North Georgia Ford Compares 2003 Ford Explorer VS 2003 Mercury Mountaineer Near Chatsworth, GA

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2003 Ford Explorer

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2003 Mercury Mountaineer

Safety Comparison

Both the Explorer and the Mountaineer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, available head airbags, all wheel drive and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 87 percent more Ford dealers than there are Mercury dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s optional 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 29 more horsepower (239 vs. 210) and 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (282 vs. 254) than the Mountaineer’s standard 4.0 SOHC V6.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer stops shorter than the Mountaineer:



70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mountaineer’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 17 inch wheels. The Mountaineer’s largest wheels are only 16 inches.

The Explorer offers an optional tire pressure monitoring system, which will alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The Mountaineer doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For greater off-road capability the Explorer 4dr w/245 tires has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Mountaineer (9.2 vs. 8.5 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 8.8 inches more rear hip room and 6.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mountaineer.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Mountaineer.



Max Cargo Volume

88 cubic feet

81.3 cubic feet

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Explorer will cost $119 less than the Mountaineer over a five year period.

The Explorer will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Explorer will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the Mountaineer.



Four Year



Two Year



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