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Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis



  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    the RWD GM or TC. Having driven both, the rack & pinion steering of the TC is preferred and the automatic leveling system makes it just right. Dealers in the NW are knocking 10 grand off MSRP on all TC's "in stock". Remember the Buick is with an old 80's V6 engine while the TC has the 90's OHC V8 coupled to a much better transmission.
  • bigunit67bigunit67 Posts: 62
    Hey dinu,

    Not owning or having driven a 2003 CV or GM, I can't objectively state whether CR is accurate in their description of the car or if CR is missing a cylinder or two, but consider this: I've been a subscriber to their mag since the late 80's and have read all of the reviews of the CV/GM since their redesign for 1992. CR generally liked the car, especially with the handling and performance package, to "help control the wallow" - from one of their 90's issues.

    CR generally praised cars for having taut European ride and slammed anything that required you to actually slow down in a turn. Now, that Ford has stiffened the CV/GM frame and generally followed the blueprint that mags like CR keep preaching, guess what...IT'S TOO STIFF AND JIGGLY.

    I have a friend who is in the highway patrol, and they recently replaced his 2001 CV with a 2003 model. I asked him if he liked his car or thought it was worse, considering all the maneuvers he has to undertake that you and I wouldn't dream of (doing a 180-degree turn in the median and getting up to 140 mph to chase someone). He said that except for the tires that came with it being bad - and having to be replaced - he liked it better as it didn't seem to flex and groan as much as the old one did. Nor did he complain about the highway ride. Considering he puts about 40,000 miles a year on his cruiser I put that up against CR and their 150 mile test drives!

    Not going off on you buddy, but I get tired of CR and their Japanese bias. I certainly can't say Japan makes a bad car, all things being equal. However, CR does seem hell-bent on making sure that whenever they have the opportunity to preach to us, once again, as to why we should all buy Hondas, Toyotas, etc., that they will take that chance gladly.

    It would seem that on the subject of cars, they're as biased towards models from Japan as the French are towards Saddam these days.

    Happy hunting and I hope you find the right one for you. For the record, I own a 1998 Regal GS - a car CR has called everything except a car you'd want to own. I do have to buy premium fuel, but manage to get about 30 on the highway and have few repair expenses except those which you would call "normal and customary" for a car pushing 65,000 miles. I'm a lover of RWD cars and hope Ford doesn't do anything to close them out anytime soon.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Thanks to you both for your input. The wife and I went to a Buick dealership in the NW part of Phoenix, AZ , living next to Sun City as we do, and drove the Park Avenue Ultra on the
    101 Loop and some city driving. It's a nice comfortable car, nice interior, lots more leg room for back seat passengers than some we've seen, and it has a classic exterior look. On the down-side, it's priced above what we think it's worth although it's likely that we could get the price down further below the incentives offered and the wife's Honeywell discount, if we were doing some serious horse-trading in the future.

    We'll check out the purchase plan at Costco which some or many dealerships participate. Cars can be bought at the invoice price plus a few hundred dollars, according to what we've heard.

    As for the Grand Marquis and other cars, we'll have to take some more drives in them....with the danger of getting to the point of being dizzily slap-happy, befuddled and confused! The wife suggested that we rent one or more of the cars we're interested in on a one-day use, to get an extended feel for each car. We may do that.

    BYW, yesterday we also took a second drive in a Toyota Avalon XLS with bucket seats at a dealership near the Buick one and had a more favorable impression of it this time around: very quiet, very comfortable bucket seats, nice ride, responsive handling, and lots of leg room in the rear passenger's seat behind the drive, even with the driver's seat all the way back for a guy like me with long legs. The wife likes it a lot now.
    (Seems though we like at the time we drive them and then later the next week can't remember enough of last weeks' impressions to use in comparing this week's test drives in other cars! Shopping for new cars 'taint essy for sure.) Price-wise the Avalon is on the high side and with no incentives, due I suppose in part to the high demand for this car.

    As I said we'll be going to the Grand Marquis
    dealership and giving it another, but this time longer spin. Thanks again for your input guys!
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    I am told all levels include Traction Control & a CD player.
    The most models have a 2.73:1 axle ratio.

