Considering buying a '07 Milan. Thoughs?

mlc9mlc9 Member Posts: 4
edited September 2014 in Ford
I am considering the purchase of an '07 Milan Premier 4-cylinder. It is a 5-speed with leather interior. Appears to be in pristine condition, having been a corporate car, and with only 26k miles.

Asking price is $11,400, but I think I may be able to get it for somewhere between $10k - $11k.

Anybody have any thoughts to help me in my decision? Reliability? Power of the 4-cylinder? Quietness? Etc. I see someone on this forum has paint peeling on this model year, so I guess that may be a concern. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks


  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Can't think of any reason not to buy it if you like it. Any paint problem was an isolated case - I don't remember multiple reports.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    This posting is nine days old, so you may have already made your decision...but I'll offer my input in case you haven't! =)

    The Fusion and Milan have 'Above Average' reliability according to Consumer Reports. CR also considers them a 'GOOD BET' as a used car. A good friend of mine is a fleet manager for a major corporation and they exclusively use Ford vehicles. The Fusion/Milan and Escape/Mariner account for 85% of the their fleet. They average 400-425 vehicles in the fleet for this region at any given time. If he had a choice, he would make the entire fleet nothing but Fusions (since the Milan is now discontinued). They rarely have significant problems, with the exception of several early production 2010 4-cyl/automatic models having transmission failures in the first 10k miles!

    I can comment from experience on the engine and transmission. I drive a 2006 Mazda3 s with the same exact 2.3L 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission. It's a great engine overall, with more than enough power for the Milan. Compared to the Hondas that I owned in the past, the biggest difference is that the 2.3L has a lot more power at low revs. Pulling away from a stop light, you aren't forced to rev it to 5000rpm before shifting just to get decent acceleration. It also is geared so that you can actually accelerate without downshifting from 5th gear at highway speeds. If you need to accelerate from 65 to 75mph to pass someone, leave it in 5th, floor the gas and you'll be surprised how quickly that car is in your rear view mirror! =)

    Oil changes are imperative to longevity (which is true for every internal combustion engine ever made), but even more so with the 2.3L. Any problems or failures of this engine have been due to neglect (going more than 7500 miles between oil changes) and/or running the engine when it is low on oil by one quart or more. I use Castrol Syntec synthetic motor oil, which allows me to stretch out oil changes to every 10k miles. I also check my oil level every other time I gas up.

    I'm very surprised that this was a 'company' car with a manual transmission...very unusual. But it's a good thing from a negotiating standpoint. Manual-transmission Fusions can be tough to sell as used cars. That is even more so for the Milan, since it is positioned as the more upscale of the two. Not being an automatic automatically eliminates at least 95% of would-be buyers from even considering it. So they'll be eager to sell it when they find someone who is interested because it may be another six or eight months before another self-shifter shows up! =)

    I would offer $10k plus tax, tag and title and not go above $10,500...but play hardball and I bet you'll get it for $10k! Take it a local mechanic to give it a good inspection before you sign on the dotted line- no matter how good it looks and drives or how low the mileage is! It will only cost you $50 or so to have it inspected and it's well worth the peace of mind!

    Good luck!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • mlc9mlc9 Member Posts: 4
    igozoomzoom provides some tremendous pointers. Thank you very much. I ended up buying the Milan, before your great post, for the very same $10k that you were thinking (plus, $400 doc fees). I agree it would have been nice to get it inspected, but I had to drive nearly 4 hours to get, and it wasn't convenient to do so.

    As you said, I had to play hardball to get it for $10k, but with only 27k miles and pretty clean, I felt it to be a good deal. The manual tranny helped my cause, I have have enjoyed it overall these first few hundred miles. I will comment on one thing, though. Having previously drove a '98 Accord until 286K miles (with more life to go), I still feel the Milan falls short of the Honda. Don't get me wrong, as I am pleased with the my Merc and hope I can get at least 150k miles out of it. But in terms of ride comfort, engine, and overall refinement, I feel that the 10 year older Honda has it beat. I just wasn't able to afford an Accord this time around, so had to come in a little lower for the Milan. Here's hoping I have 80-90% of the good fortune I had with the Accord.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    You got an AWESOME deal at $10k! Edmunds TMV for the car is around $11,600 and that's just for the standard '07 Premier I4 w/ 5MT and 26k miles. If I'm not mistaken, the only significant options on on the Premier were Power Moonroof, Audiophile stereo, SIRIUS, rear spoiler and heated seats- if you car has any of those, the TMV would be even higher. So you got a great deal, to say the least! =)

    I'm just curious, does your car have heated seats or not? My best friend had a 2008 Fusion SEL V6 with every option except NAV and heated seats. Leather and heated seats were two separate options, which seemed odd to me. In most cars, when you upgrade to leather, you get heated leather! Not a big deal and he didn't even care that he didn't have them, but for some reason it stuck in my mind....

