Aside from its main audience of fleet customers, the Crown Victoria appeals mostly to mature drivers who find the car's old-school driving experience comfortably familiar, or even nostalgic. But even among this crowd, the slightly more plush but functionally similar Mercury Grand Marquis is a more popular choice, despite costing a few extra bucks. Someone who's interested primarily in a large car with a spacious interior would be better served by Ford's more modern Five Hundred sedan or Mercury's version of the same, the Montego. Both are far more comfortable inside and offer a huge trunk, and also provide a smoother ride, better handling, and overall more-modern driving experience. Both of those newer models use V-6 engines and either front- or all-wheel drive. Buyers who really want a V-8, rear-wheel drive American sedan--and are willing to spend a bit more--should also consider the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger. These relatively new entries offer more powerful engines and better ride and handling. The Charger is the less expensive of the two, but has a stiffer ride. Of course, if your ultimate goal is to play "Hawaii Five-O" or be Travis Bickle, the Crown Vic is definitely the car for you--at least until the police version of the Charger hits the streets.
A definitive American sedan, the Crown Victoria appeals most to drivers who remember first-hand the classic cars from the 1960s. Otherwise, the Crown Vic is best left to the professionals.
Nothing of any significance for 2006.
Given the Crown Vic's rear-wheel-drive layout, traction control is a good idea to help control wheelspin in slippery conditions. Side airbags are an important safety option. Shorter drivers should consider the power-adjustable pedals.