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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2006 and newer

The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, showing a vastly improved interior ( notice the shifter now sits at the console instead of a column shifter) and a restyled front and rear, also the optional V-8 received a boost to 292 hp due to its new 3 valve design.

The restyled Explorer is yet to break cover but I've read the front of the Explorer Sport Trac gives a hint of what it might look like.

Cant wait to trade-in my 02 Explorer.

http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=20183&make_i- d=93

Here's an old spy shot of the Explorer

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?n=156,178&sid=178&artic- le=7402
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Comments

  • The new V8 and 6-speed auto sound sweet. I wonder what specifically is improved on the V6 and 5-speed auto.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I am glad to see that it was not just me or my particular vehicle. My 2002 Mountaineer RWD V8 rides way too rough, is noisy, the steering column shakes and vibrates, and so forth - all things Ford finally decided to fix. I see that the rear suspension is new, the front suspension has been changed, the brakes improved, vibration in the steering column corrected, Etc. However, Ford was too late to keep me as a customer - I am waiting for my 2006 Dodge Magnum to arrive.

    By the way, dondilio, why do you think the console shifter is good? The column shifter frees up space for storage on/in the console. How often does anyone want or need to shift an automatic, beyond pushing the button to lock out the top gear when decending mountain roads ?
  • I guess its just a matter of preference. The Explorer was only offered with a high center console, and personally after owning one for the last 4 yrs., the space the console shifter will take, its actually useless right now. Plus in my opinion the console mounted shifter brings more cachet to the interior. The only thing Im gonna miss of the column shifter is that I used it to support my hand while I changed radio stations hehe :-)
  • mhslwntrmhslwntr Posts: 1
    Hi, I am waiting for my insurance check to clear and I will be picking up my new 1999 mountaineer. I have a couple of questions. I have not had a lot of time getting to know the SUV. I've had people look at the engine and all those things are okay. However, I am having some trouble opening the console. i would also liked to know how to reset the key pad on the door and how that works. Also i have about 1,000 to put into the SUV. I would like to make some changes that will help gas mileage and clear up some of the bad gases it will emit. If anyone has any little things that can be changed to help those 2 things please respond, Thanks.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Well, I just canceled the Magnum order. I was going over the various saftey and equipment items, and the new Explorer / Mountaineer have more to offer. I think that the 2007 SportTrac version of the Explorer may be the best one for me.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Production of the 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer starts July 18, 2005, so they should be at the dealers in August.
  • bored040bored040 Posts: 1
    Cool! Just in time for my '04 lease to run out!
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    does anyone know the extent of interior chanegs for the 06 model? of particular interest to me is the fact that ford does not offer a factory navigation system - like in the pilot, for example. this seems a major oversight. as far as i can tell, nothing decent in the other existing models ford currently offers, not just the explorer
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    The 2006 Explorer will have a navigation system as an option and the interior will will have a few changes. For example, there will be a floor shifter and new gauges. There are pics of the 2006 Mountaineer out there and the Explorer should look somewhat similar. Also the interior pics of the concept Explorer Sport Trac are pretty much how the new Explorer will look.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    If you go to the Ford media web site you can view or print the entire 2006 Mountaineer package:

    http://wwww.media.ford.com

    They should have the Explorer information up soon.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I, too, happen to like floor shifters on my vehicles...Prelude, Legend, Regal, Intrepid, Sable, Crown Vic all had/have floor shifters, I do not like column shifters...my wife's Ram 1500 has a column, and it's OK, but it just ain't what the Doctor ordered...an Expy/Mounty with floor shifter catches my eye, add 292 HP instead of my Crown Vic's 239 HP, and you just might have a damn good truck, especially with IRS since the 2002 re-design...
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Don't forget, the rear suspension on the 2006 models will be new, the front suspension revised, the frame stiffer, and the bushings softer, the outside mirrors re-done, and so forth. Hopefully, all of that will result in a far smoother and quieter vehicle than my 2002 Mountaineer.

    To each his own on the floor shifter, but I like the storage space in the console in the 2002 design - two cup holders, a large tray, and a third hole for a bottle, cell phone, or whatever - we use all of that space (it is a work vehicle), and I know I will miss it if we buy a 2006 model.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    i'm with you. definitely more usable space with the column shifter.
    this is a daring move for ford, in my opinion. all explorer's have had column shifters. i'm afraid some prior owners may be turned off.
    how much different will the IRS be? they just redid the whole mess in 02, could they have improved it that much?
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    looks like they went back to the liftglass and got rid of the larger opening in the hatch area. that is a shame - i really like that feature. any idea why - could it be because of the problems they had in the 02-05 models?

    they leveled out the rear cargo area - excellent! could they have redesigned the rear end that much, or did they just make the available space smaller and make it flat (i.e. raise the rear?)

    split 3rd row - also a great idea.
  • jamzctjamzct Posts: 1
    If the press and feedback on the Escape Hybrid continues unblemished, it would seem obviously that a Hybrid Explorer would be rushed out. We owned a 2001 Escape and it had so many issues, the dealer's service manager asked us to sell it... The only way back behind the wheel of another Ford for us is serious incentive. A mid-size Hybrid SUV Explorer that comes with increased resale value plus improved mileage and performance.....hummm.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "definitely more usable space with the column shifter.
    this is a daring move for ford, in my opinion. all explorer's have had column shifters. i'm afraid some prior owners may be turned off."

