Explorer-based Mercury Mountaineer is capable and practical. A variety of engine and drive types make it more versatile in 1998.
Ford Explorer is more attractive to our eyes.
The Mountaineer gets minor front and rear styling tweaks as it enters its second year of production. In addition, a new model, with full-time four-wheel drive, receives the SOHC V6 and five-speed automatic transmission that became available on the Explorer last year.
Mercury's second year with the Mountaineer proves that you don't want to mess around too much with a sure thing. Minor exterior changes show that Mercury is unwilling to roll the dice with a dramatic departure in styling from the best-selling Ford Explorer (on which the Mountaineer is based). Under the hood, however, some good things happen, as the 1998 Mountaineer is now available with the powerful and less thirsty SOHC V6 engine and five-speed transmission combo that was previously only available on the Explorer.
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 Mercury 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, antilock brakes and fog lamps.
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, and a new-for-1998 four-wheel drive model that features an SOHC V6 engine and Command Trac four-wheel drive. Families with children will be happy to know that they can order a Mountaineer with 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 has been a hit at Lincoln-Mercury dealers. 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 list provides a great deal of comfort, and the strong engine choices are a bonus when passing at freeway speeds.
We laughed the Mountaineer off last year as a sport-ute pretender, nothing for the people at Jeep or GMC to take seriously. With the addition of the new engine and Control Trac four-wheel drive system, the Mountaineer has gotten more serious, and we've stopped laughing. We are still not sold on the look-at-me nature of the Mountaineer, but if you want your SUV to stand out in the parking lot, this may be the one for you.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Mercury Mountaineer.
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.
4.25 out of 5 stars
I bought mine when it had 20,000
4dr SUV 4WD
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
5 out of 5 stars
I've been spoiled!
4dr SUV AWD
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.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Well built and very reliable
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!
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
Moderate Overlap Front Test
More about the 1998 Mercury Mountaineer
Used 1998 Mercury Mountaineer Overview
The Used 1998 Mercury Mountaineer is offered in the following submodels: Mountaineer SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV 4WD, 4dr SUV AWD, and 4dr SUV.
Pre-owned Mercury Mountaineer models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine or a 5.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 215 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1998 Mercury Mountaineer comes with four wheel drive, all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic.
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