1999 Mercury Villager Review

Pros & Cons

  • Everything is improved over last year's model, especially power and interior design.
  • These improvements help the Villager keep pace with, but not pull ahead of, its competition.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$769 - $1,333

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Mercury has answered the ever-increasing demands of the modern minivan buyer with an all-new Villager for 1999. Improvements start under the hood with a new V6 that has increased in size from 3.0 to 3.3 liters. Horsepower is a robust 170 (up 16 from last year) with torque topping out at 200 foot-pounds (49 foot-pounds higher than last year's model). Lightweight pistons, a newly tuned upper air intake, and a more advanced ignition system combine to make this engine quieter and more reliable than in previous models.

Suspension components have also been tweaked with a revised front strut design and a new single-leaf rear spring system for a smoother, more controlled ride. Combined with a new antilock brake system and second-generation air bags for driver and front passenger, the Villager is prepared to duke it out on the mean streets of America.

Inside, Mercury has performed a complete makeover with new radio and climate controls, an easier to read instrument panel, and even better cupholders. The rear cargo area now features a storage shelf that can be repositioned for stacking soft and hard items. Seating is also improved, with more legroom for second and third row passengers and a versatile in-track system for easy adjustment or removal of the third row seat. A new climate control system uses under-seat ducting to keep rear passengers warm or cool and an optional audio system can be ordered to let front and rear passengers enjoy separate music selections.

With more power, a driver's side sliding door, and improved creature comforts, the all-new Villager enters '99 ready for battle in the minivan arena.

1999 Highlights

The Mercury Villager is completely redesigned for '99. Improvements range from a more powerful engine to a larger interior to a second sliding door on the driver side. New styling features include larger headlights and a distinctive front grille. Inside, ergonomics have been addressed with easier to reach controls and an innovative storage shelf located behind the third seat.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1999 Mercury Villager.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Happy owner
chas36,05/19/2011
4dr Minivan
Bought the Villager new in 2000 as a leftover 1999 for a good price. You can put 7 people in the van, or their luggage, but not both at the same time. Its a little small. Its short on power too, but thats about all the negatives there are. The ride and comfort are great. Its been very reliable. I replaced the cvu joints at 80,000. The radio lights are intermitting. The throttle sticking is a very common problem. The solution is not that bad. Get a can of throttle body cleaner and spray around the edges of the flapper in the throttle body. Overall I'm well pleased.
Gas Pedal/Throttle Sticks
Sue,08/02/2009
4dr Minivan
We bought this van used in October 2002 with 27,000 miles on it. For the most part we have been very happy with it. The major problem that we have is every two or three years the gas pedal begins to stick. For the longest time the dealership had no idea what the problem was. Finally, they figured out that brake dust was collecting in the area underneath the car where the gas pedal is. They fixed it for less than $300. Two years later we had the same problem. I brought it back in and again they fixed it and things worked perfectly. Like clockwork we are experiencing the problem again, and it is two - three years later, so I need to take it back again. Hope this helps someone!
Best Vehicle I have ever owned!
giftofgod,12/01/2005
4dr Minivan
This van has been great for me and my wife. It does seem to average 22 mpg, but this is through the hills in north-central Arkansas. It seems to have plenty of power for zipping up and down the hills. The reviews about lack of power seem unjustified. I also love the cupholders in ours. They adjust to fit any size drink. I do not understand the complaints there either. As far as drivability, this van corners well, and has no squeaks or rattles yet, even though it is now 7 years old. The engine runs like a top and does not miss. All of the features work great. Cruise control is a little jumpy for this area, but works well on the highway. Overall, I would say this is a great vehicle!
Great Dependable Van
Catg,03/17/2009
4dr Minivan
We purchased our villager new 10 years ago. We have put 137,000 miles on it and it has been very dependble. We had to replace the CV joint as some reviewers have said and have had a problem with the gas pedal sticking but other than regular maintenance we have had no major problems. Gas mileage is really not bad for a v- 6 van. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a van. It also has tons of room (more than any SUV) when the seats are pushed up.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1999 Mercury Villager
More About This Model

While studying the driver's sun visor on the new Mercury Villager, Ron Howard's 1982 comedy film "Night Shift" suddenly came to mind. In case that logic doesn't follow, let us explain. Starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelly Long, "Night Shift" is the story of two morgue workers who become pimps by turning their somber office into a brothel. In it, Keaton plays a character named Bill Blazejowski, a self-described "idea man." Bill is always recording verbal notes into a tape recorder, for future reference. He records "business ideas, inventions, musicals." The ideas are random, the sort of fleeting thoughts that most people don't have the time to write down, such as: "This is Bill. Idea to eliminate garbage: edible paper." What does Billy Blaze from "Night Shift" have to do with the sun visor of our 1999 Mercury Villager Sport, you say? That's simple: they both carry tape recorders.

The Villager we tested was loaded with options, some of which were unlike anything we're used to finding in a minivan. Sure, lots of vehicles have six-disc CD changers, automatic temperature control systems, memory seats and keyless entry systems. Fewer have trip computers that display average mileage and miles-to-empty. And how many digital fuel gauges have you seen recently? Several cars or trucks nowadays are equipped with garage door openers located on the driver's sun visor, but our Villager Sport also came with its own built-in TravelNote digital voice message recorder. This device was handy for recording comments and complaints about the test car, and we barely had to take our eyes from the road to do so. As Billy Blaze would say: "You wonder why I carry this tape recorder? It's to tape things."

