The Mercury Mountaineer is essentially a premium version of the Ford Explorer. It shares its structure and most major components with the Explorer. Mountaineer's adventurous, geometric, architectural looks set it apart as a premium SUV, however. While the best-selling Explorer seems designed for generic utility, the Mountaineer offers a more machined, technical appearance. The Mountaineer boasts an innovative chassis with an independent rear suspension that allows for a nice, smooth ride and better handling. At the same time, its body-on-frame construction preserves the big load capacity and towing capability that some families need. Its interior is thoughtfully designed, offering luxury features that make long trips more relaxing. Mountaineer's come standard with a V6 that delivers plenty of power for everyday driving, and its five-speed automatic is smoother and more responsive than a four-speed. A V8 engine is available to provide the extra torque needed for towing. Its third-row seat folds flat, disappearing into the cargo floor when not needed. In short, this is a versatile mid-size SUV, capable of hauling a family and pulling a boat great distances. For 2005, Mountaineer comes standard with AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control. This system uses electronic controls and active intervention to reduce the chances of an untripped rollover accident. The new system is in addition to Ford's existing safety features, which include a boxed frame, energy absorbing front crush zones, side impact steel bars in the doors, and four wheel ABS. Mountaineer was re-engineered with 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 for the 2002 model year.