: Review: 2003 Mercury Marauder



Jesda
08-04-12, 09:31 AM
http://jesda.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/wpid-P1120233-2012-08-4-02-31.jpg


http://jesda.com/2012/08/04/review-2003-mercury-marauder/

brandondeleo
08-04-12, 10:28 AM
Loved the review! What a sweet car! I've got to get my hands on one of them for an hour or so. Good job! And kudos to Chad for owning the awesome car.

cadillac kevin
08-04-12, 10:59 AM
Great review jesda...sounds like a possible future car for me.


Also, when are you going to drive/review my pimpmobile?

talismandave
08-04-12, 11:01 AM
Thank you both for bringing a cool car, that I have overlooked before, to my attention. I have a new appreciation for it now. Great pick Chad.

Playdrv4me
08-04-12, 09:14 PM
Chad, is the radio actually Alpine branded or is it just "Ford audiophile"? Whatever it was sounded markedly better than what I had in my 2004 Town Car, though it seemed to distort a bit at higher volumes.

Truth be told, this was my overall favorite car at the meet, and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because it's the one I'd feel most comfortable criss-crossing the country in on a day to day basis combined with that striking appearance and the interior details. Just a great car, and a wonderful successor to the GS.

hueterm
08-04-12, 09:17 PM
Why didn't ewe go on the review drive?

Playdrv4me
08-04-12, 09:21 PM
Why didn't ewe go on the review drive?

Not sure how that happened either.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-04-12, 11:34 PM
Great review, you've done me proud.

I need to race an '00-03 STS though, I don't think the difference is as great as you make it out to be.... I do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, about the same as an STS, no?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCDi9EpRG4&list=UUk26DPPRCWOl92I3iFQowLQ& index=5&feature=plcp

Jesda
08-05-12, 12:28 AM
Great review, you've done me proud.

I need to race an '00-03 STS though, I don't think the difference is as great as you make it out to be.... I do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, about the same as an STS, no?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCDi9EpRG4&list=UUk26DPPRCWOl92I3iFQowLQ& index=5&feature=plcp

A later 98+ STS is definitely slower to 60 but likely faster from 40-100+.

Kad4Life
08-05-12, 02:39 AM
So, my friend had a modded one located in NH; he put it on local craigslist and got no responses .
Then, he listed it on cars. whatever ... BANG, he gets a phone call from TX within hours of listing it .
He talks to the guy over the phone; the guy arranges to fly to NH from TX to look at it and buy if good .
Buyer will bring cash .

2 days later he gets a phone call from Logan airport in Boston:

" Hey, so and so sent me up to look at and buy the Marauder.I'm at the airport; where are you ?"

"I'm in New Hampshire."

"So pick me up man ."

Friend says to himself, wtf; it's a sale .
He drives to Logan from NH .
He meets this really big dude and his GF, drives them to NH, and shows the guy the car, guy says:
"Okay, I like it." after a test drive .
He hauls out a travel bag and proceeds to pay my friend 7K in bundles of $20.00 bills .

For some reason known only to God my friend lets this dude drive the Marauder all the way back to Houston on his plates .

It all worked out except for the toll gate in NY which he got a $50.00 ticket for .
Then again; in NH you don't need car ins. IIRC . :D

He got his plates back .

tfs...

Kad

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-05-12, 11:36 AM
A later 98+ STS is definitely slower to 60 but likely faster from 40-100+.


I could believe that, as the STS weighs a couple hundred pounds less than the Marauder, plus it's more aggressively geared.... 3.71:1 v. 3.55:1..

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-05-12, 11:41 AM
Not sure how that happened either.

You passed out in your room for a few hours after the car show. You'd actually fallen asleep in the Marauder during the drive back from the show if I remember correctly.


Chad, is the radio actually Alpine branded or is it just "Ford audiophile"? Whatever it was sounded markedly better than what I had in my 2004 Town Car, though it seemed to distort a bit at higher volumes.

Truth be told, this was my overall favorite car at the meet, and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because it's the one I'd feel most comfortable criss-crossing the country in on a day to day basis combined with that striking appearance and the interior details. Just a great car, and a wonderful successor to the GS.