    I have to say - My 99 Navigator, and my 94, 97, 98, 02 and current 04 Explorers and Mountaineers all have had the column shifters, giving us generous storage in the tray and Francesfordcupholder area, which is useful and appreciated. My 03 Navigator has the floor shifter, which while pretty, takes a lot of utility out of the console. I miss the room a lot. But the competition puts the shifters there. Ford probably is bowing to the competition there. Floor shifters have never been high on my list either, I kinda like the column shifters, but neither will stop me from buying the
    Ford with all the other features they have.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    I wonder if Ford & Merc are agressively trying to unload what '05's are left; I mentioned on another post letters/calls I'm getting from the L/M dealer that services my low-mileage Expy that they "have buyers". I know this is probably a tactic but if they are really being agressive about depleting inventory, maybe an '05 could be a sweet deal? I can't imagine too many people lining up to buy 5 year old Expy's that get 14 mpg! Has anyone actually seen/driven an '06 Mountaineer/Explorer? If so, are the improvements worth paying more for?
    (BTW, I too like the extra space with column shift; my '97 Explorer had it too. If I feel the need for "sport", I jump in my Mazda!)
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    For me they are. The most important item is the 6-speed transmission. Much-improved shift quality, better performance, better fuel economy.

    Improved NVH, ride, & handling are also high on my list.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    the 5 speed in the exp is very smooth. my only worry on the 6 speed is brand new... i would wait a year before buying. of course, i have an 02 and am suffering through those bugs.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Click here to see all the info:

    http://www.fordaxz.com/2006-Ford-Explorer-Order-guide.htm

    Good Luck!
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    THATS A VERY DETAILED LINK!

    is the explorer really 4 inches longer? sounds like they made major revisions to the vehicle if this is the case.
    no more adjustable pedals?
    finnaly no more manual recline. its 10 way now, i assume power lumbar as well?
    hopefully they added outside mirror memory - annoyingly absent from our 02.
    the xlt sport is basiclly now a base eddie bauer - odd move.
    still no dual zone climate on manual models - checy has them beat on this one.
    how can they ignore this?
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    One big change that I like is that the compass and outside temperature gauge is now standard on all models. One thing that I don't like, from spy pics that I have seen, is that they have changes the rear hatch design. From the pictures, it looks like the handle is right on the window like pre-2002 models.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    that is confirmed. now, only the glass lifts up. this is detailed in the mercury mountaineer press release.

    There are a million things i dont like about my explorer. But the low liftglass opening, which i open every day, is a phenomenal feature and one that very few others have
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    What's required to view the ordering guide? All I get is the little box with the circle, square & triangle in upper left corner.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    its a PDF file. you need acrobate reader or adobe reader installed to view it
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I have Acrobat Reader installed & it works fine on all other downloads. ????
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    may want to try reinstalling. first, though, make sure you allow all pop ups from that page. i think it opens it in a popup window and a popup blocker may be causing the problem.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Try to download the file to your computer (by clicking the blue disk icon on top left in the .pdf file) and open the file as a regular .pdf file. This will also help you to enlarge the file full screen.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Power adjustable pedals will be optional on all models but the XLS. You can find this information at the optional packages (or just make a "search" in the .pdf file for "pedals" and you'll find it.)
  • abhishek1abhishek1 Posts: 6
    I think the ground clearance was higher on the old explorer. It looks like it lost about an inch, but it got a little longer and a little wider.
  • scottva22scottva22 Posts: 26
    I'm not sure why anybody would want to buy a hybrid. The current offerings from various manufacturers are selling at about a $3K premium over regular versions. You would have to drive the car/truck over 250K miles to recoup that in gas savings (from what I've read). Additionally, car manufacturers are selling the hybrids at a loss as the technology costs about $5K per unit.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I really like it!!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,587
    i also have an '02 explorer. as i put on more miles, the worse it shifted. it would hesitate or act undecided before going into second gear on upshifts. had the transmission flushed at the 30k service. it made a huge difference.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    looks like the 06 will be similar in category to the 02-05...any rumors about an extended version (a la trailblazer ext). i personally would like a bit longer in the rear to be able to have 3 rows of seats plus decent storage room (with 3 seats up now, you basically have no storage room). anyone know of plans of an extended model? anyone know how the ext trailblazer sells? makes a lot of sense i think - probably 90% of the components are the same and you have a whole other vehicle to sell.
  • comancoman Posts: 11
    Does anyone know if the retracting running boards on the Navigator have any type of manual control to disable them? I'm assuming that the new Mountaineer will be similar.

