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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,991
    regarding the 3rd row seats, my guess is the 1350 is compared to no third seat. there has always been a charge on the sticker for the 3rd row.
    how are the 3rd row setbacks lowered without the powerfold? my '02 has a very easy latch in the middle at the top for the 'all the way across' seatback. i also like that i can raise it with one hand too. there are times when i wish it were a split seatback, though.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The doors might look similar as the outgoing model, but the stamping is different. The large greenhouse has always been a positive point and hallmark of Exploers. And the bottom door edges are tucked downward, so that the running boards extend just as far as the widest point of the doors, to avoid messy pant legs.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I bought a used 03 with 32K miles in March. I have 45K miles on it now. I am very pleased with it so far. It rides very nice on the hwy. Only on slow and bumpy roads, it reminds you that it has a truck frame. It is roomy. Fit and finish not matching Toyota's, but acceptable. Bought the extended 5yrs/75K mile powertrain warranty as some of you suggested. For the longest time was debating between Explorer, 4 Runner, and the Pilot.

    The best gas mileage was 22.4mpg driving 65-70mph with no A/C. There is no rear axle whine. Tranmission shifts down rough occasionally, but nothing to complain about YET.

  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    thanks ANT14 for the reply. the reason why i asked was because I have noticed the black plastic pieces on the explorer doors were discoloring especially from the top including mine, and was wondering if that's going to happen to the new models. Same thing with the 2 black plastic pieces that go between the rear side windows and the rear hatch window.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,991
    i just checked those trim pieces on my '02. they look as good as new. just to be sure, you mean the black trim on the 'b' pillar, when the front and rear door meet?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I've learned by taking a look at numerous examples (like the one you have stated) and from questions/examples, etc I've seen that even using specific car washing detergents, can make a huge difference. There's actually one brand of interior vinyl cleaner (I won't mention it not to defame them) that I strongly warn against because of it's "base" ingredient. Works well for a few years, b ut for those who keep vehicles for more than 4 years, then the results will begin to show.

    Car detergents, road salt are the main culprits from the examples I have seen.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Last Friday night, I traded in the Orange '99 Explorer for a red '02 Durango R/T. I have to tell you though, it was tough to find anything as comfortable as the old Explorer was. I tried out several Durangos until I found this one. It had just been traded in that night by a salesman at the dealership. His wife had to have a new HHR. It had less than 37k miles on it, now has about 37,230. I was visiting my sister in NC, and I shopped in Lexington, Salisbury, Thomasville, Greensboro, and found this one in High Point. Like I said, it was hard to find something that fit me as well as the Explorer had. But, I knew it had to go, and heres why:

    The #4 spark plug had misfired again. Upon close inspection of the mechanic (different one than where I used to go), he discovered that the plug wasn't fouled by oil, but rather by gas or antifreeze. It was only a matter of time before it did it again. I probably would've just had a blown head gasket or it could've been warped heads, or onto another laundry list of other problems. Also the transmission had begun to slip frequently and had started to grind when downshifting to go up a hill. I have to say I will miss it, especially when I start going to the gas pump more often, however my explorer had never gotten very good mileage, usually 13/17. The R/T is rated at 12/17.

    I've enjoyed sharing experiences with you guys over the past couple of years and I will continue to check in once in a while. Hope everyone else is doing well!
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    :cry: mine is also 02...
    and yes, the ones on the b pillar
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    thanks for the info. i have not used any vinyl cleaner on any exterior parts. I guess it's the car wash that i have been using.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes. It rhymes with Dahrmer Doll..........
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    The updated '06 Explorer looks good. But I can't imagine the wisdom in buying one now (ordering for September delivery) with oil hitting $64/bbl today. My guess is IF OIL STAYS HIGH (which may or may not happen), Ford will have to firesale these by December at $10,000 off sticker like today's 2005 leftovers.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Sorry Ford, but I cancelled my order for a 2006 Explorer, and fuel costs were a significant part of my decision, along with purchase price and insurance costs.

