The 2003 Ford Crown Victoria is the next in a long line of fleet cars. It's most popularly known as a cab or police car. But the venerable model is available as a personal vehicle to the general public as well. For those buyers wanting a rear-drive car with some performance, a solid frame that improves crash safety, a spacious interior, and a comfortable ride, the Crown Victoria is worth a look.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Crown Victoria LX, Crown Victoria LX Sport, Crown Victoria NGV
The 2002 Ford Crown Victoria gets a new full-perimeter frame that uses strong, lightweight hydroformed steel sections for the front rails to improve frontal and offset crash performance. Redesigned frame crossmembers and new optional side impact airbags improve side impact crash performance. The new frame is combined with a redesigned independent front suspension and new monotube shock absorbers to contribute to a smoother, more controlled ride and improved handling. There is a new variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering system with variable power assist and a new dual-rate brake booster that automatically supplies full braking power in a panic stop. New seats offer improved comfort, there are new cup holders and a three-point seatbelt is included for the rear center passenger.
The 2003 Ford Crown Victoria classic rear drive sedan comes in three trims: base, LX, and the NGV that runs on natural gas. The base model comes equipped with basics, such as power door mirrors, heated door mirrors, rear defogger, and automatic headlights. Consumers can order a handling and performance package that includes performance tires, aluminum wheels, revised suspension components, a 3.27 axle ratio, and dual exhaust. Traction control and a trunk organizer are available for both trim levels.
The 2002 Ford Crown Victoria base trim starts off with air-conditioning, power windows, tilt steering wheel, speed control, a power driver seat, and a cassette stereo. It may be equipped with such convenience features as power adjustable pedals and remote keyless entry. Those features are standard on the LX trim, as well as a CD player, passenger power seat, steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, and a spare tire. The handling and performance package adds leather trim for the seats and a six-disc CD changer.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Ford Crown Victoria uses a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine that makes 224 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque and mates with a four-speed automatic transmission. An optional all-speed traction control uses the anti-lock braking system and throttle intervention to manage wheel spin. There is a 239 horsepower version of the 4.6-liter V-8 that is equipped with a dual exhaust system and comes with the handling and performance package. This package is standard for the LX Sport and optional for the LX. Acceleration is good at city speeds but issues may be encountered at highway speeds. The handling is a tough proposition with okay steering, but body lean and grip can be problematic. Brakes are strong, but watch out for nose dives in abrupt stopping situations. The ride is smooth and comfortable, although the performance package will cause some jittering over bumps. Noise levels are kept fairly low making for a serene ride.
Standard safety gear for the Crown Victoria includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and dual-stage front airbags. Also installed is a weight sensor that can prevent the front passenger-side airbag from deploying if that seat is unoccupied, Ford’s BeltMinder system that makes use of the weight sensor to remind the front passenger to buckle up. Other standard safety equipment includes a new dual-rate brake booster that applies full braking power automatically in a panic stop and a LATCH child-safety seat tethers that are integrated into the outboard rear seats. Side-impact airbags and traction control are optional. It earns outstanding ratings from the NHTSA getting five out of five stars on all tests except side-impact front safety where it received four stars. IIHS tests were a bit more mixed with the big Ford sedan getting the second highest rating of ""acceptable"" in frontal offset safety tests and the lowest rating of ""poor"" for side-impact safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Crown Victoria: 16/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Crown Victoria LX: 16/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Crown Victoria NGV: 12/17 mpg city/highway
You Won't Like
- Difficult to maneuver and park
Classic fleet car that could be used as personal vehicle for drivers wanting a classic sedan.
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