2003 Mercury Mountaineer Reviews

2003 Mercury Mountaineer AWD 4.0 SOHC from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 4.0 SOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired23000 miles
Most recent distance84000 miles
Previous carFord Explorer

Summary:

Expensive but looks great still

Faults:

40,000 Noisy differential in front - changed fluid in trans and differential.

One set of brake pads - wow unusually long lasting.

Power seat button stuck on - replaced button.

General Comments:

Roomy enough for a family of 5 and their assorted crap.

Cargo capacity is less with 3rd row seat option even when folded but barely fits our luggage for long vacations.

No trans problems like others have had but I insisted on changing fluid even though dealer said it was not due. I did my own brakes without using junky Ford parts.

Never used to tow anything so the 4.0 has more than enough power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2008

2003 Mercury Mountaineer from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Previous carPontiac Grand Am

Faults:

Had I taken the time to check out this website prior to the purchase of my 2003 Mercury Mountaineer, I would've never even considered test driving it! I bought mine 4 months ago, and with 59,000 miles on it, was just informed today by two different mechanics that my transmission is going out, and thus I am looking to spend over $1500. I am extremely upset about this. I have heard over the years how bad Ford is (Fixed or Repaired Daily)..Boy, isn't that the truth!! Sad to say, this truck may be a money pit..My next car will be a foreign car! Sorry, I love my country but I will never look twice at a Ford again!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th November, 2007

6th Nov 2007, 21:01

Uh, what are the symptoms of this causing you to take it into the mechanics? They just don't randomly say, "well sir, your transmission is going out even though there're no signs."

Sorry, it just doesn't happen. If it does, they are pulling your chain. So there must be some serious symptoms. If so, what are they?

2003 Mercury Mountaineer Luxury AWD V8 4.6L V8 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4.6L V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired60300 miles
Most recent distance67000 miles
Previous carFord Aerostar

Summary:

The truck has a myriad of problems, but drives smoothly and is a pleasant drive.

Faults:

Like many others with Explorers/Mountaineers this rig has had it's fair share of problems, including transmission problems.

With that side note aside:

We bought the rig used with 60,300 miles on it.

- The low oil pressure light came on just two months after we bought it. We took it to the dealer and they said they inspected it and couldn't find a problem, so the protocol was to change the instrument cluster. They changed it ($100 deductible) and then they had to change it again because the first one they put on was faulty. So in reality the car has 2k more miles on it than it really shows on the odometer.

- The transmission shudders:

Ford dealer found the torque converter to be warped, replaced torque converter. Also found rear and front differential seals leaking, replaced seals. The flex plate was also replaced. Transmission still shudders though.

Update: Mercury dealer says that these rigs "just do that" because of their computerized shifts.

- The climate control makes a big thud sound once per drive; the dealer says that this is a problem with the heater door getting stuck and does not hinder performance of the system, nor is covered under the extended care warranty, unless the door breaks (which may or may not happen). Update: Now the blower motor is making a rattling noise that's quite annoying at 67K miles. Dealer says that this semi-loud noise is not covered under the warranty.

- The suspension squeaks over bumps. The dealer sprayed some lithium spray on the bushings and it seemed to fix the problem for a couple months, but now the squeak is back. Update: Dealer just replaced bushings, covered under warranty.

- The driver's side window seems like it's not on the right tracks, makes a jerking like sound when I go over bumps.

-9/17/07 car broken down at drive-thru, has to be pushed then towed.

Wednesday 9/19 I'm having it towed to Lincoln mercury in the next city closest by.

-Result:

9/19 - 0xygen sensor bad. Fixed for 100 deductible.

Update 9/20 - Got rig back, seems to be running very well, reminds me of why I love this car (when it's running well that is). The wheel bearing also had to be replaced.

10/07 - New tires and front rotors done. Rotors were completely rotten.

11/22/07 - Rear differential was overhauled, many parts replaced, covered under warranty. Was making a loud whirring noise from the back before they fixed it.

-12/07 Front differential seal fixed again.

-12/07 ABS sensor on...will see what it is.

Found problem - rear abs sensor replaced, brake master switch replaced. $100 deductible. Rig now has 70,900 miles.

Constant problems with this rig. Seems like it's in the shop every other week. Tired of it.

General Comments:

Overall we like the car, but I think I'll trade it in once the warranty is over @84K and get something else (considering new Honda pilot or possibly Buick enclave.

On the plus side, it's great in the snow and the rain. It drives incredibly smooth on the freeway, feels like the car is floating. Lots of leg space and arm space for all passengers. Spaciousness is a big plus over other smaller SUVs. Seats are comfortable, luxury features like heated seats are nice. Stereo sounds very nice, lots of bass with sub woofer in back. Third row is even reasonable for someone under 6 foot. Some cheap materials are evident on the inside, like the shifter nob...but mercury fixed this on the newer rigs (2006 and later). I want to keep this rig till 120k or 140k, I just don't think it'll last that long.

The gas mileage however is awful, but I knew this from the beginning. In a 50/50 mix of highway/city driving the car averages about 14-15 MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2007

16th May 2010, 01:01

I also have a 2003, and have some of the same issues as you do. With the sticking vents on the heat/AC, if you move them a little bit off the red and blue, that resolves the clicking and banging noise you get from it. My bushings also squeak, and I seem to notice that's common in Mountaineers, as I've heard it on several other ones.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 7 reviews