Overview & Reviews
Small SUVs like the Mercury Mariner represent one of the near-perfect compromises of the automotive world. They allow consumers to sit up high with a broad view of the road, load up children and cargo without bending and twisting, and plow through freak winter storms without stopping to put on snow chains. Yet, unlike larger SUVs, they're easy to drive, easy to park and (mostly) easy on the wallet when it comes time to refuel.
As such, having a compact sport-utility in the lineup is a must for any successful automotive brand. Mercury was a latecomer to this segment, adding the Mariner to its portfolio for 2005. Only three years later, it received a thorough cosmetic freshening and that was followed the next year by mechanical improvements. Sadly, this addition to the lineup wasn't enough to save Mercury, as the brand was gone after 2011.
A sibling of the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, the Mercury Mariner compact crossover SUV used all the same underpinnings as its relatives, but gained unique styling touches inside and out. In general, it was a mid-pack choice for a modern compact SUV; other top crossovers typically offered greater refinement, versatility and overall performance.
Most Recent Mercury Mariner
The Mariner was sold for two generations. The more recent version was offered from 2008-'11. Compared to earlier Mariners, these newer models featured an exterior and interior makeover that improved quality.
Mercury offered two trim levels: base and the more upscale Premier. In that first year, a 2.3-liter inline-4 rated for 153 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque powered the base Mariner. The base V6 and Premier models came with a 3.0-liter V6 good for 200 hp and 193 lb-ft of torque. Both engines were paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive was available across the board.
For 2009, mechanical changes were made. The inline-4 grew to 2.5 liters and 171 hp, the V6 was pumped up to 240 hp and both were matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission. That year also saw the debut of Ford's Sync multimedia voice control system and a revised suspension that improved ride quality. In light of all that, the 2009 and later Mariners are the more desirable ones. A number of high-tech features arrived for 2010, including Ford's MyKey system (which allows parents to limit speed and audio volume for their teen drivers), a back-up camera and a nifty Auto Park feature that steers the car during parallel parking.
Although the Mariner had some desirable technology features, its subpar brakes and aged overall design were fairly apparent when compared to rivals from Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota. As such, if you're shopping for a used compact SUV, we recommend that you also consider those competitors before making a decision.
Past Mercury Mariners
The Mercury Mariner was introduced for 2005 as a slightly more upscale twin to the Ford Escape. As such, the pre-2008 models suffered from poor interior materials just like the Escape. Still, this "original" model was pleasant to drive, with tight and responsive handling that only fails to impress when compared with newer compact SUVs. From '05 through '08, the Mariner was powered by either by a 2.3-liter inline-4 that made 153 hp or a 3.0-liter V6 making 200 hp -- both of which came with a four-speed automatic transmission. The '05 to '07 Mariner came in base Convenience, midlevel Luxury and high-line Premier trims. The Convenience model offered basics like air-conditioning, a CD player and power accessories, while the Luxury moved you up to a V6 engine and a few more features. The Premier's highlights included leather seating, rear parking sensors and side airbags.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 318.00
Awesome Mariner - 2006 Mercury Mariner
By S.B. - June 25 - 2:35 pm
My Mariner is now at 175,000. Best vehicle I ever owned. Regular maintenance only. Tire changes & oil. Running like a champ! Wish they never discontinued!
Highly Impressed - 2008 Mercury Mariner
By Bob - December 14 - 8:33 am
Have a little over 700 miles and getting almost 22 MPG with A/C on. V-6 extremely quiet, has plenty of power. Interior is so quiet. Night and day diffeernce over 2005 Hyundai Santa FE, which was a piece of junk.
Love My Mariner - 2007 Mercury Mariner
By Gretchen - November 28 - 6:13 pm
Having had a full size SUV, I like the more nimble, smaller Mariner. It is easy to maneuver, peppy, and fuel efficient. I have the rear sensor and heated seats plus keyless entry....what more could I ask for?
Love our new Mariner! - 2009 Mercury Mariner
By bslate - November 19 - 2:00 am
My wife and I just purchased an off lease 2009 Mariner Premier with V6 and everything except navigation. So far, we are thrilled with the car. It replaces a Honda Civic that was totaled. We have a baby coming in 4 months, and we were shopping Mariners anyway for more space. What you get for the price, in a manageable size, in such a nice looking vehicle really sealed the deal for us. Some of the "newer" designs were more expensive and did not offer as many features. We feel we got a very nice vehicle with lots of options in a nice package that well still have a very reasonable car payment and actually be able to put some cash away in the babys college fund!
A Mercury Story - 2006 Mercury Mariner
By A_MAN_in _VA. - November 16 - 4:40 pm
I recently purchased this vehicle, used from the local dealership, and found it to be a cute little vehicle. I liked the stylings, but after having a Ford Ranger XLT that had the Overdrive Off button flashing, and knowing the troubles that it could bring first hand, I was displeased. I was so hoping to get a vehicle made by Ford that did not have this button. It really serves no purpose in holding back downhill. I prefer to leave it in the normal position. I have heard some loud noises from the transmission. This makes me wonder why its clunking so hard. I do know it is fun to drive, but I still worry it could let me down someday in the future.
3rd Car Ive Owned and Best Yet! - 2006 Mercury Mariner
By Elmz11 - November 10 - 12:26 am
As a 21 year old commuter student going to college full-time, I needed to trade up to an SUV after getting stuck in the snow numerous times in my 05 Hyundai Elantra. I was weary about buying a used vehicle (seeing that I bought my first car brand new) but I LOVE THIS SUV!! I ditched the JUNK Continental tires that all these Escapes and Mariners come with from the factory and got Michelin Cross Terrains put on. Night and Day! Get compliments on the interior all the time (two-tone black and creme). Average 19-20 mpg in mostly highway driving and it does have some power behind it. Have put on 19,000 miles in just 8 months and it has been rock solid! (now at 57,000 miles)
Mariner is a Great Vehicle - 2006 Mercury Mariner
By FearlessBear - November 3 - 9:10 pm
Great ride, great comfort, excellent handling and good performance. A bit of a gas drinker, but not really bad, and it takes regular. I have driven Jeep Grand Cherokees, Land Rovers, Suzuki, but this vehicle is better. Its ideal in size, style, comfort, roominess and performance.
Happy Mariner Owner - 2006 Mercury Mariner
By trublkkngt - November 1 - 3:02 am
Weve been happy with our Mercury Mariner Premier. We bought it used in 08 with 9000 miles on it. It has been very reliable! No maintenance or repair issues. Its perfect to haul our two small children around. The only complaint we ever had was how LOUD the stock Continental tires were. We replaced them with General Grabber HTS tires and it significantly improved the ride quailty. If you have a Mariner, Escape or Tribute, do yourself a favor and dump the stock Continitental Tires as soon as you can!
good car - 2005 Mercury Mariner
By tabo - October 29 - 3:46 am
i just bought this car after reading the numerous reviews.i think its a good car. my only only problem so far is the gas mileage especially now that prices are to the ceiling.the gas tank is really small,that means im at the gas pump every 250-300miles.the v4 is a good alternative if you just want the looks. nice overall design,seats are excellent.drives fast. cd changer is a little slow to change,load or eject cds.
Almost great but disappointing - 2008 Mercury Mariner
By jesse - October 26 - 7:46 pm
Very nice fit and finish as well as peppy. Engine feels fine and steering is very good. The only problem is with the transmission. It is the worst trans I have every had in a car. It shifts when it shouldnt and doesnt shift when it should. Service told me that the problems I have explained to them are normal for the car. Other than the trans, I would rate the car a ten but because of such a flaw in a major component I would give it a 7 overall.