"I bought my Mariner based on price. I was not in love with it when I picked it up, but it really grew on me. First, it has one of the most comfortable interiors of any small SUV on the market. Mine is the 2.5 liter 4 cyl AWD model and when new I could only get 26 mpg on the highway, but now I see 28 mpg on a regular basis. A month after picking it up I had to drive through a major winter storm and was amazed at how the Mariner coped with the slick snow and ice. My experience had always been in Part Time 4 Wheel Drive trucks, where you either had to pull a lever or at least push a button to engage. The lack of such a button and and indication that AWD was engaged caused a little unease, but I made that 2 hour drive through the worst winter storm I had ever experienced with no slip or slide.
It may not be cutting edge styling, but comfortable and capable with very decent economy have really proven the Mariner's worth. Heated Leather seats, moonroof, nice stereo and SYNC add all the extra near luxury touches for a very reasonable price"
Cons: "Road noise & GET 09' OR NEWER FOR 6SPD TRANS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this SUV to save on gas (had a 13mpg truck). But didn't want to compromise 4WD or space for fam. I was skeptical at 1st but this thing is great. V6 has 240HP & I GET 25MPG OVERALL(21-22city/26-27hwy) w/4WD! The fold flat seats offer good hauling options, it tows 3500lbs, interior impresses, SYNC is nice, great safety. Sure it's not as manly a Full-size truck, but it pleases hauling my friends around to the bar(great sound system/ambient lights), keeps me happy when I travel to mills/plants for work(MPG/USB port for MP3/storage for equipment)& it keeps my family comfortable & safe in OH winters (4WD/stability control). That's manly enough for me."
"When I went to purchase my first new vehicle after graduating, I agonized over and researched every detail of dozens of vehicles. I finally decided that I wanted an SUV, but I had always said I would never buy one because of the terrible fuel economy. I started looking at the hybrids and fell in love with the Mariner. It was good looking, got great gas mileage, good reviews and had been around for a few years. I don't belive in buying a car that just came out; it takes a while to work out the kinks and I don't want to be a guinea pig. I went to test drive a regular Mariner because no one in TN had a hybrid. The 4 cylinder suited me just fine. If you want something that's fast, buy a 6 cylinder, if you want good gas mileage, buy a hybrid. You can't have it both ways. The guys at the dealership basically told me it was stupid to buy a hybrid in TN, that it wasn't worth the extra money and I would have to wait 3 months if I ordered one. I just smiled and told them to give me the paperwork. I'll wait, thank you. The hybrid arrived the same day we closed on our house, approx. 5 weeks after it was ordered. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. My pretty blue SUV with the blue instrumentation and loads of cargo room makes me smile every time I look at it, even a year and a half later. It gets about 30mpg average in the winter and 32 in the summer (has to cut the engine on to keep the heater heating). The acceleration is good enough to pass on the highway and I can fold the rear seats down to put haul a recliner home from the furniture store. The sound system (I got the audiophile option with the CD changer) is loads of fun and the optional electrical outlet is so worth the 150 or so. You can plug in your laptop! I am a huge car buff and I don't regret anything about this purchase. They are a little more expensive for 2009 and I'm not sure what the tax credit is (I got $3000 in 07). I ended up paying about 1000 more for the hybrid than the base 4 cylinder, but with the much better fuel economy, it was worth it cuz I plan on keeping it awhile. I just checked the trade in and it's currently worth about 18000 after almost 2 years and 36000 miles. If you're thinking about this vehicle, have no reservations about taking the leap and ordering one. It costs 500 to place an order and you won't be disappointed!"
"Bought this in January 2010 and this car is amazing. It has a 4 cylinder engine and really drives better than any I've ever had. Great acceleration, power for steep inclines and just plain fun to drive. Living in New Mexico, these things are a must have for me. Mileage is good. I've already put almost 11,000 miles on it at 25 mpg average city and 29 highway, and the styling and features are better than what I was looking for. This car is smarter than I am, with the automatic lights, sync, reminder to get my key out of the ignition before it will lock the door, heated mirrors and more... I have 3 dogs and they (and any humans) I might transport have plenty of room. My friends are jealous!! For a smaller SUV it also has a great capacity for cargo. I can't say enough about it!"
"Pros - fanstatic styling, tall like a real truck; noticed that it is the same height as my wife's Honda Pilot. Very good suspension, you hear the bumps but don't feel them. Excellent fuel consumption, averages 26.5mpg combined; seems mpg gets better after the engine is broken in around 1500 miles
Cons-those seats are just horrible, feels like FORD just drapped fabric over the seat spring. Very poor finish. Must confes no rattling after 2 months, but if you step out of the honda and stepped into the mariner, it feels like you have just moved into a cheaply made car.
Bought mariner because i wanted a domestic; i make my living by selling to a few companies that really do design and manufacture things in america.
Nice effort, Ford can do better.
Would recommend because i hope by the 2009 model, Ford would have addressed the terrible seat issues; a common complain from many users."