The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer is a study in refinement and innovation in the sport-utility segment, with improvements across the board including safety, performance and driving dynamics. For 2006, Mountaineer refines its breakthrough styling elements with its signature exterior design that led the way for a fully rejuvenated Mercury product lineup.
Its all-new interior features attention to detail, comfort and convenience. The upscale design begins in the front row with a new instrument panel and ends in the rear with an innovative available power-folding third-row seat that provides an absolutely flat load floor.
‘The new 2006 Mercury Mountaineer has more than meets the eye,’ says Darryl Hazel, president, Lincoln Mercury. ‘In addition to its signature standout styling, it has a new powertrain and new, exclusive convenience and safety features.’
Mountaineer takes the lead in showcasing a myriad of new safety technologies, including a further enhancement of Ford’s advanced passive restraints, the Personal Safety System™ and standard AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™. Mountaineer’s innovation continues in customer-friendly feature enhancements, such as a Mercury-first DVD-based navigation system and power-deployable side running boards.
Customers have flocked to the mid-size sport-utility segment for the versatility only these vehicles can provide. In 1990, the sport-utility segment accounted for 900,000 units. In 2004, that number swelled to 4.75 million (about 28 percent of all new vehicles). The sport-utility segment continues to grow and fragment into new sub-segments such as car-based crossovers. Even so, the body-on-frame sport-utility vehicle continues to attract new buyers and loyal return customers because they offer attributes unlike any other vehicle, including available V-8 power and towing capability.
POWERED-UP POWERTRAIN: New three-valve 292 hp, 4.6-liter V-8 with class-leading six-speed automatic
The 2006 Mountaineer’s new three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 engine provides more power and improved efficiency. That power is put to the road through a new six-speed transmission that uses power more efficiently and operates more smoothly. The ride and handling is further improved with a revised suspension and a suite of noise, vibration and harshness prevention and countermeasures.
Through continuous improvement and innovation, Mountaineer has prospered as one of Mercury’s most successful products. Offering customers more of what they want is also a part of the equation. The 2006 Mountaineer is one of six new products Lincoln Mercury will introduce over a four-year period, helping the division grow from 300,000 units today to a goal of 500,000 annually by the end of the decade.
REFINED EXTERIOR DESIGN: An evolution of the Mercury design DNA
The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer was designed to follow in the very successful footsteps of its predecessor, which was introduced in 2001. That Mountaineer set the stage for Mercury’s design direction and was created to appeal to customers seeking style that stands out in a crowd.
‘Mountaineer buyers are loyal to the brand and the nameplate,’ says Hazel. ‘We expect this new model to be very appealing to return customers who love their current vehicle and want more. And the new look and features will appeal to new customers as well.’
The 2006 Mountaineer sports a refined front-end design that accentuates the signature waterfall grille and imbues it with an air of sophistication. The front fascia and rectangular foglamps begin a subtle evolution of Mercury’s design direction. Directly below the grille, the center section of the bumper features a satin aluminum finish, a new design cue for Mercury products.
Re-engineered side mirrors have been tested in a wind tunnel and provide a significant reduction in wind noise, despite being larger for improved rearward visibility. The mirrors feature a chamfered lower inside edge, which serves a functional aero purpose and provides a distinctive shape in line with Mountaineer’s sophisticated design.
In the back, clear taillamp lenses and a new liftgate update the rear view of Mountaineer. The rear bumper fascia is finished with a satin aluminum strip integrating the front and rear design. For those seeking even more distinction, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels are available as an option – a Mountaineer first.
INTEGRATED POWER RUNNING BOARDS: Deployable boards integrated into rocker panels
New power-deployable running boards bring this convenient luxury feature to the mid-size sport-utility segment – with a twist: when retracted, the running boards are fully integrated into the rocker panels, hidden out of sight for a clean, uncluttered look. Satin-aluminum-finished trim is used to accent the running boards.
ALL-NEW INTERIOR: World-class craftsmanship and best-ever flexibility
The 2006 Mercury Mountaineer received a complete interior makeover for enhanced looks and functionality. New seats, instrument panel and materials deliver comfort, best-in-class seating flexibility and the kind of sophisticated style that remains unique to Mountaineer. Fold-down second- and third-row seats have been engineered to give the flattest cargo load floor in the segment, while new standard cloth and optional leather choices ensure that all Mountaineer interiors are both practical and stylish.
