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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2006 and newer



  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    i concur. before we purchased, we thought the floor shifter was seriously outdated as well. was definitely a strike against the vehicle. those with floor shifters seemed more classy. but now having had the column shifter i love it. not as nice looking, but definitely more functional.
    as far as the foot wells go... i dont have as much as problem with the size as ... why cant ford spend $10 and put in a dead pedal for your foot to rest like everybody else?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I wear a size 11 mens shoe, and have no issues with the pedals. I agree about the dead pedal - would be nice......
  • Everything I've read about the '06 says it's quieter, more structurally sound, handles better, has better brakes, a significantly improved interior, and in general the best Explorer ever. So, if the most siginficant thing someone can find to criticize is the footwells, then I'd say it must be a pretty good vehicle!
  • I have owned a 1992, 1996 and 2002 Explorer EB and decided to step up to the 2006 Limited. Ford has made many improvements over the years and this year's edition is the best ever. However, there are two safety related problems that bother me. Hopefully they will be corrected but I wonder. First there is an occasional hesitation when pulling away from a complete stop. I wonder what would happen if a stall happened just as I was pulling into traffic. Second, There is an " image" of the dash top which reflects across the entire front window during day driving. Sometimes I find myself focusing on the reflection rather than the road. Not good! Has anyone with a 2006 model experienced the same problems? Thanks. Bob
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    agreed. with every generation, any model vehicle gets better. and so does the price go up. reality is, SUV's were hot and everyone was making plenty of cash on each one. now with gas $3 a gallon and SUV sales slowing, they need to improve the vehicle and keep the price reasonable. seems like detroit has finally followed the lead of the japanese and started making vehicles people want, not ones that pad their bottom line.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I bet your hesitation is the throttle-by-wire unit. All cars that are moving to that, vs. a mechanical cable to a throttle body experience a slight, nominal hesitation to response. The Lexus owners have complained about this for a couple of years since they started using it.

    Polarized glasses take that glare away.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    None of that with my '03 Lincoln LS.

    Polarized glasses also make a navigation unit almost unreadable.
  • wt4000wt4000 Posts: 37
    Has anyone seen an '06 with the chrome running board option on it?
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I sat in a loaded 2006 Explorer today and the footwell space is no different in any way I could detect from that in the 2002 Mountaineer I recently sold after driving it 98,000 miles. The floor shifter raises the center console some, but not enough to matter. Therefore, I think that Car & Driver just wanted to find something to complain about, since I see no basis for their complaint.

    The floor shifter does steal storage space which was very useful in the 2002 - 2005 Explorer / Mountaineer. Ford did put a shallow tray on top of the dashboard of the 2006 models, but that is much less useful that the previous tray in the console. For example, we stored ink pens, sunglasses, and various other small objects in the tray in our Mountaineer, but would not in the dash-top tray, as they could, and probably would, fly out and be scattered or even hit us in the face. A dash-top bin with a lid, as on the Fusion and Five Hundred, would be far more useful.
  • wt4000wt4000 Posts: 37
    I agree with the footwell comparison, the 06 space is the same as the 05s, I compared space on a dealers lot side by side.

    I did notice the seat in the 06 seems to go slightly lower to the floor than the 05 which for me makes the driving position more comfortable. The power recline is certainly a welcomed addition.
  • Thanks nv. You have given a very good description of my hesitation problem and an explanation I can discuss with service personnel. My wife said she never noticed the glare problem until I mentioned it. Sorry Mom! Thanks again for the response. Bob
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    According to the Ford web site, the $2,000 cash back for 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer expires today (October 3, 2005).

