The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer is a seven-passenger sport utility vehicle (SUV) that debuted as a luxury-version twin of the Ford Explorer. The Mountaineer worked in this capacity until Ford began supplying the Explorer with luxury features of its own, causing the Mountaineer to find its own identity. It was redesigned in 2002 to upgrade handling, ride comfort, and passenger room. The third-row passenger seat is optional; deleting the seat from the list makes this SUV a five-passenger car. It’s powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 engine flex-fuel standard with a five-speed automatic transmission and rear drive. All-wheel drive (AWD) and a more powerful 4.6-liter V-8 engine are optional.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Mountaineer
The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer was redesigned from the inside out. The wheelbase is 2.5 inches wider for better handling and more roominess. The suspension was retuned for better ride and handling. Other new additions include a third-row bench seat, standard six-way power driver seat, and optional adjustable pedals. Ford also enlarged the door openings and lowered the step-in height for easier entry and exit.
The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer is available only in the base trim, but it has a lot of standard features. The exterior standard features includes 16-inch alloy wheels, remote power door locks, power windows, chrome grille, heated exterior power mirrors, remote power locks, privacy glass, rear defogger, rear lift-gate door with a manual flip-up window, roof rack, and front fog lights. It also includes intermittent front and rear windshield wipers. Consumers can also get an optional power moonroof.
The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer has an impressive presence with the large grille with vertical slats and large headlights. Equipped with the V-6 engine, it has a towing capacity of 5700 pounds and with the V-8 it is increased to 7300 pounds. The taillights are covered with faux aluminum protectors, which upon closer inspection will reveal that the material is actually plastic. The large hatch glass opens independently of the lift-gate door, and it reveals an opening that extends low into the tailgate for easier loading.
Standard features for the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer include cloth upholstery, heated front bucket seats with manual lumbar adjustments, six-way power driver’s seat with height adjustments, split-folding second-row bench seat, folding third-row bench seat, power steering, tilt steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls and leather trim, alloy trim on dashboard and doors, air-conditioning, trip computer, in-dash AM/FM/CD stereo system, and cruise control. The dashboard holds a clear and well-lit instrumentation panel. The controls are easy to reach and operate. The seats are roomy and comfortable. Even with the wider-opening doors, the high step-in makes entry/exit difficult, even with the available running boards. The second-row has good head and legroom, but the third-row seat is not wide enough to seat three adults comfortably and has meager legroom. The second-row seat tilts forward to assist with ingress and egress, but the release latch is not easy to operate.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer is equipped with a standard 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 210 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. It is mated with a five-speed automatic transmission and rear-drive. For more power, you can get the optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine that make 240 horsepower. Consumers can also get the optional all-wheel drive. The V-8 offers lots of power, but fuel economy is not that good. Ford created it to use flex-fuel to help with fuel consumption. It feels stable in hard cornering. The cabin is quiet thanks to a 50-percent reduction in air leakage from the interior and a refined automatic transmission. The four-wheel drive creates a vibration that does not seep through the floor. Both engines have modest acceleration and build speed quickly. The body feels solid and the suspension produces a good ride. The steering is responsive but nothing spectacular.
The 2002 Mercury Mountaineer is equipped with four-wheel anti-locking braking system (ABS), child seat anchors, remote anti-theft alarm system, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, engine immobilizer, and electronic Brake force distribution. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave five stars for front passenger frontal-impact, side front, and side rear crash protection. It also got four stars for driver frontal-impact protection and two stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave a ""good"" rating for frontal-offset crash test results.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercury Mountaineer Base: 14/19 mpg city/highway
- Third-row seat
- Good independent rear suspension
- Powerful V-6 and V-8 engines
- Lots of standard convenience features
- Attractive new design
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Taillight covers are fragile and unnecessary
- No antiskid control available
Hard to justify the higher price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Highlander
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- Ford Explorer
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