Used 1997 Mercury Mountaineer SUV

1997 Mercury Mountaineer
List price range
1997 Mercury Mountaineer

Pros

  • Attractive, Ford Explorer-based SUV promises durability, great cargo space, and go-anywhere ability

Cons

  • Can't be had with Ford's outstanding SOHC V-6 engine. The Mountaineer's badging is a bit garish for a rugged SUV.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

We have received a vast number of requests for information about the Mercury Mountaineer since the first rumors of its existence began circulating in the press last winter. Well folks, here it is; the Ford Explorer, er, we mean Mercury Mountaineer. That's right, the truck you have all been waiting for is nothing more than a Ford Explorer with a big chrome grill, body-side cladding, two-tone paint and a discus-size Mercury badge on the liftgate. Sorry to burst your bubble, gang.

This isn't anything new for Mercury; their entire lineup consists of slightly dressed-up versions of cars you can buy at Blue Oval dealerships. What is new, however, is the fact that this is the first truck Lincoln-Mercury has ever sold in the U.S.; not counting the Villager minivan. The fact that Mercury is selling a rebadged Explorer only means that it will have considerable success in the market. You see, the Ford Explorer has been far and away the best-selling sport-utility vehicle ever sold in the United States. Why then, did Ford decide to share a piece of its pie with its cousins at Mercury? Probably because Mercury has been losing sales of near-luxury cars since the luxury SUV boom began. It seems that the Grand Marquis just can't keep up with vehicles like the Grand Cherokee.

With half the world already owning Explorers, to whom does Mercury intend to sell this truck? Well, it appears that they have their sights set on women and upscale families. Jim Engelhardt, vice-president of Ford light-truck development says, "We know that women are particularly concerned about safety and security, so the Mountaineer includes many important features that are not always found on compact sport-utility vehicles." These features include: dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, fog lamps and dual rear bumper reflectors. For those living in inclement climates, or those who actually intend to make use of the vehicle's off-road capabilities, there is a full-time all-wheel drive model available. The Mountaineer differs from most trucks with four-wheel drive systems because no driver input is needed to engage the front axle, it provides power at all times regardless of road or weather conditions. Families with children will be happy to know that they can order a Mountaineerwith an integrated child seat. However, to get the child seat they must also order the leather interior. Does that make sense? Who wants kids climbing all over their leather interior? I bet the designer who came up with that option requirement never had to pick up four toddlers in cleats after a pee-wee soccer match.

The Mountaineer promises to be a big hit. Like the Explorer it is based on, the Mountaineer has plenty of space for hauling people and their stuff through the suburban jungle. The Mercury SUV's abundant standard features provide a great deal of comfort, and the larger-than-average engine is a bonus when passing at freeway speeds. We think, however, that people will buy the Mountaineer for reasons far less tangible than those listed. People will buy the Mountaineer not on the basis of how it serves its master, but how it impresses the neighbors. That's the name of the game with sport-utility vehicles these days; so why not?

1997 Highlights

The all-new Mercury Mountaineer is yet another entrant into the booming luxury sport-utility market. Based on the wildly successful Ford Explorer, the Mountaineer is intended to appeal to outdoor sophisticates rather than true roughnecks. Distinguishing characteristics of the Mountaineer include four-wheel antilock brakes, a pushrod V8 engine and optional all-wheel drive.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer.

1997 Mercury Mountaineer
Rink Rat,07/02/2008
I have had the car for 7 years bought it in 2001 with 65K miles on it. Overall I have enjoyed the car, However over the last few years (130K + miles) have had lots of issues. Have had to replace ball joints, tie rods, idle arms on multiple occassions (I don't even go off road). Engine has too much weight over the front end, also had to replace 02 sensors yearly. Car is getting around 13 mpg and with gas prices edging closer & closer to $5.00 have come to the realization that it's time to get rid of it. Car always started (did replace battery & alternator) and would consider the car as dependable just very costly to drive. Heater fan, AC compressor also need to be replaced.
Love my Mountaineer
Slick Rick,02/04/2010
I bought my 97 mercury mountaineer 7 mo. ago. I really enjoy driving it and it handles awsome in the snow. The only problem I have had is the transmission, which was fairly easy to replace. It definetly has enough power to get out of it's own way with the V8. I would suggest this vehicle to anyone.
the unstoppable snow tank
Jim G,12/11/2015
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.
They don't make 'em like they used to!
Jesse,11/02/2010
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.
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Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
210 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG
12 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
210 hp @ 4500 rpm
See all Used 1997 Mercury Mountaineer SUV features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer
Used 1997 Mercury Mountaineer SUV Overview

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Can't find a used 1997 Mercury Mountaineer Mountaineer SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Mountaineer for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,155.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,284.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Mountaineer for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $10,093.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,392.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercury lease specials
Check out Mercury Mountaineer lease specials