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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • ncjudgencjudge Posts: 30
    There are V8 Mountaineers in Winston-Salem, NC. I drove a V6 and V8 back to back. My perception was that low-end acceleration was roughly equal between them, and mid-range acceleration was somewhat better with the V8, but nothing spectacular.
  • md9360md9360 Posts: 4
    I test drove two V8 Mountaineers the past two days. They seemed to have tighter steering and handle a little better then the V6 Exploreer that I drove a few weeks ago. The V8 was also quieter then the six.
    Also, does anyone out there have any lease deals to report. I got a quote on a 36 month, 15,000 mile per year lease on the mountaineer for $529 per month with $1,000 down. The mountaineer had the eight, with a sun roof, the luxury and convienence packages, the audiophile sound system and side curtain airbags. This sounded good for a first quote from the dealer.
  • Hey Proteus,

    Enough bad-mouthing about the Explorer. Where does it end? Some of us have requirements which the Benz and Acura won't meet, such as towing capacity. We're in the market for a vehicle which will serve as a daily driver, an occasional "people-hauler", and tow my wife's hoss trailer (5000+ lbs). My research brought me to the Explorer, the Durango, and the Jeep. I've since discovered the GM versions, but they lack the 3rd seat. The Expedition and Burb are out of the question, as she doesn't want something that large. So here we are in the market for a mid-sized SUV (the Aerostar isn't there any longer, and I won't consider the Astro or Safari due to relibility problems), and the Explorer seems to fullfill all of our needs. And to top it all off, I drive a 97 F-150 which up to this point has been perfect. I guess I'm sick of seeing you compare an Explorer to the Benz. The Explorer we have on order is completely different from a Benz, and shouldn't even be compared due to the difference in planned usage. A 2002 with a V-8, tow package, 3rd seat, and side airbags, at $28K.

    You need to go to the Mercedes or Acura websites and tout their strengths. Quite frankly, I'm sick of seeing your unreasonble comparisons.
  • eweygrineweygrin Posts: 33
    I couldn't have said it any better myself!!

    I am surprised that the Mercedes talk lasted as long as it did. I think too many people perceive that Mercedes must be high quality due to its price. This is not the case. I know too many people that have had problems with those "fine" German automobiles. My boss filed a lawsuit (and won) against Mercedes for the lemon he got stuck with. A business associate complains about outrageous maintenance costs ($39.00 for 1 wiper blade or $25.00 for an oil filter or $115.00 for an analog cell phone battery all which were only avail. at the dealer.) Another friend has to keep getting new rotors every time his brakes get replaced ($1,000 each time). My cousin purchased and unloaded a leaky Mercedes convertible. My point is that every make has its problems and you might just hear more about Explorer's just based on the number of those vehicles out there.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Not looking for an Explorer but has anyone put one with stability system on order? I'm getting closer to a Vette with the GM system and have read rave reviews of the system in sport and performance cars, but read one pan on the Sequoia implementation of the system as intrusive. I expect it to be common in a few years, but in the mean time, be interested when someone gets one.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    Anyone know when the Advance Trac yaw control system will be avaialable on the 2002 Mountaineer.

    I m waiting for this to order ...Thanks
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    Nobody is trying to compare the "work truck" version of the Explorer to the ML. I'm comparing the EB/Ltd edition/Mountaineer version, the one Ford is trying to pass off as a "luxury suv" The point being made is as a luxury SUV/people mover, its way behind the competition. The VAST majority of people use these as luxury people movers, not offroad, and not 5000lb horse trailer towers (btw, ML will tow 5000lbs quite nicely). Again, I am comparing the LUXURY version of the Explorer. For your standard work truck, the Explorer XLT is perfectly adequate. I simply maintain that in the 34k price range, the luxury explorer is not competive, being that it is essentially a gussied up 15k Ford Ranger pickup truck.

