The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer comes in one body configuration: a four-door, midsize sport utility vehicle. Drivers have a choice of a five-, six-, or seven-passenger interior layout. A V-6 provides the standard engine option, but the 2006 model offers a new, more powerful V-8 as well. Buyers have a choice between rear drive and all-wheel drive.
The 2006 Mountaineer comes in three trims: Convenience, Luxury, and Premier.
The Convenience trim level employs a V-6 engine and only offers the five-passenger interior. The Luxury level also comes with the V-6 standard, but the more powerful 4.6-liter V-8 provides a second option. The V-8 engine comes standard in the Premier model.
The Mercury Mountaineer debuted in 1997 as a higher-end version of the Ford Explorer with a sleeker-looking exterior and a more upscale interior design. The midsize sport utility vehicle received a redesign in 2002 with a wider stance, independent rear suspension, and the option of a powerful 4.6-liter V-8 engine. Mercury added optional stability control in 2004 and made it standard in 2005. The 2006 model receives another safety boost, with side curtain airbags standard in all trims.
Body styles: midsize four-door sport utility vehicle
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Mountaineer Convenience, Mercury Mountaineer Luxury, Mercury Mountaineer Premier
The Mercury Mountaineer features a number of significant improvements for 2006. The exterior features a bolder grille treatment, a new tailgate, and more attractive taillights. On the inside, additional sound insulation results in a supremely quiet cabin. A stiffened frame and new shocks provide a smoother ride and better handling. Front-seat side airbags, AdvanceTrac stability control, and Roll Stability Control come standard on all Mountaineers. A navigation system and a power-operated third-row seat comprise the new options.
The exterior styling of the 2006 Mercury Mountaineer shows little change from 2005. Although it has a sleek look, the exterior of the Mountaineer still tends toward resort-style sleek rather than offroad and sporty. The trademark waterfall grille returns for 2006 but without the thin border featured on the 2005 model. The headlights feature a quirky mix of curved lines and sharp angles. The wheelbase measures slightly longer than the 2005 model, while the overall length has grown by two inches. Standard wheels measure 17 inches, while 18-inch wheels offer an optional upgrade. A two-piece liftgate with the glass hinged separately allows the loading of smaller items through the window.
On the other hand, the interior of the 2006 Mountaineer differs greatly from the 2005. Mercury pars down the instruments to the essentials, eliminating the oil pressure and voltage readouts featured in earlier models. The trimmed down gadgets are organized in a recessed pod surrounded by a satin-finish, metallic ring for a less over-crowded arrangement. The stereo and climate controls in the center stack have been updated to accommodate the screen for an optional navigation system.
Overall, the cabin offers quite a bit of space, especially in the third row, which has a tendency to be cramped in comparable sport utility vehicles. The second-row seats fold flat and tumble forward for easy access to the back row.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer contains a standard 4.0-liter V-6, which provides 210 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. The optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine produces 292 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission comes standard with the V-6, while the V-8 pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. Either engine comes with the choice of rear drive or all-wheel drive. Depending on the equipment package, the Mercury Mountaineer can tow up to 7300 pounds.
Four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes and a tire-pressure monitor come standard on all models, along with the AdvanceTrac stability control system and Roll Stability Control (RSC). RSC uses a gyro sensor to calculate the vehicle’s roll speed and angle. If the system determines a rollover is imminent, AdvanceTrac takes corrective action to help avoid it. A reverse sensing system and Safety Canopy System with first- and second-row side curtain airbags come standard on the Premier model and as an option on the Convenience and Luxury models. This system also features a rollover sensor that keeps the airbags inflated longer in the event of a rollover.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercury Mountaineer: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Powerful V-8 option
- Comfortable cabin
- Standard RSC
You Won't Like
- Low resale value
- Poor fuel economy
Stylish and safe, provides a good choice for families.
If You Like This Vehicle
- 2006 Ford Explorer
- 2007 Mercury Mariner
- 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe