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2008 Mercury Mariner

Overview
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2008 Mercury Mariner Review

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Compared to the somewhat rugged look of the Ford Escape, the Mercury Mariner, which was redesigned for 2008 with new sheetmetal and a fresh interior, offers more of an upscale, urban appeal. Although the two vehicles are mechanically identical, the 2008 Mariner's exterior clearly sets it apart from the Escape in both looks and image. Among its strong points is the powertrain line-up, with an economical four-cylinder, an optional V6 and an available Hybrid version. The Mariner is a worthy alternative to the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Saturn VUE, and could be well worth the price for those looking for a compact SUV with unique styling and an available hybrid powertrain.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're in the market for a small SUV and would like the option of a V6 engine or hybrid powertrain, and with more refined styling than the Ford Escape, the 2008 Mercury Mariner would be worth a look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2008 Mercury Mariner is somewhat lacking in interior space, especially when considering a third-row option as is available with the Toyota RAV4. Cargo space is also limited, even with the seats folded, making hauling large objects an issue. Also, those looking for a Mercury vehicle with the new SYNC hands-free communication and entertainment system will not find it in the Mariner.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Mercury Mariner receives an all-new look including new front and rear fascias, headlamps, taillamps and Mercury's signature waterfall grille. On the inside, the Mariner has new seats, center console, door trim panels and Ice Blue lighting for the instrument panel.

Driving the Mariner

Driving Impressions On our test drive the V6 engine in the 2008 Mercury Mariner provided decent torque for getting on the freeway and the electric power steering had good feedback. Cabin noise...

was minimal and the "top-of-dash" display proved to be easy to read, giving all the important information, including the interior climate and radio station settings, without the driver having to look all over the dashboard while going down the road. The ride was comfortable, which can be attributed in part to the premium leather seats with Alcantara suede inserts, and the optional navigation system was easy to use and follow.

Reverse Sensing System
Although the Mariner is small and easy to maneuver in tight parking situations, this feature is still very helpful for peace of mind.

AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
Other vehicles in its class offer a stability system, but the Mariner's AdvanceTrac uses a secondary roll-rate sensor, along with automatically and selectively applying the brakes and reducing engine power, to help reduce the chances of a roll-over.

2008 Mercury Mariner Details
2008 Mercury Mariner photo Interior

The biggest change in the 2008 Mercury Mariner is the interior, which includes new seats, door panels, center console and a floor-mounted shifter. Depending on the trim level, the seats are available in a monochromatic color scheme or two-toned with Alcantara suede inserts. The standard "top-of-dash" display, which shows the radio functions, climate control readout and temperatures both inside and out, promotes safety and convenience by being positioned at eye level. The radio and climate controls are arranged in what Mercury calls the new "poke through" configuration; the buttons and knobs are raised rather than flush, replacing the "brick" design from the previous generation.

Exterior
2008 Mercury Mariner photo

The 2008 Mercury Mariner benefits from a redesigned exterior including bolder front and rear fascias, new head and taillamps and a signature waterfall grille that has bigger spacing between the bars. The new roof panel has recessed channels that reduce noise in the cabin as well as horizontal ribbing that strengthens the chassis.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base form, the 2008 Mercury Mariner comes standard with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, speed-sensitive Electric Power Assist Steering system, Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC), Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags, remote keyless entry, auxiliary input jack, satellite radio-ready single-CD player with MP3 and four speakers and the Reverse Sensing System that is standard on the Premiere trim but optional on the Hybrid.

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim but include an Audiophile 320-watt sound system with DVD-based navigation, a six-disc in-dash CD player, moonroof, premium leather seating, 17-inch wheels, roof rack with crossbars, a lockable wet storage compartment, heated front seats, integrated side steps and a full-size spare.

Under the Hood

Those looking for decent gas mileage will be pleased with either the four-cylinder or the hybrid powertrain, but if power for passing highway traffic and towing moderate trailers (up to 3,500 pounds) is needed, then the V6 should be your engine of choice, which is an option not all of its competitors offer. Unlike its Ford twin, the Mariner does not offer a manual transmission.

2.3-liter in-line four
153 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 (2WD), 19/24 (AWD)

3.0-liter V6
200 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
193 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (2WD), 17/22 (AWD)

2.3-liter four-cylinder with electric motor
133 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
124 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/30 (2WD), 29/27 (AWD)

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2008 Mercury Mariner Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 137 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Will NEVER buy an American car again!

