Minivan; Built in USA
  • 3-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $2,400*


1993 Mercury Villager Nautica


1995 Mercury Villager LS


1993 Mercury Villager LS interior


1994 Mercury Villager Nautica interior


1996 Mercury Villager

Pros:
  • Passenger room (front)
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Control layout
  • Wind noise

Compared with other minivans, the Villager has less interior room. It also lacks many of the standard features found on its rivals. Nevertheless it’s a good choice if you need more than a midsize station wagon but don’t require the interior space provided in one of the larger minivans.

Overview

In 1993 Mercury joined the ever-growing minivan market with an all-new front-drive model called Villager. Nearly identical to the also-new Nissan Quest, Villager was similar in wheelbase to the popular Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Available in GS and LS trim, the Villager was propelled by a 151-horsepower, 3.0-liter Nissan V6, coupled to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel antilock brakes were standard.

Yearly Updates

1994 Villager
For its sophomore season, the Villager gets a new driver-side airbag and the luxurious Nautica Special Edition. It gets a distinctive blue-and-white 2-tone paint scheme, yellow pinstripe, white alloy wheels, four captain’s chairs with blue leather upholstery and white inserts, plus “Nautica” badging.
1995 Villager
The Villager enters 1995 with no significant changes.
1996 Villager
A revised dashboard held a passenger-side bag, and motorized shoulder belts are eliminated. The Villager also received a complete facelift, with new front and rear bumper fascias, side moldings, taillights and headlamps, plus a new chrome grille. The new dash and instrument panel feature easier access to all major controls and new audio systems that have larger buttons.
1997 Villager
Previously optional on the LS model and standard on premium Nautica models, captain’s chairs become an available option for the base GS model for 1997.
1998 Villager
No changes were made to Villager as Mercury readied an all-new model for ’99.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A Nissan-supplied 3.0-liter V6 with a 4-speed automatic transmission serves as the only powertrain choice. It provides 151 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 174 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 151
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 174
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

19.7

Road Test

Although the 3.0-liter Nissan engine is adequate, it can’t quite match the muscle provided by the larger V6s in the front-drive minivans from Ford, GM, and Chrysler. While engine and road noise are within a reasonable range, when the Villager reaches highway speeds the wind noise can become quite pronounced. A wide turning circle makes the Villager harder to maneuver in tight spots than most cars, but in most other situations the Villager feels remarkably carlike. When compared with other minivans, body lean is quite modest. The suspension is firm enough to minimize bouncing on wavy roads, and it absorbs most bumps without breaking a sweat.

Front head room and leg room are both quite good, but only adequate for the middle- and rear-seat passengers. With all seats in their normal positions, the rear cargo area is quite small. Trying to improve the Villager’s hauling capacity requires removing the truly cumbersome center seats. Stereo and climate controls are a stretch for the driver, and too small to operate easily.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Mercury Villager LS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 48

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 189.9 73.4 66.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
126.4 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 39.7 39.9 34.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1998 Villager 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 63
Injury 55
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Blower motor
Description: Squeaking or chirping blower motors are the result of defective brush holders. (1993-94)
Crankshaft
Description: The crankshaft breaks behind the front pulley if the belts are overtightened. (1993-96)

Recall History

1993
Description: Brake master cylinder on some vans was improperly assembled or could have been damaged during assembly, which can result in loss of braking at two wheels, causing increased pedal travel, higher pedal effort, and increased stopping distance.
1993
Description: One or both bolts securing automatic seatbelt-restraint system tracks to B-pillars were not adequately tightened on some vans, increasing risk of injury in the event of a collision or sudden maneuver.
1993
Description: Fuel-filler hoses may have been cut prior to installation by knife used to open shipping box; fuel leakage could result, leading to fire if exposed to ignition source.
1993
Description: Leaves and other foreign matter can enter through cowl-panel air intake during operation of front heater and/or air conditioner, resulting in buildup in the plenum that can lead to noise, odors, or even a vehicle fire.
1995 w/sliding third-row bench seats
Description: Cable that connects seat-adjustment level to latch might be pinched in roller assembly, preventing latch on left side from fully engaging seat rail.
1995
Description: Rear lamp will not illuminate if the metal socket moves or separates from the plastic socket housing. This can result in failure of the stop or rear running lamps.
1996
Description: Power windows can be closed after ignition key is turned to “off” position and right front door is opened.
1997
Description: Fuel-line hoses could crack or split, resulting in leakage.
1997-98 w/battery supplied by GNB Technologies
Description: Defective negative battery post can cause acid leakage and related corrosion damage; could lead to engine fire or battery explosion.
1998
Description: Cracks have developed in the vent hose, allowing a fuel leak.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.