    Eweygrin. If you want to see what I'm talking about in terms of build quality, just look at the interior on both of them. Feel the switchgear, slam the doors..you'll see what I mean
  • jhetellejhetelle Posts: 2
    Proteus456 is getting me worried. We have a base trim 2002 Mountaineer on order. We have looked at everything out there. We almost bit on the Acura MDX, but I couldn't stomach paying MSRP. The looks of the Buick Rendezvous are too funky for our tastes. The Mountaineer we ordered for $28.5k is $6k less that the MDX. It truly met our needs for functionality and the 3rd row seat seems underrated for the amount of legroom it has. Is there anybody out there that can talk about their real-life experiences with their 2002 Explorer/Mountaineer? Are you happy with your purchase? Thanks.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Like you (and proteus456), my wife and I looked at and test drove just about every vehicle in existence equipped with 3 rows of seating (ML320, MDX, Durango, Montero, Tahoe, MPV, and Odyssey). Like you, I refuse to pay MSRP for the MDX and the others were eliminated for a variety of reasons (too lengthy for this message). We narrowed our choice down to a base Mountaineer AWD and the Buick Rendezvous CXL.

    We liked the looks of the Mountaineer (interior and exterior) very much. We felt the ride was good for a truck, and the power was adequate. Ultimately, we chose the Rendezvous because we felt the ride (smooth and quiet) was superior, reliability would be better, and dollar for dollar, the standard feature content of the Rendezvous (side air bags, leather seats, climate control, driver computer, etc.) was more generous.

    We do agree that the Mountaineer is somewhat more physically attractive than the Rendezvous, and it is probably a superior "truck" (off-road and towing prowess). However, we were looking for less a truck and more an all-weather station wagon...for us, the Rendezvous fit our lifestyle better.

    I think that you really can't go wrong with either vehicle. The Mountaineer is a nice truck with a lot going for it...and smartly equipped, it's less than $30K. Compared to the ML320 or MDX, you saved about $8K, which is actually about $10K if you finance for 5 years.

    Just out of curiosity, did you actually look at and drive the Rendezvous? If you did, what did you think? It truly looks better in person and the ride/handling are top notch.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    dont let proteus worry you...

    you made a fine choice...i ll be ordering my 2002 mountaineer soon... i looked at the acura and ml yesterday...when i got in the acura..and started to drive.. i thought i was in the honda minivan...but it was overall..a nice drive..but i didnt like the visibility..maybe it was new to me

    it does go against one s grain to pay sticker..but so what..sticker is a number...i think the acura is worth sticker..a good value..

    the striped my is a good value....but who wants wone stripped...mercedes soaks u on the options..

    they had no third row seat mercedes for me to look at...but i heard it wasnt the greatest..

    i think the mountaineer is great looking...a great value...and cant wait to order mine...

    i ve been reading the posts..have read some nightmares about the sacred mercedes ml...and the mercedes dealer refusing to fix..the vibation that was causeing the truck to shake...the mercedes enthusiasts advised on going to another dealer for repairs..

    granted the mercedes has a nicer interiors..but the exterior is ugly...imho

    the acura was a bit too wide for my garage and the dealer was too far

    the mercedes dealer was also far..doesnt have the rear glass liftgate like the mountaineer...

    good luck with your 2002 mountaineer...

    i havent heard anyone complain yet who is an owner..

    ps proteus..most of us would agree that the mercedes is a better vehicle..but for my 35K
    i will get a mountaineer with every factory option
    available

    the ml320 starts at 35 K

    so u can get a mountaineer with every option or a ml with no options for 35K..that is the bottom line proteus..and dont tell me the mercedes includes scheduled service..the lincoln mercury dealer here charges 25 dollars for an oil change..and mercedes reccomends oil changes every 5 or 10 thousand miles..im not sure which..

    so proteus

    for my 35 K i will get these things that the ml wont have at 35K

    i ll get ford leather
    i ll get ford heated seats
    i ll get upgraded ford 6in dash cd stereo system
    i ll get audio/temp controls on the steering wheel
    i ll get towing package limited slip
    i ll get running boards
    i ll get moon roof
    i ll get lift up glass on rear
    i ll get side air curtain...u will need to wait til 2002 to get that on ml..

    i ll get free metalic paint..a 500 option on mercedes
    oh ..i ll get a Ford V8

    i ll get rear obstacle sensing system
    i ll get dual front temperature control
    i ll get compass and outisde temp

    i ll get memory seats

    i ll get a smile when i drive by a ml and think of the commitment of some guy proteus and how much he had to spend to get a comparably equipped suv as my mountaineer...