Yes, it is Alpine branded, but it doesn't say anywhere in the car, just in the brochures. Yes, I do notice a bit of distortion as well at the very high end of the volume limit. It may not have quite the power or clarity of the Monsoon system in the GS, but with only having 4 speakers, it sounds damn good. :D

And yes, it is a wonderful successor to the GS and I'm very happy I rushed out to the dealer to look at it when I did, because if I didn't, it would have been sold the next day. I joined the Marauder boards online shortly after I bought the car and another Twin Cities member said he was going to look at it on Tuesday and trade in his modified black '04 Marauder on it because he wanted a blue one so badly, but I snatched it up on Monday.

Now I just need to find a $1000-$1500 FWD GM midsized sedan so I can garage the Marauder for the winter and keep it looking as good as it does not.

Jesda
08-05-12, 11:52 AM
Well I'll be darned. Didnt know it was Alpine.

We're having a discussion over at GMIN about how durable and comfortable the Olds Ciera was.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-05-12, 12:00 PM
I much prefer the Century to the Ciera, but for $1000 I'll buy what ever is decent and runs well.

thebigjimsho
08-05-12, 12:30 PM
Chad, is the radio actually Alpine branded or is it just "Ford audiophile"? Whatever it was sounded markedly better than what I had in my 2004 Town Car, though it seemed to distort a bit at higher volumes.

Truth be told, this was my overall favorite car at the meet, and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because it's the one I'd feel most comfortable criss-crossing the country in on a day to day basis combined with that striking appearance and the interior details. Just a great car, and a wonderful successor to the GS.

You mean for any car older than 2009, amirite?

thebigjimsho
08-05-12, 12:34 PM
Actually, I'm curious how those seats in the Marauder would be long term. They are far more supportive than in my Town Car.

Some would assume the Town Car would be a better long distance cruiser than my V, but that's not so by a long shot. The Town Car is someplace I can be for a long time in a day. But the seats will get to you over time, no dead pedal with the e-brake in the way kills your ankle, and having so much space to flop around actually makes you fidget and causes discomfort.

I could drive my V cross country in less than 3 days, by myself.


The Marauder has buckets with a thick center console. So is be interested in its long distance comfort...

96Fleetwood
08-05-12, 12:40 PM
Nice review. They are reliable, good looking, and sound amazing with the right exhaust. I had my 2003 Black Marauder for 5 months and 4,000 miles. Sold it for several reasons, mainly the fact everyone thought I bought a Crown Victoria... especially my wife ($10K for a Crown Victoria.. what?!?!). They seem to hold their value well and have a strong following. There is so much support for the platform, so the sky is the limit as far as modifications. Get rid of the factory resonated tips and see how badass that 32 valve 4.6 sounds! The guy who bought mine has 70K on it and says it is running great. I did have the rear air suspension crap out and I replaced it with the P71 Crown Victoria springs and Bilsteins, worked perfect. Enjoy it for many years to come!

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa306/96fleetwood/n503855835_2312146_1399293.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-05-12, 02:20 PM
But the seats will get to you over time, no dead pedal with the e-brake in the way kills your ankle, and having so much space to flop around actually makes you fidget and causes discomfort.

Yes, that is definitely a problem with the Panther Platforms. Big, wide, flat seats & big wide floor without and discernible dead pedal makes you want to fidget around a lot and causes discomfort.


Nice review. They are reliable, good looking, and sound amazing with the right exhaust. I had my 2003 Black Marauder for 5 months and 4,000 miles. Sold it for several reasons, mainly the fact everyone thought I bought a Crown Victoria... especially my wife ($10K for a Crown Victoria.. what?!?!). They seem to hold their value well and have a strong following. There is so much support for the platform, so the sky is the limit as far as modifications. Get rid of the factory resonated tips and see how badass that 32 valve 4.6 sounds! The guy who bought mine has 70K on it and says it is running great. I did have the rear air suspension crap out and I replaced it with the P71 Crown Victoria springs and Bilsteins, worked perfect. Enjoy it for many years to come!

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa306/96fleetwood/n503855835_2312146_1399293.jpg


A later 98+ STS is definitely slower to 60 but likely faster from 40-100+.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Ford 4.6 DOHC feels more like your typical pushrod V8 than a Northstar, because it has more low end torque and a "meatier" bottom end. It reminds me of Nissan/Infiniti's DOHC 5.6L V8 in that sense, as it's a big quad cam 32V V8, but it's just as happy to lazily spin around the 2000 rpm mark and lug around all day long.

ryannel2003
08-05-12, 05:39 PM
Great review, you've done me proud.

