What Changed for 2008:
- Available Sync hands-free in-car communications and entertainment system (late availability)
- Standard capless fuel filling system (late availability)
- New 20-inch wheels (late availability)
- Seven new packages: Third Row Seat Elite, Chrome, Amenities, Moon and Tune Elite, Navigation and Moon and Tune Elite, Heated, and Comfort
- Three new color options: White Suede Clearcoat, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic, and Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic
The Mercury Mountaineer begins its second decade with seven new packages and some interesting innovations. This is the second year of the third-generation midsize SUV, which shares its platform with the popular Ford Explorer. A number of new option packages highlight the changes to Mountaineer for 2008, offering everything from appearance items to comfort items to in-vehicle entertainment.
The 2008 Mercury Mountaineer comes in two trim levels: base Mountaineer and Premier, and in either 2-wheel- or all-wheel-drive (2WD or AWD) versions. Standard features include 17-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires; power door locks; message center with 4-line display; auto-dimming rearview mirrors; dual power heated outside mirrors with security and approach lamps; remote keyless entry; fog lamps; headlamps with auto on/off function; premium AM/FM stereo with single CD player and MP3 capability; auxiliary audio input jack; first-row cloth seats with 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support; color-keyed and leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed and redundant audio and climate controls.
Seven new option packages allow the customer to equip his Mountaineer with a long list of useful features like the PowerFold third-row seats, Sync Bluetooth/USB connectivity functions, power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system, and trailer towing package.
The 2008 Mercury Mountaineer offers two engine choices. A 4.0-liter V-6 engine is standard on the Mountaineer and produces 210 hp and 254 lb.-ft. of torque. The V-6 engine is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. A 4.6-liter V-8 engine mated to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission provides power for the Premier trim level. This V-8 engine offers 292 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque-enough to deliver a maximum tow capacity of more than 7000 pounds (when properly equipped), according to Mercury. EPA fuel-economy estimates for the V-6 engine/2WD model are 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway; the V-8 engine 2WD version is 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway. EPA estimates for the 4WD models are 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway for both the V-6 and V-8-powered SUVs.
Standard safety features on the 2008 Mercury Mountaineer include the AdvanceTrac stability control program with Roll Stability Control, Safety Canopy side curtain air bags with rollover detection, front-seat side air bags, adaptive energy-absorbing steering column, and second-generation driver and front-passenger front air bags. The Mountaineer earned a quadruple 5-star crash test rating in frontal and side impacts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a 3-star rollover-resistance rating for both the 2WD and 4WD models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Mountaineer a \"Good\" rating, the Institute's highest, for frontal offset crash protection.
A new technology for the consumer auto market is Ford's capless fuel filler system, which will be available later in the 2008 model year for the Mountaineer, according to the company. This racing-based technology, Ford claims, will save time by doing away with unscrewing and replacing a fuel-filler cap. Not only does it provide a better seal, the maker adds, cutting down the emissions of smog-forming vapors, but it also means never driving away from the pump and forgetting the gas cap, or scratching the side of the vehicle with a dangling tethered cap.