    By the way, do you know about the fold-flat passenger seat? I thought that was the coolest feature in my friend's Fusion. I can't believe that more cars don't offer that feature???

    You should have no problem hitting the 150k mark, especially if they're mostly highway miles. There are only two maintenance/repair items that you should be prepared for- the clutch and new tires. The clutch may survive well past 100k, but in both the Mazda3 and Mazda6, they often don't. Mine needed replacement when the car was four years old and only had 74k miles on it. I had never replaced a clutch with under 120k miles on it before that and had one ('93 Civic) last until 172k miles! Maybe it won't ever be an issue for you...

    Tire replacement, on the other hand, is as inevitable as death and taxes. The Fusions and Milans with 17" wheels (which are standard on the '07 Premier) have P225/50VR17 tires. Ford used a pricey Michelin Pilot tire on them and they currently cost $1000-$1100 for an identical replacement set! My Mazda3 came with 17" high-performance Goodyear tires that only lasted until 28k miles! When the guy at the tire shop told me it would cost $1250 for a new set, I think I had a mini-stroke...or at least I blacked out for a few seconds! I went back home, did some research and discovered that a set of $600 Dunlops would work just as well for half the price. They've been great and even with 54k miles on them, they've still got some tread life left. My point- when the time comes for new tires, do your own research and don't feel the need to stick with the OEM tire! =)

    The Fusion and Milan are both fantastic cars and easily the best mid-size cars ever sold by Ford, GM or Chrysler. As for the comparison to your '98 Accord, very few cars can hold up to such scrutiny. I've owned two Accords, my sister has had three and my dad currently has one. There is something about them that is very unique and special...and no other car maker has quite managed to duplicate it! But to be honest, that quality is absent in the current Accord (2008-present). The Accord "magic" ended with the 2007 model, I'm afraid.

    For the record, prior to buying my current Mazda in 12/05, I had never owned anything other than a Honda. In those 15 years, I had five Hondas and one Acura. I planned to drive a Honda (or Acura) for the rest of my life. I had leased a '96 Accord EX for four years and when the lease was up, I wanted to experience life without car payments for a while! I bought a '92 Accord EX that only had 72k miles on it and paid cash for it. I drove it from mid-2000 until 11/2005 when I got t-boned by an idiot and totaled it. I suddenly found myself in the market for a new car but I refused to spend over $20k. That ruled out all but the most basic Accord, leaving the Civic as my only viable option....until I saw and drove the 2006 Civic, at which point it was no longer a viable option! =/ It turns out that even Honda doesn't build them like they used to....

    Congrats again! Enjoy!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • mlc9mlc9 Member Posts: 4
    Unfortunately, my Premier does not have moonroof, upgraded stereo (though it is 6-Disc/MP3), spoiler, or heated seats. It does have Sirius, and to my surprise, it worked. I assume there is likely a monthly cost for such, but since I believe this was a previous corporate car, my guess is that maybe the company purchased a lifetime subscription? I had Sirius in my previous Accord, but turned it off when I got an iPhone. Will enjoy it while it lasts.

    I did not know about the fold flat passenger seat, but will try that out. Having the entire back seat fold down for trunk access is nice as well. Good heads up on the clutch. I've had two manual trannys in the past, a '90 SHO and Chevy S10, and never experienced a clutch replacement before. We'll see.

    I was surprised the Milan had 50 series tires on it, and like you suggest, that will likely add to the cost. The good news is that the dealer I purchased from had put 4 new tires on there (plus alignment and balance). I forget the brand, but since I purchased from a Hyundai/Kia dealer, they are the same tires that come on all new Sonatas/Optimas. Add tires, new rear brakes, and an oil change in, and my $10k deal looks even nicer. Can you please tell me the model of Dunlaps you got for your Mazda? I will keep those in mind when the time comes.

