Mercury’s largest sedan continues to provide traditional American-car values, with rear-wheel drive, a V-8 engine, and a spacious passenger cabin with a roomy trunk. A 224-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission; dual exhausts included with the optional Handling Package boost the engine’s output to 239 horsepower. The car is quiet and comfortable, with a smooth ride and relaxed handling. Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes are standard, with traction control, front-side airbags, and a rear air suspension optional. For 2006, the vehicle is updated with a new grille, front fascia, headlamps, and trunk appliqué. LS models come with new 16-inch machined-aluminum 16-spoke wheels and an overhead console that includes a compass, map light, and garage-door opener. New paint colors include Smokestone Clearcoat Metallic, Tungsten Clearcoat Metallic, and four new two-tone combinations; a Light Camel interior, is also newly offered.
2006 Mercury Mariner HEV
2006 Mercury Mariner HEVEnlarge Photo
New for 2006 is a hybrid-powered version of the upscale mid-size Mariner SUV that shares its innovative gas/electric powertrain with the Escape Hybrid. It couples a 133-horsepower version of the 2.3-liter engine with an electric motor/generator and a continuously variable automatic transmission to garner an estimated 33 city/29 highway mpg. Otherwise, a 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine is standard, while an available 3.0-liter V-6 generates a quicker 200 horses. A four-speed automatic transmission is included with both powerplants. The Mariner’s available Intelligent 4WD System automatically transfers torque from the front to the rear wheels as needed. Its interior is trimmed in woodgrain, satin aluminum, and chrome. Four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist come standard, while front-side and side-curtain airbags and a Safety Canopy system is designed to protect occupants in case of a rollover are optional. Available amenities include leather upholstery, a power moonroof, a reverse-sensing parking aid, and a trailer-towing package.
2005 Mercury Mariner by Marty Padgett (2/28/2005)
Nip, tuck, game, match.
2006 Mercury Milan
2006 Mercury MilanEnlarge Photo
The new-for-2006 mid-size Milan sedan is based on the same platform that provides the underpinnings for the Mazda6 and the also new Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr. The Milan carries bold styling and offers a roomy interior with ample legroom and expansive cargo space. There’s choice of either a 160-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a 221-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6; the in-line four can be mated to either a standard five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 comes with a standard six-speed automatic. Riding on a four-wheel independent suspension, with four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, the front-drive Milan delivers crisp cornering abilities without sacrificing ride quality. An audiophile sound system, power moonroof, and heated leather seats highlight the options list. Both all-wheel-drive and hybrid gas/electric-powered versions are planned for subsequent model years.
The mid-size Montego sedan is Mercury’s plusher and distinctively styled version of the Ford Five Hundred. A 200-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine drives either the front or all four wheels (on all-wheel drive models) via either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a conventional six-speed automatic gearbox. A fully independent suspension, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control, a stiff body structure, and standard 17-inch wheels and tires contribute to the car’s stellar ride and handling qualities. Front-side airbags, Ford’s Safety Canopy side-curtain airbag system, a power moonroof, and a reverse sensing system to aid parallel parking are optional. For 2006, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with satin-aluminum cuffs and audio and speed controls becomes standard on all models, with a DVD entertainment array, navigation system, and power adjustable pedals being newly added to the options list.