Mercury has added more standard features to its midsize Milan sedan for the 2007 model year. Two of the bigger additions are side curtain and seat-mounted side-impact airbags, as well as all-wheel drive, which will come later in 2006. The Milan is related to the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ.
Serving as Mercury’s most-affordable model, but billed by the automaker as upscale and expressive, the sedan is available in two trim levels: standard and better-equipped Premier. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V-6 are available.
For 2007, the Milan adds a new rear spoiler option and Silver Birch, Alloy Clearcoat and Dark Amethyst exterior colors.
The company says designers drew inspiration from large, modern cities when creating the Milan. Signature design cues include a waterfall grille and the use of trim with a satin-aluminum finish. Wide headlights wrap into the hood, and LED taillights are installed. The Milan has a short-/long-arm front suspension and a multilink rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes are used.
Designers looked at the finishes of home appliances and the details of finely crafted handbags for inspiration in styling the five-occupant interior. Leather upholstery is complemented by Satin Metallic or Wales Mahogany wood trim. Two-tone leather seats with contrast stitching are optional.
The automaker says that extending the back doors rearward improves rear-seat access for taller passengers. A spring-assisted mechanism can help fold down the 60/40-split rear seat. The trunk can hold 15.8 cubic feet of cargo, and a pass-thru into the passenger compartment allows long items to be carried.
The Milan has a six-way power driver’s seat, a CD stereo, an analog clock, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, and power heated mirrors. For 2007, an audio input jack for portable MP3 players and other devices is standard. An optional DVD-based navigation system will be added later in the 2007 model year.
The Milan’s 2.3-liter four-cylinder produces 160 horsepower and drives either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Only a six-speed automatic is offered with the 221-hp, 3.0-liter V-6. Both engines run on regular-grade gasoline. Traction control is now standard on V-6 models.
Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard, as are antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
The V-6-powered Milan starts off in a hurry and, after some delay, delivers ample acceleration for passing and merging. The automatic transmission is well-behaved most of the time, but it doesn’t change gears the same way every time. At low speeds, a modest jolt occasionally occurs with the shift.
Generally quiet, the Milan does exhibit some engine blare when accelerating hard. Certain road surfaces produce a bit of noise, too. Although the ride is generally satisfying, some rough spots induce rather harsh responses.
The Milan is spacious in front. The seats aren’t especially firm and provide modest support. Outboard rear occupants get ample room, but the center passenger must endure a rather hard perch and a serious shortage of headroom.
Though competent and capable in nearly every area, and sensible overall, the Milan doesn’t quite stand out from the pack. Except for some Mercury design cues and a bit more refinement, it’s not much different from its Ford Fusion sibling.