The Mercury Grand Marquis made its debut in 1983 as a full-size sedan and was in production for 28 years until 2011. Like the Mystique and Tracer, the Grand Marquis was a rebadged version of a Ford model, specifically the Crown Victoria. However, after some years, the Grand Marquis developed its own characteristics and became Mercury's flagship luxury sedan. Ford ended all newly developed Mercury vehicles in 2011 and the Grand Marquis was discontinued.
The fourth-generation model is the newest in the lineup, having begun production in 2003. The 2011 model was given slightly new features, but maintained many of the same features and designs of the 2006 facelift. The 2011 full-size, four-door sedan is not short on power; in fact, it houses a 4.6-liter, V8 engine under the hood, which produces 239 horsepower and 282 foot-pounds of torque, along with its four-speed automatic transmission.
The Mercury Grand Marquis evolved greatly in its 28-year history, but first introduced three body styles: a two- and four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. It has always retained its flagship V8 engine, which produces enough horsepower to propel its large frame and a family of seven quite easily along the highway. As the generations progressed, the body became less rectangular in shape and more aerodynamic and streamlined. The third-generation Grand Marquis was the introduction of the most drastic redesign, which included new mirrors, hood, grille, wheels and lights.
The latest model features a new interior with updated door panels, door handles, side airbags, six-disc CD changer and wood trim. As the Grand Marquis neared 2011, the GS and LX trim levels were discontinued, which left the LS Fleet available for purchase. New headlamps, grille and badge were added to the 2006 facelift, which carried on until 2011. The rear was also redesigned with a more rounded trunk and newly designed taillights. These models also retained the optional fog lights that were introduced in 2006.
Because the Mercury Grand Marquis was available for so long, it caught the attention of many critics in the industry. Edmunds.com raved about its excellent reliability and safety record, while AutoPacific named it the Ideal Vehicle in the large luxury car category in 2007. CarMax reports that the Mercury Grand Marquis has earned the government's highest safety rating since 1996. When Mercury announced its plans to discontinue the car, Motor Trend declared that the Grand Marquis was the last of the breed".
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