Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,000 – $21,500*


2006 Mercury Mountaineer


2006 Mercury Mountaineer


2006 Mercury Mountaineer


2006 Mercury Mountaineer

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room and comfort
Cons:
  • Control layout
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling
  • Visibility

Mountaineer and its Ford Explorer sibling are highly competent overall performers with an outstanding array of available features, including V8 power, seven-passenger seating, and a power-folding third-row seat. Standard and optional safety features also appeal. Their truck-type chassis serves trailering needs without giving up much refinement to lighter-duty midsize SUVs with car-type construction. Mountaineers provide nothing of consequence beyond similarly-equipped Explorers, making the Ford version our Recommended pick for its broader range of model choices. Still, both are solid choices. So-so resale values translate to fairly moderate secondhand prices.

Overview

Mercury’s upscale version of the Ford Explorer got more V8 power, fresh styling, and an available navigation system for 2006. Offered with rear-drive or all-wheel drive, the midsize Mountaineer SUV came in Convenience, Luxury, and Premier trim.

Standard on Luxury and Premier models, and available for the Convenience version, was a split folding third-row seat for seven-passenger capacity, with a power-folding feature newly available. The second row had a 60/40 split bench with available reclining seatbacks.

Two engines were offered: a 210-horsepower V6, and a V8 with 292 horsepower (up 53 over the 2005 model’s V8). The V6 teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission, the V8 with a new six-speed automatic. Both engines worked with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, which was usable on dry pavement and had low-range gearing.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were standard. So was Ford’s AdvanceTrac antiskid system, with Roll Stability Control, which was designed to detect an impending tipover and activate the antiskid system to counteract that occurrence. Front side airbags were newly standard for 2006. Optional head-protecting curtain side airbags covered the first and second seat rows, and were designed to deploy in side impacts and rollovers.

All models had 17-inch alloy wheels; 18-inchers were optional. Also available: second-row bucket seats, rear DVD entertainment, power-adjustable pedals, power in/out running boards, rear obstacle detection, and a navigation system. Satellite radio was a dealer-installed option. Mountaineers competed against the Dodge Durango and Toyota Highlander, as well as the closely related Ford Explorer.

Yearly Updates

2007 Mountaineer
Mercury fielded a slimmed-down model lineup for 2007, dropping the entry-level Convenience model as well as the midrange Luxury edition. Base and Premier models had a standard 210-horsepower V6, but only Premiers could get the 292-horsepower V8 engine. Curtain side airbags with rollover deployment, which protected the first and second rows of seat, were standard on all models. A heated windshield joined the options list.
2008 Mountaineer
Newly available on the Mountaineer for 2008 was Ford’s Sync voice-activated control for cell phones and MP3 players. Also new was Ford’s “capless” fuel filling system, which allowed the vehicle to be filled without having to remove a gas cap.
2009 Mountaineer
Satellite radio was now standard on Premier models, and traffic information was newly available with the Navigation and Moon and Tune Package.
2010 Mountaineer
The 2010 Mercury Mountaineer was largely unchanged for what would be its final model year.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Mountaineer powertrain choices duplicated those of the Ford Explorer: namely, a 210-horsepower V6, or a V8 that delivered 292 horsepower. The V6 teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission, the V8 with a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive with low-range gearing was available with either engine.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/245
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 254
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

15/20

ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 292
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

14/20

15.4

Road Test

In most categories, Mountaineers perform much like their Ford Explorer counterparts. For performance, a Mountaineer or Explorer V8 is the answer. V8 models offer ample power for most any situation. The V8’s six-speed automatic shifts smoothly, but while part-throttle downshifts occur quickly, full-throttle downshifts take longer. A test 2WD Ford Explorer accelerated to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. Ford said V6 models could accelerate to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds, which is acceptable for the class. Maximum towing capacity is 7300 pounds.

Fuel economy sets no records. A test AWD Mountaineer Premier V8 averaged 15.4 mpg. With 2WD, a test V8 Ford Explorer Limited averaged 15.1 mpg; with 4WD, 15.0 mpg. Both V6 and V8 models use regular-grade fuel.

Ride quality ranks among the best of truck-type SUVs. Suspensions are compliant, even with optional 18-inch wheels, and devoid of sloppy motions. Some testers believe Mountaineers suffer undue impact harshness and body oscillations over low-speed bumps.

Steering and handling are typical of truck-type SUVs. Expect some body lean in turns, plus delayed reaction in quick directional changes. The AdvanceTrac antiskid system and Roll Stability Control are laudable features, designed to help prevent sideways skids and rollovers. Smooth, light steering is responsive and accurate, but delivers little road feel. Good brake-pedal feel is the rule, with no undue nosedive in quick stops.