    When I sold the 2002 Mountaineer, I loaded my work items into my wife's Mercedes-Benz C230 hatchback and realized that a larger hatchback would do everything I need.

    I wound up buying a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, which has rear seats which slide (and recline), and it works wonderfully. We only miss the bottle holders in the doors and the extra storage in the console (much or which was lost in the 2006 switch to a floor shifter).

    For the $24,003 we paid for the Malibu Maxx, it has every option except the engine block heater, and is rated 20 city and 30 highway, so we saved about $10,000 buying it instead of the Explorer, and will save $1,700 plus per year on fuel and insurance. It is very fancy, with a DVD for the rear seat, a moon roof and a skylight, Onstar (including the phone function), satellite radio, and even the best fake wood I have ever seen.

    The Mountaineer was probably the first and last SUV we will ever own.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Gas prices are definately a factor that will contribute to lower sales overall, of SUV's. Luckily the answer will lie to more ulitarian vehicles such as car-based cross-overs that will allow people to have space that wouldn't require the need for a heavy duty, off the road work, or towing vehicle.

    Explorer has certainly been a success since the first year of it's inception, and will always be profittable for Ford. Again, the days of 450K yearly sales are long gone. The Explorer came at a time when most families wanted space, without the minivan connotation, while avoid the station wagon look.

    Ironically many are gravitating towards just that, while using a safer "cross-over" label instead. The new Explorer posts 1-2MPG better fuel economy, but it's still a vehicle that consumes quite a bit of fuel compared to those... and most don't need the attributes that the Explorer is well known for.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    This really isn't the place for this discussion, however, I'll mention that I have had these same thoughts, since I own cars, minivans & SUVs. While I'd like to save a lot of gas, the fact is that unless I get a really smaller car, like the Malibu Maxx, which I won't drive for several reasons, I'm not going save more than about one car payment per year in gas expense, and I'm going to give up a ton of utility that my Mountaineer provides. I could get by with less, but I don't want to. I like to tow my toys, and I pack the car with 7 passengers at least once per week, and I haul junk, grandbaby stuff all the time. The Explorer/Mountaineer does it all with total competence. And last week, I had to drive 21 miles in mud that drove 8 cars like the Maxx right off the road, and almost over cliffs. I just kept going, while big trucks were trying to pull Maxx type cars back onto the muddy road. The Mountaineer made it in, and out without a hitch. It's hard to sacrifice all that, for one car payment per year, IMO.

    Probably, I'll not replace my Mountaineer, or my other SUVs with a Maxx. Gas prices be damned, I will likely own another SUV for many years to come, until I'm too old to do anything but drive to the store, and the senior center. Even then, I'll probably opt for a Jaguar, not a Maxx.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 51,288
    "Better ride, improved handling, nicer interior, more power and better fuel economy at a lower price? We see no reason why the Explorer should not remain America's best-selling SUV."

    First Drive: 2006 Ford Explorer (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator - Buying questions? Please include city or zip code and trim you are shopping, FWD or AWD, etc.

  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    For that money you could have gotten an Accord or Camry loaded.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I will never set foot in a Toyota dealership again, at least not for purposes of buying a car. I bought a 2005 Sienna XLE Limited for about what a 2006 Explorer V8 RWD Limited would cost, thinking it would offer the way better mileage they claim and more space than I could ever use, but it had a crooked steering column and horrible seats which conspired to leave me in pain for more than a day following a typical day of driving 125 to 150 miles. When I sold the Sienna at a $8,440 loss and went back to driving the 2002 Mountaineer, the pain was gone.

    An Accord is not a hatchback, and the rear seat does not fold,so it would be impossible for me to use it for business. My Malibu Maxx is totally loaded, and has things like the DVD player for the rear seat and rear seat skylight which are not available on the Honda or Toyota. By the way, the 2006 invoice has been lowered to about what I paid, so GM is really serious about value pricing. I hope that Ford and everyone else does the same.

