Comfortable, reliable and safe family transporter
Only wish that the factory had installed:
1. Better quality shocks all around; allowing for a more controlled ride.
2. Xenon headlamps & fog lights.
3. A DVD player & screen for rear passengers & a MP3 capable radio.
I know most of this stuff can be purchased and installed after-market!
Very comfortable mini-van for four adults and up-to 3 children (who can use the 3rd row seat).
The 3rd row is definitely not for adults - especially someone with long legs.
The engine allows for very brisk acceleration from traffic lights - I've often smoked performance cars. It's a bit strange for other drivers to see a mini-van take off this fast.
This weight of this vehicle is its Achilles' Heel - at high speeds the brakes can let you down - so it is important to watch your distance with vehicles in front and also keep a sharp eye for anything crossing your path.
One of the reasons for owning this car is because it only costs SAR.40 (approx USD 10.00) to fill its 100 liter tank. A huge benefit of living in Saudi Arabia.
Air-conditioning unit is EXCELLENT. It takes less than 20 minutes to cool the entire interior to a bearable level. This is after leaving it parked in a parking lot for 8 hours where the sun bakes it in temperatures ranging from 40 to 48 degrees Centigrade while relative humidity hovers at 70%. Quite normal for Jeddah during JUL & AUG. I have not put any heat-reflective film on the side & rear windows as yet but that wil further improve the effectiveness of the A/C.
It does the daily commute (50 KM) and an occasional round trip to Makkah (200 KM) and Madinah (800 KM).
Long drives are especially comfortable. On my previous Kia Carnival I had to regularly stop and do some stretches to relax my back. Not so on this one; the seats are really good.
The electric cooling fan (located in the engine bay) for the A/C unit is very loud - however the sound insulation is so good that the only time you really hear it is when the windows are down.
Automatic doors and tailgate are a great feature. You learn to appreciate it when you have to sling a sleeping kid over one shoulder and hold a shopping bag in the other hand.
Adjustable pedals and electric drivers seat offer me just the right driving position (I stand at 5'5").
Last year when I bought the Monterey, I had my heart set on a Honda Odyssey but just couldn't justify paying SAR.40K (approx USD.11K) more. Plus the Honda dealer is notorious for slow service and excessive service charges (even during the warranty period). The Mercury dealer has more than one service outlet in Jeddah and their service staff are more sympathetic towards their customers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th August, 2008