    One thing I notice about the Milan is that it idles a little different than I am used to. Again, all I have to compare it against is my Accord, but it certainly idles a little louder, perhaps a bit rougher, and at a little higher RPM. This also may translate to me hearing more engine noise at highway speeds in 5th gear. Often times, while at highway speeds in 5th, it sounds like 4th gear. I am probably overstating all of this as just nit picky, but just an observation. The car feels prett tight overall. Thoughts?

    Your observation on the Accord is interesting as well. Was not aware that they may have lost their mojo after 2007. We bought our '98 with 150k miles on it, for $5k. I did it b/c it was a corporate car as well, and the company had EVERY single maintenance record. They literally took the Honda manual and did everything it said on time. That made me confident, and thus I drove another 136K. Since my wife no longer works for that company, that opportunity was no longer there, or would have bought another.

    If you are curious to see the Milan, I've posted a Google shortcut link below. Although I did not purchase via eBay, it was advertised on there, and is still up. Thanks for the thoughts. Enjoying the conversation.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    How's it going with the new-to-you Milan?

    I was going thru some of my older postings are realized that I never responded to this I figured better late than never! =)

    As for my tire recommendation, I'm very happy with my Dunlop SP Sport Signatures. Mine are V-rated (205/50-17) but they only make your size (225/50-17) with higher W & Y speed ratings. The W/Y-rated versions have no treadlife warranty, unlike my V-rated with 6yr/60k mile warranty....makes no sense.

    Your Milan had Michelin Pilot HX MXM4s from the factory. They run about $240/each, which translates into a $1000+ set of tires OTD...but there are some good alternatives that do come in your size and speed rating that I can recommend.

    They are-
    Yokohama YK520 - $150/each, V-rated, 60k warranty
    Kumho Solus KH16- $122/each, H-rated, 60k warranty

    Unfortunately, the 2.3L (a Mazda design, by the way) isn't the smoothest or quietest engine. To be fair, NOTHING can match the sewing-machine-like smoothness of any Honda 4-cylinder for the last 20 years or so. If your car is geared anything like my Mazda3, I definitely have wished for a 6th gear when I'm going 75-80mph on the highway. At 80mph in 5th gear, I'm running close to 4000rpm- it's noisy and uses more gas! =( But the benefit is that I can accelerate quickly and even pass cars without even downshifting.

    How many MPGs are you getting in the Milan? Everything still going well with it?

    BTW, I just bought a 2004 Accord LX 4-door from my mom's best friend. It has 160k miles on it, but looks new inside and out and has been perfectly maintained. She sold it to me for $3500!!! I told her it was worth about double that amount, but she insisted on it because she knew I was buying it for my step-dad. It's his Father's Day present. He has a 90-mile daily commute and drives a '92 Accord EX (330k miles on it), but it's starting to have some problems. My mom gets a new Explorer or Grand Cherokee every three years, but he's been driving the same thing for over 10 years....he deserves something newer and nicer, IMO! =)

    But I've been driving it for almost two weeks now and I don't know if I can give it up! I forgot how nice they are to drive... =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    In January I purchased an executive 2010 Milan Premier. I have put on 8000 miles since then and except for a problem with the voice command aspect of Sync, that took three attempts to fix plus a visit by an engineer from Ford, the car has been flawless.

    The engine is the 2.5L four which I believe is based on the aforementioned 2.3L. The trans is a six speed auto that can be cranky when the temp falls below 25 degrees (non-synthetic fluid) or if the car has been sitting for more than a day or two.

    I would suggest switching the engine over to a synthetic lubricant. In a few thousand miles, I will be flushing the trans and replacing the Ford trans fluid with a synthetic from Amsoil. That should help the crankiness when the trans is cold.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Ford's factory oil is Motorcraft 5W-20 synthetic blend, not conventional oil. You shouldn't need full synthetic unless you're approaching 0 degrees F or exceeding 100 regularly.
  • mlc9mlc9 Member Posts: 4
    The tires are something I'll hopefully not worry about for a while, as they put on 4 new ones prior to purchase. Since I purchased from a Kia/Hyundai dealer, they are the stock tires they put on their cars, but good enough for now (can't beat new).

    First and foremost, I am happy with the car. Comfortable ride and a fairly solid feel are a few thoughts off the top of my head. Not quite the refinement of an import, but what domestic offering is?

