Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer Real World MPG

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
Please report on your Explorer or Mountaineer mileage here.

Include your odometer reading, city/highway mix, driving style or anything else you think may help others compare their mpg with yours. Thanks!

Steve, Host


  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    I've had 5 Explorers/Mountaineers. Of the recent models, 02 and 04 I've had, the mileage has been:

    4.0L six 2WD - 17mpg in town, 21mpg on highway.
    4.6L V-8 AWD - 13mpg in town, 19mpg on highway.
  • vandyman87vandyman87 Member Posts: 1
    After 9 days with my '06 Mountaineer-- V8 Premier, AWD, w/all bells & whistles-- I love it so far. At 530 miles, I'm averaging about 15.5mpg mixed (75% city), 90 degree heat and running the air conditioner most of the time. I'm a little heavy with my right foot though as I do enjoy the growl, and noticed with the 6 speed it is geared pretty low (compared to the 1999 V8 Explorer I traded). I've heard after break-in (3k miles?) mpg should improve. With the discount off MSRP, the financing and rebates, I'm not too concerned with my mpg as I bought much more vehicle at less than originally intended. The ride is really incredible... and mpg on hwy did seem to average about 20mpg for a short run.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I've heard after break-in (3k miles?) mpg should improve.

    People's experiences vary - on my minivan the mpg kept improving even after 10,000 miles. 20-21 mpg is the highway EPA rating and you're a little over the city EPA estimate of 14-15 with your mostly city driving, so I'd say you'd doing pretty good already. But the first few tanks can be deceptive; mine were all over the map for the first couple of thousand miles.

    Congrats on the new ride!

    Steve, Host
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    1997 Ford Explorer XLT, 5.0L V8, 147,000 mi, City 13mpg, Hwy 17mpg.

    2000 Ford Explorer XLT, 5.0L V8, 123,000 mi, City 13mpg, Hwy 17mpg.
  • overcomeovercome Member Posts: 4
    2003 mountaineer V8 premier
    35,000 miles
    15.5 mpg....mostly city driving w/ ac running 70% of the time
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    19 MPG when mostly highway (long trip for example)

    with normal city / hwy mix, mostly city, we'll get 15.5 or so, as indicated by the vehicle MPG gauge. i havent checked the reliability of this measurement in a while.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Member Posts: 431
    I have about 21000 miles on mine. It gets about 13 MPG around town. A lot of short trips (less than 4 to 5 miles at a time). On the interstates I set the cruise at 5 MPH above the speed limit and get 19 to 20 MPG.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • ustazzafustazzaf Member Posts: 311
    If I get 15 with my 98 Mountaineer I am lucky, but i did not expect better from an AWD V8. The vehicle is awesome.
  • daryll44daryll44 Member Posts: 307
    2003 Premier AWD V8 w 50,000 miles. We get 14 city/19 hwy. Take off about 1/2 mile per gallon for heavy A/C useage in the summer. And consider we live in Pittsburgh. Up and down STEEP hills ALL DAY LONG. (Tires and brakes last about 25,000 miles). I just installed Michelin MS/LTX tires...had them on my '99 Explorer....they lasted 50,000 on that. $800 bucks though!
  • matthattan1587matthattan1587 Member Posts: 53
    Hello I have a 2006 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer V6 4.0L...I only have put 500 miles on it so far and am getting only around 13-14mpg inmixed city and highway driving. Hopefully the gas mileage will get better as I put more miles on it!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,236
    check your tire pressures. expecially the fronts. i run those a bit higher than recommended.
    the engine will take a good while to break in. i'm guessing 10k or so.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • matthattan1587matthattan1587 Member Posts: 53
    The tires seem properly inflated, but I see what you are saying. You really think it will take 10k miles till the gas mileage improves? Ive heard after about 2k it gets better?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    My experience with my minivan is that mpg varied a lot the first couple of thousand miles, and then started improving. It was still improving at 10,000 miles but the rate of increase started slowing down by then. YMMV. :shades:
  • nfntruthnfntruth Member Posts: 5
    I have about 6000 miles now, and I have been getting 9.5 mpg in San Diego, and about 12-13 mpg freeway. This thing is killing me! I have tires at full pressure. Even when my wife drives (not aggressive at all, trust me) she gets less than 13 mpg. How is this thing getting 50% worse mileage than a full size F-150 with the V8?!!!
  • lateralglateralg Member Posts: 929
    '06 Mountaineer 4.6, AWD.

