I bought my 97 Mounty as a cheap suv to get me through chicago winters. It needed a little tweaking, having 180k miles on it, so i fixed some minor issues, installed a cheap mp3 radio, some heavy duty shocks in the rear, and Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires...let me tell you, this thing is a beast in the snow! Absolutely unstoppable! The awd and 5.0 mustang V8 are the best features in this reliable suv. (Okay, i put a Flowmaster muffler on it too, just so i could have that nice V8 rumble in the winter time as well). Its not a horsepower monster...the top end sucks, but its a torque beast. I can launch from a stoplight at 3k rpm in a foot of snow and not slip one bit! It handles like a wide receiver in ballet shoes, like any 90's suv, and it sucks gas too, but every vehicle has its trade offs. This thing is awesome though.
I bought my 1997 Mountaineer in 2012 with 155,000 miles. I am the third owner.
Did some minor DIY fixes and the thing just keeps shining.
It shifts a little hard.
And I did some work on the cooling system after driving it across country in summertime heat.
But overall very happy.
I luv the strong motor.
2WD but performs well in snow and I've even taken it off-roading and been impressed.
Easy to find parts at any junk yard.
Ford got this one right.
They are a leader in truck sales and I understand why now.
I have owned Fords; Mercurys; Oldsmobile; Pontiac; Mazda; and a Mercedes.
For the longest time the best car I owned was a 1987 Ford EXP.
Yeah it was a tarted up 2 seater escort.
But it was fun; practical and it never broke.
Then I bought this 1997 mountaineer used (I am the second owner).
The reason it is the best is because I got it dirt cheap and (after owning it a while) I recently drove it 4000 miles in blistering heat.
At one point my wife and I were crossing the desert in 118 degree heat with the air conditioner running.
Neither of us could believe the car didn't explode.
It ran like a champ.
All repairs have been minor and it's easy and cheap to fix. Ford trucks r awesome
It's too bad we regulate fuel economy and won't tap into our own fuel resources to make gas cheaper. It has caused all these new cars to have overly fragile transmissions and week motors that fall apart. I purchased this car 9 years ago with 150k miles it now has 228k miles very reliable no major repairs except I did replace the heating box in the dash because it only blew hot air (a flap inside malfunctioned)$400. There were no check engine lights on until a couple 1000 miles ago the parking brake light came on not bad for a car pushing a quarter million miles. I'm returning a 07 Ford edge off lease with 38,000 miles feels like its shaking apart at 60 mph transmissions shot.
dependable 5.0 v8!!! dependable tranny!
likes gas but when it was built gas was $1 a gallon now gas is tripled in cost thats not fords fault thats Washington's fault! Cars in the late 90's were built better than now because they had less restrictions go look at 05 06 07 reviews they are terrible.
After I addressed the mileage issue my changing to BFG Wranglers (my truck now gets 18-19 mpg) I now would drive it anywhere I need to go. I just got back from a family visit that took me from Jacksonville FL to Philadelphia and back, no problems. Mine currently has 134K and id parked next to my '93 explorer with 219K on its odometer. Let's hear it for Ford's Truck division.
It is an SUV with its height. (I am 6'1")
Get rid of the A/T (all terrain) tires and install H/T tires.