Note to self: Verbal recordings are a potential source of entertainment.

Minivans are among the most competitive class of vehicle in the American marketplace. Each year, these suburban people-movers come out with ingenious new features, extra safety equipment, more powerful engines, and more interior room in a manageable package. If it weren't for their slightly bloated, strictly utilitarian appearance, minivans would be sought after for more than just family transportation.

The Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Company partners with Nissan Motor Corp. The Quest and Villager twins are designed by Nissan and make use of a Nissan engine, but they're built at a Ford manufacturing plant in Ohio and sold under two nameplates. The Villager differs from the Nissan Quest only in name, a few interior pieces and some exterior badges.

From the driver's seat, the Villager is a study in futuristic automotive design, and, in this regard, it may be a few years ahead of its time. We're not talking about the placement of stereo or temperature controls, which are modern and completely intuitive. Our test vehicle came with the optional Electronic Instrument Cluster, which includes everything from an outside temperature reading to the aforementioned digital fuel gauge. The speedometer is located in the center of it all, showing the car's speed in a glowing green digital readout that looks like the display on a police radar gun. A digital tachometer glows up and around the speedometer readout, and the effect -- though high-tech -- is surprisingly uncluttered and easy to read.

Note to self: Disco dash isn't as annoying as it seems at first. But why opt for it when the Sport model normally comes with unique white-faced gauges?

In order to remain competitive these days, minivan makers must pay close attention to the trends. This year, the Villager comes with dual sliding doors. Unfortunately, neither door is electrically powered, even on the top-level Sport trim. Well, at least the doors are there this year; maybe they're saving the power wiring for next year's update.

Derived from the same platform as the Nissan Maxima, the Villager is hampered by a relatively short 112.2-inch wheelbase. When compared to another recently redesigned Japanese competitor, the Honda Odyssey, the Villager suffers from size envy; both the Odyssey's wheelbase and overall length are six inches longer, making the interior much roomier. A parcel shelf is located behind the Villager's rear bench, which creates twice as much space for grocery storage. The shelf can hold up to 30 pounds.

The Villager Sport's second-row chairs (a bench unit on the base model) can be removed easily from either side of the van, but we had a difficult time removing the third-row bench seat. Try as we might, the stubborn legs simply would not release from the floor. Then we discovered that the legs were attached to rails, which allowed the seat to slide forward all the way to the front of the van, ending up just behind the front seats. This procedure creates an open space in the back of the vehicle, but it makes us think fondly of the Honda Odyssey's magic flip-and-fold seat. The Villager's available cargo space proved adequate for our needs, but it's not up to carrying a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Interior width is four feet, but available length is only 68 inches, or five feet, eight-inches long with the rear seat pushed forward.

Note to self: If we could take the third-row seat out completely, we'd have even more space.

Being the automotive journalists that we are, last year's 151-horsepower 3.0-liter engine could not satisfy our thirst for power. For 1999, the Villager receives 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 Pathfinder sport-utes and Frontier pickups, and it proved adequate in the performance department, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The down side is that when compared to the Honda Odyssey's 210-horsepower motor, the Villager comes up limping once again. Darn that Honda for creating such a solid benchmark.

The Villager's suspension has been revised up front, and, combined with new single-leaf springs in the rear, the Villager is blessed with a comfortable, balanced ride. Steering is stable, and the van tracks straight on highways. The turning diameter is 39.9 feet, which is two feet wider than -- you guessed it -- the Odyssey.

Note to self: With all the recent talk about corporate mergers involving Ford and Honda, Mercury might do well to just buy Honda and re-badge the Odyssey.

The Sport trim level offers similar equipment to Estate trim, but adds a silver-painted luggage rack and two-tone paint. The Sport and Estate versions further exceed base trim by a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a rear parcel shelf, powered and heated side mirrors, a rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Antilock brakes are optional equipment on all Villagers, once again making this vehicle fall short of the standard set so recently by Honda's similarly priced EX trim-level Odyssey. The value-packed Odyssey also gets a standard CD player and power seats, items that end up costing much more on the Villager. Because our test car topped out at a hair under $30,000 while lacking the cargo room available on minivans from several other manufacturers, we're left wondering how quickly Mercury and Nissan can design the next generation of the Villager/Quest duo. Maybe next time the targets will be more clearly defined.

Note to Mercury and Nissan: If you're serious about selling minivans, take a good look at Chrysler and Honda and copy what they've done right. Then give us powered sliding doors, ABS and side airbags, and take out the do-dads and electronic gizmos. Offer substance over hype. But leave the tape recorder in the sun visor, 'cause this thing's more fun than a telephone conversation with Monica Lewinsky.

Used 1999 Mercury Villager Overview

The Used 1999 Mercury Villager is offered in the following submodels: Villager Minivan. Available styles include 4dr Minivan, Sport 4dr Minivan, and Estate 4dr Minivan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Mercury Villager?

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Which used 1999 Mercury Villagers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 Mercury Villager for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1999 Mercury Villager.

Can't find a used 1999 Mercury Villagers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Villager for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $10,179.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,369.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Villager for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,044.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,835.

Should I lease or buy a 1999 Mercury Villager?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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