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Image credits: © Mercury.

2007 Mercury Mountaineer

2007 Highlights

2007 Mercury Mountaineer
- Safety Canopy™ side air curtain standard on all models
- All models equipped wîth standard auxiliary audio input jack
- Heated windshield available across all models
- Available rear-seat DVD system wîth new, larger eight-inch screen
- New colors include White Chocolate Clearcoat Tri-Coat (Premier only), Alloy Clearcoat Metallic and Dark Cherry Clearcoat Metallic.
Overview2007 Mercury Mountaineer
The 2007 Mercury Mountaineer is a study in refinement. Its passenger compartment features attention to detail, comfort and quiet. The upscale design begins in the front row wîth an attractive instrument panel and ends in the rear wîth an innovative available power-folding third-row seat that provides an absolutely flat load floor. Mountaineer's innovation continues in customer-friendly feature enhancements, such as an available DVD-based navigation system and power-deployable side running boards.

For 2007, Ford's advanced Safety Canopy side air curtains, wîth rollover protection, are added to Mountaineer's long list of standard safety features. Other standard features include AdvanceTrac® wîth Roll Stability Control (RSC), and adaptive driver and front air bags.

Mountaineer features a simplified series lineup for 2007 and is available in two models – Mountaineer and Mountaineer Premier. Both are available wîth either 4x2 or all-wheel drive. Mountaineer Premier offers a choice of a V-6 or a V-8, while Mountaineer is only available wîth the V-6.

Mountaineer is built in Louisville, Ky.

Design and Equipment

2007 Mercury Mountaineer
Mountaineer sports a refined front-end design that accentuates the signature Mercury waterfall grille and imbues it wîth an air of sophistication. The front fascia and rectangular fog lamps are a subtle evolution of Mercury's design direction. Directly below the grille, the center section of the bumper features a satin aluminum finish, a design cue for Mercury.

Side mirrors have been tested in a wind tunnel and provide a significant reduction in wind noise, despite being large for improved rearward visibility. The mirrors feature a chamfered lower inside edge, which serves a functional aero purpose and provides a distinctive shape in line wîth Mountaineer's sophisticated design.

In the back, there are clear tail lamp lenses, and the rear bumper fascia is finished wîth a satin aluminum strip integrating the front and rear design. For those seeking even more distinction, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels are available as an option on Mountaineer and standard on Mountaineer Premier.

Available power-deployable running boards bring this convenient luxury feature to the mid-size sport-utility §egmènt – wîth a twist: When retracted, the running boards are fully integrated into the rocker panels and hidden out of sight for a clean, uncluttered look.

Of Mountaineer's eight colors, three are new for 2007. The fresh offerings include Dark Cherry Clearcoat Metallic, Alloy Clearcoat Metallic and White Chocolate Clearcoat Tri-coat, which is reserved for Mountaineer Premier.

Expanded to all models for 2007 is an optional heated windshield that dramatically decreases the time needed to defrost or de-ice the windshield.

The seats are available in three different second-row configurations, the most in the mid-size sport-utility §egmènt. Mountaineer comes standard wîth a 60/40-split fold-flat second-row bench seat. Mountaineer Premier also has a standard 60/40-split second-row bench; which is upgraded wîth reclining seat backs to allow access to the third row of seats that are standard on Mountaineer Premier. Available in both arrays are second-row bucket seats wîth a center console, an industry first in a mid-size sport-utility vehicle.

Fold-flat third-row seats are standard on Mountaineer Premier and optional on Mountaineer. Mountaineer Premier's third row is available wîth the optional power-folding seat backs, which fold flat literally at the touch of a button.

Mountaineer comes standard wîth an auxiliary audio input jack for MP3 players, and is available wîth SIRIÚS satellite radio and an improved rear seat DVD entertainment system, which features a larger eight-inch screen for 2007.

Powertrain and Chassis

2007 Mercury Mountaineer
Premier models are available wîth a three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) This advanced V-8 features variable cam timing and creates a robust 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. A 4.0-liter V-6 wîth a five-speed automatic comes standard in both Mountaineer and Mountaineer Premier.

A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard wîth the three-valve 4.6-liter V-8. Úsing technology more commonly found in luxury sport sedans, this six-speed transmission provides smooth, seamless performance that makes the most of the V-8's powerband while improving fuel efficiency.

V-6-powered Mountaineers feature a 5-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) Both V-6 and V-8 Mountaineers are available wîth all-wheel drive.

Safety and Security

A significant amount of engineering work went into designing the 2007 Mountaineer's industry- and §egmènt-first safety systems, including an array of 10 advanced safety features as standard equipment. The system includes driver and front air bags that further adapt to an occupant's size and the severity of a crash, as well as adaptive technologies for load-limiting seatbelt retractors and the collapsible §teering column.

