2009 Mercury Mountaineer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Mercury Mountaineer SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercury Mountaineer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 292 hp @ 5750 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer

  • Due to the advent of more fuel- and space-efficient crossover SUVs, the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer's appeal now lies mostly with cost-conscious buyers who want plenty of luxury features and a large towing capacity.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Respectable ride and handling characteristics for a truck-based SUV, spacious and quiet interior, healthy tow rating, high safety ratings.

  • Cons

    Weak engines compared to competing SUVs, lackluster fuel economy, some low-grade interior materials, dated interior design.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Mercury Mountaineer gets the Sync multifunction voice control system, a capless fuel filler, satellite radio and a 20-inch-wheel option. The updated navigation system also allows the option of Sirius Travel Link, which can provide current traffic conditions, gas prices for nearby stations and even sports scores and movie listings.

Full 2009 Mercury Mountaineer Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Mercury Mountaineer gets the Sync multifunction voice control system, a capless fuel filler, satellite radio and a 20-inch-wheel option. The updated navigation system also allows the option of Sirius Travel Link, which can provide current traffic conditions, gas prices for nearby stations and even sports scores and movie listings.


In a shameless (and savvy) exhibit of capitalism, Mercury brought out its Ford Explorer twin, the Mountaineer, when the Ford's popularity was sky high. 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.

Nowadays, however, these corporate cousins no longer enjoy such a large slice of the family SUV pie, as more space- and fuel-efficient crossover (car-platform-based) SUVs have become the vehicles of choice for most families. That's not to say that the burly Mountaineer doesn't have its own charms, such as good on-road manners, lots of available luxury features, a smooth, comfortable ride and a towing capacity of up to 7,220 pounds, which is double what most crossovers can handle.

And compared to the "old guard" of trucky SUVs that includes the Chrysler Aspen/Dodge Durango, Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota 4Runner, the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer continues to be a top choice for on-road comfort. But newer seven-passenger crossovers like the GMC Acadia, Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander all beat the Mountaineer at its own game. The Mountaineer's best times are behind it, and we think most shoppers will be happier with a midsize or large crossover instead.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 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 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 with an auxiliary audio jack. Optional is a Third-Row Seat package that adds a fold-flat 50/50-split rear bench and auxiliary climate control. Also available on the base trim is the Comfort package that provides 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 adds 18-inch wheels, running boards, aluminum side mirror caps, dual-zone air-conditioning, leather seating, 10-way power driver seat, reclining second-row seats, a third-row seat, satellite radio and the Sync system that allows voice control of music and cell phones.

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. The optional Moon & Tune Elite package includes a sunroof, an upgraded stereo with a six-CD changer and satellite radio. Optional on the Premier is the Voga package, which includes chrome wheels and exterior trim, cashmere leather seats and unique cabin accents. Also available on the Premier is a Third-Row Seat Elite package that includes a power-folding feature for the third row and auxiliary rear climate control. A Moon & Tune Elite package with a navigation system and Sirius Travel Link is also offered. Other main options include a rear-seat entertainment system, power-deployed running boards and heated front seats.

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.

We've timed a V8-equipped AWD Mountaineer at 8.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, a respectable number, though rivals like the Toyota 4Runner are quicker. Fuel economy ratings for a rear-drive V6 Mountaineer are 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined, while the V8 is actually better at 15/21/17 mpg. Opting for 4WD lowers the ratings for both engines by a few mpg. All these mileage figures are considerably lower than what's provided by top three-row crossover SUVs. Properly equipped, a Mountaineer can tow up to 7,220 pounds.


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. However, other SUVs include curtain airbags for all three rows. Reverse parking sensors are optional but only on the Premier model. Power-adjustable pedals with memory are optional on all Mountaineers.

The 2009 Mercury Mountaineer fared quite well in crash tests, earning a perfect five stars across the board in all government 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 2009 Mercury Mountaineer is designed to spend even more of its time on 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 actually providing better fuel economy. Competitors' V8s are stronger, however.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Terrifying to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

Oh my god how could a car be so bad. Bought used in early 2011 with 34,000 miles around 65,000 miles it was leaking transmission fluid everywhere took it the best transmission mechanic in the area they sucked they charged us 3 grand for a rebuilt transmission.at 75,000 the trans started clunking when down shifting it was bad then the check engine light and a wrench (which means power train malfunction came on took it back it needs a new solenoid pack it was there for over a month not exaggerating a month took it home it did the same thing took it back and the solenoid was defective then replaced a rod in there too.In 2014 we traded for a beautiful Subaru Tribeca.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

My third mountaineer and it's

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

Does Ford Motor Co care about losing a loyal customer?In my case the answer is no, not at all.I leased a 2008 Mercury Mountaineer 11/07,our third one.It was fine until 4/09 when it didn't start one day.Then it began to happen more frequently.My family ha been stranded countless times due to this problem. After several attempts at Ford Lincoln Mercury dealerships to fix the problem it still exists.The alternator,starter bad relay and battery have all been replaced yet several times a week I am left stranded somewhere with this defective vehicle that won't start.I have been in communication with the Ford Cust. Solutions team through two courses of repairs,a Special Ford Engineer was even sent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love the suv, but poor

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

We love the room, the ride, the v8 power, the appearance, and we know from the past that we will love the AWD. The MPG is acceptable for an AWD mid-size SUV. We test drove the vehicle on a bright sunny day 98 F and heard no rattles or noises, but took delivery in the evening after sundown, temp 71F. On the way home the upper console started making an annoying noise when we hit seams in the road. We made 2 visits to fix the problem. Another Mountaineer that hadn't been prepped did the same thing, as did the 08 Explorer Rental. Service manager said that if more than 2 do the same, then Ford would say they're built that way. Excuse me? Dealer put foam in that area. Problem solved for now?

Hard to improve on

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

This is my third Mountaineer (had a 2002 & 2005). They keep getting better. Fuel economy not a factor due to my low mileage - comfort, safety, traction in the snow, room to transport items and style, these are what counts to me and the Mountaineer is a 10 in all respects. Large lease discount from Ford makes this vehicle a great deal.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

No other suv comes close

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mountaineer

This is a great SUV. Mercury really put their effort and time in this vehicle. All the details are very thought out and has a very stylish exterior and interior. It is very spacious and will fit any large family with up to 7. I really like how nice the ride is and is very comfortable. We were looking at other vehicles to consider, but we made a very smart choice and got this. This is a perfect SUV for a single person or a family of 7. And the V8 engine is very powerful and its just an overall awesome vehicle to own.

Talk About The 2009 Mountaineer

2009 Mercury Mountaineer Discussions See all Started By

The issue at hand, non acceleration of Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers is a KNOWN defect in these models, occurring in the years 1997-2009 caused by the THERMOSTAT HOUSING UNITS in these vehic...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
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