2009 Mercury Grand Marquis Road Test

2009 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Engine: 4.6 liter SOHC V8 (224 horsepower/275 ft. lbs. of torque) Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD Rear Wheel Drive City/Highway MPG: 15/23 This is a full road test of my mom's 2009 Mercury Grand Marquis, to show how it performs in different situations, and to identify any problems that may exist. I would normally do this after having the car in the shop for repairs, but in this case I am driving the car around just to get a better idea of how it feels on the road. I drove it for about 2 hours and came away very impressed. It is comfortable, refined, solid, and very agile. With only 224 horsepower, one would think that it's underpowered compared to its V6 competitors. It's not. The torquey V8 will pin you to your seat when gunned from a dead stop, and once you're up to speed, there is always plenty of power in reserve. The big V8 has a deep, burly muscle car sound when revved, but at low RPMs it is muted and unobtrusive in the cabin. The 4 speed automatic isn't much of a handicap with the V8's torque curve, although it prefers not to downshift into 1st or 2nd unless you mash the pedal to the floor. If you drive with a light foot, and keep RPMs below 2000, you can easily attain 20+ mpg in everyday driving situations. On the highway, the car is very efficient, due to its tall overdrive gear that keeps the RPMs low. The four wheel ABS disc brakes provide adequate stopping power, with reasonably good pedal feel. Stopping distance is short in an emergency, although the front end dives toward the ground. The Marquis handles very well for a big car, even though it is not equipped with the Handling Package (this option was discontinued around 2007). In hard cornering, body roll is minimal and the Michelin tires provide plenty of grip. The rack and pinion steering setup leaves feel somewhat numb, but it's also pleasantly light and very accurate (especially on the highway). Mercury obviously wanted to leave some "slop" in the steering, so the old folks won't think they're driving a Ferrari :) If you must throw the car around, it is safe and predictable, and can be quite fun for a boat. Comfort is where the car really shines. The ride is very smooth, and gives you the feeling of "floating" over bumps. This is great on the highway, where little road imperfections are ironed out, but not so good on bumpy back roads. If you hit potholes or man hole covers, the car pogos up and down a couple times before settling. I enjoy this type of ride, but many people do not. Inside, the car is very quiet, and road noise is minimal. The leather bench seats are supremely comfortable and roomy, even after a couple of hours. Overall I am really pleased with how the car drives, and it just happens to be a car I would consider buying used. R.I.P. Mercury and all the Panther platform cars that have been discontinued. The song at the beginning is Cradle of Love by Billy Idol, one of my favorite 80s songs.

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