The Mercury Milan is an all-new model for 2006.
If you've read both the Lincoln Zephyr and Ford Fusion overviews, don't be confused if you read some of the same information in this review. All three sedans share the same basic underpinnings-a modified version of the Mazda 6 CD3 platform. The Milan is a five-passenger, mid-size sedan that is part of a re-introduction plan for Mercury that includes six new models designed to boost the marque's image and introduce the brand to younger buyers.
One of the highlights of the Milan is its impressive list of interior features. The base Milan trim level includes an audio system with MP3 playback capability, an overhead console with sunglasses holder, a six-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, air conditioning, rear-seat reading lights, a tire pressure-monitoring system, and power windows/doors/mirrors. The Premier trim level adds an up-level audio system and a message center with outside temperature display.
For power, the Milan offers two engine choices: a 2.3L, 160-hp inline-four with 156 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 3.0L V-6 with 221 hp and 205 lb.-ft. of torque. The four-cylinder engine is matched with a 5-speed automatic, while the V-6 is paired with, according to Mercury, a class-exclusive six-speed automatic transmission.
Safety features are another strong point on the Milan, with standard front air bags, optional seat-mounted side air bags, and optional side curtain air bags with "Roll-Fold" technology, which means that upon deployment in a side-impact or rollover situation, the curtain air bag wedges itself between the window and the passenger's head for protection.
The Midsize Conventional segment, where manufacturers vie for middle-class family dollars, is a fiercely competitive arena with no fewer than 20 models to choose from. It is, by volume, one of the largest segments in the U.S. light-vehicle market.
The sales leader in this group (and overall top-selling car in the U.S. for 2005) is the Toyota Camry, which recorded 376,803 sales in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM Hot on Camry's heels is the Honda Accord, with sales of 369,293 for 2005. Other strong competitors include the Nissan Altima (255,371 units in 2005), Chevrolet Malibu (245,861), and Ford Taurus (196,919). Two other models with sales of more than 100,000 include the Hyundai Sonata and Pontiac G6. The Milan, in only a partial sales year, finishes with 5,321 units sold in 2005.
|I4 (100A)||5 speed manual||$18,345||160-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||23/31|
|I4 Premier (110A)||5 speed manual||$20,240||160-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||23/31|
|V6 (120A)||6 speed automatic||$21,345||221-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||21/29|
|V6 Premier (130A)||6 speed automatic||$22,845||221-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||21/29|