I need to race an '00-03 STS though, I don't think the difference is as great as you make it out to be.... I do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, about the same as an STS, no?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCDi9EpRG4&list=UUk26DPPRCWOl92I3iFQowLQ& index=5&feature=plcp

I clocked my STS a few years back at 6.5 seconds to 60. So it's definitely neck and neck, though the Northstar has good top end power.

Great review and a gorgeous car. I've never driven one unfortunately.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-05-12, 05:53 PM
Ryan, I feel that like your STS, this is by far the most thoroughly satisfying car I've ever owned. I wash it twice weekly, every week. Never before have I done that with any car I've ever owned.

ryannel2003
08-05-12, 10:26 PM
Ryan, I feel that like your STS, this is by far the most thoroughly satisfying car I've ever owned. I wash it twice weekly, every week. Never before have I done that with any car I've ever owned.

Well what I'm about to say is actually quite shocking... The E46 is about 10x more satisfying than my STS. The Seville of course offered a more satisfying engine with a better noise and quite possibly the best stereo ever with more comfy seats, but the E46 is better in every way. I do miss my STS much like how you miss your Benz, but I don't think I'll go back to one as a DD. They're getting too old to keep on the road affordably .

77CDV
08-05-12, 10:48 PM
:waits for drewsdeville to troll this thread:

hueterm
08-06-12, 12:11 AM
He's lurking, I'm sure...it won't be long...

Playdrv4me
08-06-12, 03:01 AM
Well what I'm about to say is actually quite shocking... The E46 is about 10x more satisfying than my STS. The Seville of course offered a more satisfying engine with a better noise and quite possibly the best stereo ever with more comfy seats, but the E46 is better in every way. I do miss my STS much like how you miss your Benz, but I don't think I'll go back to one as a DD. They're getting too old to keep on the road affordably .

I keep coming back to that as well. I've owned everything under the sun except for Porsches, which everyone keeps telling me I need to do, but I always come back to the E46. Ideally, the E46 and a Seville would be perfect companions. And now I would say the E46 and a Marauder.

It looks like the audio system (I couldn't see details on my phone when I was reading Jesda's review) must be just Ford Premium. I was about to have Jesda correct it to Alpine (since he said it wasn't branded) but normally the Alpine ones have "Alpine" on the cassette deck lid. Regardless, that radio was considerably improved over the stock Town Car radio, so I'm assuming it's upgraded (and probably similar hardware to the JBL and Alpine systems anyway).

I'm sure it is much to Mercedes' chagrin that you are enjoying and taking better care of a Mercury than one of the finest luxury sedans ever made! But that's how it goes.

brandondeleo
08-06-12, 04:09 AM
I have a small list of possible next cars, and I think the Marauder has made its way onto that list... I like the Panther cars, but buckets are really important to me.

Jesda
08-06-12, 04:59 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Ford 4.6 DOHC feels more like your typical pushrod V8 than a Northstar, because it has more low end torque and a "meatier" bottom end. It reminds me of Nissan/Infiniti's DOHC 5.6L V8 in that sense, as it's a big quad cam 32V V8, but it's just as happy to lazily spin around the 2000 rpm mark and lug around all day long.

That's my impression, though other reviews I've read of the Marauder say the exact opposite, that its so-so off the line and picks up steam at higher revs. *shrug*

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-06-12, 08:44 AM
That's my impression, though other reviews I've read of the Marauder say the exact opposite, that its so-so off the line and picks up steam at higher revs. *shrug*

If you compare it to the LT1 in the Impala SS, as many will do, it lacks in low end torque but makes up for it in higher RPM. I raced a friend's 96 Fleetwood Brougham one day from a 10mph roll and he killed me, but once we got to about 60, I was catching up fast..

But if you compare it to the Northstar, as you did, then the Ford 4.6 DOHC makes more than enough low end torque.


I have a small list of possible next cars, and I think the Marauder has made its way onto that list... I like the Panther cars, but buckets are really important to me.

The Crown Victoria LX Sport has buckets & console as well.... it's Ford's version of the Marauder, sans the DOHC 32v engine, this one has the regular 239hp SOHC 16v engine, with dual exhausts.
http://www.autogush.com/images/ford-crown-victoria-lx-sport-06.jpg

http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2008/06/11/11/51/2003_ford_crown_victoria_lx_sport-pic-62935.jpeg


It looks like the audio system (I couldn't see details on my phone when I was reading Jesda's review) must be just Ford Premium. I was about to have Jesda correct it to Alpine (since he said it wasn't branded) but normally the Alpine ones have "Alpine" on the cassette deck lid. Regardless, that radio was considerably improved over the stock Town Car radio, so I'm assuming it's upgraded (and probably similar hardware to the JBL and Alpine systems anyway).

