2002 Grand Marquis New Car Test Drive
The Mercury Grand Marquis is one of the last surviving rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered full-size cars built on a separate frame. Its ostensible competitors, Buick LeSabre, Chrysler Concorde, Pontiac Bonneville and Toyota Avalon, are all more modern in concept, with front-wheel drive, V6 engines, shorter wheelbases and unitbody construction.
However, the Grand Marquis offers almost all the comfort and convenience of the Lincoln Town Car for a price less than that of a near-luxury mid-size car.
And while the Grand Marquis has been criticized by driving enthusiasts for being way too conservative, that could change very soon as Mercury prepares to launch the Marauder version of the car with 300 horsepower, a floor-mounted shifter, sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch high-performance tires.
For 2002, Grand Marquis arrives with standard antilock brakes and traction control; fold-away, power-adjustable and heated outside mirrors, and a storage pouch that's sewn into the driver's seat. A new trunk cargo organizer is optional on all models as well.
Grand Marquis comes in GS, LS and LSE trim levels.
GS ($23,645) has a 220-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 engine, automatic transmission, seating for six and many comfort features. The GS Convenience version ($24,065) adds power adjustable pedals for the driver and remote keyless entry.
LS Premium ($27,120) adds automatic climate control, HomeLink garage door opener, rear reading lights, automatic-dimming mirrors, body side moldings, dual front seats with 8-way power for the driver and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. LS Ultimate ($28,300) comes with a rear air suspension, electronic instrumentation, an upgraded audio system, and controls for speed, audio, and climate on the steering wheel.
LSE ($28,625) has a different rear axle, a more powerful 235-horsepower engine, dual exhaust, sports suspension settings, including the rear air suspension, leather seats and special wheels and tires.
Options include leather seats ($995), a single CD player ($140), and a six-CD changer ($140). (Packages and pricing varies for buyers in California and Hawaii.).