A five-level front passenger occupant classification sensor, enhanced restraint control module and a driver-seat track position sensor help provide the information used to adapt the safety systems. Front side-impact air bags are standard and the Safety Canopy System covering first and second row outboard seats in now standard on all 2007 Mountaineer models

Also standard is Ford's exclusive AdvanceTrac® wîth Roll Stability Control (RSC), which is unlike any stability control system made by any other automaker. It uses state-of-the-art gyroscope technology to sense a roll condition and then deploys countermeasures through braking and engine controls to attempt to bring the vehicle back under control. No other automaker uses this gyroscope technology in its system. Instead, they rely on a basic stability control system that helps prevent a slide, infers the possibility of a roll, but cannot actually sense a roll.

Major Features and Options

Vital Stats and Specifications
Vital Stats
Engine : 4.0 L., 6-cylinder

Engine : 4.6 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 292 hp
Torque: 300 ft-lbs


5-speed Automatic
Mountaineer : 4.0L V-6 wîth a 5-speed automatic; 17-inch aluminum wheels wîth P245/65R17 all-season tires; power door locks; message center wîth four-line display; auto-dimming rear-view mirrors; remote keyless entry; fog lamps; headlamps wîth auto lamp; dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control; premium AM/FM stereo wîth single CD player and MP3 capability; auxiliary audio input jack; first-row leather-trimmed sport bucket seats wîth 10-way power reclining driver seat wîth power lumbar support; color-keyed and leather-wrapped §teering wheel wîth speed and redundant audio and climate controls; AdvanceTrac® wîth Roll Stability Control (RSC); Intelligent Safety System™; Safety Canopy™ side curtain airbags for the first- and second-row passengers plus rollover protection sensors and side-impact front air bags.

Mountaineer Premier adds: Reverse Sensing System™; universal garage door opener; satin aluminum round exhaust tip; dual power heated outside mirrors wîth security and approach lamps; satin aluminum roof side rails; 18-inch satin aluminum chrome clad wheels wîth P235/65R18 all-season tires; Audiophile stereo system wîth in-dash, six-disc CD changer wîth MP3 capability and an eight-inch subwoofer; color-keyed running boards; first-row heated and leather-trimmed sport bucket seats wîth Preferred Suede inserts; six-way power passenger seat; second-row reclining seatbacks and access to third-row; third-row power fold flat 50/50 split bench seat.

Options include: power running boards; SIRIÚS satellite radio; power adjustable pedals wîth memory; power moonroof; navigation system; rear-seat DVD entertainment system; quad bucket seating; heated front seats; auxiliary climate control; comfort and convenience package (includes Audiophile 6-disc CD system; color keyed running boards and third-row 50/50 split bench seat); Reverse Sensing System and trailer tow package.

Source - Mercury
Debuting in 1997, the Mountaineer was all about luxury compacted into a SUV body style. The mid-size vehicle was sold by the Mercury division of Ford from 1997 until 2010. Many of its features were shared with the Ford Explorer, and under the hood the SUVs were basically the same. The Mountaineer was not only priced higher, but also featured more upscale features than the rugged Explorer.

The Explorer had been out in production for over two years when the similar Mountaineer was introduced as its twin. The Mountaineer only had slight differences from the Explorer and was offered as the 'premier' trim level. The new SUV featured a standard 302 cu in 215 hp Windsor V8 engine.

Unfortunately the first year didn't yield the sales that Mercury was hoping for. Customers weren't able to tell the two models apart, so for 1998 the Mountaineer received a front fascia flipped upside down, smaller headlights and a new rear hatch and distinct wheels. The standard powerplant was the new overhead-cam 4.0 L 205 hp Cologne V6 with a 5-speed 5R55E automatic that enhanced performance. Though the sales still couldn't compete with the Explorer, the Mountaineer sales steadily rose because of these updates that included stability and handling. Unfortunately the increasing number of rollover incidents caused the Mountaineer to lose some of its credibility as a roadworthy warrior. Both the Explorer and the Mountaineer underwent a brand new redesign in 2002 in an attempt to address any consumer safety fears.

The second generation of the Mountaineer arrived on the scene for 2002 along with a revamped Explorer. The Mountaineer received even more luxury features and was redesigned from the ground up. The luxury options included features like a rear-seat TV/DVD player, faux-brushed metal trim and rear radio deck. An unfortunate flaw in the second-generation design was rear hatch cracks near the Ford and Mercury logos. Other than this imperfection, the new design of the Mountaineer would be preview of what was to come on future Mercury models with more luxurious looks and features. The waterfall grill and barred taillights would become part of Mercury's new signature look eventually appearing on all future models.

