The 1992 - up Panther Platform / Crown / Grand Marquis is a great vehicle
that will grow on you... it is still a full-frame vehicle and rear-wheel
drive. Avoid 1992 - the first model year... there were integrity problems
with the chassis and drivetrain. There were minor body styling changes
through '97. The 4.6 Liter OHC V-8 was and still is the only engine
available, there is a Compressed Natural Gas option. Horsepower was 190 for
single exhaust, 210 for duals. 1998 saw a new rear roofline, front and rear
sheet metal and fascias, and important chassis improvements including Watts
rear Susp. Linkage and improved, larger, 4 wheel disc brakes. HP was bumped
to 215 for dual exhaust models. Another HP boost came in 2001 models to
200/235 for single/dual exhaust cars.
The most important options to insist on, IMO, are the 41G Performance &
Handling Package and a power drivers seat. The 41G has, among other things,
the upgraded anti-sway bars, a 3.27 rear axle ratio, upgraded alloy wheels,
but most importantly the load-leveling suspension(great for the huge amount
of stuff you can carry in the rear cavern they call the trunk)... AND it is
the only way to get the factory dual exhaust ( a stainless steel system that
will easily outlive the average Crown/Marquis owner). The power seat,
although I don't need it personally, would be advantageous especially to
former '91 and older Crown/LTD/Marquis drivers who were used to the
rather high bench seat... seating in the new models is more Honda-Like...
closer to the floor, and necessitating an upward adjustment that isn't there
on the manual seat. Performance from a 41G G Marquis or Crown Vic will
astound you if you expecting a land-yacht cruise. Top speed, although the
cars are capable of over 130 mph, is governor / computer limited to about
108 mph. Fuel economy is not impressive at all, but not miserable either.
You could probably get 26 mpg highway if you are not in a real hurry. ABS
and traction control are options. Due to US manufacturers wanting you to
buy Expeditions, Blazers, Explorers and Tahoes, the tow rating is only 1000
lbs., it used to be 5000 lbs. (with less oomph and no load leveling even).
We live in upstate/northern NY, and I can't really recall any '94-up Crown
Vics / Grand Marquis' that have obvious rust problems like other marques(is
this where I can't say "Cavalier" or "Sunbird" ? ...but to be fair, all the
Aerostar vans around here are rusted out too) in our salt-ridden environ.
Even the retired police cars are in good condition, which leads me to
believe the body integrity is quite good. This could be a demographic
issue, too, considering the average age of the typical owner is in the
general area of "I don't go out in winter" and "oh... we drive our 1980
Prelude in Florida from November to May and our Mercury just sits here in
the garage all winter " so this has to be accounted for in our region.
I hope this helps. These are affordable cars, I think they were cheaper new
in 2000/2001 than they were 5-6 years before that. The re-sale isn't very
good, so buy to drive, not to invest. The major drawback is that you have
to stop for
gas twice as often than in your 5-speed Accord, but you have seating for 6
adults, and room for all their luggage and offspring in the trunk!
Thanks for your wisdom and thoughts. I ended up buying a 99 today from a
previous owner. I paid too much, but as one of the last cars that has a frame
underneath it, I may be money ahead in the long run.
The ole 86 caprice actually giggles less on bumps, so perhaps the Crown vic
will needs new shocks right away. But it didn't pull like the worn out caprice,
lit ooks like new, has no odor, idles nice and it's ready to rock.
I could care less what a 5 speed accord will do for gas milage. My wife can't
drive it and the ride is so harsh I would toss my cookies. The Taraus is like
that and I am sea-sick an ill when I emerge from that pinball machine after a
short trip. Actually, the Taraus (wagon) was also disappointing for gas milage
as well. Never made even 30 mpg and the Capris ten years older does 21.5 on the
Yeah, you are right about resale value being low. That is one thing that makes
them such a good buy when they are a few years old.