    LS Premium:
       Garage Door opener
       Auto dim mirror
       Overhead Console
       Power passenger seat
       Leather seats

       3.27:1 axle ratio
       Floor Console
       Handling Package
       239 engine
       5 passenger leather

    LS Ultimate:
       Single exhaust
       Digitale dash
       Rear Air
       White side wall tires

    As rear leg room seems to be an important factor to you, I suggest the Executive Towncar for $29 and change.

    Have fun shopping.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    "We'll check out the purchase plan at Costco which some or many dealerships participate. Cars can be bought at the invoice price plus a few hundred dollars, according to what we've heard."

    Costco? How many cars do you have to buy to get that price? ;-)
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Good afternoon "kinley" and "rea98d". My better half and I have been busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm and the Dallas - Sacramento NBA game on ABC finished a while ago so I'm back on line. Dallas won thanks to a great overtime performance by Steve Nash. Yes, our Phoenix Suns wewre the ones who shipped Nash to Dallas. The Suns ownership has made many a bone-head trade in the past.

    Thanks kinley for the info. The LS Ultimate Edition that I drove had leather seats and was the only model I've driven as yet. As I remember the GM Ultimate I drove also had Power passenger seat in the front too. We'll check out the LS Premium soon. As for the LSE it may be too long for our standard-sized garage.

    Would like to have anyone's take on CR's "negative" comments about the GM. Specifically, what things did CR say that you believe not to be true?

    In answer to rea98d, the Toyota sales rep we talked to Saturday told us about the Costco car-purchase program just before we left. He said that all we had to do was come back to his dealership when we were ready to buy and present our Costco card and we could buy our pick of Toyotas at invoice plus $300. Do you have Costco in your part of the country rea98d? Costco was once named Price Club. We also have Sam's Club here in the Phoenix area but we don't belong to it. Don't know any more than that until I go to Costco next week and check with them. Will ask Costco how many/which dealerships participate in this program. Will get back online to this Town Hall discussion group and let you know.

    Have to tell you a funny thing that happened at the Buick dealership we visited on Saturday. They ran an ad in the Arizona Republic that they were selling Buick Park Avenues "up to $12,000 off". During the time we were with the sales rep we didn't ask him about the ad but after we parted company, I asked another salesman near a Park Avenue in the showroom about the ad. He pointed to the PA
    near by and said that was the one the ad was refering to. I walked over and sure enough it had "$12,000 off " painted on its windshield. On closer examination, I discovered that it was a base Park Avenue not an Ultra, and the inflated sticker price they had on it was well over $50,000!!! Well, when $12,000 is taken off that sticker price, it still was over $38,000 for this base Park Avenue, which was higher priced than their Ultra. Didn't check what options were listed on it but it looked like a sales come-on to me.

    Would be interested to know about any sales-come-ons you two or others have encountered in the past. With Smetana's
    Moldau flowing in the background, I'll say 30 and 73s to all.
  • ronslakieronslakie Posts: 58
    dinu - I would re-think any decision on that Buick Park Avenue even if they offer $20K off. The reason is that Buick's biggest available engine is the 3.8 V6 which is seriously undersized for a car that size. Buick compenstaes for this by offering it with a supercharger; what it really needs is a V8 like the Northstar that Cadillac has. I have a friend who has a Park avenue and the supercharger just went south to the tune of $2600. Who needs to start with that type of handicap. The 3.8 V6 was initially introduced in the sixties; I had one in a 77 LeSabre and didn't think much of it then.

  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Thanks Ron. We've pretty much ruled out the Buick anyway. A question for you: If you were buying a new comfortable, reliable, quality 4dr passenger car with plenty of room, decent handling ability and sufficient power to handle certain conditions where the power was needed, what make and model would you pick? Low re-sale value is of no concern to us as we'll be keeping the new car we buy for ten or more years. Price is somewhat of a concern and the Lincoln TC Executive may be stretching us too much.

