that it is no longer available as a new car, so my advice would be to find a low mileage late model Grand Marquis

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Really nice car

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

Most driving is around town. A very comfortable city ride over railroad tracks and street bumps and the many turns made at intersections.

After a year of driving

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

This car has performed quite well. Performance: The car has a good amount of low end torque that will get this heavy car moving when you want it to. My only complaint here is the slight lack in higher RPM performance for when you pass during a high speed situation such as the freeway, it can take a bit to get it going a higher speed. Reliability: I have yet to have a major problem with it. I have done well in keeping it maintained and it has rewarded me with no major problems. I have even driven it across the country. The car is very comfortable with plenty of space for your passengers. The fuel economy is standard for any full size sedan. Just don't punch it everywhere.

A reliable car

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

Our 2008 Grand Marquis has been both a fun and reliable vehicle. Around town gas mileage is not a good as our 1997 Crown Victoria - Crown Vic was in the 16-17 mpg range, and the Grand Marquis is in the 14-15 range. While a major consumer magazine calls it an old and stodgy vehicle, it suits us just fine. We're very pleased with it.

Talk About The 2008 Grand Marquis

2008 Mercury Grand Marquis Discussions See all Started By

I don't think the Grand Marquis has ever been a best selling full-size car. Maybe if you want to say "best selling body-on-frame RWD full-sized car 210" or longer for 2008", then yeah,...

The Town Car is only being kept alive, because the tooling and manufacturing/engineering, have been paid off long ago. Having the Crown Vic, and Grand Marquis/Marauder, based from it, has allow them ...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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