Minivan; Built in USA
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $4,000*


2000 Mercury Villager


1999 Mercury Villager


1999 Mercury Villager interior


2001 Mercury Villager


2001 Mercury Villager

Pros:
  • Control layout
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior materials

Smaller outside and inside than most rivals, the Villager and equivalent Nissan Quest are more maneuverable. Both trail the competition in refinement and acceleration. Villagers have not held their value as well as Quests, and are therefore cheaper secondhand.

Overview

Mercury’s front-drive minivan got a major makeover for 1999, including fresh sheetmetal, a bigger engine and a newly standard sliding door on the driver’s side. Villager was available in three models: base, luxury Estate, and Sport. Wheelbase was unchanged, but the body grew by 4.6 inches in length and 1.2 in width, gaining 9.6 cubic feet of interior volume. Sole engine was Nissan’s 3.3-liter V6, delivering 19 more horsepower and 26 more pound-feet of torque than the previous 3.0-liter. A 4-speed automatic was the only transmission. Seating up to seven, all Villagers had two sliding doors, neither of them power-operated. A third-row bench slid on built-in floor tracks. Dual integrated child safety seats were optional with the second-row bench. The revamped interior contained extra storage bins and nets. Estate and Sport models added a two-position rear parcel shelf that could hold up to 30 pounds and adjusted to several heights. Previously standard, antilock brakes dropped to an option. Side airbags were not available.

Yearly Updates

2000 Villager
A rear-seat video entertainment system became available for 2000, including a VCR, 6.4-inch flip-down LCD screen, and multi-channel audio system. A 3-person second-row bench seat was now a no-charge option on base and sport models, and integrated second-row child seats no longer were available. All models gained rear child-seat anchors. A remote keyless entry/alarm system became standard on all models, and the Estate gained standard leather upholstery.
2001 Villager
Villagers got a restyled grille and front fascia, as well as a revised rear liftgate. Sport and Estate models gained restyled alloy wheels. After a brief run of 2002 models, both the Villager and the related Nissan Quest were scheduled to disappear.
2002 Villager
Villager is unchanged for 2002, except that it now treated option packages as distinct models. It offered Value, Popular, Sport, Sport Plus, Estate, and Estate Premium versions.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Villagers got the same powertrain: a 170-horsepower 3.3-liter overhead-cam V6 engine driving a four-speed automatic transmission.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/200
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 200
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/24

16.9

Road Test

Villagers earn about the same ratings in performance and accommodations as their Nissan Quest cousins. Acceleration is reasonably snappy from a standstill, but unimpressive in the 35-55 mph range. Highway passing response borders on inadequate with a full load and the air conditioner working. Engine roar under heavy throttle is significant, though wind and tire noise are on par for this class. So is fuel economy. Relatively compact in size, the Villager (and Quest) offer above-average minivan maneuverability, helped by firm steering with ample feel. Cornering response is crispest with the Estate and Sport, which roll on 16-inch tires. The suspension soaks up bumps decently, but overall ride quality does not match that of longer-wheelbase minivans like the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Sienna. Relatively cozy inside, the Villager has scant clearance between any of the seats. Front seatbacks are narrow, though supportive cushions improve overall comfort. Step-in height is low, but third-row entry/exit is rather tight due to a relatively low roof and narrow passageways. Cargo room is slim with the third seat in its normal position, though the available parcel shelf is handy. The third-row bench does not remove, but can slide forward to free up a large cargo hold, though its release handle is difficult to reach. Second-row seats remove easily. Interior storage includes a removable net between the front seats, double front-door pockets, and numerous bins and beverage holders. Despite targeting upscale buyers, Villager and Quest have an abundance of hard-surfaced interior plastic items inside, along with industrial-look switchgear and unfinished edges.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2000 Mercury Villager Sport

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 - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 50

Specifications

4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 194.7 74.9 70.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
135.6 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.7 39.9 39.9 36.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Villager 4-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

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

Collision 63
Injury 55
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Doors
Description: The power door locks may activate by themselves due to water getting into the wiring harness in the door, or because there is too much solder on the door switch. (1999-2000)
Vehicle noise
Description: Gear whine between 40-70 mph is from the automatic-transmission shift cable. It must be rerouted and a damper must be installed. (1999-2001)

Recall History

1999
Description: Taillight socket’s locking tab may have insufficient force to retain bulb.
1999
Description: Fuel-tank retention strap (two per minivan) on some vehicles can break at spot welds, causing underbody rattle; if welds fail, there may be fuel leakage and/or separation of fuel tank from vehicle.
1999-00
Description: One or more of the five bolts that mount the rack-and-pinion steering gear may have been incorrectly tightened; could result in steering looseness and noise or vibration. Eventually, bolts could fracture or fall out.
2001
Description: Plastic trim cover around base of front seatbelt buckle may become trapped, eventually allowing bolt to loosen.

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.