Mercury Grand Marquis Overview
The Mercury Grand Marquis started out as the top trim level for the Marquis before becoming its own model line in 1979. Four generations of this large, rear-wheel drive car are available. The first-generation model was built through the 1991 model year, with the second-generation introduced for 1992.
When it was introduced, the second-generation Grand Marquis offered one powertrain choice: a 4.6-liter V8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. From 1992 to 1997, the Mercury Grand Marquis underwent light changes. Dual front airbags became standard for 1993, while the 1995 model received new front and rear fascias and a revised interior featuring a new dashboard, door panels and seats.
The third-generation Grand Marquis was introduced for 1998 and was offered in GS and LS trims. For 2002, antilock brakes and traction control became standard throughout the entire model range.
The final generation of the Grand Marquis was launched for 2003. This generation received subtle styling changes to the front and rear fascias, as well as a new chassis to improve crash performance and enhance ride quality. The 2003 Grand Marquis also received a new steering system, improved seats and a revised cabin design.
Mercury also spun off a separate Marauder sedan, which is essentially a high-performance version of the Grand Marquis. Outfitted with bucket seats, a sport-tuned suspension and larger wheels, the Mercury Marauder is powered by a high-output version of the 4.6-liter V8 engine. This model was built in response to the Chevrolet Impala SS, but it was discontinued after two years.
In its final few years on the market, the Mercury Grand Marquis received light changes. A CD player was made standard for 2004, while side airbags, heated front seats and a moonroof were added to the list of options. Beginning with the 2005 model, a new LSE trim brought in leather bucket seats, unique wheels, dual exhaust and an upgraded rear axle ratio.
For 2006, the Grand Marquis received refreshed front and rear fascias, updated headlamps, and new 16-inch alloy wheels. Mercury dropped the LSE edition the following year and rolled out a Palm Beach Edition package with cashmere leather seats, heated side mirrors and chrome wheels.
A new rear air suspension system was introduced for 2008, while the previously available Handling package that enhanced power and handling was eliminated.
In anticipation of the Mercury brand’s pending demise, only the LS trim was offered from 2009 on. No changes were made to this sedan for the next two model years. The 2011 model year was the final one for the Mercury Grand Marquis.
Full-size sedan shoppers have a number of other models to consider including the Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Kia Cadenza, Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 should also be considered.