2009 Mercury Mountaineer Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
January 1, 2009

The 2009 Mercury Mountaineer is what an Explorer looks like when it’s dressed up for the prom.

To help provide a well-rounded presentation on the Mountaineer, TheCarConnection.com has reviewed the latest articles on the Mercury to compile this conclusive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com offices have driven and evaluated various versions of the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer, including those powered by V-6 and V-8 engines; with this they can compare the Mountaineer to other SUVs to give you clear advice where other reviews might present conflicting opinions.

The Mercury brand is sandwiched between Ford and Lincoln in the Ford Motor Company lineup and, as a result, often has an identify crisis. It isn’t as luxurious as a Lincoln, but at the same time, it's a step above Ford in terms of design and amenities. The 2008 Mercury Mountaineer is a perfect example; it’s really just a well-equipped Ford Explorer, uniquely trimmed. Having an Explorer as a foundation is not a bad place to start, as it is among the best of the truck-based mid-size SUVs.

Mercury builds on its strong pedigree and offers the 2009 Mountaineer as a roomy three-row SUV with V-6 or V-8 power, available all-wheel drive, and original styling that isn’t altogether unpleasant. Safety is important in this segment, as the cargo is most likely to have a pulse. The Mountaineer offers canopy side curtain airbags and electronic stability controls to help improve passive and active safety. Government tests indicate that the Mountaineer protects its occupants very well during crashes.

The Explorer-based Mountaineer takes advantage of the Ford parts bin and is available with Ford-exclusive technology like Sirius Travel Link and SYNC, which uses a touchscreen and Bluetooth to control the vehicle's entertainment and communication systems. The Mountaineer also adds a capless fuel filler system, 20-inch wheels, and new option bundles like a Navigation package and the Moon and Tune Elite package.

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The 2009 Mountaineer continues with the same engine and drivetrain choices; a 4.0-liter V-6 engine remains the standard powerplant, with a 4.6-liter V-8 as an option. The V-6 comes with a five-speed automatic, and the V-8 is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Both are available in rear- or all-wheel-drive versions. The Mountaineer can be configured to be either a five- or seven-passenger vehicle, and when equipped, the third row can be power operated. A DVD navigation system, Sirius Satellite Radio, heated leather seats, a moonroof, power-adjustable brake/accelerator pedals, and power running boards remain optional.

The 2009 Mercury Mountaineer is available in base trim or as the up-level Premier edition.

Editors of TheCarConnection.com find the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer to be generally agreeable. It features clean styling and overall good quality. There are some glaring material quality missteps, but Mercury is much better than it used to be.

The driving position is good, and while the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer feels like the truck that it is based on, it is smooth, stable, and responsive for something that weighs 5,000 pounds. Credit the Mountaineers SUV's independent rear suspension for the improved ride. Editors from TheCarConnection.com find the V-6 engine noisier than the V-8, as the smaller engine has to work harder to keep the Mountaineer moving. As expected, mileage isn't impressive but not any worse than its truck-based competitors.

Feature-wise, the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer offers just about anything a buyer might want in an SUV, including great towing capacity, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a power-folding third-row seat (bringing the Mercury's seating capacity to seven).

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