    oh .i ll have to pay a few hundred dollars to get a fourth year warrantee.. which mercedes has

    but come to think of it.. ive had my 96 explorer almost five and a half years..i paid to get the extended warrantee..its fully warranteed until six years..with 100 deductable ...but guess what proteus..i never had to use it...and btw..my explorer has 50K miles and the original goodyears
    and original brakes...i ll wonder how much you will pay for your mercedes brake job...good luck
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    For 28.6k, the Mountaineer isn't bad. Fit and finish are better than on the Exploder, although the fake aluminum trim is a bit annoying. Only noticable drive problem (other than usual ford rattles, squeeks) is a whine coming from the transmission past 60-70mph. Dealer said this is normal on the AWD system in Mountaineer. MDX does have some downside over Explorer/Mountaineer, namely lesser towing ability, and tiny rear seat. The Mountaineer is actually a good deal for under 30K. Its when you start getting into the 34K range that better choices appear. Note that if you're leasing, the ML is quite competitive, due to high comparative residuals. One thing I would HIGHLY recommed on the Explorer/Mountaineer, that is wait for stability control to appear later this year. This truck really needs it, as, like most truck based SUV's, the roof will crush in a rollover situation.
  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96
    ps..i ll use regular gas..neither the acura or the mercedes are supposed to do that

    good luck to you and I hope u enjoy your ml as much as i will my mountaineer
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Temper temper. Both of you bring up valid points regarding both vehicles, and both of you are correct.

    Value is not written in stone, it is a personal perception. $2000.00 will buy FOUR suits at JC Penny or ONE from Armani. Which is the better value?

    This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Drive whatever vehicle best suits your lifestyle and don't worry about what your neighbor parks in his driveway.
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    Hehe...didn't even see your post. Its true, a comparably equiped ML320 is going for about 39-40K right now. You will pay a bit more for the ML, but you get..
    Mercedes leather-much higher quality than Fords
    the same heated seats
    No need for towing package or limited slip, due to the far more advanced full time 4wd system (that lets you use low range on pavement). Just add trailer hitch
    V6 that is smaller, more efficient, more powerful, AND more fun to drive mated to the most advanced 5-speed auto on the market. (which allows manual shifting btw)
    Moon roof that will allow occupants to survive a rollover
    Superb drivability..at 90mph+, no squeaks, rattles, wind noise, sedan like handling
    rear hatch that doesn't shatter, or squeak(I forgot, which recall was that?)
    Full torso side airbags, front AND rear, unlike ford (front only)
    A strong rigid body that allows occupants to survive the most stringent US and german CAR crash test standards, including rollover.
    Stability control, brake assist, available Xenon headlights....
    Running boards are not needed, as ML has a low step in height.
    Mercedes build quality, fit and finish.
    far better trade-in value (which more than makes up for the price difference alone).
    If you want the 2002 model, you can also get...
    front and rear obstacle sense system
    side curtain airbags
    voice activated audio/climate controls
    front and rear climate control.

    Many of the differences are really hard to describe unless you see them for yourself. I've driven both vehicles..have you? If you're about to spend 35K+, you OWE it to yourself to check out the competition. If you can't afford the ML, the MDX is a very worthy competitor in your price range...(unless you need 4000+ lb towing ability).
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    Yes...you use regular gas..but you use more of it. (15/20 vs 17/21), and produce less power while doing it (210 vs 215).
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Not to add fuel to the fire (pun not intended), actually no, you shouldn't use regular fuel for an extended period of time with the ML. Because of the high compression engine (which is why it manages to squeeze a fairly significant amount of hp and torque out of the 3.2L V6), premium fuel should be used. If you cannot find premium, regular can be used as the computer will adjust to compensate, but you should switch back to premium ASAP. This is not just limited to the M-class though, but all MB vehicles. Since the MB engine's displacement is smaller but with equal amounts of horsepower and torque as many non-MB larger displacement engines, the real-world fuel consumption is less as well. So in the end paying for premium fuel may not necessary cost more since the engine may simply use less gas to go the same distance.

    Also, just a gentle reminder that this is the '02 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer discussion topic. While comparisons and off-topic banter is normal and permitted, the main focus of the topic should be the vehicles in the title. However, If you like, I can create a discussion topic for both of these vehicles vs. the MB M-class, where you can debate (civilly, of course) the pros and cons of each vehicle vs. the others. Any takers?


