Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects for-sale prices on Cars.com for this particular make, model and year.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
These city and highway gas mileage estimates are for the model's standard trim configurations. Where there are optional features, packages or equipment that result in higher gas mileage, those fuel-economy estimates are not included here.
By Jim Mateja
April 14, 1996
Lincoln-Mercury shares the same sport-utility vehicle with Ford division, but each has its own mini-van--Mercury, the Villager, and Ford, the Windstar. The only sharing Mercury has to do is with Nissan, which markets a
version of Villager called Quest. When it comes to sport-utes, Ford and Lincoln-Mercury are equals with Explorer and Mountaineer, but when it comes to mini-vans, L-M is the clear winner. The front-wheel-drive '96 Villager LS we tested offers
smoother car-like ride and handling with almost no road harshness in the cabin. It also can takethe merger ramp without backing off the accelerator. It has a lively, but quiet, V-6 with ample power to climb a hill, and it can run long distances without
gulping fuel (18 m.p.g. city/21 m.p.g. highway from the 3-liter, 151-h.p. V-6). All that plus dual air bags and anti-lock brakes. Villager comes closest ofany van now on the market to matching the mini-vans from sales champ Chrysler Corp.
Villager falls short of Chrysler, however, in that it only comes in regular-length version (112.2-inch wheelbase, 189.9-inch length) and not extended length (Windstar with its 120.7-inch wheelbase/201.2-inch length is Ford's extended-length van). In
addition, it offers but one slide-open door onthe passenger side, not sliders on both passenger and driver side as does Chrysler (or a power slide-open passenger-side door as does General Motors). And while it can hold up to seven passengers, it doesn't
have as much room left over as Chrysler mini-vans. Like Chrysler, Villager has such handy features as a stowage bin under the front passenger's seat, cup/juicebox holders for rear-seat occupants includingone that pops open to reveal a compartment
for toys or snacks. Unlike Chrysler, Villager boasts a third seat in back that slides forward on its track in order to increase cargo capacity without having to remove a heavy seat. It's a great feature, but it needs better execution. You can only
slide it forward by pulling levers at the front of the seat, not from the backof the seat. Why not a lever in back so you need only open the hatch, pull a lever, slide the seat forward, and dispose of your packages? GM will offer a third seat
slider in its newly redesigned front-wheel-drivemini-vans this fall. Hopefully, it will be easier to use. We tested the '96 Villager LS, which starts at $24,300. In addition to the standard equipment mentioned it offers air conditioning, AM/FM
stereo with cassette, power mirrors/windows/door locks, and 15-inch all-season tires. For $3,655 you can add the preferred equipment group with power seats, compact-disc player, heated mirrors, captain's chairs, and a bunch of things labeled deluxe. Add
$555 for freight. Changes for '96 include new front/rear facia and grille and the passenger-side air bag. Keyless entry and an integrated child safety seat are new options.