This has been an ongoing discussion over on the Marauder boards. Yes, even though it doesn't say "Alpine" anywhere in the car, the Alpine Audiophile system was standard in ALL of the Marauders as it says in the brochures and on the window stickers. The only optional part of the audio system was the trunk mounted CD changer, which mine has as well.

brandondeleo
08-06-12, 08:47 AM
it's Ford's version of the Marauder, sans the DOHC 32v engine, this one has the regular 239hp SOHC 16v engine, with dual exhausts.
Where's the fun in that then? :histeric:

hueterm
08-06-12, 03:34 PM
If I didn't need dog crate room, I'd totally rock a CV Sport as a mileage burner...

thebigjimsho
08-06-12, 04:52 PM
The SOHC 4.6 is a dog. It's indestructible, but it's a dog. And the Town Car has true duals...

orconn
08-06-12, 05:41 PM
Well, hush my mouth and call me Pappy! Who would have ever guessed that a superannuated, spruced up, middle class people hauler from a now defunct, perennially superfluous Ford Motor division would win such high praise from such a broad spectrum of Cadillac Forums members. Just goes to show there exceptions to every rule, may that ever be the case!

Chad, i hope your enjoyment of the Marauder is long on pleasure and short on expense. Long live the Marauder!

talismandave
08-06-12, 07:34 PM
Imagine how excited they would be with a full size RWD V8 with a wreath and crest!

ltdltc
08-06-12, 07:47 PM
I much prefer the Century to the Ciera, but for $1000 I'll buy what ever is decent and runs well.

Just go with a tried and true 3800 powered (insert name) W-Body, or put some snows on the Marauder and you'll go anywhere. A-Bodies with door mounted seat belts and interiors that are the same from the mid eighties just are just lame. Sure it was good in 88 not so in 1994. And once again you know whats up, the Century was always superior compared to the Ciera.

A K-Body STS is lighter and has steeper gears so I think in a stock vs stock configuration it would edge a win everytime. A better comparison would be a DTS Performance sedan or Deville DTS almost the same weight. I know the behavior of the 4R70W and I think the 4T80E is a much more drivers oriented transmission.

The Marauder is an enigma to Panthers. The Mercury spokesperson at the 2004 Boston auto show kept saying how this is a car for my generation and I told him it sure isn't priced right for my generation.

I have a few issues with the Marauder. The first is I never liked the front end styling of the Grand Marquis 2003-2005 ( then again I've never been a fan of any 1998+ whale Panther ever). The Crown Victoria tail lamps don't belong on it. And odd sizing on the tires and the wheels never cared for them. I don't like consoles, on my DTS's didn't have a choice and the gear shift feels like an afterthought on column (sticks out at a weird angle). And not trying to be a snob but when I've had 4 Town Cars I find it hard to like the interior of any CV/GM.


http://i.imgur.com/oM0Io.jpg
I think if the they'd stay with the older GM design maybe maybe it would've been more tempting to move into one but that's a thought for another day.

M5eater
08-07-12, 09:08 AM
yippee! I'm going to read up now! I <3 these cars.

truckinman
08-07-12, 01:56 PM
A friend of mine has a black 03. He NEVER drives it tho. It's always in his barn. You'd never expect this gut to even have a car like it. He's always driving around in his 74 bronco, or 79 international Scout or his 78 ford F150 4x4. Lol.

Night Wolf
08-09-12, 11:38 PM
Well what I'm about to say is actually quite shocking... The E46 is about 10x more satisfying than my STS. The Seville of course offered a more satisfying engine with a better noise and quite possibly the best stereo ever with more comfy seats, but the E46 is better in every way. I do miss my STS much like how you miss your Benz, but I don't think I'll go back to one as a DD. They're getting too old to keep on the road affordably .

:cool2:

Night Wolf
08-09-12, 11:57 PM
Nice car, always thought they were interesting and would be a fun mod platform similar to the Mark VIII. A manual trans swap would be really cool.


Great review, you've done me proud.