Mountaineers and Explorers are among the quieter SUVs. Wind and road noise are well muffled; so is noise over bumps. Engines intrude only under full throttle.

Explorer and Mountaineer cabin designs differ mainly in trim appearance. Both have large, clear primary gauges, but the dashboard angle puts the radio high, just out of easy reach. Climate controls are easily accessed but mounted low, and rotary dials would be better than the automatic system’s buttons. The transmission’s shift lever blocks easy access to climate controls. Turn-signal stalks are mounted at an awkward angle. Rear climate controls are set into the ceiling, making them difficult to read. Cabin materials are of good quality, mostly solid feeling, despite presence of many hard plastic surfaces.

Front occupants enjoy plenty of room on comfortable seats, but some may find that door armrests block the pull handles underneath. Entry/exit is impeded by fairly high step-in. Outward visibility is hindered by thick roof pillars, but second- and third-row headrests fold to reduce obstructions. The available rear-obstacle-detection system adds a measure of safety when backing up. Three adults can squeeze across in the roomy second row, taking advantage of generous headroom. Legroom grows tight only with front seats fully aft, and toe room is restricted. The third-row seat cushion is low to the floor and pancake-flat, and the floor shape obstructs foot room, but headroom is expansive and leg space surprisingly good. Second-row seats tip forward in a single, easy motion with relatively little effort, but access to the third row is still for the young and/or limber. Available power running boards deploy automatically as the door opens, but don’t extend far enough to be as useful as they could be.

Separate-opening hatch glass is handy, but the hatch itself is weighty to open or close. Second- and third-row seats fold nearly flat for ample cargo room, but leave gaps large enough for smaller items to fall through. The optional power-folding third row is a real convenience. Aside from the large console box, interior storage is meager.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2007 Mercury Mountaineer

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 60

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.7 193.5 73.5 72.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
83.7 22.5 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 38.7 42.4 36.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Mountaineer 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: When coming to a slow stop, the 6R60 automatic transmission may cause a bump and when accelerating may hesitate or may hesitate when shifted into gear requiring deletion of the transmission control module learned info and then relearning it. (2007-08)
Brakes
Description: The brakes may drag and overheat because either the brake pedal is adjusted all the way up and contacting the wiring harness or because of a defective brake switch that must be replaced. (2006)
Brakes
Description: The brake pedal may feel soft or mushy and if bleeding the system does not help, the brake pedal assembly must be replaced. (2006-08)
Coolant leak
Description: Coolant leaks may occur on the heater hoses on both 4.0L and 4.6L engines requiring redundant or replacement hose clamps. (2006)
Engine noise
Description: Moaning sound from under the hood caused by air cleaner outlet pipe on 4.6L engine and improved part is available. (2006)
Fuel gauge
Description: When refueling, the nozzle may repeatedly click off or filling will slow down, especially in freezing weather, due to a problem with the fuel tank vent tube. (2006-08)
Starter
Description: The starter may not run due to a broken wire between the starter relay and the starter motor. (2006-07)
Steering noise
Description: Pops and clunks from the steering column, especially during slow speed turns, require replacement of the steering column intermediate shaft. (2006-07)
Traction control indicator light
Description: ABS and TRAC (traction control) lights may illuminate due to faulty ABS control module. (2006)
Transmission problems
Description: The shifter may not come out of park and require use of the manual override due to grease getting on the shift lockout switch. (2006-07)
Transmission problems
Description: Hesitation when accelerating from a stop and a harsh bump when coming to a stop require reprogramming both the powertrain computer and the transmission control module on vehicles with the 6R60 transmission (2006-08)

Recall History

2006
Description: Windshield wiper motor may have been produced without grease applied to output shaft gear; after continuous use at high speed, gear could distort or fracture, resulting in loss of wiper function.
2008 Mountaineer with 4.6-liter V8 engine and 6R transmission
Description: A loose bolt may cause the transmission oil cooler line to leak. If leaking transmission fluid contacts the catalytic converter, it increases risk of fire. Dealers will inspect and have the transmission cooler line attachment bolt tightened.
2010 vehicles manufactured between December 15, 2009 and February 3, 2010 equipped with front seat manual recliners
Description: The recliner gear plate teeth may be out of dimension specification, which could result in limited pawl to gear plate tooth engagement. In the event of a crash, the seatback and head restraint may move rearward, increasing the risk of injury. Dealers will replace the manual recliners for both power and manual seats free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.