The Mountaineer is a clone of the Ford Explorer. The standard 4.0-liter V6 performs adequately but sounds somewhat coarse. The V8 is punchier. The ride is stiff compared with its car-based competition. Handling is sound and secure but doesn't stand out in the class. The versatile interior has various folding-seat arrangements and offers three-row seating.
Alerts
There are 2 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
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
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?
NA
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
The Mountaineer is a clone of the Ford Explorer. The standard 4.0-liter V6 performs adequately but sounds somewhat coarse. The V8 is punchier. The ride is stiff compared with its car-based competition. Handling is sound and secure but doesn't stand out in the class. The versatile interior has various folding-seat arrangements and offers three-row seating. Unlike the Explorer, the Mountaineer uses a permanent all-wheel-drive system without a low range. The 2006 freshening brought a new interior, but the door pull and latch are awkward to use.
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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4-liter V6 (210 hp)
  • 4.6-liter V8 (292 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2006 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

“Bad roads in Illinois caused alignment to be off by hitting pot holes that I was unable to avoid because there was too many of them on the Roads. SUV was pulling to the left unto I had the alignment redone. Three of the Torsion bars were either brok”

John B., IL (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Crunching noises from the driver's side front wheel. Had to have the bearing replaced”

James Y., WI (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

“Only car I ever needed to replace front wheel bearings. Requires a new Hub, very expensive”

Scott H., MA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

“Alignment was off a number of times because of potholes and bad bumps on Illinois highways”

John B., IL (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

“cupping”

Cherrie M., MN (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

“break wear resulted in $700 in repair”

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

“This is an AWD SUV and is used for many volunteer missions - sometimes over 'iffy' roads. I don't ride the brakes but I do not get as much mileage before the brake pads/rotors etc have to be replaced. But it does an excellent job for a big SUV on all types of terrain”

Gloria P., TN (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Master cylinder

“low brake pressure”

Dale K., TX (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-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

Seat controls - movement

“Third row seat does not fully store. staying up about 5 inches”

Timothy O., AZ (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

“one of the third seats will not go up or down when the appropriate button is pushed”

Anonymous, GA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“I've explained my problem in the previous section”

Pam V., CA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

“Hole in exhaust pipe”

Gigi J., NY (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)
Exhaust manifold

“Manifold Studs have broken on both the driver and passenger side. This should have been a re-call”

John D., CO (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)
Muffler

“Only muffler replacement at 104,000 miles”

Dana T., NY (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Radiator

“leak, had to be replaced”

Timothy O., AZ (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)
Overheating

“The Heater Hose developed a leak and had top be replaced”

Dana T., NY (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“control unit was defective and required replacement”

Anonymous, NJ (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Transmission was slipping and was replaced with a rebuilt one. Turned out it was the casing and not the transmission that had the leak causing slippage”

Anonymous, TX (2006 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

Automatic climate control

“electronic module failed”

Anonymous, GA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-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.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“Vapor recovery system not working. Unable to fuel car except extremely slow. All parts are located on top of Gas tank. Requires removal of tank to repair. Minimum cost is 700 just to drop tank and investigate. Stupid, Vapor recovery system used to be”

Scott H., MA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

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

Interior lights

“Overhead light in front of vehicle cannot easily have lights changed. been quoted nearly $600 to change them”

Daryl L., OH (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-L V8)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“The engine keeps blowing cylinder coils”

Daryl L., OH (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-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)

“The Tailgate plastic body trim at the base of the glass on the tailgate had split and cracked around emblem in the center where it's glued to glass when the car was 4 years old and the warranty didn't cover it. I was told by the body shop it is a com”

Pam V., CA (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-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

“Multiple coils failed in 60 day period”

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.6-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.

Body Integrity

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

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.

Engine Minor

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

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