2000 Mercury Villager Estate 3.3L from North America
One of the best vehicles we've owned
Early on, the Villager had developed a coolant leak that I could not track down, and of course it was just outside of the factory warranty. Thankfully I had purchased an extended warranty from warrantydirect.com, and they covered the very expensive repair. The leak was coming from a small gasket under the air intake, and required hours of labor to repair.
At the same time, the transmission had oil dripping from it where it joined the engine. The problem was a rear main seal on the engine, and of course it was an expensive repair covered by my extended warranty. Both of these were between 40k and 50k miles.
What I couldn't figure out was why the ball joints were failing so frequently. The first ball joints failed at 30,000 miles, and then again at 50,000 miles. The third set failed near 90,000 mile, and I just installed the 4th set at 120,000. Probably one of the easiest repairs to do on the Villager for the DIYer. That saved some money by doing it myself.
I don't know if this is a typical problem for the Villagers with rear AC, but the lines to the back AC fan developed a leak at 75,000 miles.
I would be upset had the extended warranty not covered the repairs above. The $2,000 warranty more than paid for itself over the first 100,000 miles.
This Villager has been a workhorse for my family. I pulled a boat 3 or 4 times with it, taken many long trips packed to the roof with luggage and kids. It's so sad that they stopped making these affordable, reliable vans. I don't know that I would buy one used, because if it is not maintained properly, the repairs will be expensive. The dealerships seem to hit the magical $1,500 service repair bill price tag each time we've taken it in. If you can find a good mechanic you trust, do it. The dealerships are the weak link in my experience. They do fine work, but cost so much more.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 17th October, 2011