The Grand Marquis is the embodiment of old-school locomotive architecture. Intended as a premium sedan, this Mercury vehicle has lasted for almost thirty years, providing robust reliability and performance rather than flashiness.
It was well known for its spacious interior, body-on-frame construction, and sturdy construction. However, it fell short of providing true luxury and may not have been the best vehicle for fuel economy either.
While there is no doubt surrounding the general quality of Grand Marquis vehicles, there is a need to distinguish the capabilities of various versions since some did indeed cause frustration for customers.
Hence, I will be looking at the best and worst years for Mercury Grand Marquis.
Best Years for Mercury Grand Marquis:
Worst Years for Mercury Grand Marquis:
Now, I will provide details of all these versions and explain why they deserve their place on this list. Since this list has been made after considerable research, you can be assured of its validity.
So without further ado, let us begin!
List Of The Best Years For The Mercury Grand Marquis: What Years To Buy
Since prospective buyers would be most interested in the best models to buy, I will be starting with those to get acquainted with this vehicle’s best qualities.
This list has been curated in order, starting with the best model out of all and in descending order of quality below:
#1 Best Year: 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis
The 2004 version is by far the best model of the Grand Marquis and is the most attractive when it comes to value for money.
Mercury did a huge renovation for this version following the errors of the 2003 version, ensuring that its performance was top-notch.
The result was a vehicle that provided a plush and comfortable ride on the highways. It was equipped with a 4-cam, 302 horsepower V8, stiffer suspensions, and larger wheels alongside bucket seats.
The reliability of this vehicle is top-notch, and you can go over 300,000 miles without any significant repairs required.
Hence, it is a great pick for any driver looking for something dependable. If there was ever a perfect example of the adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it,” it was for the 2004 Grand Marquis.
#2 Best Year: 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis
While it falls short on performance output compared to the 2004 version, the 2002 Grand Marquis has several qualities that give it a second place on this list.
The fine-tuning of the engine allowed the vehicle to reach higher horsepower and torque at higher revolutions per minute (RPM).
This could mean around 220 hp at 4750 RPM and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4000 RPM in a regular, single exhaust circulation. The best part is that these figures can increase with dual exhausts, and the option packs are very accessible as well.
Furthermore, this version also builds heavily on the failures of the models of the 1990s, meaning that issues relating to EGR clogging and such are very rare in models following 2002 one.
#3 Best Year: 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis
What sets this model back is that its nature in the contemporary day feels too antique and dated.
One of the many reasons Mercury had to disband was its unpopularity due to a lack of adjustment to its architectural construction. However, the relative failure to adapt to the times must not overlook the significant qualities this model holds.
Alongside the 302 hp V8, the primary quality of the 2008 Grand Marquis is the comfort and interior spaciousness it offers.
It truly is the standard sedan for the regular customer who prioritizes comfort in the journey over everything else when it comes to their vehicle. It is trustworthy, sturdy, and reliable.
#4 Best Year: 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis
The 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis model had a lot to offer and was the juncture at which several developments occurred, especially to exterior design and the rear chassis.
Even though the vehicle’s architecture started to become outdated, it was still a comfortable ride with high-tech features such as anti-lock braking and traction control.
It also fixed several issues found in 1992-1997, including frequent transmission failures and engine misfires. However, it still paled compared to the generations mentioned above since it wasn’t a very competitive vehicle for its time.
#5 Best Year: 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis
Many would see this as a controversial pick, but the 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis model was revolutionary in many ways despite its numerous setbacks.
Significant improvements were made to the vehicle in this version, with an updated chassis with modified front suspension and stackable steering, which significantly improved handling- and consequently, crash protection.
The vehicle is quite comfortable and dependable and has solid bodywork. However, despite these significant upgrades, several setbacks obstruct this version from a higher position.
This includes misfires due to spark plugs and transmission failures due to the inability of the front pump.
#6 Best Year: 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis
The Grand Marquis began to receive a lot of traction and popularity due to this 1997 Mercury rand Marquis model, primarily owing to its aerodynamic body, which was the best in class.