    Today's expiration also seems to be true for all Ford vehicles. Any guesses on what will be in effect tomorrow?
  • Appears to have stayed at $2000 and added $500 ford financing cash thru Jan 6, 2006
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It is so nice to see cars without salesmen hovering about. I had ordered a new Explorer to replace my 2002 Mountaineer, then cancelled it when I saw gas prices rising rapidly and SUV values plummeting. The new instrument panel is flat on the top and front, with a big bulging center area, and the interior plastics have a courser grain pattern and look and feel cheaper. My wife commented that it seems like they copied from the Magnum, and I agree. The gauges are far away and difficult to read. The F-150 is nicer. Even the grab handle on the passenger side A-pillar is thinner and cheaper. The door is awkward to open and close with the handle in a wierd position below the latch release. We found ourselves trying to grab the armrest, which has no handle slot. The interior is a real step backwards from the 2002 - 2005 design. In this case, it looked better in photos than in reality. Also, the fuel mileage is still terrible, despite the six speed and revised engines. Only a few people at the show were looking at the Explorer, and none at the Mountaineer.
  • I was wary of the Explorer being improved, but I got a chance to drive the '06 today -an XLT with the V8 with an additional 50+ HP. Compared to my current '03, the ride, handling (steering/braking) and safety features seem dramatically refined and improved. The steering system has been redesigned, too, and the "feel" is much better, less "truck-like" and lighter compared to the '03. The ride is as quiet as any car I have been in. The redesigned driveshaft, frame and body mounts really pay off on the road. Hip and shoulder room is up from the previous generation as well. The brakes are bigger this year, too, and that should mean more towing capability and more secure stops, although I didn't notice much difference .

    Gas mileage on the sticker says it's up 2 MPG, even with 53 more horses, due to the new 6 speed AT, but that remains to be seen. As someone who likes to tow a big boat and realted recreational gear several times a year, the power will be great, even if the MPG isn't much better.

    I wouldn't recommend the Explorer (or any below 20 mpg SUV) for someone who just wants an SUV because everyone else has one, and doesn't "need " an SUV. I get a laugh at the fact that SUV sales have fallen off a cliff lately - it shows just how many people really didn't need one in the first place - just a "keeping up with the Jonses thing" or some false sense of safety - now proven not to be the case. About 80% of SUV buyers who say they need them for the "room" would do just as well in any minivan - which are cheaper and get better MPG. But they're not "cool". Sheesh!

    But I'm one of those who has a need to tow and have 4x4 capability (lots of snow/ice and camping in the mountains ), and if you need to tow and take the family gear, too, the '06 seems to be a major improvement in ride, handling, power and quiteness over the last generation. I was skeptical, but the test drive made the difference. At least it's on my list.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    gearjammer62: Good post! In my case, I had an SUV because I need to carry things which do not fit in the trunk of any cars except the Ford Five Hundred / Mercury Mongeo (not enough leg & foot space, small engine struggles and makes too much noise doing so) and Lexus LS430 (way too expensive). I have a hatchback car now, but it is barely big enough and is a model which will be discontinued. When I replace it, the new Lincoln version of the Five Hundred, the Explorer wagon and Sport Trac pickup, and other pickups will be on my list.

    Besides the poor fuel mileage, SUVs tend to cost $10,000 more than a car. The high purchase cost was apparently not enough to deter buyers, but the fuel cost increases are apparently the straw which broke the camel's back.
  • I've looked at several. My thoughts: 1) Obviously designed to attract female buyers; 2) I do not like the "ghetto, hip-hop" infused styling (attracting younger buyers ?? ). Too much cheap looking chrome trim; 3) I like others do NOT like the narrow foot wells (compare to a Honda Pilot, for example, which is much more comfortable in that regard); 4) the 6 speed tranny seems like a GREAT idea, but you KNOW that the V8 is gonna be a gas hog, especially during in town driving (13 MPG ?); 5) The door pull handle, BELOW the main window switch panel, is an amazingly STUPID idea on Ford's part (did a junior high kid design that feature ??); 6) Ford will have a veery tough time selling these SUV's like they used too; very expensive when considering the excellent quality competition (especially the likes of a 4Runner or Pilot.) My conclusion: I'll buy either a Honda or Toyota.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    "Obviously designed to attract female buyers"

    Why, if I may ask is the new Explorer designed to attract female buyers? What is so feminine about it?