    We've narrowed it down to three cars thus far: the Toyota Avalon XL or XLS, the GM LS Ultimate Editon, and the Lincoln TC Executive.

    On paper, nothing in the Chrysler line seems interesting enough to look into, including their 300 model. Nothing else that Ford or General Motors makes catches our eye or pocketbook.
    Don't know about the Acura, the Mitsubishi or other makes.

    As for the GM and the TC, we have some reservations on the quality for long-term ownership based on some reviews we've read. Do you or others on this forum have any reservations on these cars?

    Others viewing this forum are welcome to voice their opinion in answering the question I asked at the beginning of this post.

    BTW, I'm wondering if any of the car makers anonymously post comments in the Edmunds' Town Hall forums and/or other similar websites. I don't see how Edmunds or other websites could screen out such posts.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    " With Smetana's
    Moldau flowing in the background" Currently I like Sam Barber, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, and of course, Mozart. Bach organ is pleasant and Beethoven is always welcome. Now, back to the cars.

    We too buy for the long term. Our present Towncar was purchased new in '94 and has over 105,000 miles. When the market improves significantly, I'm looking for another, perhaps an '04. The '03 Crown Vics, GM's, & TC's have the same running gear from engine to axle. Same wheels and tires. Same rack & pinion steering design, however, the TC has the more rear room. I don't think the GM LSE is any longer than the Ultimate or LS, thus both would fit in the garage. Suggest you dial in & see what's there as far as dimensions go. They tell all on that website. A few years ago, I flew to Detroit and toured the Wixom factory seeing how the Lincoln is made. Their computer sequential process with same day inventory of parts was very interesting.
    IMO the tour is worth the price of getting there and wouldn't factory drive away be fun?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    All we got here is a Sam's. I was just trying to be funny, cause in places like that, you end up buy 10,000 floppy disks for $5, pickles by the 5-gallon bucket, laundry soap in 55-gallon drums...
    I figured they'd sell Toyotas shrink-wrapped in 5-packs for $70,000 or something. Get the "Avalon Variety Pack," and have 5 different colors.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Got the humor the first time rea98d, but I didn't acknowledge it or carry on with it when I replied. Your comment was funny though.
    The wife works at Honeywell and as I'm retired I do all the grocery shopping which I don't mind doing. As far as Costco goes I only buy spices like garlic powder and other spices in rather larger bottles than what's in the supermarkets....also Epson ink cartridges for my printer, 3 bundle pack of the 2 lb. Arizona brand tortilla chips, 96 oz. bottles of Woolite,
    ...........well I could go on and on! Didn't go there today but will later this week when the rain lets up a bit.

    I see by your profile that you own an '82 Grand Marquis. It must be holding up pretty well. Tell me about the car: any history of problems with it?.... service done at the dealership.......or anything else you'd like to say about it. Do you have the bench type front seating or the bucket style. We haven't decided which kind we'd get if we bought a GM. One thing I definitely don't like about the GM is the positioning of the spare tire in the trunk. It's set up high and obtrusively making the placement of other stuff, like baggage, rather awkward. The trunk floor is rather low and I'd imagine it might be a little more difficult to get suitcases and the like out. The Lincoln TC does it better regarding the spare and the design of the trunk.

    Kinley, it's good to meet another classical music lover. I have a life-long passion for this kind of music. Andre Previn said it best: "A day without music is a day lost." I'm also into jazz, world music and the old pop standards. Your choice of composers that you mentioned are fine. How about Bartok, Dvorak, & Poulenc?

