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2007 Mercury Monterey Trims

Luxury

Avg. Price: $8,689

The Monterey minivan had a short life. After debuting for the 2005 model year, it is no longer being made and will not be replaced within the Mercury line.

Sales of the Ford Freestar's sister vehicle have not been near where Mercury wanted them to be, so they stopped production in August 2006. The Freestar ceased production in November.

Since the Monterey didn't exist long enough to be redesigned, the 2007 looks much like the other two years' incarnations. Mercury's favored satin aluminum adorns the grille, the available roof rails, and numerous points in the interior. This interior, though nicer than the lower-priced Freestar's, nonetheless was criticized by some for looking and feeling cheaper than it should have.

Standard equipment on this final Monterey, of which the Luxury is the only trim, is fairly impressive. It comes with a Forward- and Reverese-Sensing System, which detects obstacles in the minivan's path during parking and backing up. It also comes with dual power-sliding doors, Tri-zone Climate Control, a Premium Sound System with 6-CD changer, a tire-pressure indicator, and fog lamps. The driver's comfort is assured with a 6-way power-adjustable seat with memory function, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood insert, and adjustable pedals and side mirrors with memory. Security-based amenities include remote keyless entry, a driver's door keypad, and the Securilock passive anti-theft system that will not allow the engine to be started without the coded key.

The options are nothing to blink at either - you can even get heated and cooled front seats, which are not available on any other minivan. Plus, its side-impact airbags are the most advanced in this class.

Other optional equipment includes a power liftgate, a power front passenger seat, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control, a Rear-seat Entertainment System with wireless headphones and 7-inch flip-down monitor, self-sealing tires, a programmable Universal Garage Door Opener, roof rails, and 17-inch wheels. You can also add one of two Trailer Tow Packages: the Class I (maximum capacity: 2000 lbs.) or the Class II (3500 lbs mazimum). Leather is available, although not for the third row.

The Monterey Luxury's 4.2-liter V6 is paired with a smooth 4-speed auto transmission, and the result is 17 city miles to the gallon and 23 on the highway. The engine is somewhat loud, but Mercury increased sound absorption this time around, achieving for Monterey buyers a quieter ride with less vibration.

They�¢ï¿½?�?ve also built it to be safe, and the government crash-testers have noticed. The Monterey has earned top ratings throughout its short existence �¢ï¿½?�? something that's crucial in a vehicle whose target market is so specifically families.

That safety equipment includes ABS, three-point seat belts with pretensioners, a restraint control module, driver's seat position sensor, energy management retractors, frontal impact severity sensors, and state-of-the-art airbags, including side-curtain units. The AdvanceTrac electronic stability system is available as an option; it helps you to maintain control by activating brakes and adjusting torque on individual wheels when it detects slippage or under- or oversteering and is also helpful in poor surface conditions.

Despite the lackluster sales, reviews have been good. It's just that the Japanese competition has done an exceptional job, and that's where the sales have been. The minivan does offer extreme versatility in its seating configuration, as the second row can be flattened or split, and the third can be stowed inside the floor, leaving room for seemingly endless cargo. The third-row seat also has a Tailgate feature wherein it can be flipped to face outward when the car is parked with the tailgate up. It makes for a comfy tailgating perch, perhaps out of the wind.