- Sharp handling
- Looks clean and modern
- All-wheel drive is an option
- Cutting-edge SYNC entertainment system
- 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.
2008 Mercury Milan
Styling on the 2008 Mercury Milan is nothing groundbreaking, but it never seems bland or outdated.
The 2008 Mercury Milan features distinct and handsome styling, although some find it a bit too conservative.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com generally approved of the exterior styling on the 2008 Mercury Milan. Kelley Blue Book finds the Milan has "a clean, modestly-adorned overall appearance" with "body lines that could be called 'chiseled.'" However, some reviewers, such as those at Mother Proof, feel that the Milan "lacks some definition and character," Cars.com notes that "signature design cues include a waterfall grille and the use of trim with a satin-aluminum finish" on the exterior of the Mercury Milan. Edmunds adds that this "sporty midsize family sedan with styling that doesn't get lost in the crowd" arrives in "two trim levels: base and Premier." There isn't much stylistic variation between the two versions of the Milan, but the "Milan Premier adds 17-inch alloy wheels," according to Edmunds.
Inside the respectably sculpted sheetmetal that adorns the 2008 Mercury Milan, Cars.com says occupants will find "leather upholstery that is complemented by Satin Metallic or Wales Mahogany wood trim." The styling contributes to the Mercury Milan's luxury ambiance, and ConsumerGuide feels that "Milans have a more upscale look when compared to Fusion and even the premium-midsize Lincoln MKZ." Edmunds writes that the "two-tone cabin" on the 2008 Milan is designed "to appeal to young professionals with an allegiance to Ikea-style furnishings."
2008 Mercury Milan
The 2008 Mercury Milan has average acceleration, but features very sporty handling, especially for a mid-size sedan.
The 2008 Mercury Milan is offered with several powertrain combinations, combining either a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with manual or five-speed automatic transmissions or a sportier 3.0-liter six-cylinder with a six-speed automatic. With either combination, front- or all-wheel drive is available.
The Milan brings average performance with either engine option, though the 3.0-liter version provides an expected performance boost. Edmunds finds that "neither engine offers much off-the-line grunt.” While Kelley Blue Book agrees with the initial sentiment, noting a "moderate delay on initial acceleration," they also say that "the Milan is eager to pass or merge" once it gets going. ConsumerGuide provides further validation, writing that V-6-powered Mercury Milans "have good passing and merging power, even with the additional weight of AWD."
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com also approve of the transmission offerings on the 2008 Mercury Milan, with ConsumerGuide saying that "the smooth, responsive six-speed automatic makes the most of the available power." However, they lament the lack of a "manual-shift mode, which would be useful on hilly roads." Edmunds also wishes for a manual-shift option on the Milan, feeling that it would "make the car even more attractive to driving enthusiasts." Fuel economy varies across the powertrains on the Milan Mercury, but the EPA estimates 20/29 mpg for the 2.3-liter with a manual and 18/26 mpg with the 3.0-liter V-6.
The 2008 Mercury Milan is adept in corners, and many reviewers were surprised by the Milan's handling characteristics. Edmunds raves about the "responsive steering" and thinks the "the 2008 Mercury Milan is one of the sportier" vehicles in its class. ConsumerGuide also loves the car's road abilities, writing that the Milan possesses "good balance in turns with modest body lean" and finds that "AWD traction is a boon on slick road." When combined with the 2008 Milan's "stopping control and brake pedal feel" that Consumer Guide describes as "good," it all adds up to an impressive driving experience.
2008 Mercury Milan
Comfort & Quality
The 2008 Mercury Milan is a comfortable, practical, and well-built sedan that lives up to the expectations of its price tag.
For those looking for a comfortable, high-quality, and slightly more unique sedan, the 2008 Mercury Milan might be just the car they're seeking.
The 2008 Mercury Milan seats five comfortably in a cabin that Edmunds says has "plenty of room for all passengers." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com expressed appreciation for the space and seating comfort on the Mercury Milan, a sentiment that ConsumerGuide captures by saying that in the Milan, Mercury features "ample leg and head space for six-footers" in the front.
