Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: the third row seat and how easy it is to get into and how much room there is
Cons: the seat belts sometime don't recoil and stick out the door
Advice: If you are going to tow a heavy trailer get the V-8 otherwise get the 6 cylAs a Previous owner of a 1997 Mountaineer and moving up to a 2002 with now a little over 10,000 miles on it I'm impressed with the mileage my 1997 AWD V-8 5.0 got 10 mile's around town yet the 2000 with the six cylinder gets over 16 and over 20 on the highway. Not bad for a AWD . I also tow a pontoon 20' 8'6' wide. I towed it with and had no problems except once the ball didn't lock correctly and the coupler came undone and the trailer hit the back tail gate and put a dent in it. I have towed for more than 30 years and never had that happen before my fought and the wife let me hear about it, however the truck was able to keep it under control at 45 MPH to A stop. The dealer when I was thinking of buying the six cylinder assured me it would tow the pontoon and sure enough it does and does a better job than the 1997. The V6 has more HP than my older 1997 V8 and you would be hard pressed not to know it wasn't a v8 under the hood. I have to take the /suv into the shop to correct a tirm piece that fell off the seat for lumbar support. and the brakes which stop you very well seem to stick or the transmission doesn't engage right away after a hard stop and when you step on the gas pedal the car doesn't move right away and jerks this again is only after a hard stop. The automatic climate control with dual temp is impressive as well as the indash 6 changer CD. And at 70 MPH Their is a little noise from the window area.