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • proteus456proteus456 Posts: 65
    Perhaps that might be a more appropriate forum..you could call it "7 passenger SUV's-ML320vsFord Exploder vs Acura MDX vs Buick Rendezvous"
    I was refering to the Ford milage/power..I didn't know you had the option to run regular on the ML..:-)
  • kbaerkbaer Posts: 16
    I'm just curious what people that have purchased their Mountaineers for. I'm also curious if there are any web-based dealerships that will sell for $200 under invoice such as the one on the GM trio discussion board (Southerngm.com). I've driven both the V-6 and V-8 Mountaineers as well as the GMC Envoy. Really haven't decided yet, but I'm also not in any hurry either. Probably won't be buying 'til the 2003 model year so everyone can work the bugs out.

    Thanks for any responses to my inquiry.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Here's the newly created 7 passenger mid-size luxury/entry-luxury comparison topic

    /direct/view/.eefff78


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • kbaer,

    Here's what we found in Oklahoma City. I asked for quotes from 4 different Ford dealers and 2 Merc dealers for identically equiped vehicles. A 2002 XLT with V-8, tow package, and 3rd seat, versus a 2002 Merc with a V-8, and tow package. The Merc comes standard with the 3rd seat, so we were in essence comparing apples to apples. All of the quotes were requested via the web, either under Autobytel or the Ford web site. Autobytel directed both of my requests (Ford and Merc) to the same dealer...Crossroads Ford which is also a Lincoln/Merc dealer. They came back with the highest quotes. The rest of the dealers were contacted via the Ford website, and the cheapest was Joe Cooper Ford, which is where I bought my 97 F-150. They told me it was their policy to charge invoice for any ordered vehicle. Reynolds Ford/Lincoln/Merc in Norman came within $50 bucks for the Explorer, but wouldn't negotiate on the Mountaineer. My wife and I both liked the Mountaineer better, and were willing to pay a little more for it, but not $750 more. Especially when you consider the differences are primarily cosmetic. Based on the best price and a very good previous experience with Cooper Ford, we ordered the Explorer XLT from them, and ended up adding the side airbags. The car was built last week, and we're expecting to get it this week or maybe early next week due to the holiday.

    As far as what you can expect, I suspect it's a local thing. Reynolds originally quoted me a price on the Explorer $500 more than Cooper, but he called me back and said if I ordered it that week, they'd drop it another $450. When I ask if they'd do the same on the Merc, he said no. If they would have dropped it to within $250 of the Explorer, we would have bought the Merc. Based on my data, $250 was the difference in invoice price.
  • thornthorn Posts: 91
    From today's WSJ:

    >>..."There must be more to the story than Ford CEO Jacques Nasser's rather feeble explanation that his company had lost confidence in Firestone products. This was quickly followed, after all, by counter-statements from General Motors and Nissan that they detect no problems with Firestone tires and will continue to source them as original equipment.

    And freed of its fealty to Ford, Firestone's guns are blazing with accusations that the rollover problems stem not from flawed tires but from suspension quirks in the Explorers. They support their claim with news from Venezuela that Explorers are tipping over there at an unseemly rate while equipped with Goodyears and other brands.

    Firestone is also pounding home the fact that the failures involved no more than 80 of the estimated 50 million Wilderness tires that have been on the road. That means that less than 0.02% of Wilderness tires shredded in rollovers, a number that's statistically meaningless.

    Moreover, 30 of the tires examined by the company after fatal rollovers were either punctured, road damaged or inflated at dangerously low levels."...<< http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB991104359669149274.htm

    Remember, "Quality is Job #1 at Ford", which explains why, according to JD Powers, Ford has the worst quality of the domestics, which hugely lag the imports by and large.

    Also remember that focusing on the "discounts" available on Ford products - which are not available on the better built Mercedes or Acuras - really highlights what has become apparent - the Fords are overpriced.