    2,000 mile tow of travel trailer 9.3 MPG
    Highway without trailer. @ 70 MPH, 21 MPG ... really. Stay off the brakes!
  • nfntruthnfntruth Member Posts: 5
    Even if I reset the mileage tracker with the cruise set at 75 or so, its only getting around 15 to 15.5. Thats without accelerating, just maintaining current speed. Gonna have to get a second car loan just to pay for gas...
  • zeeman84zeeman84 Member Posts: 16
    Vehicle has been averaging 16.5 mixed city, highway. On our summer vacation of about 1,500 miles of mostly highway driving with cruise on going 60mph it returned 23mpg.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    My friend's car, but I thought I'd report anyway.

    Mixed driving (about 70% interstate miles), it returned 19.5 MPGs. He averages about 75MPH on the interstate.
  • templertempler Member Posts: 7
    Just drove from Covington, Kentucky (5 miles outside of Cincinnati, Ohio) to Gatlinburg, Tennessee about 295 miles one way and got 22.5 mpg. That is mostly highway with cruise set on 72.
  • mtnman7mtnman7 Member Posts: 2
    2005 Ford Explorer 4.0L, 23,500 miles on the truck.

    Just drove from Grand Junction to Denver Colorado today. Avg. MPG 21. Usually between 15 and 16 MPG in city. If your getting less than get your foot out of the gas pedal. MPG goes down fast on this truck with high RPMs.

    Hope this helps.
  • sd_explorersd_explorer Member Posts: 1
    I got 16.75 MPG on mixed highway(stop&go)/city in SoCal on my first full tank. The computer MPG wasn't too far off as it reported 17.2 MPG.
  • matune1matune1 Member Posts: 3
    I'm considering buying a 2002 Ford Expl Limited. I have a choice between the V-6 Flex Fuel and the V-8.

    I'm concerned about all the comments I've heard that Explorers don't get the mileage their EPA estimates call for.

    What kind of MPG are folks ACTUALLY getting on these two engines, in town an highway, please?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,236
    '02 explorer, about 64k miles, v8 w/tow package. 16.2 lifetime average.
    newly licensed driver averages about 13mpg in local only driving.
    from central ct to washington dc area via pa, four on board. 16.8 on the way there; cold, windy, rainy, no traffic. 380+ miles in 6 hours. ;) some local driving plus the trip back, warmer, some traffic, 18.6 average.
    epa is 14-19.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    2002 V6 Mountaineer 16 city, 20 hwy.
    2004 V8 Mountaineer 13.6 city, 18 hwy.
    2006 V8-3V Explorer 13.6 city, 19 hwy

    As you can see, I prefer the V-8. The new 3 valve V-8 give you a ton more power, but the 6 speed tranny, gives you the same mileage with more power.
  • fordenvyfordenvy Member Posts: 72
    2004 Explorer XLT 4WD 4.0L V6.
    HI-22.02, LO-11.72, AVG-17.34.
    Gotten 22 MPG on a trip, and 12 MPG 4WDing.
    Overall this gas mileage sucks.
  • frieberg44frieberg44 Member Posts: 33
    With 29344 miles, my 6 speed has recorded an average mileage of: 15.88 mpg. I am happy. This is about 1 MPG better than I expected for a gas guzzling V-8. BRAVO for the 6 speed tranny. Best mileage on highway (@ constant 68-70 mpg)>20.7, worst mileage> 12.8 (cold weather). Only complaints: dinging OTHER peoples' doors due to the moron who desinged the idiotic lack of control of how to GRASP the Explorer door as it SWINGS OPEN (bam !!! Ding !! Whap !!) Whoever designed the Explorer door should be taken out and run over by a...TOYOTA 4-Runner (a vastly better eingineered vehicle).
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    TOYOTA 4-Runner (a vastly better eingineered vehicle).

