i got this car from my grandparents in '08 at 129,000 miles. i thought for sure it wouldn't make it much longer... but today it still runs and drives like the day i got, with 182,000 miles. i haven't had any major problems, only routine maintenance (spark plugs and wires, alternator, o2 sensor, cam shaft sensor, new stereo). this car has never left me stranded, not even once. the only issue i have with the car is that the 5.0 V8 gets pretty thirsty. this car will run forever with regular maintenance.
Our Mountaineer had been sitting on the dealer lot for 1 year when we bought it. For it's use it had a lot of miles on it, but 20K ain't to bad, we got it for $17K in early 2000. I personally hate the console because you have less room. The things I have loved about it, hauling ability, towing capacity and with the power chip the performance in town and on the highway. I can do a brake job on this truck 20 minutes per wheel. The repair costs have been pretty low, a intake gasket, brakes, even the tires were cheap when you look at the mileage. So stuff that sucks, radio display and compass display faded, driver door lock. and now the tranny is acting up with 150K mi... Paint has held up well
I bought my 98 Mountaineer in early 2001 with 28,000 miles. It is fully loaded (leather etc) and has the old 5.0 V8 Ford Mustang engine in it so it can haul on the highway if needed. This SUV is super reliable and rides exceptionally well. I repainted the vehicle in 2005 as there was some slight paint fading, but considering I was living in Florida at the time and the SUV is black, you can expect that to happen, also minor electrical problems (doors). I have no plans to buy another car until this truck stops running; period! It currently has 125,000 miles and I have only replaced a water hose for $65, thats it! The 5.0 engine barely has to work, hence why it lasts so long, very good buy!
I bought my '98 Mountaineer for $6,400 in 2005 with 114,000 miles. The ride was smooth, although certain parts start to rattle after 150k or so. Excellent visibility. The rear wiper didn't lie flush, so I avoided using it. Two days after purchase, the transmission was producing a warning light. Lucky for me, the dealer was willing to cover the $1800 cost of repairs. Aside from that, I never had any outrageous problems with this car. For the first five years, I used it as a work truck - hauling trailers, and at times piling as much stuff on top and in back as possible. This SUV is a tank! The 5.0L V8 pulled bushes and hauled trailers with ease. I was rear-ended twice, pushed dead cars to gas stations, and put this thing under countless other stressors and only had a few scratches to show for it. My wife has said that she has never felt safer in any car. Speaking of safety, the all-time AWD has spoiled me. Living in Missouri most of those years, my Mountaineer saw its fair share of ice and snow. I could go out when the pickups couldn't even escape their driveways. You should always be aware of road conditions, but your capability goes through the roof with some good tires and AWD, which in my experience is far better than 4WD. Even off-road, the Mountaineer will surprise you. We're talking dirt (even mud), gravel, and fields; it doesn't have the suspension to [properly] handle anything beyond that because that's not what it was designed for. Maintenance: other than routine maintenance (ball joints around 150k, alternator 150k, lock actuators around 170k, plus regular oil & tire maintenance), the biggest issue was a power drain that showed up around 145k, and would bleed my battery, killing it if left sitting for more than two weeks (this was common in college). This was inconvenient, but ultimately not worth the effort to locate the faulty wires. I just parked uphill so I could roll backwards out of the parking space to get a jump if needed. I had to sell the vehicle at 185k, and my father jumped on the opportunity because he knew how reliable it has been given proper TLC. The last time I checked, he's got her up around 235,000 miles! Thought she was on death row last month, but after replacing the tires and ball joints she's running like a dream again. I don't think I will ever find another SUV or truck with that kind of longevity for the price. If you find one with low miles, jump on it.
Best SUV ever. You can't go wrong with a V8 5.0L engine. Easy to modify with aftermarket parts. I've never lost a race with this SUV. It also has the best stock stero system I've ever heard, it comes with an 8 inch subwoofer.