2006 Mercury Monterey Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mercury Monterey Minivan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercury Monterey Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 201 hp @ 4250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Mercury Monterey

  • Intended to provide a luxury minivan experience, the 2006 Mercury Monterey is both safe and stylish, but key omissions on the features list, an underachieving V6 and a general lack of refinement, make it less appealing than upscale minivan competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Extensive list of safety features, sharp design inside and out, roomy interior.

  • Cons

    Unrefined powertrains with less horsepower and worse fuel economy than those of competing minivans, low-grade interior materials, hard-to-remove second-row seats, can't get a navigation system.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Convenience and Premier trim levels have been dropped, leaving the former midgrade Luxury as the only trim. The optional heated/cooled seats are available with either leather or suede inserts, and a leather and wood steering wheel is now standard.

Full 2006 Mercury Monterey Review

What's New for 2006

The Convenience and Premier trim levels have been dropped, leaving the former midgrade Luxury as the only trim. The optional heated/cooled seats are available with either leather or suede inserts, and a leather and wood steering wheel is now standard.


The minivan bar rests at an all-time high these days, and keeping up with the competition is only getting tougher. The Nissan-engineered Mercury Villager sold from 1993 to 2002 was never a leader in the minivan segment, so Mercury returned to the minivan game in 2004 with the all-new Mercury Monterey, a corporate twin of Ford's Freestar.

Considerably larger than the Villager, the Mercury Monterey incorporates most of today's minivan essentials. It offers fold-flat third-row seating, which can flip over to a rear-facing position for tailgate parties, front and rear parking assist sensors and optional heated and cooled front seats (the only minivan to feature cooled seats). Additionally, the cabin includes many more storage areas, and there's an optional DVD entertainment system to keep the kids occupied. There is no navigation system available, however, and that's a big problem in this segment.

Ford claims to have tripled its budget for interior design over the last several years and Mercury vehicles like the Mountaineer and Milan are obvious indications that the money was well spent. The Mercury Monterey also reaps the rewards of the company's new attention to interior design. The Mercury's interior has a bit of European flair and a clean, uncluttered overall appearance. Unfortunately, the good looks are barely skin-deep, as the materials still feel subpar. And although important safety features like stability control and three-row side curtain airbag coverage are available, in most respects, the Monterey lacks the day-to-day functionality of other vans. It's attributes like this that make the 2006 Mercury Monterey merely competent rather than standout. From our standpoint, minivan shoppers shouldn't have to settle. Better-qualified minivans like the Town & Country, Odyssey and Sienna represent more compelling purchases.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mercury Monterey minivan comes in one size and one trim level: Luxury. Standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels, dual power-sliding side doors, a fold-flat third-row bench, a power driver seat with memory, dual-zone air conditioning, an in-dash CD changer, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, full power accessories, cruise control, front and rear parking assist. Additional goodies include a leather/wood steering wheel with audio controls, power-adjustable pedals, side-impact and head curtain airbags, and a power driver seat. Optional upgrades include driver and passenger heated and cooled seats, front-passenger power seat with manual lumbar adjustment, first- and second-row leather seats with perforated suede or leather inserts, automatic climate control, a power liftgate, a rear DVD entertainment system and self-sealing tires.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mercury Monterey has just one available engine: a 4.2-liter V6 engine that delivers 201 horsepower and a generous 263 pound-feet of torque. A standard four-speed automatic transmission directs power to the front wheels. EPA fuel estimates are 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, which is below average in the minivan segment.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard on all Monterey models. Side curtain airbags that span all three rows of seating are also standard, and the AdvanceTrac stability and traction control system, which incorporates a panic brake assist feature, is optional. The Mercury Monterey earned five stars across the board in NHTSA front- and side-impact crash tests, and picked up a "Good" rating (the highest), as well as a "Best Pick" designation, in 40-mph frontal-offset crash testing by the IIHS.

Interior Design and Special Features

Mercury designers equipped the Monterey with a shapely dash and steering wheel. It's an attractive ensemble, but many of the materials used are subpar for this segment. The fold-flat third-row seat allows for flexible use of the interior space, but unfortunately, the seat folds only as a single piece, rather than allowing a 60/40-split as in most other minivans. Legroom in the second row can be tight for adults and children alike, and the seats themselves are hard to remove when you need to make way for large amounts of cargo.

Driving Impressions

With driving characteristics nearly identical to those of the Ford Freestar, the 2006 Mercury Monterey offers adequate power and a comfortable ride. Handling capability is also satisfactory, but ride quality is not quite as composed as that of minivans with true fully independent suspensions. The Monterey's torque-rich engine provides plenty of initial grunt, but runs out of breath at higher engine speeds and turns in disappointing fuel mileage.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

04 mercury monterey

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

I just had my monterey for I think 4 years. It was on 04 loaded model. I loved it!! My kids loved it!! didn't have any major problems with it and drove it from NJ to Florida each year. I bought it used and it was in great condition. I recently just had a terrible car accident and rolled it and all. It was amazing my whole family of 5 walked away. No one could believe it!! That car saved our lives!! I'm now trying to find another one used.

Not bad, my wife likes

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

This was the first new vehicle we had ever bought outright. Previously we had leased all our vehicles. I told my wife she could pick out any van she wanted and load it up with any options she wanted. She picked the Monterey because of its looks mostly. But the cooled leather seats helped too! Plus, the huge rebates made the cost come down to like $25,000 for a van that stickered over $32,000.

Great for handicap

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

We purchased ours in March 07. We were able to get it for 22K. At this price I think it was a steal. I am handicapped and we had it converted (VMI) to haul my power wheel chair. The Mercury has the widest opening Rt. side door 33". My Powerchair and I are 600+ lbs. The 4.2L has plenty of power and rides smooth. The dual air helps to cool it off quickly which is a requirement in Phoenix 110 heat! My wife likes the front and rear sensors and the smooth ride. Performance and handling is good considering this is a MINI-VAN and not a Mustang! Would have liked better mileage, 15-16 city and 20 Highway.

Read before buying!

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

We bought our Monterey during the "employee Pricing" campaign late last summer. Since then we have had several minor and major problems forcing us back to the dealership and to try to deal with Mercury direct. During our first extended trip, the LR wheel valve stem (obviously defective from the start as we only had about 800 miles at the time) went and we fought to have the resulting tire damage fixed by Merc to no avail. Gas mileage is extremely poor and I believe Ford/Merc are the only ones w/o a 60/40 split rear seat. We are now fighting turn signal switch issues and had to have a leak in the rear hatch fixed twice! TaKe a long hard look before buying!

Great van

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

The Mercury Monterrey is hands down better than the Town and Country that I traded in on it. The mileage is slightly better than the Town and Country and the van is of much better quality. I liked the T&C but I love the Monterrey. It has much more style, and is more appealing (interior and exterior.

Bad mpg!

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercury Monterey Luxury 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

It's very average and the gas mileage (13 mpg city) is horrendous. Poorly placed cup holder for driver, poorly designed center console, too expensive for what it is. 3rd row seat is very close to the floor and is only suitable for small children. Even a small adult would have his knees in his mouth sitting back there.

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Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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