The Mercury Mountaineer used an all-wheel-drive system, with no low-range gearing for serious off-roading. When launched in 2001, the Mountaineer was a worthy competitor among midsized SUVs, but its conventional, body-on-frame design is not as refined as those of the car-based models in the class. Ride and handling are acceptable, but the vehicle has a stiffer ride and less agility than higher-rated competitors.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
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.

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.
Road Test

The Mercury Mountaineer used an all-wheel-drive system, with no low-range gearing for serious off-roading. When launched in 2001, the Mountaineer was a worthy competitor among midsized SUVs, but its conventional, body-on-frame design is not as refined as those of the car-based models in the class. Ride and handling are acceptable, but the vehicle has a stiffer ride and less agility than higher-rated competitors. The Mountaineer's V8 provides adequate power, but at the expense of 14-mpg overall fuel economy. The three-row interior is versatile, but few notable touches rationalized its price.

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 2005 Mercury Mountaineer owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"work was required shortly after purchase of a certified pre owned car. This means it was not in proper working order and should not have been certified"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"Normal aging of parts"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"Front wheel bearing began freezing up which was potentially dangerous. Noticed only slight noise and car only had 47000 miles"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Normal aging of parts"

Anonymous, PA (2005 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

Cruise control

"Worked for several years, won't respond now, so don't use it. Not worth fixing at this age"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Headlights

"Headlight switch assembly broke and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Heated or cooled seats

"Broken seat heat switch had to be replaced"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Tire pressure monitor

"All sensors went out, replaced sensor thingy, worked fine. Now tire pressure sensor is faulty, change oil soon warning comes on every day in spite of having oil changed last month. ALSO rear windows motor failed again, can't open windows"

Anonymous, MD (2005 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

"Rear hatch Trim under glass crack by Mercury emblem"

Steven C., PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"Panel on the tailgate cracked from top to bottom, right around the Mercury medallion"

John H., OH (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

"Lift gate split around Mercury emblem. They all do it and it looks bad"

Richard D., CO (2005 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

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Hood paint has hundreds of small cracks and one good chip. Rest of car shows only normal wear and tear"

Ira L., PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

"Rust around rear wheel well. Very common in this vintage Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer, and all ford trucks"

Richard D., CO (2005 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

"Consistent coil failures. Four of eight so far, each costly. Mechanic can only offer high cost solutions regarding manifold or manifold gasket. Have resisted the $800 one time cost. - Glad this isn't a V-12!"

Ira L., PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Distributor or rotor failure

"replaced crankshaft sensor"

Neil T., NY (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"This is the third transmission to be put in this vehicle. It would slip gears and not change"

Joel C., AL (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"Can no longer see display on cd/radio player"

Steven C., PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Rotors

"car was certified by Ford but was absolutely not in good working order. required major brake work and steering/suspension work very rapidly after purchase"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"HAD TO REPLACE IT"

Anonymous, NV (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

"seal around windshield is allowing water through in major rain events ... numerous attempts to repair have all failed"

Charles L., PA (2005 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

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.

Engine Minor

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Cooling

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

Drive System

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

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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