I need to race an '00-03 STS though, I don't think the difference is as great as you make it out to be.... I do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, about the same as an STS, no?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhCDi9EpRG4&amp;list=UUk26DPPRCWOl92I3iFQowLQ&amp; index=5&amp;feature=plcp

I recognize that exhaust note and slow shifting automatic transmission! Some things stay the same between siblings. *edit* After reading the review, didn't realize there was a 50% increase in power between the two...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yilx1-oUepo&feature=plcp


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2ASI6cNqb8&feature=plcp

All stock w/ factory true dual exhaust. 210hp/275ft lbs of furious SOHC 4.6 fury. I miss that Town Car for what it offered and have briefly thought about getting another, but realize it just wouldn't get used much given the other vehicle choices, exactly why it was sold.

The Panther never felt like "home" to me in the way both my FWD and RWD Cadillacs did.

Night Wolf
08-10-12, 12:41 AM
First time I've thought about the Town Car in a while, much less watch the videos of it. I really enjoyed the styling inside and out, options/features and highway trips with it. It as truly a case of great car, just not for me anymore. In luxury sedan flavor, I've found "perfect" by way of an old ratty looking 5-series. Interestingly, I enjoy both for many of the same reasons. Never compared them because they were so different, but some neat things came to mind. The Panther came out around 1980, revised in 1990. e28 is mainly a restyled/updated e12, dating back to the 60s. Every aspect of driving dynamics on the e28 far surpass the Panther and on that regard, it feels very much advanced. However, the Panther felt far advanced in the NVH area - wind noise, doors, just general operation of the car had a very "dull and isolated" sound & feel - which was the point. While the e28 has a very "direct and mechanical" feel. Many seeking ultimate refinement would dismiss it as an old car, but it appeals to me quite a bit more.

Otherwise they are two different methods for a similar goal. One of the main things about the Town Car that bothered me - It just felt like a bloated, boring pig starting at the interstate exit ramp and ending at the interstate entrance ramp. Around town it felt like excess, in a bad way. Same for back road trips, you were just there. In comparison, the e28 gives up a little bit in terms of ultimate comfort on the interstate - but still can knock out cross country trips like nothing. The difference being the fun continues around town and especially back roads, it's just a fun car to drive in all conditions. It's like having a Town Car for the interstate and a Miata for the back roads - combined in a single car. If the highway cruise becomes highway stormin, e28 excels.

smf
08-10-12, 12:51 AM
I just bought a 2003 Marauder last week. I also own a 1996 fleetwood! The marauder is hands down the best car i ever owned!

Playdrv4me
08-10-12, 04:57 AM
If I didn't need dog crate room, I'd totally rock a CV Sport as a mileage burner...

Country Squire!

hueterm
08-10-12, 09:09 AM
Those are even older than Roadmasters.

Playdrv4me
08-10-12, 09:22 AM
I guess in keeping with the theme of this thread, it would be the "Colony Park" instead... God how I hate so many of those '70s and '80s car names...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/Mercury-Grand-Marquis-Colony-Park-wagon.jpg/800px-Mercury-Grand-Marquis-Colony-Park-wagon.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
08-10-12, 09:27 AM
I don't know what you're talking about, Colony Park is a great name. It sounds like some sort of subdivision. :lol:

M5eater
08-10-12, 09:32 AM
I just bought a 2003 Marauder last week. I also own a 1996 fleetwood! The marauder is hands down the best car i ever owned!

I almost bought a cobra just because the Ford 32V V8 is just about the best sounding V8 in the world imo.

77CDV
08-11-12, 12:16 AM
I guess in keeping with the theme of this thread, it would be the "Colony Park" instead... God how I hate so many of those '70s and '80s car names...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/Mercury-Grand-Marquis-Colony-Park-wagon.jpg/800px-Mercury-Grand-Marquis-Colony-Park-wagon.jpg

The Colony Park name goes back to the 1950s! The mid-1960s models were soooo classy.

orconn
08-11-12, 12:24 AM
"Colony ParK" wasn't that an upscale section of Levittown, PA?

Playdrv4me
08-11-12, 10:10 PM
"Colony ParK" wasn't that an upscale section of Levittown, PA?

Levittown, your favorite commentator's home-town!

http://www.televisioninternet.com/news/pictures/bill-oreilly.jpg

orconn
08-12-12, 12:11 AM
Not my favorite commentator, although I can well believe he is the spawn of Levittown!