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#21

in 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $13,365 - $16,619
Original MSRP: $28,700 - $35,030
MPG: 14 City / 20 Hwy
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2009 Mercury Mountaineer Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Mountaineer's performance doesn't stand out within its class. While some experts reported crisp handling, others found it sluggish. However, the Mountaineer did receive kudos for the V8's towing capacity that's impressive for the class.

  • "A four-wheel independent suspension gives the Mountaineer a firmly buttoned-down ride and keeps the tires in contact with the road surface even over rough bumps." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Mercury Mountaineer comes standard with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower, and the Premier trim has an available 4.6-liter V8 engine that makes 292 horsepower. According to the EPA, rear-wheel drive models achieve 14/20 mpg city/highway with the six-cylinder engine and 15/21 with the V8. Four-wheel drive models achieve 13/19 with the six-cylinder engine and 14/19 with the V8.

  • "Only V8 Mountaineers have been made available to test so far. They provide ample power, and their 6-speed automatic changes gears smoothly and delivers quick part-throttle downshifts for fine around-town response. Some testers say full-throttle downshifts take too long, however." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Either engine is powerful enough to keep up with traffic, though the V8 is more refined and offers more grunt off the line while providing about the same fuel economy. Competitors' V8s feel stronger still, though." -- Edmunds
  • "Forget about the 210-hp V6 unless you want to show up to Sunday service on Tuesday afternoon." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

The majority of reviewers found that the 2009 Mercury Mountaineer's handling isn't bad for a truck-based SUV, although there are a few who found it less than responsive.

  • "Mountaineer is compliant, even with the Premier's 18-inch wheels, and devoid of sloppy motions. Some testers say Mountaineer suffers undue impact harshness and body oscillations over low-speed bumps." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Handling is pretty good for a traditional SUV, as the Mercury feels predictable and stable in corners and higher-speed turns. Many crossover midsize SUVs are better, though, offering a more carlike driving experience." -- Edmunds
  • "[T]he steering, the brakes, the throttle response, and downshifts from the six-speed automatic (V-6s get a five-speed autobox) all happen at their own pace; there's no sense in asking any of them to hurry, because the Mountaineer will just ignore you. This is a high-ridin', easy-livin' sort of SUV." -- Car and Driver

Next Steps: 2009 Mercury Mountaineer

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