Mercury has been trying to find its identity since 1939. The new Mountaineer is leading the way toward that goal and represents the future design direction for Mercury. Though it still shares all major mechanical components with the Ford Explorer, the Mercury Mountaineer this time around has made a major design break with the Ford version. Today, the Mountaineer is one of the most expressively designed SUVs in the business. Along with the design comes an all-new vehicle: the 2002 Mountaineer boasts a new frame, a new independent rear suspension, a new front suspension, new steering, new seating formats, and a raft of new standard and optional features. It is by far the newest Mercury in the entire lineup.