Mercury Mariner Reviews

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The Mercury Mariner is one of three small models sharing a common architecture. Introduced for 2005, the Mariner was built through 2011 before it and the Mercury brand were canceled.

Mercury Mariner Overview

The first-generation Mercury Mariner arrived on the market four years after its Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute platform-mates were introduced. It debuted with two engine choices. A 2.3-liter four-cylinder was standard, while a 3.0-liter V6 was optional. Both engines are paired with a four-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment for the 2005 Mariner includes cruise control, power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel, air conditioning and a four-speaker sound system. Upgrades include leather seats, power front seats, side steps, a roof rack and a sunroof.

Changes for 2006 were limited to minor trim updates and package shuffling. For 2007, safety features were added to the higher-end models, bringing in seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags and reverse parking sensors. A new package was introduced that combined satellite radio, a moonroof, an in-dash CD changer and a roof rack.

The second-generation Mercury Mariner rolled out for the 2008 model year, gaining a bolder grille, a taller hood and a raised beltline. A multi-function display, blue instrument panel lighting and interior improvements leading to a quieter cabin were among the other changes. The same engine and transmission combinations offered in the first-generation Mariner were carried over to start the second generation.

Standard equipment on the 2008 Mariner includes alloy wheels, fog lights, privacy glass, full power accessories and a four-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player. Leather seats, a power driver’s seat, an in-dash CD changer, a sunroof, navigation and a towing package were among the upgrades available.

For 2009, the big changes for the Mercury Mariner involved the powertrains. The base engine was swapped out for a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and the V6 gained a 40-horsepower performance boost. The previous four-speed transmission was replaced by a six-speed automatic. Mercury also made its voice-activated Sync system available and introduced an all-new Premier I4 trim.

Changes for 2010 included making satellite radio and the MyKey parental oversight system standard across the model line. Newly available options included a rearview camera and self-parking technology.

In anticipation of the brand’s pending discontinuation, the 2011 Mercury Mariner was offered unchanged from the previous year.

In addition to the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, the Mariner can be considered alongside small SUVs like the Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Journey, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Volkswagen Tiguan, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.