A redesigned Mountaineer was introduced last spring as an early 2002 model. A new, fully independent suspension improves its ride and handling, and optional third-row seating brings passenger accommodations to seven. Conveniences include optional adjustable pedals that allow short drivers to maintain a safe distance from the wheel and an audible reverse warning system.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
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.
Model Summary
A redesigned Mountaineer was introduced last spring as an early 2002 model. A new, fully independent suspension improves its ride and handling, and optional third-row seating brings passenger accommodations to seven. Conveniences include optional adjustable pedals that allow short drivers to maintain a safe distance from the wheel and an audible reverse warning system. The standard engine is an adequate-performing but coarse-sounding 4.0-liter V6; a 4.6-liter V8 is also available. Unlike the similar Ford Explorer, the Mountaineer uses a permanent all-wheel-drive system without a low range. Stability control and side-curtain air bags were recently added.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4-liter V6 (210 hp)
  • 4.6-liter V8 (239 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Mercury Mountaineer owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"A/c quit working repair cost too high relative to mileage on the car"

Anonymous, KY (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Electrical failure

"The AC won't come on. Guy said some wires had been chewed by a rodent, but couldn't fix it"

Alan R., CA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Evaporator

"Evaporator leaked had to remove dashboard to fix was costly"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Looses refrigerant must be refilled"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"A leak that required removing and reinstalling the dashboard. Took several trips to the dealer to find"

Anonymous, MI (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Because of a looming transmission problem I have not bothered to inspect the AC for the location of the leak. For now I am just doing without AC. (Although I do live in the south and summer is coming.) I am actively looking to replace this vehicle"

David C., GA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"Because of CU I knew when buying the SUV that it could have transmission problems and so it does. When replacing the trans. fluid I found goldish flakes. This is a sure sign of the TC eating itself. Also, the transmission has steel rods that slide back and forth through the aluminium transmission case. The huge difference in metal hardness causes the aluminium to wear and fluid to blow by the steel shaft. Since the worn part IS the actual transmission case the only fix is having the transmiss"

David C., GA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission and transfer case rebuilt for the second time in 3 years"

Anonymous, MN (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"No problems"

Anonymous, MT (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"had transmission rebuilt Brokek again 12 months later"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Throttle sticks open when accelerating to pass another vehicle"

Aeron G., TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Fuel pump

"Fuel pump in the tank failed suddenly leaving me stranded. The repair for this item was $500"

Mike W., TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"This is the second fuel pump I've had to replace in this vehicle. It's located in the tank and is expensive, about $500 to replace"

Mike W., TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Fuel cap

"I have a "fuel cap leak" which I've been unable to correct by replacing the fuel cap"

Mike W., TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Had to replace front left and right ball joints. Dealer Service Department said the wheels could fold in. With all related work and alignment the total cost was $1,100"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Power steering leaks

"The power steering pump is leaking fluid slowly"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"ford wheel bearing are the worst. I've replaced both rear and both front"

David C., GA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Seem to go yearly"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"The viscous coupling is bad"

Winston C., IL (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Differential

"Since new this vehicle has had differential issues. The problem was compounded by incompetent dealership maintenance until finally resolved"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"The transfer case is worn out and needs to be replaced"

Kevin M., CO (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Frozen"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Driver rear froze"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"front rotors are too small and keep warping, Went to high carbon content rotors and they have not warped in ~6k miles"

David C., GA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"valve cover gaskets leaking"

Aeron G., TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"The vehicle developed a serious oil leak stemming from the oil pan and oil sending unit"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Needed new engine seal"

Jennifer A., IL (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The interior radiator got a pin-hole leak and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

"A wheel bearing and strut was damaged and, as a result, it had to be repaired. When driving it made lots of noise"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

"Needed to be replaced. Would not pass emissions test"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Yearly"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Two areas of rust. The hood looks like crap and the passenger side rear panel"

Scott H., MN (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Rust and bubbling of paint around rear wheels"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Short in door so alarm would go off when it rained"

Glen H., NY (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

"Car has more than 200000 miles on it the transmission is wearing out"

Winston C., IL (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

"I had the water pump replaced. This car has a library of issues. I am about to get rid of it"

Elixe T., NY (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Crack down the middle of tailgate. I see this on almost every Mountaineer. Intermittent lock issues"

Scott H., MN (2002 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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