Not all reviewers enjoyed the interior seating, however, and Cars.com writes that the front seats "aren't especially firm and provide modest support." ConsumerGuide, in contrast, feels that the 2008 Mercury Milan offers "firm, supportive seats" for front occupants and "adult-adequate headroom with good foot space" in the back. The one drawback is in the rear of the Milan; Mercury's seating in back, Kelley Blue Book says, has a center position that’s “a somewhat hard perch with scant headroom." Occupant comfort is enhanced by the Mercury Milan's "generally hushed ride," according to ConsumerGuide.
Cargo space inside the 2008 Mercury Milan is also noteworthy, and Edmunds is surprised to find "an unexpected measure of utility," thanks to the Milan Mercury's "15.8-cubic-foot trunk, split-folding rear seat and fold-down front-passenger seat." Aside from the trunk, ConsumerGuide writes that "cabin storage is good," with Mother Proof adding that "the two-tiered center console is perfect for CDs and smaller items." However, when it comes to rear storage, Mother Proof disagrees with the reviewers at Edmunds, saying that rear "cargo space is a pain," thanks to the lack of "manual trunk release" and the fact that there is no "hand-hold" to use when closing the trunk on the Milan Mercury.
Build quality on the 2008 Milan certainly isn't one of the car's major drawbacks. Kelley Blue Book approves of "the use of satin aluminum finishes and high-quality materials" throughout the cabin, and ConsumerGuide loves the "soft-touch surfaces" and "real metal or wood trim" that is offered on the Mercury Milan.
2008 Mercury Milan
Solid crash test ratings, a respectable list of safety features, and great visibility all combine to make the 2008 Mercury Milan a fine safety pick, but stability control is off the menu.
When it comes to the family-oriented mid-size sedan segment, safety is especially important, and the 2008 Mercury Milan doesn't disappoint here.
In independent crash testing, the 2008 Mercury Milan performs very well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Milan Mercury five out of five stars for most of its tests, and four out of five for side rear impact collisions. Seconding these outstanding crash test ratings is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which gives the Mercury Milan its highest rating, Good, for both frontal offset and side impact tests.
Solid crash test ratings are not the only thing consumers look for when it comes to occupant safety, and the 2008 Mercury Milan accordingly offers a variety of safety features. Cars.com lists the standard safety features as including "side-impact and side curtain airbags," along with standard "antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution." Kelley Blue Book adds that "an active perimeter alarm" that alerts the driver to obstacles around the car during parking and reversing is optional on the Milan. Mercury’s “glaring omission,” Edmunds says, is the lack of "stability control, which isn't available on any Milan" despite the fact that nearly all of the Milan's competitors offer some sort of stability system.
In terms of safe daily driving, ConsumerGuide writes that "the high seating position contributes to fine outward visibility" on the Mercury Milan, an attribute that will certainly aid in merging and highway situations.
2008 Mercury Milan
The 2008 Mercury Milan's SYNC feature is undeniably cool, and the other available options make the Mercury Milan one very attractive sedan.
The 2008 Mercury Milan boasts a variety of standard and optional features throughout both trim levels that contribute greatly to the car's appeal.
Even the base version of the 2008 Mercury Milan "comes nicely equipped," according to Kelley Blue Book, with a "standard six-speaker stereo" and "Securilock passive anti-theft system." Mother Proof raves about the Milan; Mercury's "steering-wheel-mounted controls" operate climate controls as well as the typical radio buttons, they report.
For those who want to pass on the manual controls altogether, Edmunds says that the 2008 Milan Mercury offers Ford's SYNC system, which allows occupants to "operate their cell phones, PDAs, USB storage devices, iPods or other MP3 players using voice commands." Rounding out the options list on the Mercury Milan, Kelley Blue Book writes that "SIRIUS Satellite Radio" and "a DVD navigation system lead the options list for 2008," along with "a power moonroof, leather seating surfaces, [and] heated front seats."
Edmunds also adds that a "sunroof, a rear spoiler, heated front seats and wood-grain interior trim" are available as options on the Milan Mercury.