The IP and center stack feature contemporary design with ultra-tight panel gaps, new, smooth operating HVAC registers, switches and controls. The gauge cluster features a new look with well-defined analog dials surrounded by distinct bezels giving the cluster three-dimensional visual interest.
Every detail in Mountaineer’s interior was scrutinized and improved for absolute driver and passenger comfort, from the breakthrough design of the interior door handles to the relocation of the heated seat controls from the seat sides to the center console.
A robust, trigger-released gear selector is now located in the center console.
The door release handle is also noteworthy. The handle is integrated into the end of the armrest with a curved contour that follows the shape of a human hand at rest. It operates in a smooth, natural pull-back motion to release the door.
Even the power window switches have been redesigned, moving from the rocker-switch type to a new recessed push-pull design.
New seats are more comfortable, and available in three different second-row configurations, the most in the mid-size sport-utility segment. Mountaineer Convenience comes standard with a 60/40-split fold-flat second-row bench seat. Luxury and Premier also have a standard 60/40-split second-row bench; in these arrays it is upgraded with reclining seat backs and also allows access to the third row of seats that is standard on these arrays. Available in Luxury and Premier are second-row bucket seats with a center console, an industry first in a mid-size sport-utility vehicle.
Fold-flat third-row seats are standard on Luxury and Premier versions of the 2006 Mountaineer and are available on the Convenience Array. Luxury and Premier arrays also are available with a third row with power-folding seat backs – a first in this segment.
THE NEXT GENERATION: Personal Safety System™
Perhaps the most significant amount of engineering work on the 2006 Mountaineer went into developing several industry- and segment-first safety systems.
For many years, most safety advancements were focused on keeping occupants safer when a crash occurs. Ford Motor Company continues as a leader in passive restraint systems, including Mountaineer’s advanced Personal Safety System™. A wide variety of cutting-edge safety technologies join together in the system including new air bags that further adapt to an occupant’s size and the severity of a crash.
Ford Motor Company is the leader in providing active safety technologies to the masses by offering as standard AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ on most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sport-utility vehicles, including the 2006 Mountaineer. AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ is unlike any other stability control system made by any other automaker. It uses state-of-the-art gyroscope technology to sense a roll condition and then deploys countermeasures through braking and engine controls to attempt to bring the vehicle back under control. No other automaker uses this gyroscope technology in its system. Instead, they rely on a basic stability control system that helps prevent a slide, infers the possibility of a roll, but cannot actually sense a roll.
MORE POWER: New V-8, improved V-6
An all-new, more powerful three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission is an option in the 2006 Mercury Mountaineer. This advanced V-8 features variable cam timing and creates a robust 292 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque. An improved version of the 4.0-liter V-6 with a five-speed automatic comes standard. An all-wheel drive system is optional and includes Ford’s AdvanceTrac®, traction control system with Roll Stability Control™ standard on all Mountaineers.
A first for Mountaineer is the new ’6R’ six-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard with the three-valve 4.6-liter V-8. Using technology more commonly found in luxury sport sedans, this new six-speed provides smooth, seamless performance that makes the most of the new V-8′s powerband while improving fuel efficiency.
Ford Motor Company is taking a leadership position in six-speed automatic transmissions to simultaneously boost performance – without necessarily going to larger engines – and fuel economy with the wider ratio spreads allowed by the extra gear.
‘We believe performance and fuel economy can go hand-in-hand if you invest in the right technologies,’ says Dave Szczupak, vice president, Powertrain Operations. ‘That’s why Ford is investing in six speed automatic transmissions, engines with advanced controls like variable cam timing and other advanced powertrain technologies.’
Today, less than one percent of all vehicles sold use a six-speed automatic. But by 2010, Ford Motor Company expect 15 to 20 percent will have six speeds, and 50 percent by 2015.
IMPROVED RIDE, HANDLING, STEERING AND BRAKING: Stronger, stiffer frame with revised front, all-new rear suspensions
A stronger frame, all-new independent rear suspension (IRS) and a revised front suspension, bigger brakes and improved steering all help combine to make this 2006 version the quietest, most comfortable and capable Mountaineer in the vehicle’s 10-year history.
This more capable chassis, together with the more potent and efficient powertains, gives the 2006 Mountaineer the kind of driving dynamics that its stylish good looks would imply. But it’s not only more upscale and powerful – it’s also more functional and includes more safety features than ever before.
Price this car:
MSRP: $29,150 – $35,500
Invoice: $26,624 – $32,275
Source: Mercury Press Release