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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars, front and side impacts; three stars, rollover resistance
Good," frontal impact; "acceptable," side impact; "acceptable," rear impact
The 2010 Mercury Mountaineer has a full set of safety features, but a less-than-perfect set of crash-test scores, along with mediocre rollover-resistance results, keeps TheCarConnection.com from giving it an excellent score in this category.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards the 2010 Mercury Mountaineer five out of five stars for front and side impact protection, but only three stars for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which conducts more rigorous tests, grants the Mountaineer its top rating of "good" in frontal offset tests, but the second-highest rating of "acceptable" for side impact tests. In rear impact tests, the Mercury Mountaineer gets an "acceptable" rating.
Kelley Blue Book reports that the Mercury Mountaineer 2009 "has an impressive array of safety features, with crumple zones in the front fenders, three-point seat belts at all positions and a side-curtain airbag system that deploys to cover seventy-five percent of the side glass area," plus the "standard Safety Canopy airbag system protects passengers in the event of a rollover or side collision." The stability control system in the 2010 Mercury Mountaineer has rollover mitigation, which uses traction control and stability control to lower the risk of a rollover.
Rearward visibility isn't quite the issue in the 2010 Mountaineer as it is in some other utility vehicles. Kelley Blue Book notes an "optional Reverse Sensing System alerts you to objects behind the vehicle that are out of the range of the rearview mirror." ConsumerGuide reports that Mercury Mountaineer "outward visibility is hindered somewhat by thick roof pillars, but the 2nd- and 3rd-row headrests fold to reduce the obstruction."
Occupant protection is quite good in the 2010 Mercury Mountaineer, but it's not class-leading.