$28,595 – $28,595 MSRP
$26,332 – $26,332 Invoice
17 / 23 MPG City/Hwy
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The Mercury Monterey was redesigned for the 2004 model year; the biggest news for 2006 is a simplified series strategy that packages the minivan as one well-equipped model. A stand-alone option is 17-inch, nine-spoke bright machined aluminum wheels. The standard leather and wood steering wheel receives a new design, and two exterior colors join the palette: Dark Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic and Smokestone Clearcoat Metallic.
The Monterey minivan is Mercury's version of Ford's Freestar. Mercury's previous minivan, the Villager, was also a twin, but of Nissan's first Quest van, a relationship that began in 1992 and continued until the release of the all-new Monterey. Since Mercury is sandwiched between Ford and Lincoln, it aims to be a bit more upscale in both features and quality than the Ford Freestar. On the inside, the Monterey receives extra sound-deadening materials.
For 2006, Mercury has dropped the number of Monterey models from the previous three trim levels to one-Luxury-and loaded it with a ton of standard equipment. Features like a power driver's seat, fold-flat second-row seats, and a fold-into-the-floor third-row seat that also flips rearward into a seating arrangement for tailgate parties, should attract buyers looking for a bargain as well as a full-featured van. Also, a power rear liftgate is available, as is leather and heated and cooled seats. For power, the front-drive Monterey moves down the highway courtesy of a 4.2L V-6 engine that produces 201 hp and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, which allows it to deliver a 3,500-pound towing capacity. A 4-speed automatic transmission is the only choice. The huge 26-gallon gas tank provides an extensive cruising range.
Safety remains a priority in the minivan segment, and the Monterey is a standout in the segment, offering both a five-star crash-test rating from the government (NHTSA) for frontal impact, as well as a "Best Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, the Monterey offers a tire pressure-monitoring system, as well as self-sealing tires. Available side-impact curtain air bags deploy and remain inflated for up to six seconds in the event of a side impact or rollover.
There are 14 models in the Midsize Van segment in which Monterey competes. In this segment, price, safety, seating and cargo versatility, and entertainment features are key elements to sales success.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan led the segment in sales in 2005, with 226,771 units sold. Following closely was the Caravan's cousin, the Chrysler Town & Country (180,759 units sold in 2005). Next were the Honda Odyssey (174,275) and Toyota Sienna (161,380). Mercury sold 8,166 Monterey vans in 2005.