2009 Mercury Mariner AWD V6 from North America


Better than expected. Worth a look



General Comments:

We bought this as a general work truck for the small business we own. We added it along with a Ford Escape that we bought new for the business 9 years ago. (Escapes and Mariners are equivalent vehicles)

We were not expecting anything nice out of the Mariner, and we didn't even bother to test drive it before we bought it. We just knew the Escape was getting old and was probably not reliable for some weekly 200 miles commutes that we have added recently. We just wanted another Escape.

Looking back on the last nine years of how we have treated the Escape, we have been real lazy and poor about doing the required maintenance. Once it got to the point it was running badly - stalling three times in one day - we took it back to the dealer and we got a strong lecture from the mechanic for abusing our car, but $1500 later, we got caught up and it was back to running good again. So the main reason we bought the Mariner was that we knew how bad we treated the Escape, and it kept going, so we just wanted the same thing again.

Now that we have been driving the Mariner, we have to say how surprised we are at what a nice car it is. Good ride, lots of power, very nice steering and easy to maneuver. Granted, the old Escape is worn out, but this one handles a lot better than the Escape ever did and it is actually fun to drive. The integrated cell phone feature works well and is handy - easy to setup, easy to hear, and people tell us our voices come through clearly. We would actually consider another Escape or Mariner for a family car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2009

2008 Mercury Mariner Premier 4WD V6 from North America


An almost superb car that is not dated but lacks detail. Recommended overall


This was a rental, so I have no knowledge whatsoever about the vehicle's maintenance history.

General Comments:

I had this car as a rental for a week when my regular car (2001 Taurus Sedan) was in the shop.

My Taurus review is located at http://www.carsurvey.org/review_110663.html

I had the choice of this Mercury Mariner or a 2008 Focus. See my review at http://www.carsurvey.org/review_115139.html

Naturally, I chose the Mariner to be different.

Generally, I liked the Mariner. To provide a picture, the Mariner was maroon (red) on the outside, with black leather seats that had grey cloth inserts.


I liked sitting up higher (versus in a sedan). The view of the road was indeed 'commanding', and it was not too high to get in and out.

The seats were pretty comfortable even after four hours 'in the saddle'. They were grey cloth with black leather trimming. The leather was plush, and durable, however, it does not hide stains at all. For only being a few months old, the seats were dirty due in part to spilled drinks.

Folding the rear seats was a snap. The biggest problem was removing the headrests.

I liked the control display. I thought it was intuitive to use. The control stack lit up a sky blue and was legible to read. I also liked the dual climate control, setting each front seat to a temperature as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or as high as 90. Possibly my favorite feature of the entire car was the song title dictation. It told you the name of the song as it played on the radio. One word of advice about Ford's new radios - do not use the SCAN function. See my mishap in my Focus review. I much preferred the presets from the dealer or the TUNE function.

The Mariner had excellent acceleration for an SUV. I thought it would be worse.

It was absolutely impossible to notice the gears shifting, but I found the Overdrive on the gearshift an absolute joke.

The center console is ingenious! It was huge, and had two inserts that could be 'hooked' onto the back of the console by sliding the clip into a slot. One of the attachments could be described as a carpeted ashtray. The other was almost a full-blown console minus the lid. The latter console attachment was the bulk of the front-seat console, and when removed, took the front of the console with it, leaving it open. While on the topic of the center console, the "tissue package holder" was simply two clips, and it kept falling out. In my Taurus, it is another pocket on the inside of the lid. One last thing - if the rear cup holders were moved, there would be a three-inch gain in length on the inside, and that would also be the same size as what it is now.

The mirrors were rather large (and this is true!).

The stereo system was EXCELLENT! I hear some of my favorite songs on the radio everyday, and only until I drove the Mariner with the stereo did I hear new lines of music.

The rear window opening apart from the door is another desirable feature.


The Mariner was a fine car, but it needs its issues worked out. They are not critical, but are annoyances.

The rear-sensing system will probably be sought after by many customers. I had it on the rental, but it was entirely too quiet.

What's with the clear taillights? They are hideous!

There was an unidentified rattle coming from the back of the car. It sounded like the tailgate glass wasn't shut, but it was, along with all the doors.

Why can you not select the 4WD?

According to the trip computer, the Mariner had a 21.5 MPG average. I reset it at the beginning, but it was dismal (being as it was mostly highway driving).

If there is automatic climate control for the front, I would think two rear air vents for the rear seats would come with them.

The sun visors were my biggest pet peeve. First of all, there was only one per person (in my Taurus, there are two). When you went to turn the visor from front to side or side to front, you would bump your head on the visor. On my Taurus, there is a 'cut-out' so you will not smack your head. I use the double visor all the time, so this was a retrograde. Come on Ford, this is strictly ergonomics.

Where is the rear-seat armrest?

The glove box was too low down and the owner's manual barely fit in it.

I hated the brakes on the car. The statement of my utter dislike toward the brakes are prohibited from the boundaries of this text box. They were simply too soft.

The controls for the trip computer are in the worst spot ever because they are not in your line of sight when looking at the gauges. I liked the placement of them in the Focus better (at the very bottom of the control stack).


I liked the Mariner, and would consider it as a family hauler, but a lack of detail in the ergonomics might irritate you until you put a few thousand miles on the car. It was a good driver, and I can see myself with one as my next car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2008

1st Mar 2009, 10:42

"Why can you not select the 4WD?"

We just got a 2009 Mariner. (see review "better than expected")

The reason you cannot select 4WD is that it is "intelligent 4WD." It engages automatically when any of the wheels slip. We got 4WD because we have some gravel roads to drive over, sometimes muddy, once in a while snowy.

Regular 4WD drive will make your highway rides rougher. But with "intelligent 4WD" it is not working when you are driving on the highway and so your ride is smoother and the gas mileage is improved.

I can't make any comments on how it affects things for recreational off-road use, as we do absolutely zero of that. But that is true of just about every who buys 4WD drive.

14th Mar 2009, 18:27


Okay, that makes sense. Thank you very much! You wrote a great review, by the way!

25th Jan 2011, 13:36

I have a 2006 Mariner that has a serious issue that even the dealership can't seem to figure out (they say there's nothing wrong with the vehicle). The "intelligent 4WD" stopped working last year. When the wheels start to spin, the auto four wheel drive disengages! It's only when I'm traveling on a smooth dry surface again that it reengages, with the message "four wheel drive restored." How nice. That's completely backwards. I live in a heavy snowfall area and need the security of 4WD.

I would NOT recommend this SUV for others in harsh climate areas.

30th Oct 2016, 23:48

Not sure what is wrong with your 4WD system, but mine worked flawlessly in the snow in upstate NY on my '05 Ford Escape, which is identical to the Mariner. Sounds like a sensor issue.