With a design that hasn’t changed much since the 1970s, the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis may be the most basic full-size sedan on the market. However, a cavernous trunk, comfortable seats, and an affordable price tag make the Grand Marquis a popular choice for fleet owners and budget-minded buyers.
For 2008, the Grand Marquis offers two rear-drive models: the base GS and the more luxurious LS. Both trims come equipped with a powerful V-8 engine coupled with an automatic transmission. The LS mostly adds interior niceties. Despite a lack of modern safety features such as stability control and side-curtain airbags, the sedan still posts strong safety scores due to its large size and sturdy construction.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 4.6-liter flex-fuel V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Grand Marquis GS, Mercury Grand Marquis LS
Both models of the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis feature a new optional rear air suspension. Otherwise, little changes for the aging Grand Marquis. A Handling Package that added greater power and a load-leveling rear suspension has been eliminated for 2008.
With the exception of some smoothed-out curves and updated safety features, the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis doesn’t look much different than when it debuted 30 years ago. Both Grand Marquis models feature an old-fashioned sedan design with a long hood and trunk. The base GS comes equipped with 17-inch steel wheels, faux chrome wheel covers, a chrome grille, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a rear defogger, and dusk-sensing headlamps. The Grand Marquis LS gains 17-inch painted alloy wheels and fog lights.
The Grand Marquis lets buyers swap out the standard solid-axle rear suspension for a rear air suspension. A Palm Beach Edition Package updates the Grand Marquis’ exterior with chrome wheels and chrome-trimmed mirrors. The LS also offers an optional sunroof.
While dated in design, the interior of the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis offers an impressive amount of space and comfort. Thanks to a roomy rear bench seat, both models easily seat five adults. The GS comes standard with a bench front seat that makes it possible to seat six.
The base GS comes equipped with cloth upholstery, simulated wood trim, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel with cruise controls, air-conditioning, power locks, one-touch power windows, retained accessory power, remote trunk release, a 12-volt front power outlet, a trunk light, front and rear floor mats, a clock, a tachometer, and a four-speaker sound system with an in-dash single-disc CD player. The LS adds leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel, an eight-way adjustable passenger seat, front-seat adjustable lumbar support, heated mirrors, adjustable pedals, climate control, a trip computer, external temperature display, and a compass.
Occupants in the base Grand Marquis GS receive 39.5 inches of headroom, 41.6 inches of legroom, and 60.6 inches of shoulder room up front and 37.8 inches of headroom, 38 inches of legroom, and 60 inches of shoulder room in the back seat. Commonly used as a fleet vehicle, the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis boasts a large trunk, offering 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis gets its power from a 4.6-liter V-8 that routes 224 horses and 275 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, the only gearbox available. With estimated EPA ratings of 15/23 mpg city/highway, the Grand Marquis’ fuel economy remains close to that of similar, V-8-powered vehicles. However, most modern rivals provide more power in exchange for subpar fuel efficiency.
Like its traditional full-size sedan siblings, the now-extinct Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car, the body-on-frame Grand Marquis suffers from a soft suspension and sloppy handling, especially with the elimination of 2007’s Handling Package. On the plus side, the Grand Marquis has a hard-earned reputation for durability.
Standard safety features on the 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis include anti-lock brakes, cornering lights, a rear center three-point seat belt, front height-adjustable headrests, and tire pressure monitoring. All Grand Marquis models lack side-curtain airbags and stability control. Traction control comes standard on the LS but remains optional on the base GS. Front seat-mounted side airbags provide an option for the LS.
Despite lacking some modern safety equipment, the boat-like sedan maintains a solid safety record. When equipped with optional airbags, the Mercury Grand Marquis scores five out of five for its performance in frontal- and side-impact government crash tests. Without airbags, scores drop to four stars. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Grand Marquis earns a top rating of “Good"" for front collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercury Grand Marquis: 15/23 mpg city/highway
- Affordable price
- Roomy interior
- Comfortable seats
- Powerful V-8
You Won't Like
- Stale style
- Outdated construction
- Unrefined handling
Spacious, old-school sedan soldiers on with few changes.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Buick Lucerne
- Lincoln Town Car
- Chrysler Sebring
- Ford Crown Victoria