    NVBanker: For those who need an Explorer, it is a fine choice, and you certainly seem like such a person. It is just not what many people who bought such vehicles in the past need now, especially given the high price (relative to large sedans and other alternatives) and the much higher fuel consumption than those alternatives.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    We're getting offtopic, but I just have to add as a final note that if think losing $8000 on a Sienna is bad, try to trade your Malibu. $12,000 to $14,000 tops.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Fuel consumption is certain to turn some people off. I also like what NV said about the difference in fuel costs being about one payment per year.

    I did some calculations comparing my present car with the 2006 Mountaineer I have on order. The calculations considered: * Miles/year, * Cost/gallon (present vehicle requires premium), and * MPG. I will pay about $375/year more in fuel costs. WELL worth the added functionality and features.

    I suggest that these calculations are a more rational way to make a decision than to eliminate a vehicle from consideration based solely on MPG.

    Also worth considering is the expected significant improvement in MPG due to engine mods and 6-speed transmission.
  • i just bought a 29' class C motorhome and want to tow my mountaineer behind. anyone know if there is a problem doing this since it is AWD? do i need to do anything special? can i tow on a dolly with rear wheels only on road or do i have to use a tow bar with all four wheels on the road?? any help would be appreciated. janis
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,991
    i'll be pretty interested in what 'significant' improvement in real world mpg's is.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Me too. It looks to be about 10%. We'll see.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    So far, preliminary states on V8's....14/20 for 4x4 and 15/21 for 4x2 models. This can change 1 MPG here and there depending upon the trim level and axle ratios. Usually the stripper models have 1 MPG gain over the loaded EB and LTD versions....
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    My 2003 V8 Mountaineer Premier has an EPA of 14/19. So where is the so-called improvement?
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    What is your source?

    I find it very hard to believe that trim level has a 1 MPG difference.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,991
    and real world mileage can be very different. my '02 v8 w/3.73 is rated at 14/19. i can get close to highway mileage often, occasionally exceed it on long trips.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Source, preliminary Ford data. The EPA has not yet released the data from their testing, stay tuned. Maybe the EPA will have better results when they test it, that's still not in concrete yet.

    Some models with the 4:10 axle option might see 14/18 (on the previous generation), rather than 14/19 with the 3:73. (as one example). The improvements will be seen in real world mileage overall...But then again, most shopping this segment won't place fuel economy as their highest priority.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    This discussion reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask:

    How much of a weight and complexity penalty is there with the new 6-speed transmission?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "I did some calculations comparing my present car with the 2006 Mountaineer I have on order. The calculations considered: * Miles/year, * Cost/gallon (present vehicle requires premium), and * MPG. I will pay about $375/year more in fuel costs. WELL worth the added functionality and features.

    I suggest that these calculations are a more rational way to make a decision than to eliminate a vehicle from consideration based solely on MPG."

    Ah - the voice of reason. Exactly my point. This is a much more rational way to make this decision. They all take gas, and unless you drive a zillion miles a year, and your comparison is a Prius to an Excursion, the difference isn't as much as you may think without actually doing the math.

    Cracks me up all the time to see people justify a new car purchase on the basis of "it gets better mileage" than their old car. Probably about 2mpg better, and they'd have to drive it about a million miles to make up the cost of the new car in fuel dollar savings.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    The $10,000 rebates-pricecut-gimmicks on even the new 2006 Explorer will be almost immediate if gas stays here. I just paid $2.45 for regular and saw $2.70 for premium. Perhaps Explorer folks will move to a more efficient ESCAPE and keep the dealers movin', but Explorer will be totally dead in the water with gas like this. I am old enough (barely...born 1960) to remember what happened in 1973. This is almost the same thing, with prices doubling over a very short period of time. (The difference is that there are no gas lines and supply seems OK if you are ready and willing to pay). Back then there were no SUV's but the large car market, similar to today's SUV market, crashed and burned. You couldn't GIVE those guzzlers away. Things calmed down a few years later, but I don't know if Ford and GM have the staying power this time around.
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