By KBB.com Editors
Compared to the somewhat rugged look of the Ford Escape, the Mercury Mariner – recently redesigned with new sheetmetal and a fresh interior – offers a more upscale, urban take on the small SUV. Although the two vehicles are mechanically identical, the 2010 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 a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, an optional V6 and an available hybrid version. The Mariner is a worthy alternative to the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox, and could be well worth the price for those looking for a compact SUV with unique styling and an available hybrid powertrain.
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 2010 Mercury Mariner would be worth a look.
If you're looking to seat more than five, the 2010 Mercury Mariner does not offer the option of a third-row seat.
The 2010 Mercury Mariner places an emphasis on increased safety this year, offering an available blind spot mirror for improved blind spot visibility, MyKey programmable key, a rear view monitor and SYNC 911 assist with traffic updates, direction and information assist. Also new is Active Park Assist, which uses sonar guidance and the vehicle's electric power steering to assist with parallel parking maneuvers.
Driving Impressions The Mariner's 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine delivers strong low-end torque combined with good fuel economy to create a very livable daily driver. The standard six-speed automatic operates effortlessly and helps...the Mariner see improvements in both performance and fuel economy. Handling is best described as respectable, but not as tight or confident as experienced in more car-like utility vehicles, such as the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rouge. The electric-assist power steering system delivers good steering response and eliminates the need for a belt-driven pump, which draws power from the engine.
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.
Over the years Mercury has continued to make major improvements to the Mariner's interior and the result is lavish, yet tasteful interior that far exceed the Mariner's price point. 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 radio, 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
The 2010 Mercury Mariner benefits from a recent redesign that included 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.
In base form, the 2010 Mercury Mariner comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, speed-sensitive Electric Power Assist Steering system, Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC), anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags. Creature comforts include rear defroster, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, fog lamps, keyless keypad entry system, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, air conditioning, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, an auxiliary input jack, SIRIUS Satellite Radio capability and a single-CD/MP3 player with four speakers.
Options vary by trim and include an Audiophile sound system, DVD-based navigation with 10GB hard drive storage and rear-view camera, the SYNC in-car communication and entertainment system (standard on Premier and Hybrid), a six-disc in-dash CD player, power moonroof, premium leather seating, Reverse Sensing System, Active Park Assist, MyKey, 17-inch wheels, roof rack with crossbars, ambient lighting, heated side mirrors, six-way power driver's seat, a lockable wet storage compartment, heated front seats, rear seat entertainment system, integrated side steps, remote start and a full-size spare.
The 2010 Mercury Mariner employs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing to achieve an impressive EPA rating of 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg city. The larger 3.0-liter V6 was updated last year with a higher compression ratio and added an additional 40 horsepower. The 3.0-liter provides better acceleration and the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, but its city fuel economy ratings only reach the high teens. Those looking for maximum fuel economy should opt for the hybrid powertrain, which uses the same all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor. Unlike its Ford twin, the Mariner does not offer a manual transmission.
2.5-liter in-line 4
171 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
171 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (FWD), 20/26 (4WD)
240 horsepower @ 6550 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 (FWD, gasoline), 14/19 (FWD, E85), 18/23 (4WD, gasoline), 13/17 (4WD, E85)
2.5-liter four-cylinder with electric motor
153 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
94 horsepower @ 5000 (electric motor)
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/31 (2WD), 30/27 (AWD)
By Queenie on Sunday, December 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "A fun car to own and drive..beautiful design too"
Cons: "No cons..wish it had a heated steering wheel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great handling and manuverability...comfortable and great gas mileage...perfect size for everything...ive always loved the Mercury brand...my first car ever was a Mercury convertible....loyal to the brand...any Ford Motor product really..!!!!"
By Alarmo on Monday, November 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Outstanding gas mileage!"
Cons: "No sun roof"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This fantastic vehicle has not needed a tuneup, or even a brake job in over 140,000 miles. Yes, I have had the oil and all filters changed religiously, but that's all it has ever needed. The engine does not even turn on until you hit 40MPH. Phenomenal on gasoline mileage! I love this vehicle, and only wish it had a sun roof. Other than that, no concerns. I am moving overseas, so I can not take it."
2 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Willie on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I like everything about this SUV. Handles well and is comfortable even for long distances. I have had no issues with this vehicle."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By cincinmin on Monday, October 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, smooth ride. Roof rack, storage good"
Cons: "No cons as far as I am concerned."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Absolutely love this vehicle and hate to part with it. I just need to downsize for personal reasons. Runs great, gives a smooth ride. Great vehicle. Love the sun roof, get good gas mileage. Have owned it since 2010 and have had no problems with it. Get regular checks, oil changes , tire rotations, etc. It has not gotten a lot of wear and tear as I have not driven it a lot because my dad picks me up in his car, I do not go to and fro work, just local driving. Will miss it terribly. Great sound system too."
8 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Miaclockman on Friday, September 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,100overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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."
10 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By annie on Sunday, August 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "SUPER VEHICLE"
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 4 found this review helpful