"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."
"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."
"Have only had my Mariner Hybrid back to dealer only once, for annual/10,000 mile service.
Handling, power, comfort is perfect for my use. Would recommend to anyone.
Only drawback is scarce availability. Could not find one locally, and had to drive over 200 miles to pick up mine. But, well worth the drive."
"We've had our '08 Mariner for about 6 months now. Absolutely no problems with it. I wish the seats were a little softer, but they have been adequate. We have a pretty basic model so not too many bells and whistles. It's a V6, 2WD. Never had any issues during the winter months with not being AWD, even with a few snow and ice storms. Traction control seemed to work pretty well. Gas mileage varies a lot based on speed and your right foot. My wife has a heavy foot and gets from 18-22 out of it. I drive quite a bit more conservatively and typically get 22-29. I've even had it get a little better on occasion (up to 32 on one tank). We previously owned a '00 Mountaineer and had extremely good luck with it (230,000 miles with less than $400 worth of repairs when we sold it). The vehicle we traded in for the Mariner was an '06 Honda Civic Si. Quality has been superior with the Mariner! With the amount of miles we've put on the Mariner the Civic already had rattles, the transmission needed to be fixed, and the cold engine driveability was horrible. Zero complaints with the Mariner. Hopefully it will end up being as reliable as the Mountaineer was."