The Mercury Mountaineer is a truck-based SUV in a crossover market. For the Mountaineer to be successful, it requires something special. Although the Mercury Mountaineer has a lot of nice features, such as two engines to choose from, sync technology, great towing capacity, lots of room and other great standard features, the Mercury Mountaineer is lagging behind the competition. Bad fuel economy, some cheap interior materials, an underwhelming V-8 engine, and other faults will likely push most consumers towards the competition.
Body Styles: midsize SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic transmission
Models: Mercury Mountaineer Base, Mercury Mountaineer Premier
The 2008 Mercury Mountaineer receives a lot of new standard features and package changes in the 2008 model year. The base model no longer has leather interiors and dual-climate control as standard features. The Premier model loses the power folding third-row seats, parking assist and front seat memory. All of these items are now optional. The Mercury Sync system that pairs electronic devices with the car’s system is available later in the 2008 model year. Twenty-inch wheels and a cap-less fuel filler are available later in the 2008 model year as well.
The Mercury Mountaineer is a four-door midsize SUV. This is a truck-size SUV and looks like it; there's nothing that sets it apart from the rest of the competition. Standard features on the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer include 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, rear defogger, intermittent rear wipe, roof rack, power mirrors, heated mirrors, trailer hitch, and trailer wiring. The Premier edition includes power running boards, rear parking assist, and option moon roof.
The Mercury Mountaineer offers the same two-tone interior that many of the Mercury models do in the 2008 model year. The Mercury Mountaineer offers a lot of room for passengers, which seats up to seven, depending on if an optional third seat is available. The third-row seating is only suitable for short trips with adult passengers due to the limited legroom. A third row seat cuts down on the cargo space, limiting carrying room from 83.7 to 85.8 cubic feet.
Standard interior features on the Base model include a six-way driver and passenger seat, cruise control, power accessories, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, steering wheel mounted controls, CD player, and auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include a third row seat with a 50/50 split, 10-way driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and leather upholstery. The Mercury Mountaineer Premier trim line includes the third seat as standard, as well as optional heated front seats, navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment, sunroof, in-dash six-disc CD changer, satellite radio, second-row captain’s chairs, and 20-inch wheels for the later 2008 models.
Performance & Handling
The Mercury Mountaineer offers two engine types. The 4.0-liter V-6 produces 210 horsepower with 254 lb-ft of torque. The Premier trim line has an optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine that produces 292 horsepower with 300 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 engine has a standard five-speed automatic, while the V-8 comes with a six-speed automatic. Both vehicles have optional rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive options. The Mercury Mountaineer has a lot of towing power. A properly equipped vehicle can tug about 7220 pounds. A towing option package is available for the Mercury Mountaineer that gives it extra towing capabilities.
The all-wheel-drive V-8 can go zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which isn't bad for such a large vehicle. The fuel economy on the Mercury Mountaineer is pretty miserable, losing out to most SUVs on the market. The Mercury Mountaineer as softer suspension, giving it a better feel when on the road than when off-road. The four-wheel independent suspension keeps the ride from feeling too rough when going over large holes, however. The ride is quiet and comfortable. Unfortunately, the Mercury Mountaineer drives more like a truck than anything else. There are plenty of other options on the market that feel a lot better than the Mercury Mountaineer.
The Mercury Mountaineer comes equipped with anti-lock disc brakes, stability control system and a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, first and second-row curtain airbags, but none for the third row, putting the Mercury Mountaineer behind the times. The NHTSA gave the Mercury Mountaineer five-star ratings for front and side-impact collisions, a perfect score.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercury Mountaineer: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- A smooth and comfortable ride
- Great handling
- Plenty of riding room for all three rows
- Plenty of safety features
You Won't Like
- Scary braking
- V-8 has underwhelming power in comparison to the competition
- No dual-range four-wheel drive option
- Cheap interior materials
Only appeals to those on a budget.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Jeep Commander
- Nissan Pathfinder