1994 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS GS
Used Car - 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis GS in Chicago, Il
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1994 Mercury Grand Marquis ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
People who buy full-size, rear-wheel drive sedans such as the Mercury Grand Marquis are probably not looking for breakthrough styling and innovation. They tend to be older owners who have settled comfortably into their lives and who want roomy, traditional cars to match their laid-back lifestyles. The 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis LS fits the bill, competing for these buyers with other full-size sedans such as the Chevrolet Caprice, Ford Crown Victoria and Buick Roadmaster.
The Mercury Grand Marquis has been a quiet, solid sales performer for a number of years. Lincoln-Mercury has used it successfully as a niche car, offering buyers Lincoln-like room, comfort and luxury for a reduced price. Our test Grand Marquis LS was a contemporary example of this philosophy. Completely equipped with a variety of comfort and convenience options, it had a sticker price of $24,685, including destination charges, minus $1,755 in special discounts. Not bad, and very comparable to the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice LS. In fact, after our evaluation of the Mercury, we'll give a quick apples-to-apples comparison of these two luxury sedans.
The sharp-cornered boxy shape that carried Mercury vehicles through the 1970s and 1980s has been fully rounded off. The hood and front fenders have been drawn down to give the Grand Marquis less frontal mass and a leaner, more aerodynamic look. This 'leaning out' has been applied to a lesser extent along the bodysides, into the quarter panels and around the rear.
The aerodynamic look extends into the cabin. The windshield has been raked back at a sharper angle, and the doors, with their flush-mounted side glass, are curved into a rounded roofline. Even the door handles are recessed into the body. These changes are more subtle than those of many other comparable vehicles, because the task was for gradual evolution, not revolution. Considerations for room, comfort and mass were given highest priority.
Nevertheless, the styling is attractive. Composite front and rear fascias and bumpers are finished in the body color-China Blue, in our case-for a monochromatic look. This is broken only by the grille and bright molding surrounding the Grand Marquis over the bumpers, rocker panels and door sills. Extending the subtle styling theme, decorative hardware is kept to a minimum.
In addition to being stylish, the Grand Marquis is safe. The vehicle meets 1997 Federal Dynamic Side impact Standards and includes structures in the front and rear that are intended to crumple on impact, thus absorbing a collision before it reaches the passenger compartment. This design, combined with the Grand Marquis' standard dual air bags, gave us a sense of security throughout our test drive.
While not the biggest full-size, rear-wheel drive sedan on the market (the Cadillac DeVille has that distinction), the Grand Marquis offers enough room for most any buyer. Because of the car's size and upright profile, entry and exit were easy. And now it's even easier to get in and out of this car, thanks to the addition of large assist handles for shutting the doors.
Our Grand Marquis came with a preferred equipment package that offered all sorts of goodies including an electric rear-window defroster, front and rear carpeted floor mats, a power antenna, power locks, a luxury light group that includes handy map and convenience lights, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 50/50 front seats, also covered in leather, had twin fold-down center armrests. Seating was easy and chair-like; the driver's seat had six-way power adjustment, including power reclining and lumbar support.
The power window controls were mounted right at our fingertips in the door armrests. Convenience features included the now-obligatory cupholders, tilt steering wheel and-we really liked this one-adjustable D-rings for the shoulder belts. These rings allowed users to adjust for height to ease discomfort or, in severe cases, to avoid near strangulation.
Our Grand Marquis also was equipped with an optional electronic group that replaced analog gauges with video game-like monitors. Alas, we will probably always prefer traditional analog gauges, but given enough time we could get used to the electronics-and we have yet to hear of malfunctioning monitors.
Seating throughout the Grand Marquis was roomy, extremely comfortable and very plush. This is billed as a six-passenger vehicle, and it will certainly handle that number with ease. And if the six people all bring luggage, the trunk is up to the challenge, boasting more than 20 cubic feet of cargo space.
Our Grand Marquis' engine was a 4.6-liter fuel-injected V8.
Teamed with a four-speed electronically controlled overdrive transmission, it performed ably. The engine moved our portly sedan surely and smartly, though it didn't have the ultimate forward force that the Chevrolet Ca rice Classic LS offers with its optional 5.7-liter V8.
As we expected, our ride was on the soft side: comfortable, gentle and relatively stable. We were aided by speed-sensitive power steering and an advanced rear-air spring suspension that automatically adjusted the rear ride height to suit heavier loads.
Our Grand Marquis' standard power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes stopped surely and quickly, and they worked well with the optional antilock braking system (ABS). Electronic traction control on the vehicle helped prevent any rear wheel spin we might have encountered. We especially liked our test car's transmission. Its shifting was undetectable unless under hard acceleration, and only a slight change in torque was evident. A lockout for the overdrive was on the gear selector, so we could opt for maximum acceleration or, for greater economy, a reduction of engine revolutions by almost one-third. AR in all, this was a delightful package to drive, whether we were on city streets, country roads or expressways.
We liked the Grand Marquis LS, finding it somewhat comparable to a Lincoln sedan but at a lower price. It also compared very favorably to the Chevrolet Caprice Classic LS. The two models we tested were very close in price: The Caprice was slightly more expensive but offered ABS as standard and an optional 5.7-liter V8 with sport suspension.
There were some things we liked better on the Grand Marquis, though, such as the transmission and the interior. And its exterior has been modified Just enough to make things interesting, while maintaining the traditional feel that has made the Grand Marquis a success for two decades.