All-wheel drive dresses up the base-model Mountaineer trim in the form of the V6 AWD. You don't have to do a thing, as the system is fully automatic - it'll pay attention to each tire's grip on the road and respond in kind.
With a 4.0-liter V6 under the hood, the Mountaineer V6 AWD has a reasonable amount of power for passing and towing, but of course it's not as much as the V8 version (210 horsepower vs. 292). The AWD trim can pull 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, as opposed to the two-wheel-drive trim's 3,500-pound limit.
This relatively no-nonsense Mountaineer still has a fair array of amenities, ranging from dual-zone auto climate control and power heated side mirrors to a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary controls for cruise, climate, and audio and a vehicle message center. The most important standard feature may ultimately be the Safety Canopy, which consists of side-curtain airbags, with rollover sensors, for the first and second rows.
Some options are grouped in packages, such as the Comfort and Convenience Package (upgraded stereo, fixed running boards, a 60/40-split second-row seat, and 50/50-split third-row seat), Quad Seats Package (adds head restraints and center console to second row), the Rear-Seat DVD Entertainment System, and the upgraded (Class III/IV) Trailer Tow Package. The Navigation and Moonroof Package is not available on this trim, but you may add the moonroof separately.
Individual options consist of the Reverse Sensing System, roof-rail crossbars, 18-inch chrome wheels, universal garage-door opener, and heated leather front seats with additional power features. If two (or more) people of differing height intend to drive the Mountaineer, it may be worthwhile to add the power-adjustable pedals option.
Crash-test results are excellent, with the NHTSA awarding the Mountaineer a full 5 stars in all but the Rollover Test, in which it scored a mediocre 3. In the IIHS Frontal Offset Crash Test, the vehicle received highest-level rankings across the board.