While performance-wise, it pales in comparison to the other years on this list, it still was a very solid vehicle for its time and deserves a spot on the list owing to its contributions to the continuing popularity of the Grand Marquis.
List Of The Worst Years For The Mercury Grand Marquis: What Years To Avoid
Now that we have looked at the best years, it is time to analyze in detail the years in which the Grand Marquis frustrated consumers. These will also be listed in the same way as the previous.
Let us begin!
#1 Worst Year: 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis
A lot can be said about the relaunch of the Grand Marquis beginning in 1992.
It is evident from the declining sales and complaints that Mercury still needed time to make necessary updates to this new edition of the vehicle. Still, the issues that plagued this edition made it the worst year for the vehicle.
Transmission problems due to a failure in the front pump, failure of the EGR position leading to ineffective fuel economy, and problems with the oxygen sensor, among others, mean that this vehicle is too risky for any prospective buyer.
Additionally, the architecture of this vehicle may not be to the liking of riders in the modern-day.
#2 Worst Year: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury was slow in repairing issues since the 1993 edition earned the second spot. Inheriting most design flaws from its predecessor, the 1993 vehicle’s transmission issues are especially prominent.
These problems can show up through shifting delays grinding, and whining sounds due to acceleration, among other issues. Such issues have led to a very inefficient fuel economy for this particular version.
However, since Mercury did improve problems with the oxygen sensor, this vehicle isn’t at the top spot.
#3 Worst Year: 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis
Again, the issues from the older models persist here. While some miscellaneous repairs improved reliability, the internal design flaws of the vehicle ensured that problems such as transmission failure and sensor mishaps plagued the vehicle and needed repairs.
In addition, there is also the possibility of a failure in the throttle position sensor (TPS) with this particular year, which may cause poor fuel economy and stalling.
In addition to this, Mercury made little to no change to the architecture and aesthetics of the 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis, a pattern that may become recurring in the future productions of the vehicle.
#4 Worst Year: 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis
This is the last version which contains most of the design flaws which were persistent from the 1992 version onwards.
While the reliability of this vehicle is far superior to the others mentioned above, owing to Mercury doing a lot to solve the transmission failure issues, certain others hold it back.
For one, the inefficient fuel economy that is endemic to these versions negatively impacts the 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis model. In addition, there can be problems with catalytic convertor failures and electric connector problems as well.
#5 Worst Year: 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis
The reason why this 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis model makes its way into the list is the fact that it faded away under the radar.
When sedans were receiving significant upgrades in the form of new control modules, steering gears, and an all-new traction system, this model was seen as one that got left behind.
Due to its outdated programming and performance, coupled with the issue of inefficient fuel economy and gas hogs, the 1998 Grand Marquis was simply a luxury of that time with no real additions.
What Are The Most Common Problems With The Mercury Grand Marquis?
Now that I’ve made my list of the best and worst models, I’ll be looking at some of the common problems associated with this vehicle.
These problems are sometimes more prominent in some versions than others but are mostly endemic to the workings of the Grand Marquis.
Without further ado, let us begin!
1. Exterior Lighting Failures
Problems related to exterior lighting have mostly been reported after the 1996 version of the vehicle.
Symptoms of failures regarding exterior lighting include headlight problems, brake light problems, and non-working of turn signals and fog light switches.
Complaints surrounding the inactivity of headlights are most prominent in the 2005 model of the vehicle. The widespread nature of these failures makes them a notorious nuisance for customers.
However, repairs are generally cheap, and problems do not persist if diligent maintenance is kept.
2. Intake Manifold Failure
An intake manifold may corrode or crack with usage, leading to manifold failure due to oil leakage or coolant leak. There may also be other symptoms, including reduced flow due to carbon buildup in the internal valves.
The last issue is most prominent with the older versions of the vehicle until 1997. However, the intake manifold problems have persisted into the newer models, albeit with lesser frequency.