    Furthermore, the Fords - because of high depreciation - will likely prove more costly to own, despite their lower status and initial prices.
  • lspanglerlspangler Posts: 102
    Another thing to remembeer when reading about firestone tires is that when making a tire for OEM applications, the vehicle manufacturer sets a whole list of design criteria for the tire to be designed to. GM has Wilderness A/T tires on it's vehicles but they are constructed to GM's criteria with no problems to date. Something tells me that Ford's criteria caused Firestone to build a sub-par tire and now Ford is trying to stick Firestone with the blame. It's a combination of poor tire design and poor vehicle design. In my opinion anyway.
  • stewtostewto Posts: 11
    To respond to some inquiries above...I've had an 02 Mountaineer for about 1200 miles now. Equipped with 6 cyl, AWD, convenience package, luxury package, tow package, audiphile stereo, and aux. climate system (basically everything but sunroof). Good news and bad: Good news, this is my third SUV (2 Explorers before this, 92 and 95 -both of which were trouble free and great family cars). Handling and ride on the new version is teriffic; as described in previous posts, fit and finish is "ok" - not a Toyota, Acura, or MB quality job there - but meets expectations. Have take 2 trips lately and very pleased with the vehicle. The bad, there are some growing pains with a first year model - I have some minor rattles to be taken car of. And a major issue, which was that we had some noise and vibration develop which as it turns out came from the rear differential; the factory forgot to lubricate the clutch packs in the limited slip mechanism...took dealer 1 week to come to this conclusion - after service, all seems fine. I paid 34,510 for the car which is about 1,300 above invoice. We found that MDX, MB, RX300 and similar are great choices, but simply too small for a family of 4 for vacations; didn't want to go wild and get a rolling mastadon like Expedition, Sequoia, Tahoe, or similar. Land Cruiser was tempting, but another 15K and poor gas mileage, etc...plus I'm doing my part to (gulp) buy American. Good luck.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    Stewto:
    How's your aux climate sysem working? I tested drove V6 and V8 a couple weeks ago both without aux climate system. Sales told me I don't need it unless I live @ desert area summer goes up to 100+F. My Villager has dual air on it. Kids sit at the 3rd row seats always want to turn it on during summer time.
    I got a quote Invoice +$1300 2 weeks ago less a few options I want. Got 2nd quote invoice + $662 for factory order to all the option I need.
    If this trend (price dropping) continues I will get it invoice or maybe below. Cross my fingers
  • stewtostewto Posts: 11
    bjk2001 - - it works well; I think it's a good option (of course if you get it, you can't have a sun roof). On long trips, on hot or humid days, the 2nd row passengers will require the front row passengers to freeze, to keep the rear occupants mildly comfortable. Can you live without it?- sure, but I find it well worth it (in California climate). On pricing, the longer you wait, the better it will be, and they'll work the kinks out over time on a first model year vehical. Good luck.
  • kbaerkbaer Posts: 16
    I e-mailed the Mountaineer product manager at Ford to inquire about the availability of both the Moonroof and Auxilliary A/C system. The reason I did so was because the unit I saw at the car show this past March had both options on it.

    I got a pretty immediate reply, and found out that they should be offering both options together sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. No word yet on the stability control system though.

    KB
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    We are considering the 2002 Mountaineer as well. I am between the V6 and the V8...and the luxury items as well.

    I am looking at a medium wedgewood blue with light wedgewood accent at bottom.

    It's got a charcoal gray leather sport buckets package, and that includes an overhead console. This one's got an in-dash cassette with CD and a 3rd row seat package.

    I like the 4.0 V6 SOHC as it was in my older Explorer as well. It's also got trailer tow and Goodyear P245/70R16's. It's got running boards, Class III/IV tow package, a 66A convenience package with some nutty visor mirrors with lights and auto lamp headlights (still unclear as to what this is)... and a 66B Luxury package group with dual automatic climate control, electrochromatic mirror, premium alloys with 16x7, and a two-tone luxury leather buckets. It's also got a 67C - auxiliary climate control.

    What else is there that we ought to be considering? The MSRP of that car is $32640. What might it be lacking that I might wish I had later?

    -Ret
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    How about AWD? 76R reverse sensing system? 21J side airbag?
  • stewtostewto Posts: 11
    reticent1...

    I agree with bjk2001 on the remaining options. The AWD is a consideration - - I do like the handling with it. The reverse sensing is a frill that is again nice to have but not essential. The side curtain airbags were a requirement for my shopping list. I also have the med wedgewood blue with med parchment interior.
  • For financial reasons I traded my. '01 Infiniti QX4 for the '02 Explorer. While I am not going to tell you that the Explorer is better than the Infiniti, I am surprised at the ride and the driveability. The new Explorer is much quieter than the previous Explorer. I also feel the engine has more power even though it is rated the same. Much more insulation and rubber around the doors. Also like the storage areas in the back under the deck. No, it's no where as luxurious as the Infiniti but when it comes to what you get for the dollar I am truly impressed!!!!

    Thanks,
    Jimmy
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