What's New for 2010
The 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis is unchanged.
The 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis is the sort of car that completely validates this Web site's existence. Get a load of the marketing spin in Mercury's official description. "Most standard horsepower in its class," reads the company fact sheet. What they conveniently fail to mention is that the Grand Marquis and its underperforming 224-horsepower V8 are in a class of one -- there's nothing to compete against. Don't listen to Mercury; listen to us. The hoary Grand Marquis is a couple decades past its prime.
As the only remaining rear-drive, full-size body-on-frame sedan other than the related Lincoln Town Car, the "MGM" has simplicity and proven dependability working in its favor. Otherwise, the livery and law-enforcement sectors wouldn't have leaned so heavily on the Grand Marquis and its now-defunct Ford Crown Victoria twin. The MGM also has six-passenger seating and a colossal 20.6-cubic-foot trunk. But there are good reasons why cars are no longer built like this big old Mercury.
Let's start with that V8 -- you know, the one with the most standard horsepower in its class. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a V6-powered sedan these days that makes fewer than the MGM's 224 hp. The similarly outdated Chevy Impala has a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 211 hp, and the lackluster Kia Optima offers a 2.7-liter V6 with 194 horses. Maybe you could dig up a couple other examples if you tried. But here's the reality: Every reasonably competitive V6-powered sedan on the market has more power than the Grand Marquis' 4.6-liter V8, while modern V8s are simply in a different league.
Other quaint Grand Marquis features include a four-speed automatic transmission, unsupportive seats and handling and steering straight out of the 1970s. Price? Almost $30,000 to start. Any other $30,000-plus car will likely be more enjoyable to drive and own than the MGM, but we would specifically point you toward large sedans like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis, Toyota Avalon and Ford's own Taurus. If you came to this review for sage buying advice, here it is in a nutshell: Don't spend your hard-earned money on a 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis is a full-size sedan offered in a single LS trim level. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear air suspension, keyless entry and exterior keypad entry, auto on/off headlamps, foglamps, cruise control, full power accessories, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat with driver power adjustments, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a CD player.
Options include chrome-clad wheels, heated front seats, a leather/wood steering wheel with audio and climate controls, power-adjustable pedals and a "dual media" stereo that bundles a CD player with probably the only optional cassette player in any 2010 model.
Powertrains and Performance
The rear-wheel-drive 2010 Grand Marquis is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission. Output is 224 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, traction control and front-seat side airbags. Stability control and side curtain airbags are not offered. Nonetheless, the Grand Marquis has fared well in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, scoring a perfect five stars for both frontal and side impacts. However, while the big Mercury earned the top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it garnered a "Marginal" rating -- second worst on a scale of four -- in side-impact crash testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Grand Marquis has a spacious interior that can seat up to six thanks to an old-school three-person front bench. The leather seats are no more supportive than your couch, however. The controls and instruments are simple and easy to decipher, but the overall design is dated, and some controls are difficult to reach. Materials quality is predictably subpar. If you've taken a cab to the airport in the last 15 years, you already know the 20.6-cubic-foot trunk is capable of swallowing copious amounts of luggage or several sets of golf clubs.
Driving the 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis is like taking a trip back to the 1990s, which is great if you like grunge and neon colors, but not so appealing if you want a modern automotive experience. While rival full-size sedans generally provide decent handling and driver control, the MGM's prodigious size, cushy suspension and zero-effort steering combine to simulate the experience of piloting the Goodyear blimp. The V8 provides healthy torque off the line but not much after that -- zero to 60 mph requires about 8.5 seconds, which is close to four-cylinder territory by current standards.