    Back to the car stuff: It's good to hear from someone that's had a TC with so much milage. Tell me about the car a bit as regards
    any problems with it, cost of parts & servicing it if that's significant, and anything else you'd like to tell me. With the incentives that Mercury has this month and my wife's discount via Honeywell, perhaps I can get the bottom line down to a comfortable level for us. The GM Ultimate Edition and the Avalon XLS will likely be close to $10,000 less than an Executive TC. So I'll be looking into how much lower I can get the bottom line for a TC. I'll check on the length of the cars for a fit in my garage. I'll check out that website you mentioned. Your trip to the Lincoln factory sounded interesting.
    My home state is Indiana and have gone to Detroit a few times but that was long ago. Didn't get to visit the Ford museum that I've heard about nor did I go to a Ford factory.
    When the wife retires we'll be touring back east in the car we'll be buying this year. She retires in 2 or 3 years. We want to experience the New England area in the fall and then wheel up to Canada and travel across Canada, then cutting down to home in Arizona.
    We've never been to Canada other than Vancouver B.C. and nearby Victoria.
    Nice talking with both of you guys.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Have been doing some reading of the other forums and found your comments in the Town Car forum. Your #777 was an interesting history of problems/repairs that you've had.
    Some of your other posts were read. By reading them I've pretty much got the answers to my question put to you above. Any further comments are welcomed.
  • ronslakieronslakie Posts: 58
    dinu - Reference your question on what I would select. I currently have a GM LS and I am pleased with it except for back seat legroom. If I were looking right now I believe I would look at a regular (not Exec) Town Car. I would get about 3-4" more of back seat legroom; the Exec can add $10K on to the price real quick and I am not sure you are getting your moneys worth. There are some deals out there on the TCs for around $30K you just have to hunt them down. I have found the net very helpful in that regard. It is a shame that us rear whell drive fans don't have a bigger selection but in 2 years Cadillac and Chrysler will be switching their larger models to rear wheel drive.

  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    "Bartok, Dvorak, & Poulenc" I think Poulenc is more associated with choral works and as a an amateur orchestra conductor, I'm more familiar with the first two. Noting the #1839 post mentions "regular (not Exec) Town Car." The most economical TC is the Executive.

    Regarding music & automobiles: FM has a limit of about 14k whereas Tape & CD can produce up to 20k, but an "add on CD" uses the FM circuitry, thus limiting the "highs". The factory installed unit has it's own pre amp for CD reproduction. And the sound is noticeably better.

    As to price differential I agree the TC will be more cost than the GM, but how much? If it is 5k or less, I'd take the TC over the GM and think of it as only $500 a year more for more rear leg room. If you want a chuckle with your "spellcheck" on Outlook Express, type in "Bizet".

    When you get to Vancouver, take a side trip up to Pemberton on Hiway 99. Spend a night at Whistler and ride the gondolas up the mountain for wonderful vistas. Reminds me, we took our TC to Alaska for 6 weeks and 6,000 miles a few years ago and highly recommend that visit to you.
  • cfocfocfocfo Posts: 147
    I looked at the TC and GM before making my final decision. To get to an apples to apples comparison price wise, I was looking at a very nice TC Executive that was 2 years old, in great shape, with low miles VERSUS a brand new GM LS Ultimate.

    The TC provided even a better comfort couch ride than the GM of course, BUT I decided on the GM ultimately because it was brand new, no "used car" unknowns or risks. Buying a 1 or 2 year old car is smart $$ wise, but not without risks.

    I did not test drive an Avalon, but will have to read the CR article to see the pluses over the GM.
  • cfocfocfocfo Posts: 147
    As a GM owner with graying hair, (KEYWORDS-with hair) I felt obligated to reserve 2 pre-set FM stations for Jazz and Clasical music.

    But when the windows are rolled up during the solo trips, I also listen to Steely Dan, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Neil Young on the CD player. All of which would probably fall into the "old folks" category as well AND all controlled without having to lean my old back off of the fine leather seats, as the controls are on the steering wheel.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Regarding the '82 she's holding up pretty good. I got her last summer with 41,000 miles on her, and have put about 20,000 more on her since then (I drive a lot). I had to replace quite a bit of stuff on her when I first got her, because the PO only drove about 2,000 miles a year, and idled everywhere she went. Also, I don't think she had ever heard the words "tune up" in her entire life. But she runs good now, and I don't hesitate to take her out on long highway trips. In fact, other than the gratuitous gasoline consumption, she's perfect for long trips.
    Seats are split seats, but flat like the bench seats, with fold-down arm rests.
    As for the spare tire, I hadn't really noticed its placement was all that bad, but the trunk is definately deep! You could hide Jimmy Hoffa in there and no one would ever find him. (Uh, oops. SHouldn't have said that. I never made a comment about Jimmy Hoffa. Never mind). But the car is holding up well enough, and I continue to drive her. When I bought her, she was extremely low mileage for an '82. When I end up getting rid of her, she'll probably be extremely high mileage. I tend to do that to cars.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12

