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Mercury's Villager is small, unrefined and lacking in ultimate Swiss Army knife minivan utility. You can do better.
Plenty of features and gadgets, good handling performance.
Too small for some uses, marginal overall value.
Available Villager Minivan Models
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The convenience, comfort and luxury option packages have been simplified. All 2000 Villagers meet federal low emission vehicle status and come standard with a child seat-anchor system. A new rear-seat video entertainment system is now optional.
Mercury's entry into the crowded minivan market is the Villager. Redesigned in 1999, the Villager is the twin of the Nissan Quest. Both are designed by Nissan and make use of a Nissan engine, but they're built at a Ford manufacturing plant and sold under two nameplates. The Villager differs from the Nissan Quest only in name, a few interior pieces and some exterior badges. The Villager comes in a base trim level, a mid-level Sport, or a top-level Estate.
All Villagers ride on a relatively short 112.2-inch wheelbase. Suspension components were tweaked in 1999 for a smoother, more controlled ride. Second-generation airbags for driver and front passenger are standard and antilock brakes are optional. Villager scores poorly in offset crash testing.
The interior is functional, but the vehicle's shorter wheelbase means that the Villager doesn't have as big of an interior as other minivans. The Villager has dual sliding doors (non-power operated) to make removing the Villager Sport's second-row chairs (a bench unit on the base model) easy. Once the second row is removed, the third-row bench seat can be pulled forward toward the front seats. The Villager's available cargo space is adequate for most duties, but it's not able to swallow really big items like 4x8 sheets of plywood.
Features made standard on all Villagers for 2000 include an anti-theft system, remote keyless entry, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, and a heavy duty battery. In addition, personal audio capability has been added to the 80-watt premium audio system (standard on Estate, optional on the base Villager and Villager Sport). An optional rear-seat entertainment system features a retractable 6.4-inch color LCD screen, videocassette player, remote control, video game plug and play capability, headphones and more.
The Villager comes standard with a 3.3-liter V6, which provides 170 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque. This is the same engine you'll find under the hoods of Nissan Xterra sport-utes and Frontier pickups, and it's adequate in the performance department when mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
While the Villager is a decent minivan, it would be wise in your shopping adventures to check out the Honda Odyssey or one of the Chrysler minivans. Both offer more substance for a very similar price.
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