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2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

4dr Luxury w/4.6L *Ltd Avail*

Starting at | Starting at 15 MPG City - 21 MPG Highway

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  • $32,350 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

Printable Version

2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

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2006 Mercury Mountaineer

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Mercury Mountaineer has been updated for 2006 and much of what's new is promising. The revised and redesigned frame and suspension of the 2006 models bode well for improved ride and handling. A new, more powerful V8 and an even newer, six-speed automatic boldly suggest quicker response and smoother cruising. A heavily reworked interior ought to mean advanced user-friendliness.

One element that hasn't changed much is the exterior styling. This could be good, too, as it ensures retained value in new Mountaineers as well as those already on the road. Though attractive, the styling is not terribly exciting, however, tending more toward country-club sleek than off-road robust. And after four years, what once looked fresh and new doesn't any more. Minor tweaks here and there let cognoscenti distinguish last year's from this year's but the differences will slip right by most folks on Main Street, U.S.A.

The Mercury Mountaineer is, of course, a higher-end, paternal twin of the Ford Explorer. This is both good and bad. Overall, the Explorer is a superb product, but some of what isn't executed so well in the Ford version is shared with the pricier Mercury.

The interior door handles, for example, are so awkwardly configured that they immediately come up in conversations about these vehicles, and Mercury has already announced plans to redesign them. It's not all bad news for the 2006 Mountaineer cabin, however. In fact, there is much to love here. The dash is trimmer, more elegant, and it communicates essential information cleanly. Multi-adjustable front seats make for comfortable commutes. Passengers consigned to the third-row seats enjoy more legroom than their counterparts in other, seven-passenger SUVs in the class.

As for the mechanicals, everything works fine. The V6 returns essentially unchanged, although earning an extra mile per gallon in city and highway driving in the all-wheel-drive configuration according to government (EPA) estimates. The new V8 loses a mile or two per gallon in the rear-wheel-drive Mountaineer, but gains a couple miles per gallon in the all-wheel-drive package. This suggests the AWD versions are even more compelling than last year's.

Model Lineup

The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer comes in one body configuration, a four-door, mid-size sport utility, but with three interior layouts, a five-passenger, a six-passenger or a seven-passenger. Two powertrains are available: a 210-horsepower V6 and five-speed automatic transmission carried forward from 2005 and a 292-hp V8 new for 2006 with six-speed automatic also new for 2006. Buyers have a choice between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive ($2200). Three trim levels are available, Convenience, Luxury, and Premier.

The Convenience trim level ($29,150) comes with the V6 and is available only as a five-passenger. Standard features include air conditioning; leather-trimmed, Sport bucket seats with a 10-way, power driver seat (premium cloth with a six-way, power driver's seat is a no-cost option); leather-wrapped, tilt steering wheel; AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo; cruise control; power windows, outside mirrors and keyless remote central locking; Class II towing package; P245/65R17, all-terrain, BSW tires on machined aluminum wheels; auto on/off headlights; and rear cargo management system. Options include the third-row, 50/50 split bench seat ($845); auxiliary climate control for the second-row seats ($650); adjustable pedals ($120); power moonroof ($850); roof rail crossbars ($60); fixed, color-keyed running boards ($465); Class III towing package ($150); Sirius Satellite Radio ($195); a higher-numerical 3.73:1 rear-axle ratio ($50); and special, cashmere, tri-coat body paint ($275).

The Luxury level ($31,150) also comes with the V6. Standard features over and above what's on the Convenience include 60/40 split, second-row seats with fold-flat third-row seats; automatic, dual-zone climate control; Audiophile stereo with in-dash, six-CD changer; leather-wrapped, tilt steering wheel with redundant audio, cruise and climate controls; heated, power outside mirrors; auto-dim inside rearview mirror; electronic information center; and fixed, color-keyed running boards. The third row may be deleted ($375 credit). Optional are second-row bucket seats that make it a six-passenger ($490); power third-row seats that fold flat ($495); heated, leather-trimmed front bucket seats ($395); adjustable pedals ($120); a memory feature ($225); a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an overhead LCD screen ($1295); power running boards ($695); a navigation package incorporating the Audiophile stereo ($1995); and P235/65R18 all-season, BSW tires on machined-aluminum wheels ($295).

The Premier model comes with the V8. In addition to the features on the Convenience and Luxury models, the Premier comes with the power 50/50 split fold-flat third-row seats; auxiliary climate controls for the rear passengers; the Audiophile stereo; a six-way power driver's seat and four-way power front passenger seat; heated front seats; programmable remote garage opener; and satin-finish aluminum roof rails. Options unique to the Premier are a combination navigation and moonroof package ($1995); satin-finish aluminum 18-inch wheels with full-size spare ($595); and satin-finish aluminum roof rail crossbars ($60).

