Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
The V-8 is pretty snooze-worthy
Cars and Driver
V6 looks more underpowered with every passing year
fuel economy is generally less than in most crossovers
compliant...devoid of sloppy motions
TheCarConnection.com studied reviews of the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer’s performance drove the new SUV, and found its performance to be predictably smooth, if not exciting. While it still drives like a truck, it's stable and pretty responsive for something that weighs 5,000 pounds.
The Mountaineer shares its engines with the Explorer. Automotive.com notes that "two [Mercury Mountaineer 2008] powertrains are available: a 210-horsepower V6 and five-speed automatic transmission and a 292-hp V8 with six-speed automatic," adding that the latter is the better choice "if you have a boat to tow and a family to haul." Car and Driver says "the V-8 is tons of fun in the Mustang GT, where it feels like there's an offensive lineman on meth under the hood, but in the [Mercury] Mountaineer, it's pretty snooze-worthy," although this reviewer "you'll definitely be able to put it to work, with a 6960-pound tow rating in all-wheel-drive V-8." About the smaller engine, Edmunds comments that the Mercury Mountaineer "210-horsepower V6 looks more underpowered with every passing year."
There are some complaints about the Mercury Mountaineer 2008 transmission; Edmunds reports that "a bit slow to downshift." Car and Driver elaborates: "downshifts all happen at their own pace; there's no sense in asking any of them to hurry, because the Mountaineer will just ignore you." ConsumerGuide adds "the transmission shift lever blocks easy access to some climate controls." Rear-wheel drive is the Mountaineer’s standard configuration; four-wheel drive is an option.
Gas mileage is middle of the road for the class and lower than the new generation of car-based utility vehicles. Automotive.com reports "with either engine, fuel economy is also generally less than in most crossovers...the V6 gets an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg with 2WD, 13/19 mpg with 4WD." ConsumerGuide "an AWD V8 Mountaineer averaged 15.1 mpg."
For a truck-derived sport-ute, the Mountaineer has pleasant road manners. Automotive.com tells us that "the Mountaineer offers a smooth ride, though it feels more like a truck than the latest crossover, or car-based, SUVs feel, with noticeable up and down motions on bumpy pavement." ConsumerGuide, however, says this Mercury Mountaineer 2008 model is "among the best of traditional truck-type SUVs...compliant, and devoid of sloppy motions." Kelley Blue Book says the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer's "independent rear suspension provides it with great stability while cornering and the variable-rate power steering returns excellent feedback to the driver." According to Edmunds, "brakes, though adequate when it comes to stopping, have a spongy pedal feel."
You'll like the way the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer drivesif you’re used to trucklike SUVs.