    Vastly? My, we are given to hyperbole, aren't we? I disagree, but it may be more symantical than actual. The Explorer is a superior design in every way. It rides better, the third seat is actually adult friendly, and folds away. You can see over the hood without the power dome getting in your way, and see the road, the independent rear suspension makes the stepping over bumps or rocks much easier on the spleen, and the new 3V 4.6L motor with the new 6 speed transmission is just a honey to drive.

    Now, the Toyota will run twice as long, with half the problems, I'll give ya that, and if by that you mean engineered better, then fine. But the Ford "design", is vastly superior to the 4-runner.

    Of course, I could be wrong.....
  • ghauserghauser Member Posts: 6
    I think I've discovered the difference between my good '02 Explorer mileage and what I'm getting with the '06. The '02 had the category II (small receiver hitch) towing package which had a 3.55 gear ratio, and the '06 has the cat III/IV package which mandates a 3.73 ratio. Sure has more dig, though.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Bingo!!! That is exactly the key, mate. :P
  • dieterbdieterb Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Mercury Mountaineer with 1895 miles on it. I average 13.5 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. Love the car. Was not overly worried about the MPG, but with the rise in gas prices, WOW!!!
  • hazmat456hazmat456 Member Posts: 1
    1997 mercury mountaineer 136,000 miles
    31-10.5/15 tires a/c compressor runs no matter what you do so winter/summer dose not seem to make much difference i get 13.8 mpg average i have a 3500lbs camper and that dose not make a difference
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    at over 2200 meters above sea level I get around 17 mpg in city driving, havent taken it on the highway yet.

    2001 Ford Explorer Sport with 39 000 miles on a V6 4.0 200hp engine.
  • coach8coach8 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 95 Ford Explorer V6 motor with about 115,000 miles on it ... as of late I am loosing about 2 mpg off of my average from 6 months ago. I recently replaced some vacuum lines that were cracked and I just put in a new fuel pump. The car seems to run fine just lower gas mileage.... Any clues???
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport.

    It still has the original Michelin 235/75R15 tires on it but after 6 years its time to change them.

    That bring in 2 questions:

    1)Is it possible to install thinner tires.. maybe like 215 or 205 if i respect the original height?
    -Would this make the vehicle any less safe?
    -Would they fit the original rims?
    -Would gas mileage really be reduced a little bit?

    None of the tires are too worn (Explorer was only driven 40K miles on them) yet the tires are 6 years old but only the front ones have little cracks on the side which make me uncomfortable to take the Explorer on the highway (usually drive only in city traffic).

    2)The spare tire is brand new cause its never been used ... yet its been down under the Explorer for 6 years. If I only want to change the front tires for the moment could i use the spare and only buy a second tire or is it too dangerous and i should change all tires?

    Thanks for the help!!!!
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Would gas mileage really be reduced a little bit?

    I'm curious. What makes you think your mileage will change?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • fordsonfordson Member Posts: 4
    If i change tire size from 15" to 16" will i get better milage?
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    Im wondering if thinner tires would cause less friction/drag therefore increasing mileage...
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    If there is no adhesion between the tires and the pavement, then the coefficient of friction (rolling) should not vary with contact area. And if it does, the change will be negligible in terms of mileage improvement.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • gusgorillagusgorilla Member Posts: 1
    There would be a slight reduction of friction between the tires and road surface. Slight being the key word, so slight that you would never notice it in a fuel mileage calculation. However the reduced surface area of your tires may Greatly impact your traction. Reduced traction will go unnoticed until you really need it. Situations like emergency braking, an evasive move in traffic, poor weather, will all bring it to your attention. Sure the ABS will still activate correctly but it will have just that much less area to work with. IMHO it's not worth the trade. As for the tires fitting the rim, any good tire shop would be able to tell you, I really don't know. As for the spare, it's the same age as the original tires, I'd leave it as is, as a spare. Good luck to you and I hope you can find a good deal on some tires.
  • scinlaecascinlaeca Member Posts: 1
    I just recently purchased an 02 Explorer XLT - V8 - 4.6L
    I have an 11 mile commute to work, little to no traffic. In the last few days, my 11 mile drive uses a quarter tank of gas! I have checked the standard stuff, ie; fuel filter, pump, fuel injectors, air filter etc. and there is no leak. What could be causing the absolute crappy gas milege??
    Any advice is greatly appreciated. :confuse:
  • hackdhackd Member Posts: 65
    I wanted to see what others have recently been getting with the latest models. I currently get about 13-14 City and 21-22 Highway going about 65-70 MPH. Kind of dissapointed with city figures but when reviewing others mileage forums it could be worse. Mileage computer has definitely cured my lead foot as with certain techniques like coasting and keeping RPM's low I can get up to 15+ in City driving.
  • dtownmildtownmil Member Posts: 23
    98 Explorer Sport, 4.0L SOHC, 120,000 miles, 13 MPG in town, 16-17 highway. I think that stinks. I like everything else about this vehicle, except that the rear springs sag a bit. It even tows my 19' boat well. Cruddy mileage. I changed to synthetic oil recently, so I hope that helps a bit. I think it had 10W-30, now I put in 5W-30 syn.
  • dman446dman446 Member Posts: 3
    I drove the truck from 84,000 - 106K miles.
    stock 4.0L 203 hp V6 16/21 MPG

