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New tires

My Dad left me his decked out, mint condition, 2003 Mercury Marauder when he passed away. He owned a body shop for 35 years, and loved this car.
Well, I need to put new tires on it. Yes, I am one of those women who always had my Dad or husband take car of the car stuff! I’m on my own now and do not want to be ripped off at the tire store. I’ve had ALL sorts of “advice” from others. ie; soft vs hard, type of, brand, etc! Any Marauder lovers out there to offer real advice?

Go to and get all the right answers. They are my “go to” source for tires and tire information. I just did a quick look at tirerack for your vehicle and it seems you have different size tires for the front and the back on a 2003 Marauder. Front: 235/50ZR18 and back: 245/55ZR18. I hope this helps.

As missileman said. You go to tirerack and plug in your vehicle info. Then any of the tires that come up (unless they are very new to the market) will have tons of customer reviews. You an read any or all of them, or there are options to look at reviews for the same car (which will greatly reduce the number). In your case, keep in mind that this car is very similar to a Ford Crown Vic and a Mercury Grand Marquis.

I always do this now and then tell a local shop what I want.

Yes - research is the key.

Decide what you want the tires to do - better treadwear, better traction, better fuel economy (pick one and only one and be prepared to sacrifice the others.!!).

Then look up what’s available on Tire Rack.

And lastly, this shouldn’t be tied to your vehicle. It should be about the tires.

I agree with the comments above. To be more clear, on Tire Rack’s web site, you want to click on the “Surveys” and “Reviews” links for the tires that you’re considering.

I recommend getting an alignment each time you get new tires, especially if your local roads are bumpy, although some here will disagree with me. If you don’t, you could wear out the new tires prematurely if the alignment is off.

Here’s a question - do you want this car? It’s a great car with some collector value, but it’s not a great daily driver for some folks.

As for tires, looks like Tirerack only lists two, either would be fine. But that means they may be harder to find from a shop near you. Tirerack can ship to a shop, that might work well in this case.

Tire Rack is good, but… You just need to go to an affiliated tire store for service. You will not save money but may get better educated. Tire shops in most places will try to sell you the brands they carry. Tire Rack has th potential to sell you the brands you need. The most efficient alternative is to find tires rated well for what characteristics you want using tire testing publications from CR, Tire Rack and others, then call around to local tire distributors for th best deal. Self education and awareness is always the best way of saving money and getting what you want. Tire Rack can help, but it’s just one source and not a panacea.

I agree, the reason I mentioned buying through tire rack is the very limited number of tires that fit the Marauder. But if the OP is in a larger town/city they may have other good options.

Smart tire choice requires knowing some information about the driving habits of the customer and the climate where the car is to be used. The most important part of tire selection is fitment of purpose.

You wold not recommend the same tire to a person in Phoenix as you would to a person in Buffalo.

True, but TR only lists 2 options. Both ‘high performance all-season’. So there isn’t much of a choice to be made, it seems.

The 04 Marauder had two different size tires, front and rear.
As a novice tire buyer you’re going to be surprized to hear the tire store tell you this, and think they’re giving you a line of bs.
If the car has the original wheels on it this will be true…and they’re not cheap.
Fronts are p235/50zr18
rears are p245/55zr18
What this means to you is the rear tires are wider than the fronts.

Though there are 300 dollar tires out there, there is also some cheaper choices.
The rears are hardest to find so buy a brand that can sell you both front and rear.
In my Ford tire line I see BFGoodrich and Firestone as the only rear brands I sell.
When you match those brands to the front I see ;
BFG fronts @ $211.00 each / rears @ 225.00 each
Firestone fronts @ 174.00 each / rears @ 169.00 each.

Normally we sell our customers…all three of them… the BFGoodrich G-Force T/A

You may have to think outside the box for something like a Pirelli PZero Nero. I’m just sayin’.


But the rear tires aren’t available in Pirelli PZero Neros, right?

I’d be sorely tempted to mount the same size all around in the 235/50/18 front size. 10 mm difference in tire width?? It won’t make much difference and there are a LOT of choices in this tire size. The wheels are the same front to back 18x8’s with a 50mm offset. I can’t fathom why Ford would release this car with tire width that close. The decrease in understeer should not be even enough to notice.

Yeah. You’re going to need two brands on this car I think because no one is going to put BF Goodrich on their car.

The OP likely knows this, but the Marauder brought back the old name for Mercury high performance cars. In this case they took the engine, tranny, and most of the suspension parts right from Fords Police Interceptor package. This was indeed a high performance car and the tires are high performance tires.

All this means the OP is likely to experience sticker shock at the price of a new set of tires. The different sizes in the back add an additional complexity. I have an '04 T’bird and the Michelin replacement tires are very expensive compared to all my other cars. The Marauder tires look to be even more expensive than what I have on my T’bird. Go to several shops, and look at and see what kind of deal you can swing, but whatever you get be ready for to spend some big $$$. In this case it might be worth adding a quote from a Ford dealer just to see how they compare to other prices you get.

Suitable tires like Pirelli and Cooper are under 150 dollars each which is hardly sticker shock in the tire business these days.

@rattlegas Is there something inherently wrong with BFG tires? I have BFG A/T KO’s on my F-150 and I’ve been very happy with them, and I’ve had two sets of KDW2’s on my Mustangs, aside from being on the noisy side, they were pretty good.

I concur with FoDaddy that BFG tires constitute a decent value for their price.

In “the old days”, BFG tires were…pretty crappy…as evidenced by the BFG Silvertowns on my father’s '66 Galaxie 500. Although the tread wore evenly, they were bald by 16k miles, and even when new did not provide good traction in wet weather. He replaced them with Pep Boys tires (manufactured by Cooper), and those tires were far superior to the BFGs. But…that was years ago, before BFG was bought-out by Michelin.

When it came time to replace the REALLY awful Bridgestone Potenza Re-92 tires on my '02 Outback, I chose BFG Traction T/As, and they were superior in every way to the more expensive Bridgestones.

Nowadays, my brand of choice is Michelin, as they tend to have better tread wear characteristics, lower levels of road noise, and lower rolling resistance than Michelin’s lower-priced line of BFG tires. However, if I was trying to economize on tires–such as on a car that I would only be keeping for another couple of years–I would definitely consider BFGs.

@FoDaddy BFG has the honor of one of the only brands that people have asked me to remove from the vehicle while the tires were near new. The complaints were for mainly for poor rain traction on SUV’s.

In my market the only one who sells BFG is a local “wholesale club” and according to the manager there they have a lot of complaints.

My last personal experience with BFG tires was on a turbo T-bird I picked up which wasn’t exactly a powerhouse. The TAs in the rear were newish and I had to take them off because I could not make a turn in the car without sliding. Replacing the tires with Coopers made a vast improvement in the driveability of the car.

So to answer your question, yes I have a bias against BFG for customer satisfaction reasons and personal experience.

I like the look of the T/A KO for a truck, I could see them on a plow truck, but the passenger tires do not excite me.