Hopelessly outdated vehicle
Reliability wise, it was fine... Considering the age of the engine I would expect them to have resolved any weaknesses by now.
Why? That was the question I asked myself a few times during my 10 day encounter with this car.
I had this as a rental. I was over from the UK.
I had booked a Dodge Charger, but was "upgraded" to this as they had no Chargers or equivalent in stock.
Initial impression was... "That is a BIG car!"
In the UK my VW Passat is considered a big car, but it is dwarfed by the Mercury.
I am afraid that I have to say that to me, this car is a relic that explains why the American manufacturers are in such trouble.
The engine is a massive 4.6 litre V8, yet produces a pitiful amount of power and torque relative to its size. Something like 220 bhp and 270lb/ft.
Mated to a sluggish 4 speed (well 3 speed plus overdrive) automatic gearbox, acceleration in this 2 ton behemoth is best described as... pedestrian!
Plant your right foot and you get lots of V8 growl, but precious little else.
Fuel economy when cruising was good for this size of car. This was down to the gearing though. 70mph was around 1,700 rpm.
Take it above 2,000 rpm though and it really drinks the fuel (boy am I glad your fuel is so cheap over there!)
The engine has very good reliability by all accounts. I would honestly say it is the only redeeming feature. An engine with that large a displacement should be producing at least another 100bhp with modern engine design.
My daily drive has a 2.0 litre turbo diesel, which is significantly quicker, hugely more economical (45mpg average) and has an excellent reliability record.
The interior... oh dear!
OK, these have to be some of the worst seats I have ever experienced. Support anywhere is non existent. They are just front and rear bench seats with arm rests in the middle. This is in a car just a few months old!
Truly, they are awful and gave me real backache after very short periods of time.
The dash is functional. You have a rev counter and speedo, coolant temp and fuel gauge plus a few warning lights. The omission of even a basic trip computer is disappointing, but not surprising.
The less said about the radio/CD player, the better. I think it came from the parts bin circa 1992.
The ventilation system was functional and had air con.
The cruise control system was simple and worked exactly as it should, and was very smooth in operation.
The brakes are best described as scary, and not remotely up to the job of stopping 2 tons of metal quickly.
Seriously, they are not good enough.
Suspension is soft... very soft.
This is designed to cruise along highways, and the suspension compliments this driving well. At slower speeds and over poor surfaces (common on the roads over there) it is too slow to respond creating an uncomfortable ride.
Steering. As I expected was too over assisted and had a significant amount of play. This means you have no idea what the front wheels are doing and allows for "wandering".
Lights. I honestly think lighting a couple of candles and placing some tin foil behind them would be equally effective!
The lights are woeful. I thought the lights on my Passat were poor (HID's, incorrectly known as Xenons are truly the way forward) but these outdid them.
Overall I was amazed that cars like this are still produced.
Truly, this is a car that is 20+ years behind the times.
I am sorry, but neither the environment nor the oil reserves can support dinosaurs like this any more.
As a potential buyer I would not touch one.
America is an amazing place, and the people are truly wonderful, but sorry guys, your cars are years off the mark.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 20th November, 2007