By on Friday, September 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,100

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage"

Cons: "Noisy ride, cheap interior, no rear A/C standard."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"For over 20 years we had Nissan products and never had a problem with any of them. We also have a 2006 VW Jetta Diesel and that car has only had one recall and no mechanical problems. We traded our Murano in for the Mariner Hybrid because we needed something more fuel efficient and the Murano got TERRIBLE gas mileage (that's one thing that Nissan doesn't seem to care about). I looked at reviews of all Hybrid SUVs and the Mariner got very good marks out of the ones available in 2008. It was very difficult to find a car to test drive because dealerships at the time weren't stocking them, so you basically had to buy the car sight unseen. However, we lucked out and the dealership 2 miles from us had ONE on the lot. When we test drove it, we were not impressed with the interior even though it had the convenience packages and leather interior The door panels and the dash were all made out of cheap looking plastic. However, the ride was comfortable, and I have to say for an SUV, it gets around 25MPG in city driving. Where it has failed us is that last month, we received a recall in the mail for a mechanical failure on the power steering that could fail at any time without warning leaving the driver to deal with driving a heavy car with pure muscle. I was waiting to make a convenient appointment, when our neighbor knocked on the door and asked if we knew that the rear driver's seat window was down. I tried to bring it back up and could hear the motor whirring, but the window stayed in the down position. When I took it to the dealership for the recall, the technician explained to me that these electric windows have a scissor mechanism and the cables are steel, but the rotor is plastic and fails as it ages and gets brittle. OK, so $250 wasn't so bad. Yesterday (3 weeks after the first repair), I went to run some errands and pick up lunch on the way home. When I went to roll up the driver's window, it dropped! SAME problem! Since we have no garage and were expecting rain, I had to take it to the dealership and rent another car. I called FORD customer service and asked how I could complain about this and get some type of reimbursement for this faulty equipment. I was told there was nothing they could do, and there was no appeal process. The only thing I could do would be to write to FORD. I don't know why the other people rating this car love it so much. On the highway, it picks up road noise at an annoying level, has a very cheap looking interior for a $34,000 car, and at 6 years old is developing all kinds of rattles. That never happened with the Japanese cars we owned. I am disappointed - I though that the American auto makers had learned their lesson from the Japanese and other manufacturers, but I guess I was wrong. The double whammy is that it's worth 1/2 of what we paid for it when the engine compartment, interior, and exterior are still impeccable. The only defect is that someone had accidentally put a 3 inch scratch on the right side (fixed with touch-up paint and clearcoat), so it can't be rated as "perfect" condition. My VW Jetta which is a 2006 is worth almost as much and we only paid $23,000 for that one. I am done with Ford product. I have owned 3 Fords in my lifetime and they have all been pieces of junk."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

LOVE THIS CAR!

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "SUPER VEHICLE"

Cons: "N/A"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"THIS CAR IS GREAT IN WINTER WEATHER!!! NEVER HAD A PROBLEM IN TERRIBLE SNOWY CONDITIONS---MY HUSBAND, WHO DRIVES MY CAR, COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW WELL IT HANDLES IN BAD WEATHER. ACTUALLY, HE LOVES THIS CAR, TOO!! NO MATTER THE WEATHER, IT'S A GREAT VEHICLE!!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I ever owned

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and plenty of power when you want it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My 2009 Mercury Mariner has never failed me. In the years I have owned the car I have replaced the battery once and had regular maintenance performed on the car. Will be driving this car when I pass. Carry my electric wheelchair most of the time and still get about 23 MPH. Best car I ever owned."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Has all anyone needs - very comfortable for SUV

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Family Vehicle"

Cons: "Ford stopped making them after 2012"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"excellent ride, excellent gas mileage, plenty of storage, very reliable, minimum maintenance. My original muffler & tires lasted more than 92,000 miles. NO RUST ANYWHERE!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Wonderful SUV

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Responsive engine and handling. Good gas mileage"

Cons: "Not a smooth ride, truck-like qualities"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been an excellent SUV. It is my 2nd Mariner. Too bad Ford is not making them anymore. The new Ford Escape doesn't even come close to this SUV in every respect."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

a great car

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "enjoyed this car, great for hauling stuff"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"silver with black leather interior there is an extended warranty on this vehicle up to 90.000 miles all new tires this. I have kept this car clean and oil changed every 5k."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?