Safety features fitted on all Mountaineers at no extra charge include dual-stage front airbags, electronic stability control with rollover sensors, antilock brakes with brake assist, LATCH child safety seat anchors, and a tire-pressure monitor. Optional on Convenience and Luxury ($795) and standard on Premier is a Security group, with reverse sensing system and side curtain airbags for front and second-row seats. We recommend getting them. Wear those seatbelts because they're your first line of defense in an accident.

Walkaround

In every measure, be it by the tape or visually, the distinctions between the 2006 Mountaineer and 2005 Mountaineer are modest. So if you buy a 2006, don't count on your neighbors rushing over to check out the newest on the block.

For 2006, the trademark waterfall grille returns, only sans the thin border, with free-standing, vertical bars and a robust Mercury emblem front and center. Headlights are unchanged, an offbeat mix of curving lines and sharp angles. The front bumper holds rectangular fog lamps, a sectioned lower air intake and, new for 2006, a satin-finish, aluminum cross bar running the width of the grille. Fenders wear the same, edgy, machined-metal look.

Side view changes only in dimensions, with the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) shrinking by 0.1 inch from the '05, and overall length (measured bumper to bumper) growing more than two inches. Cladding covers the lower door panels. A wide C-pillar separates the rear side doors from the rear quarter windows. Mercury redesigned the side mirrors for better aerodynamics. The optional powered running board tucks away beneath the rocker panel, extending only when the doors are open. The tires don't change in diameter but the sidewalls are shorter and the diameter of the wheels is larger: The standard 17-inch and optional 18-inch wheels replace the '05's 16-inch and 17-inch wheels respectively.

The liftgate is two-piece, with the glass hinged separately. This lets you load groceries through the window, which is useful.

The taillights wear clear lenses, with the requisite red glow appearing when brakes are applied or running lights turned on.

Interior Features

While the 2006 Mountaineer's exterior may be deja vu, the interior is anything but, right down to the deletion of the embroidered Mercury crest in the top-most element of the leather-trimmed seatbacks. And although some of the changes are for the better, a couple are so counter-intuitive that the carmaker has already announced plans to redo them.

Instruments have been pared down to the essentials (gone are oil pressure and voltage readouts, leaving speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant) and re-organized within a recessed pod surrounded by a satin-finish, metallic ring. It's a less-busy arrangement, but given the Mountaineer's workhorse capabilities, as evidenced by the V8 AWD's three-ton tow rating, we miss the omitted gauges. The dash is cleaner, though, with attractive, low-key, metallic accents.

The stereo and climate controls in the center stack have been updated to accommodate the screen for the optional navigation system, yielding larger, more finger-friendly buttons. The results here are mixed. The stereo and navigation system operate on separate power supplies, so you can have a map displayed without having the stereo on. That's not true of all navigation systems, including those from Mercedes. But sadly, the stereo's tuning function remains buried beneath a sequential rocker switch, forcing you to wait while it scrolls up or down through the frequency band to find any station other than one of the presets. The navigation system screen could be larger, but the information it provided was adequate and accuracy was above average.

The front seats are comfortable, with adequate thigh support and bolsters. Overall, passenger roominess is competitive for the class. The Mountaineer offers comparable headroom in the front seats as the the 2006 GMC Envoy and Nissan Pathfinder, trailing them by less than an inch; front-seat legroom betters the Envoy by an inch and equals the Pathfinder; front-seat hiproom is almost identical.

Second-row headroom and legroom is comparable to the Envoy, but the Mountaineer offers significantly 2.5 inches more legroom than the Pathfinder's second row offers, a noticeable difference. However, the Mountaineer doesn't have nearly as much second-row hiproom as the Envoy and Pathfinder do. The middle-row bench seat has full seatbelts for three but head restraints for only the outboard passengers.

The third-row seats in the Mountaineer are significantly roomier than those in the competition's, with nearly three inches more legroom than Envoy and more than six inches over the the Pathfinder. Headroom and hiproom are comparable. The third row is a bench seat with minimal padding and fixed-height head restraints, which loom large in the back window; they do collapse, but only by tugging a loop hanging out the backside. Much better are the optional third-row seats that can be power-folded via two rocker buttons in the left rear quarter panel, directly below a thoughtfully provided button for the power central locking.

Accessing the third row is a three-step process that doesn't strike us as all that secure. First, you pull a strap that releases the head restraints so they fold forward. Then you pull up on a stiff lever to fold the seatback down on the seat bottom. And then you lift the heavy seat assembly, rocking it forward toward the front seats, where it parks, unrestrained, while people crawl into and out of the third row seats. When I leaned on it while climbing out, it rocked back, almost dropping into place, which would have put it smack on top of my foot.

