ABS standard. Side air bags available 1999-2001, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags available from 2002, standard from 2007. ESC available in 2004, standard from 2005.
Although the Mercury Mountaineer and similar Ford Explorer are getting long in the tooth, both are still competitive. Both SUVs are roomy, and cargo space is especially generous when the rear seat is folded. The Mountaineer is slightly more luxurious. Handling is sound, with good steering feel, and the brakes are competent. But the ride is stiff and choppy on bumpy roads and jiggly even on smooth roads. Skip the thirsty pushrod V8 and opt for the overhead-camshaft V6, which is equipped with a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic.