Exterior Design: ***
The Milan is probably the best looking of its corporate siblings, but that's kind of like winning a beauty pageant over Denis Leary and Kathy Bates. My neighbor, who had no idea what the Milan was, said it looks "so suburban." My neighbors drive minivans, Priuses, and Matrixes (Matrices?).
It feels faster than the claimed 8.5 second zero-to-sixty trip, and midrange acceleration is decent, but the Milan isn't fast. It's not slow either, but we're not Goldilocks and we're not looking for something in between.
Yep, this car stops. Pedal feel could be improved, but then it would probably be too grabby for the average Mercury driver.
Reverb is awesome in a Fender guitar, especially if it's in the hands of Link Wray. But it's not so great in a car, and the driver is all too aware of vibrations working through the Milan's chassis.
Ford Mercury set the car up right with nary a hint of understeer, but the steering and tires turn all vague in corners. The Milan moves like a fat greyhound — sure, you can get it to hustle, but it won't exactly like it. In everyday driving, the Milan is much better.
The smooth shifting six-speed automatic is the best part of the Milan's transmission. Unrelated to the rating, but interesting, is how the Premier Edition Milan still has a plastic-covered shift knob.
Didn't Ford learn a lesson from the Chicklet radio of the early '90s? Apparently not, as the radio in the Milan is not only a standard part-bin unit, but it's got a lo-tech display and is made of Chinese-grade plastics.
There's a trip computer, sunglasses holder, heated seats and a lumbar adjustment wheel.
You can fit plenty of dead hookers back there, but make sure they're dead. If one happens to wake up, she can open up the folding rear seat and ruin your day.
[by Mike Austin]