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2002 Mercury Villager Review
Good maneuverability and handling.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2002 Mercury Villager has a mixed beginning. It is a minivan that was designed by Nissan, built at a Ford plant and sold under the Mercury label. It is a twin to the Nissan Quest, and the only differences between the two are minor interior and exterior pieces. While it was introduced to the market in 1993 with two trim levels, the GS and LS, it had a V-6 engine that produced 151 horsepower. It was redesigned in 2000 and gained new features. In 2002, each options package became its own model line, increasing the available trim levels up to six: Value, Popular, Sport, Sport Plus, Estate, and Estate Premium.
The 2002 Mercury Villager are powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine and come standard with four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. It rides on a short wheelbase, making it one of the shortest minivans on the market. It has second and third-row seating and two manually-sliding side doors. One major selling point is the no-charge optional Autovision entertainment system, which includes a roof-mounted video screen. The Sport and Estate have second-row bucket seats while the base models have second-row bench seats. The second row is removable and the third row only slides forward.
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Villager Value, Mercury Villager Popular, Mercury Villager Sport, Mercury Villager Sport Plus, Mercury Villager Estate, Mercury Villager Estate Premium
Ford decided to discontinue production of the 2002 Mercury Villager, making it the final model year. The Estate models got even more interior gold trim and a new gauge cluster.
Exterior standard features for the 2002 Mercury Villager Value trim include 15-inch steel wheels, intermittent front windshield wipers, rear defogger, rear wiper, roof rack, rear liftgate door, remote power locks, and power windows and mirrors. The Popular trim adds privacy glass, swing-out opening rear quarter doors, manual flip-up liftgate window, and the Sport trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels. The Estate trim adds heated power mirrors, fog lights, and dusk-sensing auto-delay headlights.
The 2002 Mercury Villager sits atop a short wheelbase, which makes it one of the smallest minivans on the market. Two sliding doors allow easy entry for rear-seat passengers, while a rear liftgate provides access to the cargo area. Cargo room is a spacious 127.6 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down and 32.2 cubic feet with all seats upright. The sliding doors also make it easier to remove the rear seats. The second-row seat is removable, but the third-row seat only slides forward and it not removable.
The 2002 Mercury Villager GS trim’s interior standard features include cloth upholstery, power steering, tilt steering wheel, four-speaker stereo system, bucket front seats, second and third-row bench seats, and cruise control. The Popular trim adds a six-way power driver’s seat with manually-adjustable lumbar support. The Sport trim adds a universal remote transmitter, tilt steering wheel with integrated cruise and audio controls and trimmed in leather, and front and rear air-conditioning. The Estate trim adds leather upholstery, four-way power passenger seat, six-way power driver’s seat with manually-adjustable lumbar support and memory settings, and a leather-trimmed tilt steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls. The Estate Premium trim adds climate control. Consumers can get the optional rear video entertainment system at no extra cost. The dashboard is laid out neatly with clean controls mounted into lots of cheap-looking plastics. The switch gear looks utilitarian. Consumers may find small instances of unfinished details such as sharp-edged seat mounts and a rattling rear seat. The interior is roomy, but the front seats have narrow backrests. The cushions are comfortable and supportive. The second and third rows have limited legroom and the third-row seats can seat three small children or two adults comfortably. The third row entry and exit is tight, because the roofline is low and the passageway to the third row is narrow.
Performance & Handling
The powertrain of the 2002 Mercury Villager is a standard 3.3-liter V-6 engine that makes 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. It is mated with a four-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive. It sits atop a front-independent suspension system that is tuned for better control. The V-6 delivers good takeoff power, but power in the midrange speeds is meager, which makes passing power sluggish when it's at its passenger capacity and the air conditioning running. The short wheelbase makes it easier to maneuver than most minivans and the steering feels responsive. The ride is kept from being comfortable by the short wheelbase and tight suspension. The tight suspension makes it perform better in hard cornering by keeping the car stable. The engine noise at full throttle is excessive, but wind and tire noise is only mildly intrusive.
The standard safety features of the 2002 Mercury Villager Value and Sport trims include anti-theft alarm system, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, child seat anchors, cornering lights, engine immobilizer, and electronic Brake force distribution. The Popular and Sport Plus trims include anti-lock disc braking system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave five stars for passenger and driver frontal impact protection and for side-impact frontal protection. It also gave four stars for rollover protection and side-impact rear protection. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave a ""poor"" rating for frontal-offset test results.
EPA Fuel Economy
- High level of safety
- Lots of convenience features and options
You Won't Like
- Too small for some uses
- No side airbags available
- ABS not standard for all models
- Very little cargo room when then the car is loaded with passengers
Good maneuverability and handling.
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