    Today, March 19, 2003, in The Arizona Republic newspaper there is an Associated Press article titled "Luxury cars, SUVs crack under crash-test pressure" by Dee-Ann Durbin. Bumper crash tests were made by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
    Does anyone know if they have a internet website? A Google search should determine this.

    The luxury sedans cited in the article are noted below in order, according to the degree of damage in these bumper crash tests:

    2003 Infiniti Q45 - $1,445

    2003 Cadillac CTS - $1,172

    2003 Lincoln Town Car - $1,147

    2002 Acura RL - $1,103

    There was also one midsize SUV noted and two small SUVs noted in the article. If anyone is interested in knowing what the article said about these vehicles post a request for this info here and I'll put it in this discussion grouop today or tomorrow.

    Here's a quote from the article relative to the Lincoln Town Car:

    In a statement, Lincoln manufacturer Ford Motor Co. said its bumpers meet or exceed government safety standards. It also said the institute's tests "may not be representative of he type of damage that occurs in real-world situations."
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    When someone scratched my bumper while backing into a parking place, the scratch was accepted because that's what bumpers are there for, to protect the main body of the car. Today, if you back into another's bumper while parallel parking and the bumper gets scratched, it's an insurance Property Damage claim. Another cause of high insurance premiums. Bumpers should be protective rather than decorative.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    You're right about "bumpers should be protective rather than decorative" Property Damage claims today.

    Am interested in you being "amateur orchestra conductor". I don't play a musical instrument but even at 69 it's not too late to learn! Beethoven's 4th piano concerto is now playing in the background on KBAQ our classical music station here. Kinley, you can listen in too while working on the computer. The URL address is:

    Yes, Poulenc's choral works are lovely...I especially like his "Gloria". Try his concerto for two painos and his Concert champetre for harpsicord and orchestra (the later written for Wanda Landowska) if you don't know them.

    Thanks for the info on music & automobiles. Am wondering what sound system the GM and the TC have. The Toyota Avalon XLS 4dr sedan w/bucket seats has a JBL 7 speaker system including subwoofer and 6 disc in-dash CD changer. But the Avalon doesn't have any audio controls on its steering wheel as the GM Ultimate and TC Executive do.

    BTW The interior specs of the Avalon XLS are nearly equal to the TC and better in some aspects. We don't know as yet how low we can get the bottom line on the Executive TC that would include the cash incentives that end this month. Will have to take another spin in it and seek out thier rock-bottom "bottom line". Right now we are leaning in favor of the Avalon XLS V6 (with bucket seats, Package #5, Vehicle Skid Control, and carpet/cargo mat set) at an invoice total of $29,094. The MSRP is $33,249 and Edmund's TMV price is $29,269. No incentives or rebates on this car but the one we saw on a lot had a $1200 discount on it.

    The wife and I like bucket seats rather than the bench type. I don't believe that the GM or Executive TC offer the choice of bucket seats, do they? Will have to check the Edmunds site.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    My father was a professional opera tenor & Mom was a concert pianist. Piano was my first instrument and my teacher was of a Nazi style where I was to play "only what's written". To develop my ear, I took up the Trombone and switched to Euphonium in my Sr.year of H.S. In college I minored in Music which included a semester of "Conducting". Following college the draft got me into an Army band. Locally, there is an orchestra composed of teachers and others of which I have been known to be a guest conductor. 69?, me too until the end of the month. Side comment: 69 years is still young enough to learn an instrument. My suggestion is begin with the piano.
    I still play it- when no one's around.
  • dinudinu Posts: 12

    I'm not sure I'd be getting my moneys worth on the TC Executive either. As I said in the previous post, I'll have to see what the "rock-bottom" bottom line price I can get that includes this month's cash incentives plus the wife's Honeywell discount. Right now we're leaning toward the Avalon XLS mentioned in a previous post. Does your GM have bucket or bench seats?


