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1998 Mercury Villager Review
Offers convenience and comfort.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1998 Mercury Villager is a minivan that was introduced by Ford Motors in 1993. It is a rebadged version of the Nissan Quest and the result of a joint venture between Nissan and Ford. The engine used in the Villager and Quest seemed to have a serious problem with the crankshaft, which would break at the front stub. However, the problem was rectified from the 1995 model onward.
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Villager GS, V LS, Mercury Villager Nautica
The 1998 Mercury Villager remains unchanged from its previous model year. However, Ford is planning to make some major changes to the model and launch the next generation of the minivan for the following model year.
The 1998 Mercury Villager has a wheelbase of 112.2 inches and an overall length of 190.2 inches. It has a width of 73.8 inches. The GS Cargo model has a height of 67.5 inches, the GS model has a height of 65.9 inches, and the LS and Nautica models have a height of 65.9 inches. The Villager shares most of its exterior styling with its Nissan Quest sibling. It has almost the same wheelbase as the Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan.
The 1998 Mercury Villager offers impressive headroom and legroom up front. The front seats are supportive and comfortable. Headroom and legroom are borderline comfortable for the middle and rear seats. With all seats set in its normal positions, the cargo room available at the rear is rather inadequate. The middle-row seats can be detached and lifted out, but these removable seats are a little too heavy to make the process convenient. The far rear seat in the seven-passenger 1998 Mercury Villager models can slide forward and backward along the tracks on the floor, and moving them forward can considerably increase cargo space at the rear. Up front, the gauges and instrument panel are a little too small, but nevertheless easy to read. The digital instruments, however, are not so easy to read because of its small size. Moreover, the stereo and climate controls on the dashboard are placed a little too far from the driver, probably due to the tall seat position. Moreover, it's also too small to operate with ease.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Mercury Villager is available with only one engine, which is the three-liter single overhead cam V-6 engine that delivers 151 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. The minivan is only available with a four-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 engine, which has been designed by Nissan, provides a decent amount of power but fails to provide as much power as the larger V-6 engines present in front-wheel-drive minivans from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. Engine and road noise remain tolerable in most cases, but wind noise becomes problematic when the Villager is being driven at highway speeds. Another problem with the 1998 Mercury Villager is that it has a wider turning circle than most other minivans, making it less maneuverable. Despite this disadvantage, the Villager surprisingly provides a carlike experience in many cases. Body lean is not a problem for the Villager, and the suspension is firm enough to reduce bouncing and soft enough to absorb most bumps with ease.
The 1998 Mercury Villager LS and Nautica models have four-wheel anti-lock brakes, but it is an optional feature for the base GS model. The car received a good four out five stars for driver safety and a modest three out of five stars for passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lots of front space
- Good steering and handling
- Attractive design
You Won't Like
- Underpowered engine
- Badly laid out controls
Offers convenience and comfort.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Venture
- Dodge Caravan
- Nissan Quest
- Chrysler Town & Country