    You do touch on a few things that are very helpful in my first few months driving impression. In 5th gear, running 75mph, it is over 3K rpms. My 4-cylinder Accord ran under 3k rpms and was much quieter doing it. While running at this speed, the Milan SOUNDS like it's in 4th gear. Thus, your comment of noisy engine and using more gas rings true.

    Keeping highway speeds at a constant 70-75 mph, I can only get 28-29 mpg. This isn't the onboard computer figuring either, but a trustworthy iPhone app. Two different owners told me they can push 35mpg with the 4-cylinder, 5-speed. No idea how, as I'll never see that. The car is rated at 31mpg, and since that is probably under optimum conditions, I guess I am about right on. Perhaps the Premier edition takes a few mpgs off.

    My previous manual tranny was an early model Taurus SHO, and this Milan will never be confused with that performance. I knew what I was getting into with this 4-cylinder, but still a little disappointed all the way up through 4th gear. As you said, in most passing situations on interstate, though, downshifting is not necessary.

    There is also an unexplained occasional dash rattle, as though a plastic nut or something has come off (another thing that never happened on my previous 285k mile Accord)

    So, my minor complaints of noisy engine, a little less mpg than expected, and off the line power are not enough to damper my overall impression. The car truly is in immaculate condition in and out and that makes up for a lot. Here's hoping I can make it to 200k miles!

    Finally, you got a steal on that Accord for your step-dad. That car is just getting broke in. I put my '98 Accord, with 285k, on Craigslist and had it sold in less than 30 minutes. Some guy drove 4 hours that night and gave me $2350 cash. A good buy on getting that '04 model.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    We could probably go round and round when discussing motor oil but here is what I have learned.

    1. Synthetic blends are a waste. You really do not know how much synthetic oil is in the blend. It could be a few teaspoons or it could be a few ounces and it can be legally considered a blend.

    2. Since the engine is an overhead cam design, I feel a synthetic oil is mandatory for fast lubrication at start-up and also for cleanliness. The conventional part of the blend is a problem, especially as a 5W-20 oil that will breakdown under high heat/stress conditions and will start forming sludge, even with 3000 mile OCI.

    3. When I purchased mu Milan, it had been used as an executive dealer car. It had about 5300 miles on it and had had an oil change at 3000 miles and another oil change just before I purchased it. The dealer used the synthetic blend from Ford. About two weeks after I got the car, I switched to a straight synthetic (Amsoil XL 5W-20). The first thing I noticed was that the little bit of valve train clatter you could hear was gone. At 1500 miles, the oil was filthy and by 5000 miles, nearly black. I changed the oil at the 5000 mile mark and now have about 3000 miles on this change. It is dirty, but less dirty than the oil was at the 1500 mile mark of the previous change.

    4. I have been using synthetic oils in my cars since the very early 1990's and with excellent results. When I have had valve covers removed for gasket replacement, the valve train is factory new clean. No sludge or dirt anywhere. The inside of the valve cover has no varnish or any kind of deposit or coating on it. For the OHC engines I have owned, there has been no visible cam lobe marks or wear seen, even after 125,000 plus miles.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    I bought a new '93 Civic during the summer between graduating high school and starting college. In addition to a full class load and almost full-time day job, I also delivered pizza 4-5 days per week in it. Between 6/93 and 8/96, I racked up 188,000 miles on it! I started using Castrol Syntec (full synthetic) at the first oil change (which I did at 1500 miles) and at 7500 mile intervals until I hit 36k and the warranty expired. It only took about eight months to get there. From 36k, I extended the oil change intervals to every 10k.

    I sold it to the teenage boyfriend of a co-worker and he continued using Castrol Syntec and changing it at 10k intervals. I ran into him several years later and he had more than 290k miles on it and it still looked, sounded and performed like a brand new engine! =)

    In the last five years or so, I have also discovered the benefits of using Synthetic Gear Oil in a manual transmission! In particular, I use Red Line MT-90 75W90 and it makes a huge difference.
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I have used synthetic lubricants, especially in transmissions. The ones I have the most experience with are those from Chrysler. When I switched over to synthetic ATF, the transmissions shifted faster and more smoothly and cold weather had significantly less impact. In the only Mopar I had with a manual trans, I used the Red Line ATF. Big difference. Two to three upshifts and three to two downshifts had been a problem especially if you needed to do them quickly.

    I also use synthetic gear oils in differentials. Much less gear noise.
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