    If you want a copy of CR's take on the luxury cars tested, check it out at your library as it's the February 2003 issue and may not still be available to buy. The Avalon XLS 4dr sedan w/bucket seats is a dream drive: super comfort and quality, room equal or better than the TC, and very, very quiet. Don't know yet if the TC will win us out but it has a good chance. You're ability in your GM (and the TC too) to control the audio "without having to lean my old back off of the fine leather seats, as the controls are on the steering wheel" is what I want too but the Avalon doesn't have.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    I believe the opera was Aida and in the scene a live elephant, on stage, dropped a few "biscuts". The audience laughed, of course, the music stopped, and when there was a moment of silence, James Levine announced in a loud voice, "He's a Critic."
  • dinudinu Posts: 12
    Good evening Burt. Liked your Aida anecdote. Speaking of critics, here's one you may not have heard: Max Reger, the composer, saw a negative critical review of one of his new works in the newspaper. He wrote to the critic, something like the following: "I'm in the smallest room in my house and I have your review before me. It will soon be BEHIND me!"

    If you've read any of Oscar Levant's books I'm sure you enjoyed some of his anecdotes involving classical music. I have a couple of other good books of classical music anecdotes and have a collection of others involving Fritz Reiner, Sir Thomas Beecham and other notables. If you're interested in having the ones I've collected I can send them to you upon request.

    As for my car-shipping business, I went to Costco today and picked up the literature on their car-buying program. Came home and called the 1-800 number and set up an appointment with a dealer. I'll compare their price with what my credit union can offer me through fleet pricing. According to The Costco phone rep I can't use my wife's Honeywell discount in addition to the Costco car prices. I suspected that. Of course if I would ask the dealer which program offers me the better deal they could say "this one" but it may actually be the one that affords them a higher profit. The thing I could do is to go to different dealerships of the same make, such as Buick, and try each of the three pricing avenues I have: Honeywell's, Costco's and the one from my credit union. I believe that Costco's program will bring the lowest price because of the size of Costco's buying power and larger membership.

    That's all for this evening. Time to chow-down and to turn th TV on and monitor the approaching war in Iraq.
  • cfocfocfocfo Posts: 147
    I wanted to take a look at a GM with bucket seats, the LSE, but I never found one in the Mercury dealership inventories to check it out.

    We have the ability to seat 6 comfortably with the bench seat, but there isn't a nice center console for storage that is on some other vehicles. (The Buick Rendezvous has one of the best I've seen.)

    Dinu, I think any one of the cars you are looking at will be a good purchase. It will probably come down to how much you want to spend.

    Good Luck
  • xteacherxteacher Posts: 1
    If this is any help. Purchased new Avalion XLS 2000 and all dealers contacted were willing to settle for $500 over invoice. I purchased at $300 over invoice plus coated windows at their cost and full gas tank, new oil change before delivery and two free oil changes after delivery. Now have 38,000 and no problems of any kind. This is my third toyota.
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    I believe the manual specifically mention that the original oil is of different type for the purpose of enhancing the break-in of the engine. I may be wrong.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Break in oil is no longer used by the big three and hasn't been for years. The Corvette comes with synthetic oil. Most cars have the same oil in them that is recommended for future use in that vehicle.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    What causes the axle oil to turn to foam?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    "Also, the 1991's still had steel bumpers for more protection. The 1992's got plastic on the front and rear. It made the front and rear weaker. It is why air bags were added to the 1992's"

    No, 1990 was the first year for Air Bags in the big Fords. Government Mandated, not 92.

    Also, the 92's bumpers are not all plastic and the interiors are not smaller inside, why are they used as taxis if they are "so small".

    Weaker? Cars today have crumble zones, so people don't hit the windshield or get whiplash. Run into a wall at 25 in a 1938 Chevy and see how well your back takes it.

    One more thing, the 4.6 V8's have more HP than the 302's of 79-91.
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