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Mercury Villager
96-98 Mercury Villager -- 12-26-2009
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Nissan Quest
Production 1993–2002
Assembly Avon Lake, Ohio, USA
Successor Mercury Monterey
Class Minivan
Layout FF layout
Platform Ford VX54 platform
Transmission(s) 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 112.2 in (2850 mm)
Designer Moray Callum

The Mercury Villager was a minivan, marketed by Ford from model years 1993-2002. A rebadged variant of the Nissan Quest, the Villager was a product of a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Nissan and was built at Ford's Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio.

The Villager was unrelated to the Ford Aerostar, the Ford Windstar, the Ford Freestar or the Mercury Monterey.

First generationEdit

First Generation
1993-1995 Mercury Villager
Production 1993–1998
Body style(s) 3-door minivan
Engine(s) 3.0 L 151 hp (113 kW) VG30E V6
Length 189.9 in (4823 mm) (1993–95)
190.2 in (4831 mm) (1996–98)
Width 73.7 in (1872 mm) (1993–95)
73.8 in (1875 mm) (1996–98)
Height 67.6 in (1717 mm) (1993–95)
67.5 in (1715 mm) (1996–98 GS Cargo)
65.9 in (1674 mm) (1996–98 GS)
65.6 in (1666 mm) (1996-98 Nautica & LS)
Curb weight 3,815 lb (1,730 kg)

The first-generation Villager was available in three trim levels: GS, LS, and the luxury Nautica Special Edition. All Nautica models came with a two-toned blue and white, paint scheme, an elegant yellow pinstripe, second row captain's chairs, and blue and white, or grey leather upholstery.

The Villager carried the code name "VX54" within Ford. The Villager received a minor freshening in 1996 that included a new front fascia — removing the front light bar — and redesigned taillights.

Second generationEdit

Second Generation
2nd-Mercury-Villager
Production 1999–2002
Body style(s) 4-door minivan
Engine(s) 3.3L 180 hp (134 kW) VG33E V6 SOHC
Length 194.7 in (1999–2000)
194.9 in (2001–02)
Width 74.9 in (1902 mm)
Height 70.1 in (1781 mm)
Curb weight 3,944 lb (1,789 kg)

The Villager was redesigned alongside the Quest for 1999, and facelifted for 2001, but sales remained slow. Ford pulled the plug after a brief run of 2002 models were produced, ending the Ford and Nissan joint venture. Nissan pursued the development of the 2004 Nissan Quest while Mercury received a version of the Ford Freestar called the Monterey. The second-generation Villager was available in three trim levels: Base, Sport, and the luxury Estate.

2ndMercuryVillager

1999–2000 Mercury Villager

Innovations Edit

The Villager's main innovation was in its seating configurations. At the time, minivans had bulky seats that folded over and usually could be removed. The GM minivans offered the first modular removable seats which were notably uncomfortable. The Villager had a folding removable middle seat (or two buckets). The rear seat folded and moved on tracks in the floor. It could be slid forward to the middle position making a 5 passenger vehicle with ample cargo space, or all the way to the back of the front seats to make a large cargo space. The seat was not removable however, and the system was not improved in the 1999 redesign (on which the model wouldn't be sold in Canada anymore), so newer fold into the floor seats and lightweight buckets quickly eclipsed the system.

Other uses of the nameEdit

"Villager" first appeared at Ford as the name of the Edsel station wagon, the Edsel Villager, in 1958. The Villager name resurfaced at Mercury on a woodgrained Comet station wagon from 1962 to 1967, and subsequently on similarly trimmed wagons in other Mercury series, including the Montego (1970–1976), Bobcat (1975–1980), Cougar (1977 and 1982), Zephyr (1978–1981) and Lynx (1981–1984). On Mercuries, the Villager name almost always denotes a top trim, wood grained wagon. Villager was the equal of the Ford designation "Squire". The Mercury equivalent of the more well known Country Squire full-size station wagon was the Colony Park.

SalesEdit

Calendar Year American sales
1999[1] 45,315
2000 30,443
2001[2] 22,046
2002[3] 16,442

ReferencesEdit

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