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Old 11-21-2002, 10:46   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Mercury Marauder:

It's a Guy Thing
Mean Marauder has attitude aplenty
AutoWeek/11-25-02

LIKES
Bad-boy styling
Room for five
On-road feel

DISLIKES
Hunting tranny
Lenient suspension
Brake dive

MANY MEN (AND THEY WERE ALL MEN) we heard from said once they saw the Mercury Marauder, they didn't look at anything else. One said he fell in love with the concept at the Carlisle Ford Nationals two years ago, waited for zero-percent financing and then bought it without ever considering another car. Others entered the car-shopping process looking elsewhere, but as one owner, determined to buy a hot, mean Mustang, asked, "Where do you put the kids?"

He looked across the dealer lot at the Mercury offerings and saw his answer. In the category of full-size muscle cars, the Marauder stands alone.

ROAD TEST DATA
STANDING-START ACCELERATION
0-30 mph: 3.15 sec
0-40 mph: 4.53 sec
0-50 mph: 5.96 sec
0-60 mph: 8.01 sec
0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 8.43 sec
0-quarter-mile: 91.1 mph,
15.99 sec
ROLLING ACCELERATION
20-40 mph (first gear): 2.7 sec
40-60 mph (second gear): 4.6 sec
60-80 mph (second gear): 5.1 sec
BRAKING
80 mph-0: 243 ft
60 mph-0: 137 ft
30 mph-0: 34 ft
FUEL MILEAGE
EPA combined: 19.85 mpg
AW overall: 17.93 mpg
HANDLING
490-foot slalom: 41.0 mph
Lateral acceleration
(200-foot skidpad): 0.81 g
INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
Idle: 39
Full throttle: 80
Steady 60 mph: 64


It's got mass, and a bad-boy, muscle-car stance. And it's easily got room for five. But does it have the performance to back up its looks?

Naturally, the car's heft affects its numbers. In its best acceleration run in our on-track testing, we got it to 60 mph in 8.01 seconds. That's nowhere near sports-car territory. The Mustang GT, for example, comes in at less than six seconds. It does beat the Toyota Camry, which we recently tested and ran to 60 mph in 8.50 seconds, though the Nissan Altima, at a svelte 3225 pounds and with 32 fewer horsepower, did 0 to 60 mph in 6.32 seconds. For our taste, we'd like a lot more oomph, especially off the line.

We would also prefer a better transmission. The one in our test car had problems shifting smoothly or quickly. Many owners reported the transmission constantly hunting for gears.

Slalom testing, however, proved more fun. We got the Marauder's tail swinging controllably in classic rear-drive fashion, even if the chassis exhibited more roll than we would have liked.

In general we'd prefer a stiffer suspension in a muscle car. The Marauder exhibited moderate, though not excessive, dive on braking. And the numbers weren't too impressive in the stopping department, either. For a performance-oriented vehicle, 137 feet from 60 mph is only mediocre. Better tires-standard offerings are BFGoodrich g-Force-might help.

SPECIFICATIONS
CHASSIS
Unibody four-door sedan
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase (in): 114.7
Length/width (in): 212.0/78.2
Curb weight (lbs): 4195
SUSPENSION
Front: Independent, short/long-arm with monotube shocks, coil springs and antiroll bar
Rear: Live axle with Watts linkage, monotube shocks, air springs and
antiroll bar
BRAKES
F/R: Discs/discs; ABS
WHEELS AND TIRES
Alloy P235/50R-18 front, P245/55R-18 rear BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDWS
CAPACITIES
Fuel (gal): 19.0
Cargo (cu ft): 20.6
ENGINE
Front-longitudinal 4.6-liter/280.9-cid V8
Horsepower: 302 @ 5750 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 318 @ 4300 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Valvetrain: dohc
Fuel delivery: Electronic sequential multipoint fuel injection
Fuel requirement: 91 octane
DRIVETRAIN
Rear-wheel drive Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Final drive ratio: 3.55:1


Despite some mechanical misgivings, we liked the Marauder's on-road feel. It's a pleasant ride, "surprisingly taut for a large, traditional American sedan," as one owner said. And despite the test figures and horsepower and torque numbers, owners feel the car goes like stink. Owners also say they like the comfortable interior with its cushy seats, and the plentiful space for stowing stuff.

Most impressive is the car's physique. Marauder's aggressive, muscle-car look is complemented by black-on-black styling (the only choice), from its gloss, monochromatic paint job to a black interior with just a few touches of faux titanium trim. Owners said the Marauder gets lots of attention-from guys young and old. That owner who saw his answer to what to do with the kids in the Marauder's roomy rear seat also saw the same "mean" he wanted when he first shopped the Mustang.

Owners are happy to drive a comfortable, roomy car that still presents the "get out of my way" look.

VIEWS AND REVIEWS

U.S. MEDIA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SOME WILL ARGUE THE NEED FOR A SUPERCHARGER, but 0-to-80-mph sprints on the track proved Marauder has adequate power for most occasions. Spirited takeoffs are complemented by a rumble-tuned exhaust to attract notice. Thanks to standard four-wheel antilock brakes, the landings are as pleasant as the takeoffs when you apply the binders full force at 80 mph. At the end of the day, little piles of black dust at the starting line served as evidence that a Marauder, and not a Grand Marquis, ran the course. -Chicago Tribune

FOREIGN MEDIA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE MARAUDER IS QUICK ENOUGH TO make most people happy, though it's unfortunate it needs premium unleaded to deliver its max power. Marauder looks like a fast, competent car, thanks to its hunker, its 18-inch, five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and its bad-in-black paint job. Inside, it has got that big-sedan feel and room that will please four adults. All in all, the Marauder is an interesting thing for Ford to do, since the big rear-drive sedan has become a car for retirees, cops, cabs and limo drivers over the last few years. The company is counting on baby boomers who no longer need a van or an SUV considering it because it's different and fun. It certainly is those two things. -Toronto Star (Canada)
FACTS


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(MANUFACTURER'S DATA)
Ford Motor Co.
The American Road
Dearborn MI 48121
Customer assistance: (800) 392-3673
Internet address: www.ford.com
Country of origin: Canada
Number of dealers: 2030 (approx.)

PRICING


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base: $34,495 (includes $705 destination charge)
As tested: $35,045
IntelliChoice target price: $32,117
Rebates: None
What owners paid; average: $32,500 to $33,668; $32,959
Options as tested: Trunk organizer ($200); six-disc trunk-mounted CD changer ($350); front license plate bracket (no charge); California emissions system (no charge) system ($2,700); luxury package, which includes power seats, wood trim, theft deterrent ($2,250)
Other major options: None
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 1125af-marauder6.jpeg (21.9 KB, 303 views)
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Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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Old 11-21-2002, 10:48   #2 (permalink)
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A pic of the interior....
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Stacy94PGT
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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