What's New for 2007
New standard equipment on the 2007 Mercury Milan includes ABS, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, an auxiliary audio input jack and a fold-down front-passenger seat (Availability is delayed on some items). Traction control is standard on V6 models, and high-line Premier models get additional standard equipment this year. New options include Sirius satellite radio, a DVD-based navigation system and, on V6 models only, all-wheel drive. A new appearance package for base four-cylinder models offers 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and an ice blue interior color scheme with suede seat inserts and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Drivetrain warranty coverage now spans five years/60,000 miles.
In past years, Mercury sedans catered mainly to an older audience that prioritized interior room and cruising comfort over less practical concerns like exterior styling and driver involvement. Introduced for the 2006 model year, the Mercury Milan signaled a change in direction for the brand. Based on a stretched and widened version of the Mazda 6 platform, the midsize Milan is still a roomy car and it's plenty comfortable on the highway. Unlike its forbears, though, the Milan has crisply tailored bodywork that's designed to get it noticed by younger buyers, as well as a moderately sporting demeanor once you get behind the wheel. The engines aren't especially refined or powerful, but the well-tuned suspension and steering make the 2007 Mercury Milan a willing player on back roads.
Like traditional Mercury sedans, though, the Milan is big on value. Its pricing undercuts the big-name imports in the midsize sedan class, and starting this year, Mercury has made all the key safety features -- ABS, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags -- standard fare on the Milan. Stability control remains conspicuously absent, but all-wheel drive joins the options list this year, making the Milan a budget-friendly alternative to SUV ownership for buyers who require winter-weather capability.
A corporate twin to Ford's Fusion, the Milan shares that sedan's architecture, drivetrain configuration and safety technology. Beyond the obvious styling differences, the Mercury sets itself apart with LED taillamps, a quieter cabin thanks to extra soundproofing, and wider rear door openings for more graceful ingress and egress. It's also a bit more expensive than the Fusion, so ultimately your buying decision will come down to how much you like the Mercury's styling. Of course, if you're considering a 2007 Mercury Milan, you should also look at the Hyundai Sonata, which provides comparable amenities and performance at a lower price, as well as perennial favorites like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry, which cost more but surpass it in performance, feature content and overall refinement.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The midsize 2007 Mercury Milan sedan comes in two trim levels: base and Premier. The base model rides on 16-inch wheels and includes items like air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack for MP3 players, a six-way power driver seat, a split-folding rear seat, an analog clock, cruise control, full power accessories and keyless entry. Milan Premier models are upgraded with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, leather seating, an in-dash CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and heated side mirrors with approach lamps; some of these items are optional on base models.
On the options list, you'll find a DVD-based navigation system, an upgraded sound system, Sirius satellite radio, a moonroof, a rear spoiler, wood-grain interior trim and on the Premier only, heated front seats.
Powertrains and Performance
The Milan's base 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine makes 160 horsepower and meets PZEV certification in California. It's connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission, and a five-speed automatic is optional. A 221-hp 3.0-liter V6 is optional on both the base and Premier trims. It comes with one transmission, a six-speed automatic. This transmission shifts well enough, but we wish it had a true manual-shift mode instead of just two forward-gear gates ("D" and "L"). Front-wheel drive is standard on all Milans, but V6 buyers can opt for all-wheel drive.
Nearly all major safety equipment is standard, including four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. V6 models also have traction control. However, stability control isn't available on any Milan.
The 2007 Mercury Milan scored four stars (out of five) for driver and front-passenger protection in NHTSA frontal-impact crash testing. In side-impact crash tests, the Milan earned five stars for front-seat protection and four stars for the rear. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, Mercury's midsize sedan scored "Acceptable," the second-highest rating. The Milan has a "Poor" side-impact crash test rating from the IIHS, but the car tested did not have this year's standard side airbags, so we expect its rating to improve in this category.
Interior Design and Special Features
Mercury designers wanted the cabin to reflect the trendy, IKEA-furnished living environments of today's young professionals, and to that end, the Mercury Milan offers a two-tone decor with attractive, solid-quality materials. Satin metallic interior trim is standard, but any Milan can be outfitted with Wales Mahogany wood-grain trim. The various controls come straight from the Ford parts bin and have a few too many small buttons, but we like the standard analog clock that resides in their midst. Most buyers will find the Milan suitably roomy with ample head-, shoulder- and legroom for adults to ride comfortably in the front or back. In addition to its spacious 15.6-cubic-foot trunk, the Milan has a 60/40-split folding rear seat and a fold-flat front-passenger seat to give owners the flexibility to haul the occasional bulky item.
With responsive steering and a quiet ride, the Mercury Milan is one of the sportier and more luxurious vehicles in the midsize sedan segment. It demonstrates a willingness to corner and change directions at speed with enthusiasm. Ride quality is acceptable, especially considering the above-average handling. Wind and road noise are effectively quelled at highway speeds, and the transmissions offer crisp upshifts and downshifts. The engines are the only real disappointment, as neither the four-cylinder nor the V6 offers the kind of low-end response and refinement now expected in the family car class.