- Sharp handling
- Looks clean and modern
- All-wheel drive is an option
- No manual V-6 option
- Fuel economy lags behind class leaders
- No stability control at all
The 2008 Mercury Milan has good looks and great handling, but there are roomier, more fuel-efficient sedans for families.
There's plenty to like about the 2008 Mercury Milan. It shares its mid-size platform with the Mazda6 and the Ford Fusion, but it's a very different-looking machine. It also gets a distinct interior and a slightly narrower range of transmission choices.
The 2008 Mercury Milan comes with front- or all-wheel drive, four- or six-cylinder engines, and manual or automatic gearboxes. There's choice of either a 160-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a 221-hp, 3.0-liter V-6; the inline-four can be mated to a standard five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 comes with a standard six-speed automatic. There's no manual transmission option with the V-6, which cuts into its enthusiast appeal, but the other engines are reasonably sporty. The automatic transmission doesn't allow manual shifting other than "drive" and "L." Fuel economy is 20/29 mpg on four-cylinder Milans with manual transmissions; it's 17/25 mpg with automatic and all-wheel drive. That puts the Milan behind the pack of mid-size sedans, even those with larger interiors.
The Mercury Milan still is one of the better-handling family sedans on the market and one of the better-looking ones from Ford. It's a handsome sedan, with a tasteful waterfall grille in front. And like the Ford Fusion and Mazda6, the 2008 Mercury Milan offers an sizable interior with ample legroom and expansive cargo space. There's adult-sized space in the backseat, and the chairs themselves are comfortable. The trunk is large enough for most needs. The interior isn't quite as rich-looking as that in a Honda Accord or a Chevrolet Malibu, but it's good.
Riding on a four-wheel independent suspension, with four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution, the front-drive Milan is intended to be reasonably sporty without sacrificing the ride. Handling is a prime reason to buy the Mercury Milan; it's a more engaging drive than the Toyota Camry, with crisp steering and good ride quality.
Anti-lock brakes, as well as side and curtain airbags, are standard on every trim level, but stability control isn't available at all. The 2008 Mercury Milan gets a five-star rating for front and driver-side crash protection, along with four stars for passenger side-impact safety.
New features include an optional keyless entry keypad, a reverse-sensing system, ambient lighting, and a voice-activated navigation system with the Ford SYNC entertainment and communications controller. Sirius Satellite Radio is also available.