    After adding:
    Flowmoaster Catback system
    removed radiator fan and converted to 16" Hayden electric fan
    cold air intake
    new plugs/wires
    TPS Sensor adustment

    ended up getting 19-20/25-26 according to the self installed information display i installed from a 4 door model.
  • trailsandroadstrailsandroads Member Posts: 4
    hey coach, If you never tried using a 100% synthetic oil, that will help your mileage. I use Amsoil now which I believe is a better oil than Mobil1 and it's close to .50 cents cheaper per quart depending how much you would buy. Synthetic oils are produced here in the U.S.A. and not imported from the mid east. If you have replaced tires, Did you get a heavy tire ? Any one who would buy Goodyear Wranglers Silent Armuors will get less MPG. The set I got for my mothers 2003 explorer, very seldom will you get 16MPG with good gas. It use to be with bad gas the least you got was 16MPG with the Michelin cross terrains. Maybe you need to get different gas as now ethenol is everywhere at the pumps mixed in the gas of 10% mix. Some people now say that ethenol has alot of less MPG we all are getting. Who knows. Now I'm confused. :confuse: :sick: :(
  • trailsandroadstrailsandroads Member Posts: 4
    nfntruth...... You made a smart choice using 5W-30 synthetic oil. If everybody would use it, these people that hate us would not be getting our money. If your explorer uses oil, and you believe and see that it still is, wait after 1500 to 2000 miles and change the oil and filter again with 100% synthetic oil. If it does not use oil, I would change it all again after the first 3000 miles on your first synthetic use. You will see the gunk & slime the other oils creates when you drain it. I had a 1986 T-Bird and it used oil. After I changed the oil and filter after 1500 miles. At 26500 miles, I could'nt believe what that oil looked like. I drove it for 12 more years changing the oil one time every year, and I put 170,000 more miles on it. it was a 3.8 V6 with 25,000 on it before I switched to synthetic oil. Hope all this helps you or anyone else.
  • etobicokianetobicokian Member Posts: 3
    2006 Explorer V8 AWD. Just upgraded from a 1996 Explorer V8. City mileage is a little worse but hiway is amazing. Averaging 15-16 mpg city but get this...24.5 at 70 mph, 25.5 at 65 mph and 28 mpg at 55 mph. To make it a little easier for the no believers this is on a flat stretch of hiway over a 50 mile stretch using the on board computer. Now I just have to verify with manual calculation. WOW!!!
  • kam327kam327 Member Posts: 115
    Anybody know how Ford has increased the mileage of the Explorer from 2006 to now? I just bought a used '06 V8 that is EPA rated at 19 hwy (according to the 2008 method) but the '10 model is rated at 21 hwy. I just wondered if I can make any of the changes Ford must have in later model years to achieve those higher numbers.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,236
    Up to about 13,500 miles. Just finished a 1600 mile round trip and averaged 24 mpg with AWD XLT.
    Starting elevation was about 150 feet up to about 2350(I-80 in PA) and about 700 feet at the end before turning around.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
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