Mercury Villager

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Mercury Villager
96-98 Mercury Villager -- 12-26-2009.jpg
Manufacturer Mercury (Ford)
Also called Nissan Quest
Production 1992–2002
Assembly United States: Avon Lake, Ohio
Body and chassis
Class Minivan
Layout FF layout
Platform Ford VX54 platform
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 112.2 in (2,850 mm)
Successor Mercury Monterey

The Mercury Villager is a minivan manufactured by Nissan and marketed by Ford's Mercury subdivision for the model years 1993–2002, across a single generation. Internally designated as model VX54, the Villager was a rebadged variant of the Nissan Quest—a product of a joint venture between Ford and Nissan, manufactured at Ford's Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio.

Noted for its innovative seating configurations, the Villager featured a folding, removable, middle seat (or two buckets) along with a non-removable, fold-and-slide track-mounted rear seat. The arrangement enabled the rear seat to slide forward to the middle position for five-passenger seating, or completely forward against the front seats for a larger cargo volume.


"Villager" first appeared at Ford as the name of the Edsel station wagon, the mid-trim Edsel Villager, in 1958. With the demise of the Edsel brand, the Villager name was shifted to the Mercury brand in 1962, becoming the counterpart of the Ford "Squire" designation for wood-grain station wagons.

With the exception of the full-size Mercury Colony Park, all wood-grain Mercury station wagons adopted the Villager name from 1962 to 1984, including the Comet (1962-1967), Montego (1970-1976), Bobcat (1975–1980), Cougar (1977 and 1982), Zephyr (1978–1981) and Lynx (1981–1984).

First generation[edit]

First generation
1993-95 Mercury Villager.jpg
Also called Nissan Quest
Yunbao YB6480 (China)
Dongfeng EQ6482 (China)
Guangdong Bus Works GDK6480 (China)
Production 1992–1998
Assembly Avon Lake, Ohio, U.S.
Guangzhou, China
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door minivan
Engine 3.0 L 151 hp (113 kW) VG30E V6
Length 189.9 in (4,823 mm) (1993–95)
190.2 in (4,831 mm) (1995–98)
Width 73.7 in (1,872 mm) (1993–95)
73.8 in (1,875 mm) (1995–98)
Height 67.6 in (1,717 mm) (1993–95)
67.5 in (1,714 mm) (1995–98 GS Cargo)
65.9 in (1,674 mm) (1995–98 GS)
65.6 in (1,666 mm) (1995-98 Nautica & LS)
Curb weight 3,815 lb (1,730 kg)

In 1987, Ford and Nissan entered a joint agreement to develop an all-new vehicle to compete in the minivan segment scheduled for 1991. Ford's version of the vehicle, however, was to be a Mercury rather than a Ford due to the simultaneous development of the Ford Windstar. Development officially began later that year under the codename VX54, with the final designs being chosen in 1989. Prototypes went into initial testing in 1990 at Ford and Nissan test tracks, later real-world testing throughout 1991, with development concluding at the end of that year. The first-generation Villager was introduced in 1992 as a 1993 model.

Trim levels and features[edit]

The first Villagers were available in three trim levels: GS, LS, and the luxury Nautica Special Edition. All Nautica models, representing the Nautica an active wear clothing company, came with a two-toned blue and white, paint scheme, an elegant yellow pinstripe, second row captain's chairs, and blue, white, or grey leather upholstery. Lincoln-Mercury dealers gave Villager Nautica customers complimentary carrying bags, which were custom-designed by Nautica and were basically large yellow camping bags. Borrowing a styling influence from the Mercury Sable, the illuminated grille was installed on the Villager.

The first Villagers had seating for seven passengers (including the driver). The 2-seater bench seat in the second row was removable (although it weighed almost 60 lbs), allowing the third row bench of 3 seats to slide up (either folded up for more room or down for passengers) behind the front for more rear cargo room. Up to 1998, Villagers had three passenger doors, meaning that on the left side of the second-row seat was a small audio and climate control deck for the second-row passenger to use. The first generation Villagers had Dolby sound systems which were divided into "Premium Sound" and "Super Sound" categories. Dolby Super Sound systems were only available on Villagers equipped with a CD player, which was usually equipped on higher-end models.