The second-generation model featured all-new independent suspension that was modeled after the same concept as many luxury sedans. The SUV was still a fun ride though and featured more ground clearance along with skilled off road handling. Side curtain airbags that would deploy in the event of a rollover and additional air bags were part of the new safety features for 2002. The SUV was now 1.9 inches wider, which gave more leg and shoulder room for both the driver and passengers. Providing more room was an optional third row, fold-flat seat and bigger cabin. The Mountaineer's sales were a drastic improvement over the first generation models. Mountaineer owners have enjoyed their vehicles and are reported to have one of the highest owner loyalty ratings of an SUV.



The third generation Mountaineer was introduced in 2006 as a redesign on a new generation of Ford's U2 platform. The outside of the model didn't change much which the biggest changes being found in the new all-white tail lamps, chrome side view mirrors, bigger wheels and enlarged Mercury logos on the tailgate and grille. The Lincoln Aviator was now discontinued and Ford wanted to fill the empty spot between that and the Explorer, so the Mountaineer was offered in a more upscale sportier version. The inside of the Mountaineer now super high-class with a DVD-based navigation system with voice control. This was the first time that this feature was available on a Mountaineer. The interior was upgraded with more insulation to make the ride much quieter and the frame was revised along with the shocks to provide a smoother ride. Added to the standard equipment package in 2006 was enhanced handling thanks to the AdvanceTrac Stability control and Roll Stability control. Producing an astonishing 292 horsepower was a new t4.6, V7 powerhouse engine that increased gas mileage. New this year was an optional power operated third row seat and a navigation system.

For those looking for a little more than just a small compact SUV, the 2007 Mountaineer was a perfect midway point with the capability to haul like the big guys without the hefty fuel price. Six different trims were available this year that included all wheel drive versions. Various upgrades included a heated windshield, larger entertainment system screen, and an audio input jack.

Changes for 2008 included side curtain airbags and the 'M-O-U-N-T-A-I-N-E-E-R' badging removed from the front doors. The following year the trailer sway control became standard. The handy navigation system received traffic flow monitoring and gas prices updates from nearby gas stations. Ford's MyKey was added as standard in 2010 across all trim levels.

For 2010 the Mountaineer was even better than before with a bevy of extra space for carrying groceries, luggage and even extra passengers. The inside comfortably seats up to seven passengers. Two trim levels were available this year: the Base and the Premier. Both trim are available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. Drivers had the option of two separate powertrain configurations: a 4.0L 210hp V6 combined with a 5-speed automatic transmission or a 4.6L 292hp V8 mated to an optional 6-speed auto transmission.

The 2010 Premiere trim level included 18-inch chrome wheels, leather upholstery, satellite radio, dual-zoned automatic climate control, third-row seating and the SYNC Communications System. Constantly monitoring the odds of the SUV overturning was Ford's AdvanceTrac stability control system with electronic rollover protection. The system would determine the probability 100 times per second. Other safety enhancements this year included anti-lock brakes, electronic traction control and side and curtain airbags and more.

New standard equipment included adjustable foot pedals, a power moonroof, position-memorizing heated front seats, separate climate control for the rear and a new audio system. The popular Ford Reverse Sensing System was new for this year and provided an audible signal whenever an object was within close proximity when reversing at low speeds. The audible signals beeps faster and faster the closer that you get to the object.

This would be the last generation of the Mercury Mountaineer as production ceased on October 1, 2010. As Ford was trying to do away with the Mercury marque the Mountaineer was caught in the crosshairs. No 2011 Mountaineers were production in 2011 like the rest of the Mercury lineup.

Following a large number of rollover accidents involving Mountaineers and Explorers the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) contacted Ford and Firestone regarding tire failure on models fitted with Firestone tires. It was found that various models of 15-inch Firestone tires had high failure rates, especially tires made at Firestone's Decatur, Illinois plant. The rollovers were caused by drivers overreacting to the tire blowout according to Car and Driver. The Ford Motor Company refuses to equip any car they sell with Firestones, even to this day.

Sales in 1996 totaled at 26,700 Mountaineer models sold, and nearly doubled in 1997 at 45,363 models. A total of 47,595 models were produced in 1998, and 49,281 in 1999. For 2000 the sales held strong at 46,547 before dipping slightly the following year at 45,574. They rose a bit in 2002 to 48,144 models produced and once again in 2003 to 49,692. In 2004 they dropped to 43,916 models and continued to drop steadily from there with only 32,491 models produced in 2005, and 29,567 in 2006. 2007 was not any better as sales continued to drop to 23,850 before plummeting to 10,596 in 2008, 5,169 in 2009 and finally 5,791 in 2010.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Mountaineer
http://www.carseek.com/reviews/mercury/mountaineer/
http://www.carseek.com/reviews/mercury/2010-mountaineer/

By Jessica Donaldson
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