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Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
This is my fifth Grand Marquis and I've owned two Crown Victorias, as well. I've also owned various front wheel drive vehicles over the years. Everyone has different priorities in chosing a vehicle, but I've come to appreciate the room, comfort, reliability, and ease of servicing this rear wheel drive vehicle (both in terms of what I can do myself and lower cost of repairs for work I don't tackle myself). This is a vehicle that I can drive 600 miles in a day and not feel beat up at the end of the day. Body on frame construction provides an extra level of isolation from rough road inputs. Others may laugh at the split bench seat in front, but it provides some extra room to shift my position while driving and it provides space for a small cooler between the driver and front seat passenger. The instrument panel and controls are simple and straightforward. I prefer simple knobs and buttons that I can operate by feel rather than a touch screen that requires me to take my eyes off the road. The trunk is well shaped and has plenty of room for luggage, even with a full size spare tire. Given the "Salt Flats" gearing (2.73 rear axle ratio and 0.70 to 1 overdrive ratio), the engine is quietly turning about 1450 RPMs at 70 mph. I get 16 to 17 mpg around town and 26 to 28 mpg on the highway. Brakes are effective and with four wheel discs, changing pads in the rear is easier than replacing rear shoes on drum brakes. With the intent of long-term ownership, I chose the GS model to avoid any issues with aluminum wheels (such as leaks associated with porosity and tire replacement damage), automatic temperature control, or the optional rear air suspension and electronic instrument display. I also prefered the cloth seats in the GS model for comfort on hot summer days. I did install Air Lift rear air assist springs myself to maintain the rear suspension ride height and headlight aim with a trunk full of luggage and a bicycle rack.
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