The 2001 Mercury Mountaineer serves as a slightly more luxurious version of the Ford Explorer. As identical twins, one gets adopted by a wealthier family than the other.
Both engine choices give you plenty of power, so you don't have to worry about that. You can also feel confident because the Mountaineer performs reliably.
Even with those positive attributes, few recommend the 2001 Mountaineer. Families should feel nervous about buying an SUV that only earns two stars in tip-over tests. Even if you don’t particularly care about this safety aspect, you still have to wonder how it makes sense to spend more money on the Mountaineer when you could get an Explorer for less. If you really care that much about luxury features, then the market offers far superior SUVs for you to consider.
This marks the last year for the first generation Mountaineer. It has grown dated. It needs a significant redesign if it wants to continue attracting buyers. While this version doesn't get a hefty recommendation, keep an eye on next year's release to see what it offers.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 5.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Mountaineer
The 2001 Mercury Mountaineer has a new tether anchor for child safety seats. Other than that, it remains the same as last year's model. Mercury promises a major overhaul in 2002.
From the outside, few people can tell the difference between a Mountaineer and an Explorer. Then again, we doubt that anyone buys the 2001 Mercury Mountaineer to display his wealth or extreme level of cool. It has a solid build that inspires confidence, but it doesn’t exactly offer cutting-edge aesthetics. In fact, the Mountaineer has maintained a similar look for quite some time. It needs a serious facelift, which Mercury has promises will happen soon.
If you opt for the Premier or Monterey package, then you get a little more exterior styling. The Monterey package adds chrome wheels and a two-tone paint job. The Premier package gives you a different grille, a license plate shield, running boards, and body-side moldings.
As an upscale version of the Explorer, you would expect to find a lot of luxury features in the 2001 Mercury Mountaineer. Depending on your expectations, you could get more (or less) than you want. The Mountaineer offers some excellent interior features, such as a leather steering wheel, dual illuminating vanity mirrors, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and air-conditioning.
The interior, in other words, looks nice, but it offers nothing compared to luxury-packed SUVs. Those vehicles, however, tend to cost considerably more than the Mountaineer.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Mercury Mountaineer comes with one of two engines. Whether you choose the 4.0-liter V-6 or the 5.0-liter V-8, you won't get a noticeably different number of ponies under the hood. The V-6 offers 210 hp. The V-8 offers 215 hp. The V-8 does, however, produce considerably more lb-ft of torque. If you want a more powerful engine that can get up and go quickly, then opt for the V-8.
The Mountaineer's handling seems a little underwhelming. The steering feels slightly sluggish, almost like the SUV second-guesses every turn and adjustment that you make. Feeling the body lean on tight curves also seems a little frightening.
The brakes, however, prove excellent. The 2001 Mercury Mountaineer can stop as well as any other SUV in its class. However, anti-gravity brakes do not come standard or as an option, so stopping it from tipping over presents a new challenge.
The 2001 Mercury Mountaineer comes with several safety features that attract buyers, but it also has some problems that make buyers wary. Drivers appreciate the Mountaineer's four-wheel ABS, electronic brake force distribution, child seat anchors, and engine immobilizer (side and curtain airbags remain optional). They even like the ""Acceptable"" (actually quite a good) rating that the IIHS gives the Mountaineer for performance in its frontal-offset tests. The concern comes from tests performed by the NHTSA, which gives it a two-star rating for rollovers. That doesn’t put anyone's mind at ease, especially when taking sharp turns.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercury Mountaineer: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Plenty of power from the V-6 and V-8
- Good features
- Four-wheel drive
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy with V-8
- Might as well get an Explorer
A slightly more upscale version of the Explorer, but it feels a bit outdated and needs a revision.
If You Like This Vehicle