Changes in 1994-95[edit]

Villager's chassis was sophisticated compared to minivans from the early 1990s; its modern all-coil suspension gave it more carlike ride and handling than its competitors.[1] The modified VG30E engine with a 4-speed automatic transmission from the Nissan Maxima. In the 1994 model year, the steering wheel was altered by moving the steering wheel-mounted control deck buttons to the outside of the steering wheel core. The Villager received a minor freshening in the 1995 model year that included a new front fascia without the front light bar, redesigned taillights, and a freshened control deck in the interior.

VG30E engine[edit]

A 1994 Mercury Villager Nautica was tested going from 0–60 miles per hour in 11.7 seconds.[better source needed][2] The 1993-98 Villager had a turning radius of 38.7 feet. While all Villagers from 1992 to 1998 featured the same VG30E-type 3.0 liter 151-horsepower V6 used in the Nissan Quest from the same model years, Ford had required that Nissan make some design changes to the VG30E used in the first Quest prototypes before they would agree to use it in the Villager. Changes included the addition of an oil level sensor and relocating the oil filter assembly for better access. Although the VG30E used in other Nissan models were interference engines, the VG30Es in Quests and Villagers were non-interference.[3]


Villager's first safety features included a driver's air bag, anti-lock brakes, and front-and rear bumpers which could withstand impacts up to 5 miles per hour without any damage. The front automatic seatbelts on first-generation Villagers were mounted on ceiling-tracks, on which the seatbelts would automatically slide over the occupant's torso upon ignition start-up. This feature was later phased out from the 1996 model year, but it was one of the many unique innovations of the first-generation Villager.

Second generation[edit]

Second generation
Production 1998–2002
Designer Moray Callum (1995)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door minivan
Engine 3.3L 180 hp (134 kW) VG33E V6 SOHC
Length 194.7 in (1999–2000)
194.9 in (2001–02)
Width 74.9 in (1,902 mm)
Height 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
Curb weight 3,944 lb (1,789 kg)
1999–2000 Mercury Villager

The Villager was redesigned alongside the Quest for 1999, and facelifted for 2001, but sales remained slow. Designer Moray Callum was responsible for the Villager's distinctive exterior cues such as the waterfall-style grille. The second-generation Villager was available in three trim levels: Base, Sport, and the luxury Estate. From 1999 to 2002, Villagers used the same 3.3 liter V6 with 170 horsepower and 200 ft-lbs of torque used in the 1999-2002 Nissan Quest. Villager Estate models were the first Mercury automobiles to offer a rear-seat entertainment system option for $1,295, which was an Autovision 6.4-inch LCD flip-down screen connected to a VCR located under the control deck by the driver's seat.[4] In 2001, the Villager received a minor freshening which included the introduction of a new grille and instrument gauges. The 2001-2002 Villagers had a MSRP price range from $22,510 to $27,210. 2002 was the last model year, concluding the Ford and Nissan joint venture. The last Mercury Villager rolled off the assembly line on June 27, 2002. The 1999-2002 Villager shared the same generation Nissan Quest's distributor, which was notorious for its defects.[5] The 1999-2002 Quest and Villager used optical distributors whose cam sensors were especially prone to failure.[6] Ford and Nissan went separate ways after the Villager-Quest project, with Nissan pursuing the development of the 2004 Nissan Quest while Mercury anticipated a version of the Ford Freestar called the Monterey.


Calendar Year American sales
1999[7] 45,315
2000 30,443
2001[8] 22,046
2002[9] 16,442


  1. ^ [1] HowStuffWorks: How Mercury Cars Work - The Mercury Villager and Mercury Capri
  2. ^ "Mercury 0-60 times". Archived from the original on 2013-10-26. 
  3. ^ "Villager and Quest Frequently Asked Questions: Villager and Quest Timing Belt". Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "2002 Mercury Villager". 
  5. ^ [2] Car Problem Reports: Nissan Quest - No Star, Engine Stalls
  6. ^ [3] YouTube: Nissan Distributor Cam Sensor Fault - by Real Fixes Real Fast (in English) March 18, 2012
  7. ^ "Ford Motor Company Sets New Full Year U.S. Sales Record". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Ford Motor Company's December U.S. Sales Climb 8.2 Percent" (PDF). Ford Motor Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-30. 
  9. ^ "Ford's F-Series Truck Caps 22nd Year in a Row as America's Best-Selling Vehicle With a December Sales Record". 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-28.