2008 Mercury Mountaineer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercury Mountaineer SUV


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Mercury Mountaineer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

  • Due to higher gas prices and new competition from crossover SUVs, truck-based midsize SUVs like the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer are losing the popularity they enjoyed in the 1990s. The Mountaineer's appeal now lies mostly with cost-conscious buyers who want luxury features and require strong towing capacity.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Composed and smooth ride, agile handling, quality cabin with plenty of passenger room in all three rows, all major safety features come standard.

  • Cons

    Spongy brake feel, V8 doesn't feel as strong as competitors' engines, no dual-range 4WD available, some cheap interior pieces, poor resale value.

  • What's New for 2008

    Standard equipment and package content changes mark the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer. Leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (25 total reviews)

Member of the family

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercury Mountaineer

We have had our Mountaineer since the middle of 2008. We could not be more satisfied. I have utilized every feature and function of this vehicle. Including the roof rack, Class II hitch, AWD, cargo area, child seating, etc., etc. We have 3 children all of which are able to fit in the second row, leaving the rear cargo area available. The stereo is strong, the power is sufficient, the gas mileage is fair for an SUV, it easily tows my boat, powers thru 12" of snow, is smooth on the highway, and is a joy to drive. Although our V-6 is far from a performance engine I find that is provides all the pep I need and is relatively quiet considering the size of the vehicle.

Twice the pleasure

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercury Mountaineer

This is my second mountaineer and I do tend to agree with most that my 2002 was better built, the engine was more powerful (v8) yet the fuel economy was good for such a big suv. With that said, I also love my 2007. I have done nothing but oil changes (66,000) and never had any kind of work on it. I have five kids of my own and also use it for work transporting kids and the interior (leather) cleans easily. No problems with any plastic parts inside its actually pretty solid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice looking vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercury Mountaineer

Great vehicle except the retractable running boards, need grease fitting to lube joints. Super vehicle in the ice/snow. Had to have the transmission adjusted at 10k miles. Suggest Ford look at the transmission in these vehicles, does not shift smoothly at low speeds.

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2008 Mercury Mountaineer Review

What's New for 2008

Standard equipment and package content changes mark the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer. Leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control are no longer standard on the base model, and the Premier trim goes without such previously standard items as the power-folding third-row seat, parking assist and heated front seats with memory. They now become options. A "Mercury Sync" system debuts later in the year; it allows drivers to easily control cell phones, iPods and other electronic devices through voice commands and the vehicle's control inputs. Other changes include newly optional 20-inch wheels and a capless fuel filler (both with late availability).


The Mercury Mountaineer was created at a time when the Ford Explorer was the hottest thing since the planet Mercury. The Mountaineer provided a different styling take and a slightly more upscale interior than the Explorer, and its available all-wheel-drive system helped make it more appealing to people who just wanted all-weather traction rather than the pretentious off-roading ability of true four-wheel drive.

Today's 2008 Mercury Mountaineer utilizes the same philosophy, but a decade later, rising gas prices and the equally rising popularity of crossover SUVs have dimmed its light considerably. No longer is the Explorer the number-one-selling sport-utility, and the Mountaineer's fortunes haven't fared any better. Still, this big Mercury has some desirable attributes, such as good on-road manners, lots of available luxury features and a smooth, comfortable ride. The Mountaineer can also tow up to 7,220 pounds when properly equipped, double what most crossovers can handle.

In our opinion, the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer is still a solid pick among the "old regime" of truck-based, quasi-luxury SUVs like the Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota 4Runner. This is especially true for family buyers mainly interested in an SUV for around-town use. But compared to top seven-passenger crossovers like the Mazda CX-9, GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander, the Mountaineer's only significant advantages are its higher towing capacity and potentially lower discounted price. As such, we think most shoppers looking at a Mountaineer will likely be happier with a midsize or large crossover instead.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mercury Mountaineer is a midsize SUV available in base and Premier trim levels. Rear-wheel drive is standard on both trims, with all-wheel drive optional. Base models seat five and include plenty of equipment including 17-inch wheels, a six-way power driver seat, cruise control, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls and a CD player stereo with auxiliary audio jack. Optional is a Third-Row Seat package that adds a fold-flat 50/50-split rear bench and auxiliary climate control. Base Mountaineers with the Comfort package receive leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver seat, a six-way power passenger seat and dual-zone climate control.

The Mountaineer Premier comes standard with the third-row seat and most of the equipment from the Comfort package. Optional on the Premier is a Third-Row Seat Elite package that includes a power-folding feature for the third row. Also available are power-deployable running boards, rear parking assist, heated front seats, a navigation system and a rear seat DVD entertainment system. A Moon & Tune Elite package is available on both trims and includes a sunroof, upgraded stereo with in-dash six-CD changer and satellite radio preparation. Any Mountaineer that has three rows and leather seating can opt for second-row captain's chairs that drop passenger capacity from seven to six. There is also a towing package available on both trims, and Mercury says the Sync system and 20-inch wheels will be offered later in the model year.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard engine is a 4.0-liter V6 good for 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The Mountaineer Premier trim level can be equipped with an optional 4.6-liter V8 rated for 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V6, while the V8 comes with a six-speed unit. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available with either engine. Properly equipped, a Mountaineer can tow up to 7,220 pounds. An all-wheel-drive, V8-equipped Mountaineer takes about 8.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. This is a respectable number, but competitors like the Toyota 4Runner are considerably quicker. Fuel economy ratings for 2008 are about the same, regardless of the drivetrain configuration you choose -- 13 mpg in the city and 18-20 mpg on the highway. These numbers are worse than those of three-row crossover SUVs like the Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9.


All major safety features come standard, including antilock disc brakes and a stability control system with a rollover sensor. Airbag coverage includes front seat side airbags and first- and second-row side curtain airbags. Other SUVs include curtain airbags for all three rows.

Reverse parking sensors are optional on the Premier model but not available on the base Mountaineer. Power-adjustable pedals with memory are optional on all Mountaineers. The Mountaineer fared quite well in crash tests, earning a perfect five stars across the board in all National Highway Transportation Safety Administration frontal- and side-impact tests. It also earned the top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Mountaineer's two-tone interior offers an effective blend of style and functionality, with room for five, six or seven passengers, depending on how you equip it. You'll find some low-grade materials here and there, but overall, the cabin is attractive and solidly constructed. Two adults can ride in the third-row seats on short trips, and children will be content sitting back there. Choosing the third-row option slightly reduces available cargo space. Seven-passenger Mountaineers max out at 83.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while five-passenger versions offer 85.8 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

More softly tuned than the Explorer, the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer is designed to spend far more of its time on the pavement than on dirt. A four-wheel independent suspension gives the Mountaineer a firmly buttoned-down ride and keeps the tires in contact with the road surface even over rough bumps. Generous cabin insulation results in a highway ride that's as quiet as it is comfortable. Handling is pretty good for a traditional SUV, as the Mercury feels predictable and stable in corners and higher-speed turns. Many crossover midsize SUVs are better, though, offering a more carlike driving experience. Either engine is powerful enough to keep up with traffic, though the V8 is more refined and offers more grunt off the line while providing about the same fuel economy. Competitors' V8s feel stronger still, though.

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