2009 Mercury Milan Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
February 8, 2009

The 2009 Mercury Milan is a stylish sedan with great handling.

To write this definitive review, TheCarConnection.com's editors researched a wide range of road tests regarding the 2009 Mercury Milan. TheCarConnection.com's resident experts also drove the Mercury Milan to help you decide which reviews to trust where opinions differ, to add more impressions and details, and to provide you with the best information.

The Mercury Milan enters the 2009 model year with some important changes that broaden its aesthetic appeal as well as its safety and efficiency. While mechanically identical to the Ford Fusion, it sports a cleaner exterior and a new-for-2009 Voga Series that takes it one step up from its more mundane cousin.

The 2009 Mercury Milan comes in many flavors and can be equipped to meet just about anyone’s needs. It is available with front- or all-wheel drive, four- or six-cylinder engines, and manual or automatic gearboxes, although they aren’t all interchangeable. If you want all-wheel drive, you’ll have to pony up to the V-6 engine, and if you like to shift your own gears, the only combination available is the four-cylinder front-wheel-drive model.

The 2.3-liter, four-cylinder base engine delivers 160 horsepower, and the 3.0-liter V-6 cranks out 221 hp. The base engine can be matched with a standard five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 comes with a standard six-speed automatic. The automatic transmission doesn't allow manual shifting other than "drive" and "L." Fuel economy is 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway on four-cylinder Milans with manual transmissions, ranging down to 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. That leaves the Milan pulling up the rear on the mpg competition, even compared to some larger sedans. However, the new-for-2009 Hybrid version posts class-leading fuel economy and is covered under a separate review.

Review continues below

Like the Ford Fusion, the 2009 Mercury Milan offers a sizable interior with ample legroom and expansive cargo space. There's adult-sized space in the backseat, and the seats themselves are comfortable. The trunk is large enough for most needs. The interior isn't quite as rich-looking as that of a Honda Accord or a Chevrolet Malibu, but it's good.

The Mercury Milan still is one of the better-handling family sedans on the market.  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 versus its competitors, such as the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord; it's a more engaging drive, with crisp steering and good ride quality.

Anti-lock brakes, as well as side and curtain airbags, are standard on every trim level, and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control joins the option list for 2009 on all trims. The 2009 Mercury Milan gets a five-star rating for front and driver-side crash protection, along with four stars for passenger side-impact safety.

Mercury continues into 2009 as a good-looking alternative to boring mid-size sedans. The optional Voga Series takes it to the next level; available only on the Premier models, it features unique interior carbon fiber trim, cashmere-colored leather seats and door inserts, as well as unique Voga badging on the interior and exterior. Ambient lighting is now available, and Sirius Satellite Radio is standard on Premier Series trims.

8

2009 Mercury Milan

Styling

The 2009 Mercury Milan’s style won’t win design awards, but it certainly doesn’t get lost in a crowd.

The 2009 Mercury Milan features distinct and handsome styling, although some find it a bit too conservative.

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com generally approve of the exterior styling on the 2009 Mercury Milan. Kelley Blue Book commends the Milan's "clean, modestly-adorned overall appearance" with "body lines that could be called 'chiseled.'" However, some reviewers, such as those at MotherProof, 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 2009 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 2009 Milan is designed "to appeal to young professionals with an allegiance to Ikea-style furnishings."

8

2009 Mercury Milan

Performance

The 2009 Mercury Milan’s engines are adequate, but its handling separates it from the mid-size sedan pack.

The 2009 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. All-wheel drive is available with only the V-6.

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, reporting 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 2009 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 mpg city, 29 mpg highway for the 2.3-liter with a manual and front-wheel drive and 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway with the 3.0-liter V-6 and front-wheel drive.

The 2009 Mercury Milan is adept in corners, and many reviewers are surprised by the Milan's handling characteristics. Edmunds raves about the "responsive steering" and thinks the "the 2009 Mercury Milan is one of the sportier" vehicles in its class. ConsumerGuide also loves the car's road abilities, proclaiming 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 2009 Milan's "stopping control and brake pedal feel" that ConsumerGuide considers "good," it all adds up to an impressive driving experience.

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2009 Mercury Milan

Comfort & Quality

The 2009 Mercury Milan offers quality, comfort, and utility in a good looking package.

If you are seeking a sporty, good-looking, and comfortable sedan, the 2009 should be on your list.

The 2009 Mercury Milan seats five comfortably in a cabin that Edmunds says has "plenty of room for all passengers." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com express 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 enjoy the interior seating, however, and Cars.com states that the front seats "aren't especially firm and provide modest support." ConsumerGuide, in contrast, feels that the 2009 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 2009 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 notes that "cabin storage is good," with MotherProof adding that "the two-tiered center console is perfect for CDs and smaller items." However, when it comes to rear storage, MotherProof disagrees with the reviewers at Edmunds, saying that rear "cargo space is a pain," thanks to the lack of "manual trunk release."

Most reviewers certainly appreciate the use of high-quality materials in the 2009 Milan. 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.

8

2009 Mercury Milan

Safety

Good crash-test scores and a full roster of safety features (though some optional) amount to an impressive package in the 2009 Mercury Milan.

Buyers of mid-size sedans consider safety as one of their primary purchase reasons.  The Mercury Milan satisfies those needs and with optional stability control for 2009 is on par with its competitive set.

In independent crash testing, the 2009 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 2009 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" alerts the driver to obstacles around the car during parking and reversing is optional on the Milan.

In terms of daily driving, ConsumerGuide remarks 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.

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2009 Mercury Milan

Features

The 2009 Mercury Milan offers all the requisite features plus a few unique ones that add to the allure of this sedan.

The 2009 Mercury Milan boasts a variety of standard and optional features throughout all trim levels that contribute greatly to the car's appeal. The new Voga Series should please those who want that extra dose of luxury.

Even the base version of the 2009 Mercury Milan "comes nicely equipped," according to Kelley Blue Book, with a "standard six-speaker stereo" and "Securilock passive anti-theft system." MotherProof raves about the Milan; Mercury's "steering-wheel-mounted controls" operate climate controls as well as the typical radio buttons, they report. Edmunds.com is less than enthusiastic about the design of the stereo faceplate, saying that it is “seriously outdated.” but they note, “The standard analog clock mounted high in the center stack adds a touch of class.”

For those who want to pass on the manual controls altogether, Edmunds says that the 2009 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 reports that "SIRIUS Satellite Radio" and "a DVD navigation system lead the options list for 2009," 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.

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8.2
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 8.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 8.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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