    I see the retracting RBs as something other than just a sleek look. I now drive a 97 Mountaineer and I don't use the RBs to get in or out but I have to step over them each time, sometimes getting my pants leg dirty in bad weather. I'd like to have control to keep the RBs fully retracted at all times unless I have a passenger that needs them. Otherwise, with no control, I think they are just another gee-gaw to break and are always in the way just like the fixed ones.

    I'm thinking of trading my 97 for an 06 next summer. I really like the looks of the new interior. Can't wait to see the real thing this fall.

    Thanks for the input.
  • abhishek1abhishek1 Posts: 6
    The extended version will probably not be made because they already have the Expedition. Also, i think the extended models like the envoy and trailblazer extended look wierd.
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    I completely agree. The extended Envoy and Trailblazer models are not attractive. It's something about them that makes them look funny. They're too long or something. Also, about the extended Explorer, that would basically be the Expedition. If they made an extended Explorer, it would probably take sales away from the Expedition.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,587
    buy a rooftop carrier for a few hundred bucks, and you will have a bunch more storage. i have a thule carrier. it is long but narrow. i let my bil borrow it. he went on a trip with another family who also had an explorer, but they had a soft sided square roof carrier. my bil said the other family had to stop for gas earlier and always took 5 more gallons of gas than he did at each fill up.
    maybe the extended version is of the expedition, not the explorer. it is supposed to replace the excursion.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    well, see, thats the funny thing. ford has the explorer, chevy has the trailblazer, approximately same size and market segment. ford has the expedition, chevy has the tahoe.approximately same size and market segment. so here is the trailblazer ext, longer than a tahoe, but narrower. shorter than a suburban, but narrower. an extended explorer (a la EXT) would be longer than an expedition, but narrower, shorter than an excursion, but narrower. this is why i wonder how sales of this ext unit are. the smart thing they have done is created a whole new vehicle segment )based on length / width) and kept a majority of the parts the same. my understanding is from the b pillar forward, vehicles are identical, as are most underpinnings. must mean that the EXT costs them very little extras to build i would think.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,587
    thing is, the t'blazer had to be extended to fit the 3rd row of seats which the explorer already has without getting extended.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • smokie3smokie3 Posts: 4
    Ordered 06 Explorer with Mustang V8, 6 speed trans. Anyone have any idea how it will run. Never had 6 speed trans. Will it change gear 6 times on take off in drive. Looking forward getting it the last of Aug.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    From all I've read and heard, the 6-speed transmission is a dream. Silk-smooth shifts, very wide range of ratios. Top two gears are overdrive. Starting in drive, it will go through all six gears.

    NVBANKER has experience with one in a Navigator. Maybe he'll chime in here.

    I have an '06 Mountaineer ordered. The transmission is the primary reason I'm passing on the big financial incentives on the '05's. I said "Primary"; there are several other good reasons.
  • smokie3smokie3 Posts: 4
    How about the torque and the take off of the new engine. Have 04 expedition now, it does pretty good with 260 hp. the 293hp in the explorer it should fly. Also ordered 18" wheels with 235/65/18 tires. Heard these tires are hard to find.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    for the 2006 Expy/Meer to come out, myself...the 292 Hp and 6 speed and floor shifter intrigue me...when the info comes out, I hope someone can do a thorough comparison between the 05 and 06 Explorer, highlighting the major differences and improvements of the 06 over the 05...would also be nice to include what has NOT changed from 05 to 06, so we know what has not been altered, improved or whatever...one feature I always liked on the 02-05 was when you lift the tailgate window, the split between the upper and lower portions of the tailgate made for a lower liftover height to place groceries and merchandise in the back...few other makers do this, placing the split halfway up the tailgate, both halves are equal, but liftover height is awkward...hopefully Ford kept this feature, quite helpful...if they didn't, one should ask why...
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    The HP numbers are a bit deceiving. They represent the Max HP which occurs at a specific RPM, a speed at which we rarely operate. What I think is significant is the variable cam timing, which increases the HP across the entire RPM band. That, combined with the 6-speed transmission, should provide very lively performance.

    From what I've seen, the split in the liftgate has been raised to near its former location. IMO, a backward step, probably for $$.

    Still, I'm happy I have a Mountaineer ordered.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    the split liftgate is gone. window only opens. like you, that was a must have feature. foolish in my opinion for them to take it away. my guess it was due to all the problems they had with it.
  • smokie3smokie3 Posts: 4
    Anybody seen any price list yet? Ordered one & don't even no the price, which i really don't care, i've got to have one. Talking about the Explorer.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    ... for my 2006 Mountaineer. It's among the first 500 being built at St. Louis.
  • fordexp2fordexp2 Posts: 8
    I live in St. Louis and saw the new '06s today. Do you know when yours we be available for pickup or delivery?
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