    I doubt Ford will have trouble selling these. The Explorer has a very loyal owner base. Changes here and there aren't going to give Ford a tough time, it will give the competition (Honda & Toyota) a tough time.
  • wt4000wt4000 Posts: 37
    I don't think the 7300 pound towing rating of the Explorer had females in mind.
    Or the almost 300HP variable valve overhead cam V-8 with exclusive 6 speed auto.
    Or the real dual spped 4x4 transfer case with a real life 4x4 Low.

    Now if you were talking about a little V-6 grocery-get-er like a Honda Pilot, then yea, obviously that model is designed more for females who don't tow boats, or who never go off road and would not know the benefits of a real transfer case.

    The fact that the Explorer is cleaner buring than a Hybrid Honda Accord might appeal to women, or maybe the safety features that aren't available on the Honda Pilot. And yea, the split power fold 3rd row seat on the Explorer probably appeals to women more than men.

    Now that you mention it, the 06 Explorer seems to be unique in that it appeals to men who need the massive towing capacity and who undertsand the essential nature of a true two-speed transfer case that you just can't get with a Honda grocery-get-er.

    The Explorer also would probably appeal to women who like the superior safety features of the Explorer and would certainly like the fact that it emits fewer polluting fumes into the environent. Women will also like the AWD capability that comes with the real 4x4 2-speed transfer case.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I'm with you wt. The new Explorer/Mountaineer is a wonderful blend of strength and safety. And to compare it with a Honda Pilot is as ludicrous as comparing a Ridgeline with an F-150! The Hondas are Crossovers. The Fords are TRUCKS!!! Comparing the two is apples and oranges.

    Who else comes close to matching the Explorer in both utility and family-friendliness? How many Pilots do you see pulling a bass boat or even a U-Haul? I've hooked a trailer to our 04 Mountaineer several times and it is always more than capable - even with the V6.

    I think Ford has hit another homerun with this new Explorer. My prediction is that if gas prices go back down even a little bit, Ford may well set a sales record with this new Explorer.
  • I must say im impressed, although the new explorer photographs well, it looks much nicer in person, the crome grill adds a nice upscale touch, but not looking to wimpy either. Fit and finish is excellent, especially for a suv, paint was flawless, ford is doin an excellent job with their strides in quality and it really shows. I have driven the previous gen. explorer which rode a little stiff, the 06' has a better balance and doesnt feel as stiffly sprung. I was deffinatly impressed at how quiet the interior was, its dead slient, maybe more so than a car, its very suprising. When you start the engine you cant even hear it with the doors closed. Interior was nicely done, this model featured the nav system which was very trick, it speaks the approaching street names. The 6sp auto like all ford transmissions was smooth as silk and very unobtrusive, the V8 was great, although it seems you have to rev it more than i thought was neccessary for normal driving. It doesnt just glide away like some V8's ive driven. But the overall charater of the engine is nice, it makes sophisticated sounds when it does become audible which is very high up in the tach. Steering feel has deffinatly been improved, the exp. feels light on its feet and has a nice on center feel comparable with a good car. If i were in the market for an SUV the exp. would deffinately be high on my list, but im currently awaiting my 06 fusion SEL. but if an suv fits your needs deffinatly give it a look or drive, and i dont see ford having any trouble maintaining its best seller status w/ the exp. it only improves on what made the previous model a hit. :)
  • Ford will have a veery tough time selling these SUV's like they used too

    Gee, ya think??!! In case you haven't noticed, Honda and Toyota SUV sales have fallen off a cliff, too - Honda still has plenty of '05 Pilots sitting on dealer lots collecting dust while the '06's are sitting in back. Pilot sales are down 26% year-over-year in Honda's latest sales report. The downturn in SUV sales is impacting all carmakers, not just Ford.

