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Mercury's Monterey minivan was born from the ashes of the previous-generation Ford/Mercury line of minivans, which were disappointing at best. Introduced for 2004, the Mercury Monterey and its twin the Ford Freestar attempted to offer more of what modern minivan buyers wanted. Features like a fold-flat rear seat, multiple storage bins and entertainment systems took center stage as Mercury tried to lure import van loyalists out of their Hondas and Toyotas.
The Monterey was an adequate family van and boasted an abundance of safety and luxury features. Still, in regards to engine power, ride and handling and interior design, it fell short of segment-leading minivans from Honda, Kia and Toyota.
Due to lackluster sales, 2007 was the last year for the Mercury Monterey.
Most Recent Mercury Monterey
The Mercury Monterey debuted in 2004 as a replacement for the Mercury Villager, a smaller minivan that was related to the Nissan Quest. The Monterey was powered by a 4.2-liter V6 making 201 horsepower and mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. With an engine that size, we expected a lot more power. Even in its day, nearly every other van on the market had a smaller engine that made more power and returned better fuel economy.
Standard feature highlights included antilock brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone air-conditioning, a power driver seat, front and center captain's chairs and a CD audio system. Among the Monterey's options were such niceties as a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Changes were few over the short life of the Mercury Monterey. In 2005, heated and cooled perforated leather seats with suede inserts were added to the Premier trim level and a power rear liftgate became an option on Luxury models.
For 2006, the base Convenience and upscale Premier trims were dropped, leaving only the midlevel Luxury. Previously optional front side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags became standard. A wood steering wheel was also made standard, and the heated and cooled seats from the previous year's Premier were converted into an option.
2007 versions benefited from Mercury's extended five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; this warranty is transferable, so it's a benefit to used shoppers as well. The 2007 Monterey also continued to be offered in one Luxury trim level.
In Mercury Monterey reviews, we found the minivan to be deficient in terms of ride, handling, comfort and value. And though the interior was very attractive at first glance, many trim pieces were flimsy to the touch and build quality is hit or miss. While recent minivans from Honda, Kia and Toyota are much better choices, nicely equipped Mercury vans on the used market sell for bargain-basement prices. If you find the Monterey to your liking, you'll probably be able to get one at minimal cost.