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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2006 and newer

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  • Is it fair to compare the 2006 Ford Explorer Limited to the Nissan Pathfinder and Dodge Durango? I rented both Explorer and Durango. Explorer, I like the vehicle alot pleasant ride, and had no problems with it what so ever. There is one little thing that kind of got me thinking. The gas mileage of highway some what suxed. I expected alot better. The Durango, wow the 5.7 HEMI I mean wow! I like the exterior look which was a plus and the usable 3rd seat I was comfortable, the Explorer I dont remember sitting back there. Back to the Durango I was so shocked to see the Highway mpg alot better then the Explorer. Comfortable ride but alot of wind noise though! And I'm currently trying to rent a Nissan Pathfinder and hope to see which I liked overall! Like all 3 vehicle just wanting to see what you guys thought! Oh and I have attention to look on the Mountaineer, just not my brand!
    Thanks~~~~~~~~Suave
  • I looked at the Pathfinder, and was considering it until the 06 Explorer came out. The layout, styling, rear seat room and a V8 were reasons i chose the Explorer (Eddie Bauer V8 4x4) and LOVE it. The Pathfinder is nice, rides rougher and does have a strong V6, but personally like the explorer better. Take them all out, try them and decide.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    Funny, I was just thinking of a similar post...I was going to ask the folks about comparing the Explorer to the Durango to the Grand Cherokee/Commander...as much as I write about the arrogant UAW, I am trying to stay within the US makers, as I believe that their products are much better than the junk of the 70s, 80s, and some of the 90s...anyone who has made the comparos can post, of course

    What (I think) I know...Durango, full size; Expy, midsize; GC/Comm, smaller than Expy...

    Durango/Jeeps available Hemi, Expy 292 HP 4.6L (seems enough for me)

    Expy, on demand 4WD; Jeeps same, I think (Quadra Drive?), Durango, 2WD or AWD, no on-demand 4WD (I think)

    Durango, almost decent gas mileage, Jeeps always rotten, Expy better than Jeeps...

    I lean to Expy ( and maybe the 2007 Santa Fe) because it seems to be like Goldilocks, not too big, not too small, but have not even come close to making up my mind...

    Oh, ruled out Mountaineer as either 2WD or AWD...

    Heck, maybe I just need a Kenworth and be dome with it...
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I'm curious about the reason for this statement.

    "Oh, ruled out Mountaineer as either 2WD or AWD... "
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    What I mean is that the Explorer can come with on demand 4WD, hi and lo range, whereas I believe that the Mountaineer has only 2WD or full time AWD...the Durango, while I believe that it has the same arrangement as the Mteer, has as its positive factors full size (if I want to go that big) and a Hemi engine which rocks, IMO...does that help?
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    My '06 Mountaineer with advance trac (or whatever it's called) has a selectable third option ... 4WD where all 4 wheels always get power. I believe it's the same as Explorer in terms of on-demend power delivery to all wheels, but lacks the high/low option. The owners' manual warns against using this mode for highway driving.

    The 292 HP 4.6 with its drivetrain ratios should be adequate for all but climbing vertical walls.

    Are we on the same page regarding the differences?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Check the Santa Fe closely, and you'll discover though it's a good SUV, with a good warranty, it's heavy, old tech, mileage isn't so great. Not a revolutionary SUV. About as modern as a Chevy Blazer.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,871
    image

    "We did a little math. Turns out the Mountaineer is less expensive and offers more stuff than the Explorer."

    Follow-Up Test: 2006 Mercury Mountaineer (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I recommend that Edmunds reviewers read the owners' manual:

    "The system, which is called AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, uses a gyroscope to sense a roll condition and then applies braking and engine controls as necessary to help the driver regain command of the vehicle. It works, but it seems to come on prematurely, and there's no way to shut it down."

    No way to shut down? False. Even the ABS can be shut down.

    Have to climb over the second seat to enter the third? (photo included) False. The second seat rotates forward beyond what is shown in the photo.

    The credibility of Edmunds' reviews has dropped another notch.

    Again: Please at least read the operating instructions before criticizing.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,871
    Thanks for reading the review. :)

    Comments and corrections can also be made directly to the editors via Letters to the Editors or use the email address on the byline of the review.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I just did, including photos of the 1-2-3 instructions that are clearly visible on the side of the seat. Shame on Edmunds for being critical of a Best-in-class feature that they overlooked.">
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    I chose my XLT V8 for much the same reasons, plus the tow pkg/3.73 gears. I drove the Pathfinder and the V6 is very torquey, but to anyone considering the Pathfinder, look closely at the assembly/fit/finish. The one I drove was very sloppily put together- interior panels mis-aligned, several fabric sections not attached properly, and at least 2 rattles on a truck with 20 miles. Totally unexceptable in a 30K vehicle- maybe the one I tested was a "Friday-built car" but it turned me off completely. In addition to the rediculous third seat, able to accomodate up to age 5. Everyone has jumped into the 3rd seat option, but the only mid-size with real usable room I've seen is the Explorer/Moutaineer (and Durango, but that's really a plus-size-mid-size??). And I'm not a Ford fanatic, but in this class vehicle they really do seem best overall.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,674
    nv: thanks for the thoughts on Santa Fe...