If you have any suggestions for suspension and handling upgrades, I'm
interested. I don't need faster, but round the turns flat could be better.
no one in maryland
I have found that tire inflation makes a big difference in ride on my '95
CV. Set them to the pressure on the door frame and ride/handling should be
fine. Much above or much below and both ride and handling suffer. I have
the original shocks, as far as I can tell. The car now has 111k on it. It
has the air suspension with new air bags. It is the nicest ride I have
driven for a long time and is quite nimble too (for a land yacht).
Paul, you are correct on the tire inflation, especially with the 16" wheels,
which you probably have. Do you have the complete 41G / HPP package? I
can't recall when it became the only way to get the air suspension.
nope - mine is a '95 LX (P74) - but I am quite impressed with it even 3
years after purchasing it. Someone on a newsgroup somewhere once said the
Ford Crown Vic / Grand Marq was Ford's best kept secret. It's a lot of car
for a reasonable price... I agree...
The CV/GM is not only Fords best vehicle it is the most
cost effective vehicle on the market today. No manufacture
builds anything close to them in product or equipment at anywhere
near its drive home price, period. There are many
smaller V6 cars and even some 4cy small cars that cost more
to drive home than the CV/GM!
Paul of Dayton wrote:
Not looking to nit pick, just enlighten, but that is a common
misconception. The Town car is built on a different
chassis/frame with a different suspension than the CV/GM. One
can not fairly compare a used car price to a new car price but
one can indeed buy a new 2003 CV/GM for less than 22K in fact
less than 20K, if you go with the base model ;)
David Starr wrote:
It isn't. It is built on a longer, wider, chassis exclusive
to the Town Car, as is the body. Even the CV/GM chassis of today
is a far cry from the old panther platform. The frame, front and
rear suspension and the steering gear have all been changed and
up dated, over the past several years.
Of course, but those changes are common to all 3 marques, as well as the
hydroformed frame, long-awaited rack & pinion steering, and other
improvements. Your statement above sounds like you are saying none of the
models are on the Panther platform. I believe all three are built on the
Panther platform(I think it may just be Kenny Brown's personal favorite).
Of course, the Lincoln will have an extended frame (also used on the P70 &
P72 extended range/extended length Crown Vic) and suspension tuning,
options/equipment unique to the luxury model, with vastly different sheet
metal though. I just have not heard that the Lincoln has departed the
Panther family until your post. I think the track is the same for all three
I don't think so - at least 2 of the 3 aren't there...
I really don't know much about this car. I bought it at auction, it was a
repo, not a police unit. Ford was unable to track down a build list or
window sticker for me. Carfax said it began life as a fleet car in Florida
(a sunroof was added there) and then went a to central Illinois dealer, I'm
guessing as a "program" car. The guy who lost it to repo had it 6 months,
just long enough to try to make it look police with 3 antennas mounted thru
the trunk deck.
It isn't missing much in the way of options, tho. (Other than duals, big
spare, etc.) I can't remember for sure about the rear sway bar, I think I
saw one when I changed the air bags out but it was a while ago...
On Mon, 06 Oct 2003 19:36:06 GMT, "Paul of Dayton"
Hard to imagine it's their best kept secret. I see tons of them
running around town (and that's not counting the ones with the pretty
blue lights on them). The secret is out, and everyone knows the CV is
one of the best cars ever made.
Re: Ford Crown Vic opinions
Group: alt.autos.ford Date: Mon, Oct 6, 2003, 7:17pm (EDT+4) From:
if you drive inteligently, you will get good mileage. my 99 crown vic
gets 33 mpg with the cruise set on 60 when i go on long runs, around
town i get 20-25mpg. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
You drive at 60mph even when the limit is 75? It must take you forever
to get any place.
I've just recently purchased a 96 Merc GM with 67K. It has the dual
exhausts and runs like a scalded dog and rides like a cloud. I'm looking
forward to a long a happy relationship. I intend to caress and polish this
no one wrote:
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