We like the look of some of the light-colored interiors, though we're concerned it'll get dirty. The light-colored, suede-like inserts attract dirt like a magnet and, once dirtied, are a hassle to spruce up.

The rear-seat entertainment system, controls and all, is housed in a black plastic box suspended from the ceiling and running the width of the roof immediately behind th

Driving Impressions

There's a lot that's new underneath the 2006 Mercury Mountaineer.

The new V8 engine is more powerful than the V8 on 2005 Mountaineers. Though the displacement is the same as before, the new V8 features three valves per cylinder and new electronics, which generates major amounts of added motivation: 53 more horsepower and 18 more pound-feet of torque. Curb weight is up, however, by almost 200 pounds. Torque peaks on the high side, too. This probably explains why we weren't overwhelmed by the response from the V8 when we prodded the accelerator, whether from a stop light or when hoping to take advantage of a long-awaited opening on a crowded two-lane road. The new six-speed automatic transmission compensated somewhat, but not enough to impress.

The V6 engine is the same as last year's, with 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Mercury says the frame is stronger on 2006 models, which combined with a revised front suspension and a new, trailing-link rear suspension should produce a firmer, more controlled ride. Firmer, maybe, but as for more control, we didn't feel it. The 2006 Mountaineer tracks relatively well on level, straight roads, but leans in corners almost as much as the '05. Likewise, when pushed in corners, it plows as readily as any top-heavy SUV. Steering response felt a bit crisper, but we can't say how much this was attributable to changes in the suspension as to the marginally larger footprint from the lower profile tires and the 0.7-inch wider rear track (the distance between the left and right wheels).

The all-wheel drive in the Mountaineer is more for conquering the snowy parking lot at the ski resort and maintaining controlled headway in downpours than for tackling rock-strewn terrain. And by that measure, it's quite competent. In the same vein, it's also just as good as the Envoy, but won't quite keep up with the Pathfinder.

At speed on pavement, there's some wind noise, but not enough to detract in the least from the stereo. Road noise is decently muted.

Summary

The Mercury Mountaineer offers a comfortable ride. The 2006 models handle better than the '05s and the Mountaineer feels sure-footed in the mountains. Accommodations are nice overall and the Mountaineer offers lots of utility.

[NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Tom Lankard filed this report from Sacramento, California.]

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$29,150
Model lineup:
2006 Mercury Mountaineer Convenience ($29,150); Luxury ($31,150); Premier ($33,300)
Engines:
210-hp 4.0-liter V6; 292-hp 4.6-liter V8
Transmissions:
5-speed automatic; 6-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage frontal airbags; front-seat side-impact airbags; ABS with brake assist; electronic stability control system with roll-over sensor; tire pressure monitoring system
Safety equipment (Optional):
front- and second-row side air curtains and reverse sensing system
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
St. Louis, Missouri
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
2006 Mercury Mountaineer Premier ($33,300)
Standard equipment:
dual-zone, automatic climate control; AM/FM/CD premium stereo with six-disc, in-dash changer; power windows, outside mirrors and keyless remote central locking; 6-way driver and 4-way front passenger power seats; two-driver memory settings; leather-wrapped, tilt steering wheel with redundant audio and climate system controls; leather seating; heated front seats and outside mirrors; programmable, remote garage opener; electro-chromatic, inside rearview mirror; auto-on/off headlights; fixed running boards; electronic message center; fog lamps; satin-finish, aluminum roof rails; Class II trailer tow/hitch
Options as tested:
all-wheel drive ($2200); power running boards ($695); power adjustable pedals with memory ($225); navigation system ($1995); rear seat entertainment system ($1295); Class III/IV trailer tow package ($150)
Destination charge:
645
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$40,505
Layout:
all-wheel drive
Engine:
4.6-liter sohc 24-valve V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
292 @ 5750
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
300 @ 4750
Transmission:
6-speed automatic with Steptronic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
14/20 mpg.
Wheelbase:
113.7 in.
Length/width/height:
193.5/73.5/72.8 in.
Track, f/r:
60.9/62 in.
Turning circle:
36.8 ft.
Seating capacity:
7
Head/hip/leg room, f:
39.8/55.4/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
38.7/55.5/36.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.4/45.3/34.9 in.
Cargo volume:
82.8 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
6980 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, short-and-long arm, coil spring-over-shock, stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
independent, trailing link, short-and-long arm, coil spring-over-shock, stabilizer bar
Ground clearance:
8.2 in.
Curb weight:
4742 lbs.
Tires:
P245/65R17 all-terrain
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS and brake assist in.
Fuel capacity:
22.5 gal.

Printable Version

2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Mercury Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty. See dealer for details. Rental Car Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2011 model years & less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Mercury Mountaineer Sport Utility

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