Used 1998 Ford Crown Victoria Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1998

A formal roofline graces this favorite of police officers and taxi drivers. To further add to the Crown Victoria's driving excitement, the power steering and suspension have been improved.

Vehicle overview

If you've been pinching your pennies to buy a new full-size, rear-drive American sedan, we hope you like Ford. The gang at the Blue Oval are the only ones building such cars these days. Decades-old technology allows Ford to keep the prices low, and the car is a favorite among fleet buyers for taxi companies, police departments and those who need space and don't want a minivan or sport-ute.

This grand dame of the Ford lineup gets a formal roofline this year, identical to the very conservative Grand Marquis sold by Mercury dealers. Additional changes to the 1998 model include simplifying the option lists and improving steering and handling. Added in mid-1996, the natural gas engine remains an available, if pricey, option. Amazingly, this engine makes the Crown Victoria the cleanest burning combustion engine sold in the United States.

These days the Ford Crown Victoria and its Mercury Grand Marquis stablemate offer much more value than most compact and mid-size cars that are being peddled at your local auto mall. Think about this: the Crown Vic costs just over $27,000 fully loaded with electric everything and a leather interior. In contrast, a similarly equipped Toyota Avalon runs more than $30,000, and the much smaller Toyota Camry XLE costs $25,000; despite a wimpy (in comparison) V6, tight seating for five and a comparatively small trunk. Sporting a big car floaty ride and twitchy chassis dynamics at speed, the Crown Victoria is nonetheless comfortable. The handling and performance group adds a few horsepower and improves the car's stability in the twisties; we recommend it to anyone who enjoys backcountry highways more than mind-numbing interstates for their family vacations. New for 1998 is a Watt's Linkage rear suspension that gives this car's rear axle a 400-percent increase rigidity; a realpayoff in the handling department. Larger brake rotors with dual piston calipers are also new this year, and help pull the car down from high speeds without overheating. Lastly, the traction control has been upgraded in the 1998 Crown Victoria to operate at all speeds.

So, if you're one of the few people unwilling to pay for a sport utility's high insurance premiums and abysmal gas mileage and if you just can't stand the idea of a minivan, we hope that you like the Crown Victoria. It's your only choice.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.