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2006 Mercury Monterey Review
Competent minivan with an array of features.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2006 Mercury Monterey comes standard with a 4.2-liter V-6 engine, which produces enough torque to tow up to 3500 pounds (with the optional Class II towing package).
Safety marks another strong suit for the Monterey, with both active handling safeguards and excellent passive passenger protection.
The Mercury Monterey debuted in 2004 as a replacement for the smaller Mercury Villager. In addition to being larger, the Monterey adds luxury touches such as a fold-flat rear seat, multiple storage bins, and an entertainment system.
The 2006 Mercury Monterey continues the trend toward small touches of luxury with dual-zone climate control, a wood-and-leather tilt steering wheel with built-in cruise control and audio controls, and power adjustable pedals. The third-row seat folds flat to increase cargo room, and can also flip to face the rear as a convenient spectator seat for tailgate parties. In addition, the 2006 Mercury Monterey is the only minivan of its model year to offer the option of cooled front seats for hot summer days.
Engines: 4.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Monterey Luxury
The Convenience and Premier trim levels from 2005 have been dropped in the 2006 Mercury Monterey in favor of the single Luxury trim. The Luxury trim carries a significantly lower price than the 2005 model and comes well-equipped with dual power-sliding side doors, a power driver’s seat with memory, an in-dash CD changer, full power accessories, front and rear park-assist sensors, power-adjustable pedals, and side-impact and full-length side curtain airbags. Optional upgrades include heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats, leather upholstery in the first and second rows, automatic climate control, a power liftgate, and a rear DVD entertainment system.
The 2006 Mercury Monterey comes standard with 16-inch wheels. These can be upgraded to 17-inch, bright-machined, nine-spoke aluminum wheels. The optional rear liftgate spoiler adds a sporty touch. Overall, this remains a traditionally styled, understated minivan. The vertically textured waterfall grille, satin-aluminum accents, and monochromatic color scheme give the Monterey an upscale look. One unusual feature in this minivan is the front side window design. These windows lower slightly below the inside door trim, so when the window rolls down fully, the inner door panel sticks up at a comfortable armrest height. The keypad entry-access system adds convenience for camping trips and other outings where multiple people might need access to the vehicle.
The interior of the 2006 Mercury Monterey features first- and second-row captain’s chairs that fold and tumble forward for access to the third row or extra cargo space. The cloth-trimmed third-row bench folds flat or tilts back to become a spectator seat for tailgate parties. Wood and bright-metal accents and the standard leather-and-wood steering wheel add richness to the interior. The air-conditioning system offers three zones of control, so the climate can be individualized for the driver, front passenger, and rear passengers. Convenient storage spots in the Monterey include the front and overhead consoles, cup holders in every row, and a well that sits behind the third row to corral small items that usually end up rolling around in the back cargo space.
Performance & Handling
The 4.2-liter V-6 engine produces a slightly disappointing 201 horsepower, but makes up for it with 263 lb-ft of torque. With the optional Class II Towing package, the 2006 Monterey rates to tow trailers up to 3500 pounds. The impressive torque also helps when climbing steep grades. The minivan provides a smooth and quiet ride, with responsive handling and smooth, easy braking. Park-assist sensors work both in forward and in reverse, making parallel parking a snap. The sensors also beep when someone walks in front of or behind the minivan.
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution come standard on the 2006 Monterey. Three-row side curtain airbags also come standard. An AdvanceTrac stability and traction control system with panic brake assist offers an optional safety upgrade. The 2006 Mercury Monterey receives five stars across the board in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s front- and side-impact crash testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Monterey both its highest rating of “Good” and a “Best Pick” designation in its 40-mph frontal-offset testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Remarkable safety features
- Upscale interior and exterior design
- Roomy interior
You Won't Like
- Below-average horsepower and fuel economy
- Hard-to-remove second-row seats
- No navigation system available
Competent minivan with an array of features.
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