1996 Mercury Villager 3.0 from North America


This is a great van


The car needed brakes when I bought it. The complete overhaul of brake system was $475.00. It needed a ball joint also at the time.

The Flex exhaust pipe is a little expensive, but that goes for all makes & models.

General Comments:

I love the van. I got it for a 3rd car to haul stuff. I find myself driving it more than I planned because it rides nice.

The A/C works great, and the van is comfortable for 6 to 7 people.

Everything works well on it. I really have no complaints.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2005

1996 Mercury Villager GS from North America


Avoid at all costs


We purchased this van at new used car dealer. We noticed that about one year after the purchase there was a knocking in the engine.

We took the van back to the dealership to have it checked out. They said that the fourth piston was hitting the piston wall and need to be replaced. So a used engine was put in because the extended warranty we were sold would only allow this. So then within a day or two, the check engine light came on and would not go out. After many trip to the dealer and other local authorized garages by the dealer, this problem was never fixed.

Then about 5/2003 the lower gear of timing belt assembly completely sheared off, and the engine was gone and not repairable because the engine for Mercury Villagers are interrupted. This means that the pistons drive the upper engine up so that they are wrecked and unrepairable. The first new used engine was out of 1995 Mercury Villager and was useless. We paid to remove this engine and put in a second engine out of another 1995 Villager. This cost over a $1000.00 by lower scale mechanic. Forget Ford at $52.00 per hour! This guy charged $28.00 per hour. The mechanic said most of the cost was because engine had to be stripped to get it out of engine compartment, and the engines parts were not compatible at all.

General Comments:

This car is good average size family van.

The van is very lacking in storage space.

It has interior planes that continue to fall off, and the sun visors have locked up and broke off on the passenger side.

It has great pick up power and passing power.

This van is one of Ford's biggest mistakes and it's good that it will not be made past 2004.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th December, 2003

8th Jun 2004, 16:40

This bad review on the Mercury Villager is a lot of bull. I have one with over 176,000 miles on it and it is stilling running great. My wife and I are from Kansas, but live in Chicago now and we still take trips home in it (over 650 miles).

It is a great, dependable little van.

1996 Mercury Villager from North America


A van great for multiple passengers


Recently, the console lights have started to blink badly and rapidly.

The rear left light has gone out numerous times.

The struts have been replaced once while under my ownership, and need to be replaced again.

General Comments:

This van is a great car for numerous children. The back seat folds down to accommodate room for strollers, groceries, or luggage.

However, I and my children eat fast food regularly and I had to purchase a console with 4 cup holders and many compartments to go between the two captain chairs in the front.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th July, 2003

1996 Mercury Villager from North America


Very good deal during initial 3 years of use


This minivan was basically used by my wife just to pick up kids at school and gross shopping, so, it makes no more than 7000 miles/year.

Second set of tires replaced. Complete front break replaced (drums pass, pads, calipers, etc).

Alignment was completely out of spec, it wasted the first set of front tires in less than 20,000 miles.

Doors power locks use to stop to work from time to time, sometimes is just closes, but doesn't open, something it does nothing, it seems to be a central control problem, since no door switches could control it.

Recently the right door power window just unwide few wires from the steel cable, they just wrap in wrong places and the window stop working. I opened it all and you can see the steel wires messed around. All bodyshops around asking me more than $350 to fix it.

There is some bad adjustment when the automatic changes from 1st to 2nd gear, the engine kicks the vehicle if you keep gas pedal, it seems some bad adjustment - it was pointed in under-warranty maintenance, but never fixed. I know that this is just a steel cable adjustment at the injection, since when shifting the injection should gulp off gas.

Recently the transmission started to rattle after a long drive (more than 10 miles without in a flat drive), it just doesn't disconnect the drive and the engine dies, as in a manual clutch vehicle when you try to stop with 3rd or 4th gear in drive. The problem disappeared after 4 or 5 times scared us to hell in middle of heavy traffic - green light and we needed to turn on engine in neutral, gas to high rpm and change to Drive, it could blow up the transmission, but no other possible way to move.

Last week, parked with engine running, some strange kicking into engine compartment, open the hood, a hammering noise comming from the AC area, several AC hoses were completely sweat, even that no AC was on, just the fan to the windshield was on. Turning it off, the hamering disappeared. Later at home, I found that even with no AC on, switching to windshield fan, the AC fan turns on, but turns off to any other fan position. Strange.

Middle seat is really a pain to remove/install, it always get me on nerves when I need to do that. I guess that is not a service for someone 50 or older. I already saw other minivans that you can remove the seat very easily. In the Villager, or you should be VERY skinny or very small to be able to remove the middle seat, in either case, you will not be stronger enough to be able to do it alone.

Rear windshield wiper motor was not stopping correctly, it cost me around $200 to fix it (30,000 miles).

3 batteries replaced in this 5 years period.

The front windshield top rubber is shifting to the right, opening a space on top, probably will have water leaking by there pretty soon.

General Comments:

Powerful engine.

Very easy to maneuver.

AC works well, front and back seats.

A better battery cables bolts (heavier) would make it easy to remove / install the cables, they are very small and difficult to deal even with the right wrench.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

28th Dec 2003, 11:10

I am the original poster from the above.

Last night, December 27,2003, the same minivan started to rattle engine, oil lamp on, wife drove more 2 blocks, then engine locked down, turned off, she could manage to take it out of the road. She called me, I went there, nothing smelling burnt or something, turn keys on, nothing, battery was OK, but when turning the key, it sucks half battery power, even using a jump cable from another car, seems engine is really mechanical locked. I guess engine blew something. Oil level was very low even that it was changed 2 months ago. It was dark, no way to see really what happened. Will come back there today to try to rotate engine by the belts and see if it is loose or locked, not sure if I will be able to do that. If engine blew due lack of oil, the oil indicator should turn on much sooner to advise about it. Lets see how much would be the damage. If it is a blew engine, perhaps nothing less than 3 to 4 thousand dollars, the 1996 minivan worths less than that. Trash it out? Pity, the van was much well taken care of, much clean, looks like almost new.

2nd Jul 2007, 16:11

Trash it I had the same problem.

12th Aug 2007, 23:27

We owned 1996 villager and we have 80k mileage on it. Recently check engine light came on and we went to a mechanic and said that the there is something wrong with the third gear signal. Does anyone encounter the same problem because my husband wants to fix it himself. Thanks.

23rd May 2009, 20:53

I bought a 96 Villager in 2003 with 80K and it is still purring along with 170K in 2009. I have only had to do regular maintenance. My wife has crashed it a couple times and I have found parts at wrecking yards very easily and for moderate prices. There are lots of them around still which is a testament to their overall quality. A twin of the Nissan Quest, by the way. Great little van.