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2004 Mercury Marauder Review
Muscle car that needs to hit the gym.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2004 Mercury Marauder is, for lack of a better description, a fleet muscle car. A sibling of the Grand Marquis and the Crown Victoria that serve as the basis for many of America’s police and taxi fleets, the Marauder has an added performance bent to go with the classic and basic sedan feel. The high-powered engine and performance suspension and transmission give the big sedan some performance, a pleasant surprise that is dampened by the heavy-curb weight. The engine also requires premium fuel. While Mercury’s attempt to make the Marauder a performer is admirable, there are better ""thrill machines"" to be had in this segment.
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Marauder
For 2004, the Marauder gets a new heavy-duty four-speed automatic with quicker shifts as standard gear along with traction control and an upgraded audio system. Newly available exterior colors include Dark Red and Silver. The 4.6-liter V-8 now comes with dual knock sensors for improved engine response at low speeds.
The 2004 Mercury Marauder performance-based sedan comes in only the base trim. Two new colors, a red and a silver, are added along with black to the exterior color list. Basically a taller version of the Grand Marquis, the Marauder comes with 18-inch polished alloy wheels and stainless steel exhaust tips. The suspension is an interesting combination of Ford’s police cars in the front springs and the Lincoln Town Car in the rear air springs to make up a performance suspension.
The black Marauders certainly have the foreboding look that works for a muscle car, while the red and silver soften the impact. The look is ultimately that of a standard sedan without much in the way heavy stylization or vehicle uniqueness. This will appeal to some buyers, but those seeking an eye-catching ride will want to check out the competition.
Standard interior fare includes leather seats, eight-way power driver’s and front passenger bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support, remote power door locks, one-touch power windows, tilt-steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control, adjustable pedals, remote trunk release, front and rear reading lights, leather trim on shift knob, leather steering wheel, and dual illuminating vanity mirrors. The sound system is a 100-watt AM/FM radio with single CD player using five speakers including a subwoofer. Stand-alone options include a trunk-mounted six-CD changer, heated seats, and a trunk organizer.
The cabin can be light flint or charcoal and is roomy and comfortable although the lateral support of the front seats is lacking. The features list is not necessarily luxury oriented, but everything that is to be expected is included or available. The design isn’t overly stylish, but clean and efficient and pleasant enough. The Marauder won’t be mistaken for a luxury ride, but it is pleasant enough with a reasonable amount of creature comforts.
Performance & Handling
The Marauder uses a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine that produces 302 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of torque. Adapted from the unit in Ford’s police car, the four-speed-automatic transmission drives a 3.55:1 rear axle with a limited-slip differential. Since the Marauder is an ""old school"" rear drive, it some performance to speak of, but winter driving requires a rear drive specific skill set from the driver. Unfortunately, premium fuel is required, so add in extra fuel costs to the total cost of ownership.
The Marauder handles decently for a big, five-passenger sedan. It offers a smooth ride yet still gives a commendable amount of control. The four-speed performs well without any aggravating traits and the big engine helps move the Marauder decently enough, although the high curb weight is evident when it slows the powerful V-8’s performance and adds to the bulk being rolled in curves. All things considered the Marauder has a pleasant ride for a performance machine and works well as a daily driver due to a comfortable ride and solid driving manners.
The extensive list of safety equipment includes all-wheel anti-lock brake system, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, remote anti-theft alarm system, emergency braking assist, ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, cornering lights, front fog/driving lights, rear center three-point belt, front seatbelt pretensioners, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and emergency interior trunk release. The IIHS has not performed safety tests with the Marauder. In NHTSA testing, the Marauder earned five out of five stars on all of the performed tests, making it a great choice for safety-conscious buyers.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Ride comfort
- Eventual straight line performance
- Safety ratings
You Won't Like
- Low-end power
- Some seating issues
Muscle car that needs to hit the gym.
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