Although the redesigned Explorer had already been out for two years, Mercury introduced an Explorer twin called the Mountaineer. The Mountaineer was only slightly different from the Explorer, although it did offer a few extra luxury features that the Explorer lacked, such as a standard 302 cu in (5.0 L) 215 hp Windsor V8. First year sales for the Mountaineer did not meet Mercury's expectations. For 1998, so customers could differentiate the Mountaineer from the Explorer, the front fascia was flipped upside down, and the headlights were made smaller, while it got a new rear hatch and unique wheels. The new overhead-cam 4.0 L 205 hp Cologne V6 with a 5-speed 5R55E automatic
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...
was now the standard powerplant. Mountaineer sales sped up because of this, though they still lagged behind the Explorer.
Firestone Tire and Rollover Controversy
In 2000 the Firestone vs Ford Motor Company controversy arose after a large number of rollover accidents began to occur involving Explorers and Mountaineers. Ford blamed Firestone's faulty tires, which had tread separation problems, while Firestone blamed Ford, claiming that the Explorer and Mountaineer were inherently unsafe. The case was settled.
Car and Driver
Car and Driver is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.31 million. It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011...
proved that a large amount of the rollovers were caused by poor techniques of drivers overreacting to the tire blow out.http://www.caranddriver.com/features/01q1/why_are_ford_explorers_crashing_-column
Their test driver deemed the vehicle so inherently stable that he drove "no hands" during one of their 70 mph tread separation simulations.http://www.caranddriver.com/features/01q1/why_are_ford_explorers_crashing_-column/why_are_ford_explorers_crashing_3f_page_2
Second generation (2002–2005)
For 2002, Ford redesigned the Explorer and Mountaineer. This Mountaineer was new from the ground up, offering even more luxury features than the last generation. This Mountaineer offered features like woodgrain trim, rear radio deck, and a rear-seat TV/DVD player. Sales sped up drastically with the introduction of this generation, and it was a look ahead at the entire revamp of the Mercury line, to offer more luxurious looks and features. Some design cues found on this Mountaineer, like the waterfall grille and barred taillights, would go on to form Mercury's new signature look, which would appear on all its models. Mercury Mountaineer has enjoyed one of the highest owner loyalty ratings of any SUV.
Third generation (2006–2010)
For 2006, the Mountaineer was heavily redesigned on all but the virtually untouched exterior. The Mountaineer was mounted on a heavily revised frame, and it offered a more upscale interior, to make up for the cut Lincoln Aviator
The Lincoln Aviator was a mid-size sport utility vehicle produced by the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln luxury division. It was introduced in 2002, and production ended in 2005. The Aviator was built exclusively at Ford's St. Louis Assembly plant in Hazelwood, Missouri...
. This Mountaineer got new wheels and a DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....
based navigation system
A navigation system is a system that aids is navigation. Navigation systems may be entirely on board a vehicle or vessel, or they may be located elsewhere and communicate via radio or other signals with a vehicle or vessel, or they may use a combination of these methods.Navigation systems may be...
with voice control, a feature not found on previous Mountaineers. In 2008, the Mountaineer was added with side curtain airbags, while the "MOUNTAINEER" badging was officially dropped from the front doors. In 2009, the Mountaineer got trailer sway control standard and the navigation system got traffic flow monitoring and gas prices updated from nearby stations. In 2010, it added Ford's MyKey as a standard on all trims.
This was the final generation of the Mountaineer. Production ended on October 1, 2010, as it was discontinued with the rest of the Mercury brand.
Firestone tire controversy
In May 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation...
(NHTSA) contacted Ford and Firestone
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company...
about the high incidence of tire failure on Mercury Mountaineers, Ford Explorers, and Mazda Navajos fitted with Firestone tires. Ford investigated and found that several models of 15-inch (381 mm) Firestone tires (ATX
, ATX II
, and Wilderness AT
) had very high failure rates, especially those made at Firestone's Decatur, Illinois
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500,...
- Class Exclusive Roll Stability Control (RSC) System.
- Consumers Digest
Founded in 1960 and published by Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, Consumers Digest is an American magazine. The magazine is a horizontal-based consumer products review periodical. Commentary and editorial features are published as well. This includes items of consumer interest, new products,...
Best Buy for 2006 and 2007.
| Calendar Year
|| American sales