3. Transmission Failure Due To Front Pump Failure
An automatic transmission requires high hydraulic pressure to function, provided by the front pump. With a failure in this pump, the pressure decreases, leading to transmission failures in the vehicle.
This issue is prominent mostly in the models after the 1990s, and common symptoms include engine misfires and whining sounds on acceleration.
4. Throttle Position Sensors May Fail
This sensor is part of your vehicle’s fuel management system and is essential to efficiently deliver power to your system to maintain optimal fuel economy.
It is common mostly with the 1992-1996 versions of the Grand Marquis but has persisted in other models. The failure of the throttle position sensor can be fatal if not repaired immediately.
Symptoms include rough idle, hesitation when accelerating, and stalling. The end impact of this failure includes inefficient fuel economy and other performance limitations that can prove a safety hazard to motorists.
5. EGR Valve Position Can Fail
A problem with the EGR valve position can lead to further issues such as reducing power, performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and greater vehicle emissions. They generally can become clogged by carbon or other dirt particles, which leads to failure.
Symptoms include rough idle, engine stalling, increased fuel consumption, and poor performance. The check engine light generally illuminates in the case of any failure, and immediate repairs are then required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Many Miles Can I Get Out Of A Grand Marquis?
If you’re looking for a reliable vehicle that can last you a long time, you’re in the right place. The Grand Marquis can last you at least 300,000 miles without any major repairs being required in most cases.
If taken care of diligently, it is not uncommon to see this vehicle hit the 1 million mark either, showing that it is truly a solid and dependable sedan vehicle.
Q2. Are Grand Marquis Expensive To Maintain?
On most websites and customer reviews, you’ll find that the average annual maintenance cost ranges from 300-500$, depending on the model and the amount of repair required.
However, this is comparatively low compared to other sedans of similar size and purpose. Hence, we can see that the Grand Marquis isn’t very expensive to maintain, and the average customer generally covers costs.
Major maintenance costs aren’t required until after a considerable amount of usage has been done, meaning that the average customer will be pleased with the cheap maintenance costs for most of the time of usage.
Q3. What Is The Difference Between A Grand Marquis GS And A Grand Marquis LS?
The LS is considered the most luxurious version of the Grand Marquis, while the GS is considered more standard and cheaper. The primary difference between the two models is in their interior.
The LS is the most premium that you can get with the Grand Marquis trim styles, with leather seats, digital dash, and upgraded audio systems. The GS has all cloth seats, a standard analog gauge cluster, a full wheel cover, and a single exhaust.
Q4. Are Mercury Grand Marquis Good In The Snow?
The Grand Marquis is a rear-wheel-drive car with a V8 engine and a small ground clearance. The rear-wheel drive is especially a disadvantage because the wheel loses traction as it is pushed forward and slides easily.
The small amount of ground clearance means that the vehicle would be unable to drive in very snowy conditions and find that very difficult. With that said, it is quite clear that this vehicle isn’t an ideal pick for driving in the snow.
Q5. Why Did They Stop Making Grand Marquis?
The last vehicle produced by the Mercury brand was the 2011 version of the Grand Marquis. Despite being one of its most famous vehicles, even the Grand Marquis couldn’t save this sub-brand of Ford from the closing shop.
This happened primarily due to poor sales and an inefficient fuel economy for the modern-day. Production simply wasn’t profitable enough as sales went down due to the rise in popularity of various other car models.
So finally after concluding the best and worst years for mercury grand marquis, we can see that the Mercury Grand Marquis is a solid, reliable sedan that has great practical use for urban drivers and ordinary family members.
It is durable, comfortable, dependable, and a very low-maintenance sedan compared to others that you may find on the market.
It may have been discontinued due to the disbandment of Mercury, but it was one of Ford’s most popular productions at its time and continues to be a vehicle of great importance to many.
It has several issues, admittedly, which hold it back, and it isn’t truly a luxury sedan either (though the LS trim style has a number of luxury features); the stagnation in its architectural design is seen as one of the many reasons for its decline in popularity in the 2000s.
However, it is still a solid pick for prospective drivers looking for a comfortable and dependable ride.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.