About the Mercury Mountaineer
Due to the changes made by Mercury to differentiate the Mountaineer from the Explorer, the Mercury Mountaineer was seen and priced as a more upscale SUV within the class. The interior features and comfort were higher than seen in many of its competitors and provided for enough room for a small to medium-sized family. It handled quite well, had decent ride-quality and could perform in some off-road conditions. Towards the end of its life, newer crossover SUVs performed and handled better than it did and also provided more room in the interior, which lead to a decrease in sales.Mercury Mountaineer Features
The third, and final, generation of the Mercury Mountaineer was launched for the 2006 model year. While the exterior remained almost identical to the previous generation, the rest of the vehicle was almost completely redesigned. As well as having an even more upscale interior, this Mountaineer was built on a new frame. The engine options remained the same, but both a five-speed automatic and a six-speed automatic transmission were available. The V-6 engine was coupled with the five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-8 was coupled with the six-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 engine was also modified so that it produced 292 horsepower. With this change, performance improved significantly with a slight improvement in gas mileage.
Five and seven passenger versions were available and came with either rear-drive or all-wheel-drive systems. Several trim levels were offered so that even more luxury features could be provided. It was equipped with new wheels, and a voice-controlled navigation system became a new option. Leather seats, a parking assist system, and heated seats were available in the highest trim levels. A second row of captain chairs could be chosen instead of the bench seating, which lowered the seating capacity of the seven-passenger version down to six. This generation went through several minor modifications and updates during its production run before the line was terminated in October 2010.Mercury Mountaineer Evolution
During its lifetime, there were three separate generations of the Mercury Mountaineer. The first generation was introduced two years after the Ford Explorer had been on the market and was in production from 1997 to 2001. Both vehicles were very similar, although the Mercury Mountaineer included additional features that the Ford Explorer did not. The additional features were included to make the Mercury Mountaineer the upscale model of the midsize SUV. It was launched with a five-liter, V-8 engine that had a power rating of 215 horsepower and was coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission.
In 1998, changes were made to the Mountaineer’s exterior styling to further differentiate it from the Ford Explorer. In particular, the front fascia was flipped, the headlights decreased in size, the rear hatch was changed, and the SUV was equipped with different wheels. At this time, the standard engine was changed to a four-liter, V-6 engine that produced 205 horsepower, and the transmission was changed to a five-speed automatic transmission. A four-wheel-drive system was also offered in addition to the two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive systems that was initially installed on the Mercury.
The second generation Mountaineer was completely redesigned by Ford. A four-liter, V-6 engine and a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine were available, both coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 engine produced 210 horsepower, while the V-8 provided up to 240 horsepower. The first generation was built with a suspension that was used for trucks, which made the ride quite bouncy. This was corrected with the second generation, as independent rear suspension was added to the SUV. This led to a smoother ride as well as improved handling. The second generation was also wider than the previous generation.
The exterior and the interior were also redesigned with a new grille and headlights as well as a rounder shape. Further luxury features included wood trim, power adjustable pedals as an option, a third row of seating, and a rear seat DVD player. Both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions could be driven while it was in production until 2005.