Car brands seem to crowd the market nowadays, but there were plenty more in the past. Many of those old brands weren’t successful enough, so they sold to others or folded. Mercury was one of the latter. Here’s a look at Ford‘s now-defunct Mercury brand and the last model made.
A brief history of Mercury
Founded in 1938, Mercury was one of the oldest brands operating under Ford Motor Company. Mercury sold a variety of cars, but they were largely luxury models. They weren’t as luxurious as cars from Ford’s other brand, Lincoln, but they were more luxurious than a regular Ford. A Mercury car was a compromise between being practical and high-end.
Throughout its 82-year life, Mercury produced some hits, but it also made some flops. One of its most popular models, especially in the brand’s later years, was the Grand Marquis, Ford reports. However, like all defunct brands, Mercury kicked the bucket because of poor sales, and the popular Grand Marquis couldn’t save Mercury from that fate.
By the late 2000s, Mercury wasn’t selling enough cars. So Ford announced the brand would end when the last model rolled off the production line in January 2011.
The 2011 Grand Marquis was the last Mercury ever made
Fittingly, because the Grand Marquis was the brand’s best-selling model, it was also the last car Mercury made. Though the Grand Marquis had been in production for decades, its final model year wasn’t radically different from the version its fans knew and loved. According to Edmunds, the 2011 Grand Marquis was the type of car people would say, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.”
Despite being a sedan, it was a large car that could comfortably seat its occupants. On top of that, rather than being a five-passenger car like most luxury sedans, the Grand Marquis could seat a half-dozen because it had two rows of bench seats (that’s right — three people in the front). Some options gave the Grand Marquis five seats, with the front row being the standard bucket seats that are now standard nowadays.
Regardless of the number of seats, they all boasted leather upholstery, as did the steering wheel. The Grand Marquis also offered other luxury options such as heated seats and real woodgrain accents.
Old-school luxury, but not very powerful
The Mercury Grand Marquis’s size also gave it a lot of space in the trunk. It had 20.6 cubic feet of cargo room, Edmunds reports. This cargo capacity was top-of-the-class at the time, but the Grand Marquis was great in other ways, too. Namely, its interior design was old school, as was the way it drove.
To be clear, it didn’t handle well, Edmunds says, but that’s generally the case with big, old cars like the Grand Marquis. So customers who wanted that nostalgic feel could still find it with this car. However, though the Grand Marquis came with an old-school V8, it wasn’t a potent one.
It packed a 4.6-liter V8 that produced 224 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers aren’t impressive by today’s standards, and they certainly didn’t make the Grand Marquis zippy. Similarly, its combined 19 mpg fuel economy was only so-so, but the 2011 model is definitely more fuel-efficient than older iterations.