    OK, listening to you guys gives me doubts on my own logic...am I wrong to want on-demand 4WD, instead of the Mountaineers AWD???...what are YOUR thoughts and musings on which option to get???

    lateralg: and thanks for the info on the 3rd option, and I believe it has always been stated that vehicles engaged in 4WD (not AWD) should not be driven at highway speeds...
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I just love it when I'm right! :shades: I believe I explained this very same thing on an earlier post on either this board or the other Explorer/Mtneer Board. When we bought our 04 Mountaineer it was basically because it was like getting an Eddie Bauer Explorer with third row seats and the free center armrest in the second row for no additioanl charge. A savings of about $1000.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I've done some semi-serious off-roading with my '06 Mountaineer 4.6 AWD. I like the way it automatically directs power to the proper wheels, & brakes the slipping wheel(s) when crawling through gnarly terrain. I haven't yet needed to apply 4WD.

    Also, I can't imagine getting into a situation with my $30,000+ vehicle that would require low range 4WD.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That's today's Nissan, unfortunately. I've seen them with flawed paint jobs on the hood, everything you mentioned, and horror stories on the Titan/Armada.

    I've not found an SUV with a better, more efficient design than the Fords have, in either size. The Nissan comes closest, I think, but they still missed. The IRS makes the difference, it seems.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 383
    We also bought a new Mountaineer back in March 2004 with the Luxury trim, v-8 AWD, Moonroof. I couldn't figure out why it seemed all reviews stated that the Mountaineer was a more luxurious and pricier twin of the Explorer. it was a bargain as compared to a Eddie Bauer with the same options.
  • Ford's web site talk a lot about all the improved safety features in the 2006 explorer (the roll down side head air bags for instance), but not one word if they increased they roof crush strength from just above the minimum Federal standard of 1.5 the vehicle weight. A salesman checked the sales sheets give to dealers and not a word written about the roof strength; I e-mailed the NHTSA to ask for the roof cruse test data the Ford has to supply by law and they never answered; I've searched the Internet high and low and found nothing.

    My only option is, I guess, to buy a 2005 and a 2006 Explorer A-pillers ($80 a piece) and do some strength tests of my own, but I don't know how.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I doubt that you can buy an A Pillar. $80.00 sounds about right for A Pillar trim.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    the load floor in 2006 is flatter than 2002-2005. the 3rd seat headroom is also down about 2" or so. Is it safe to say they basically raised the lood flor in the batch to match the floor right behind the 2nd row, which used to be higher? or, did the new suspension allow everything to drop, creating the flatter floor?
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    From the pix I've seen, it looks like they adapted the rear seating found in the Freestyle. I don't think the suspension changed very much from the previous model. I'm just glad they made the load floor flatter. I have on occasion had things fall out the back of our 04 Mountaineer that I believe would have stayed put if it hadn't been for the slight incline in the back.
  • tweedietweedie Posts: 10
    Has this been removed for 2006?

    Or are they on the tach and speedometer like in the Explorer?

    Thanks.
  • Am about to pick up a 2006 Explorer. I've never seen this before, but there is a sticker on the driver's door that says they pulled this car from the line for "additional testing", and therefore there are approximately 40 miles on the odometer. Is this normal procedure, and if so, does anyone know what they test?
  • I would not take that Explorer. If its brand new, you should expect a 0 mileage on it! Ask them to ship you another one, after all your the one who payed for it!

    As for the additional testing sticker, I have no clue, 1st time hearing about it! Sorry!
  • I don't know either, but I work with electrical equipment and about twice a month a unit is taken from the end of the production line (we make about 40 units a month -- that is about 5% sampling, though I would given Explorer higher production rates they might sample at 0.5%) and additional tests are run to assure quality is supposed to be where you want it. I would not be concerned about it -- I'm glad their doing it; shows maybe they are paying attention to quality. At least for your vehicle you know if passed more tests (if it failed, they would fix it). If what happened to your Explorer is what I think it is, then I am inclined to get one with the additional testing when I buy as soon as I get some more money.

    P.S. Edmunds gurus -- any comment?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,871
    Here's a recent thread that may help:

    manoftaste, "Land Rover LR3" #3037, 28 Dec 2005 10:33 am

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    About a year ago, I was browsing a Ford sales lot and every single Focus on that lot (about 5) had a sticker in the window saying that this vehicle was randomly picked for testing. I thought that they reset the odometer back to 0 though.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Your's was an "M-10" car. The name comes from the license plates that are used during the M-10 drive.

    Nearly every night a Resident Engineer pulls a vehicle from the line, or the lot, and drives it home. He/she then fills out an evaluation form which includes items that need to be corrected before shipment.

    When I was ar Ford, and a relative or friend had a car on order, I'd contact the Resident Engineer at the plant and request that the car be M-10'd.

    You probably have a better-than-average vehicle. And remember, your warranty start mileage is not zero, it's whatever was on the odometer at time of delivery.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,738
    i would think re setting the odometer would be illegal.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Absolutely. And very tough to do.
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