    As for the "designed for females" remark - whatever that means - that's only "obvious" to you. Nobody in their right mind buys an SUV if MPG is a major concern, so, if the less powerful Honda and Toyota's SUV's would suit you better, then go for it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,032
    ford is not expecting to sell as many explorers as they have in the past(although i am sure they would like to). based on the mpg feedback on the pilot forum, it is pretty similar to the explorer, but it gives up a lot of 4x4nessand can't compete featurewise. the 4runner can't compete with the explorer in space efficiency and features. the explorer is still the best overall design.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • The Pilot and Highlander are nice SUV's for people who mostly haul kids and groceries from Wal-Mart and like to sit up high. Those people would be better served in a crossover or a minivan - both which get better MPG than an SUV and usually cost less, too. If you need serious towing and off-roading capability, the Pilot and Highlander are weaker in those areas than the Explorer. The 4Runner is a good "tough" alternative, but smaller in capacity, more expensive and gets poorer MPG (16 with the V8) than the Highlander.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Not to mention the 4Runner has that inconvenient "flip-up" third seat design. It is a nice, tough-built vehicle but the Explorer bests it on all counts (except, pehaps, long term reliability). I drove 'em all (except Durango) and even the '05 Expy, which I bought and got an unbelievable deal on, was best of the bunch. I didn't drive an '06 but I'm sure it's noticably better. The Pilot and Highlander are glorified mini-vans. If you can't even get a factory tow package (ie, Pilot) how tough can it be built?
  • I get a kick from people who make these grand pronouncements about cars they have never even driven. Yeah - that's what Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track, Consumer Reports , et. al. do...they go sit in a car for a few minutes, look at the footwells and door handles, and then write a review about how good or bad a car it is. NOT! How about making some effort and drive one? Maybe they'd find out that the new Explorer is actually now both quieter and more powerful than any Honda SUV? Who'd of thought?

    And comparing and Explorer with a Pilot ? - get real. The Pilot nice a nice car for your wife, with it's "adequate" V-6 power and minivan-based ride. But the Explorer will out-haul, out-tow and can go many places place your Pilot would get stuck in. That is, if you want a real SUV, not one based on a minivan platform , ala the Pilot. The '06 Explorer interior is largely based on the very successful F-150 series design. It almost too lacey-britches IMO, and maybe that will appeal to the ladies more.

    The Pilot and Explorer are really made for two audiences. When the Explorer has a little mud on it, it looks like it's been doing what is was designed for. When the Pilot has mud on it, it just looks dirty -and gosh, what would the neighbors think with a dirty Pilot in your dirveway?!?. Must have driven through a puddle in the Barnes and Noble parking lot!

    As someone said earlier, the Pilot is fine car for general driving and weekend trips to the Home Depot, but leave the real work that an SUV was designed for to an Explorer. IF your buying an SUV just to sit up high and look cool, look elsewhere. There are lots of converted mommy-mobiles made to look like SUV's that may appeal to you. The Explorer isn't one of them - although it it still the best selling SUV in history...and now more powerful AND quieter than a Pilot. Gosh darn that Ford!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Exactly. Fords are built so badly - it's incredible how people keep buying them over and over again, isn't it?

    I've had 5 of the Explorers since 94, they're so awful.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    In the Fusion discussion, ANT14 says that the 2006 Explorer has lower emissions than the Accord Hybrid. Why isn't Ford advertising the emissions advantage? I am certainly not the only one who would thoroughly enjoy commercials (I watch little TV, so it would be enjoy hearing about them) along the lines of:

    1) Explorer in a beautiful clean outdoor scene with a blue sky and a few clouds
    2) Accord Hybrid in a dirty industrial site photo with a smoggy sky
    3) Voice over which asks "Do you want a vehicle with lower emissions? Then asks "Did you know that the new Ford Explorer has lower emissions than the Honda Accord Hybrid?"
    4) Then more about the Explorer
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,032
    fsmmcsi, great idea. while we are having some fun... how about this?
    hah sitting in front of a ford explorer in traffic. somewhat dark fumes exiting from the honda, going into the explorer, and exiting the back of the explorer as a lighter color. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
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