2006 Mercury Mountaineer Overview

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2006 Mercury Mountaineer Overview

The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer gets both styling and performance updates that are designed to improve handling and offer more luxurious refinement for families. Available in either rear-wheel or automatic all-wheel drive, the mid-sized SUV comes in three trims -- Convenience, Luxury, and Premier. The Convenience features two rows of seats, with an optional third row that is standard in the other two trims. New for 2006 is an optional power-folding feature for the third row. The second row split-folds 60/40 and reclines, opening up the trunk space to 82 cubic feet (84 cubic feet without the third row).

Exterior changes include a more aggressive waterfall grille and revisions to the tailgate and taillights. Also new are retractable running boards for easy step-in/step-out action. Added sound insulation provides a quieter ride inside an SUV. Improvements have been made to the suspension as well, with a new rear independent suspension that drives more like a car, and a stronger chassis and larger brakes. While the base 4.0-liter V6 still delivers 210-hp with a 5-speed auto tran, the optional 4.3-liter V8 has been upgraded to 292-hp and is now coupled with a 6-speed automatic. The revisions apparently improve fuel economy by 10%, though most drivers still wish the large SUV did better.

Inside, the dash and gauges have been redesigned, along with new front door handles that open upward. Unfortunately, they are now located well below the armrests and are awkward to operate. All trims come with ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce, traction and stability control, a tire monitor, and dual front airbags. The top-of-the-line Premier also features side curtain bags and parking sensors. Leather upholstery, cruise control, and a CD player are standard, and the higher trims add power front seats, heated seats, and a CD changer. Another welcome new option this year is a navigation system. There is nothing but praise for the 2006 Mountaineer, whose roominess, comfort, smooth ride, and V8 power impress drivers. Similar to the Explorer, but with more features, it also represents a good bang for your buck if you're looking for luxury over utilitarianism.

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