In a time where minivans were in demand by busy soccer moms and businesses that catered events, the Villager was Mercury's proposed solution. From 1993 to 2002, Mercury produced the Villager, no more than a re-badged Nissan Quest, in Avon Lake, Ohio. While Mercury is a division of the Ford Motor Company, the Villager was not a variant of Ford minivans such as the Windstar, but because it offered plenty of room for a large family, the Villager sold more than 45,000 models in 1999 alone.
The second generation Mercury Villager was equipped with a 3.3 liter V6 engine that produced 180 horsepower, slightly more than the previous generation's 3.0 liter V6 with 151 horsepower. Consumer Guide gave the Villager a 4-star rating for its fuel economy, which logged in at 17 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. Optimized cargo space allowed for easy hauling, and the rear seat could be repositioned to create a five-passenger vehicle.
Only two generations of the Mercury Villager were produced, beginning with the GS, LS, and Nautica Special Edition trim levels in 1993. At the time, the Mercury Villager sold as a 3-door minivan, but in 1999, the automaker changed the body style to a 4-door version. The first-generation Villager received some modifications in 1996, including revamped taillights and redesigned fascia. The main attraction of the Villager overall was the adaptability of its interior space, allowing for the increase of cargo area or the addition of seating for more passengers.
Nautica Special Edition models had a two-tone paint scheme, leather upholstery and second row captain's chairs. Mercury completely removed the light bar the 1996 model, making way for the new redesigned grill in 1999. The redesigned headlamps were more rounded in comparison to the rectangular style in previous models. The automaker added new wheels, but retained the popular roof rack.
The Mercury Villager won IntelliChoice's Best Overall Value of the Year Award in 1993 and 1994. In 1999, the Villager was named a significant runner-up in Motor Trend's Car of the Year Award. The Car Book named the Villager a Best Bet in 2002, and Consumer Guide credited its passenger and cargo room. Also, Consumer Guide gave the minivan positive points for having a car-like quality with a quiet engine". Despite this industry acclaim, Mercury discontinued the Villager in 2002.
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1994 Mercury Villager Popular Trims
Mercury Villager GS Mini Cargo Van 3-Door
Mercury Villager GS Mini Passenger Van 3-Door
Mercury Villager LS Mini Passenger Van 3-Door
Mercury Villager Nautica Mini Passenger Van 3-Door