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 Willy (KS) on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice RED color"
Cons: "cheap car and it behaves like one."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Very cheaply built. barely painted to edge of body panels. thin, flimsy floor mats, headliner material barely strectched to edges. only 40K miles and ignition switch is worn out, rack & pinion sticks, can't keep tires quiet unless you rotate them at every gas fillup. 4-cyl engine is noisy and vibrates so bad the hood shakes at idle. if you must buy one of these, get a V-6--the extra fuel is worth it"
By TAB (OH) on Thursday, May 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent gas milage, ride and overall vehicle."
Cons: "Not being made any longer."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The 2011 Mariner was and is an excellent vehicle. Average combined milage is around 25 mpg. Excellent for a powerful V6. No issues after the transmission was programed correctly. I would buy a new Mariner if there was such a vehicle."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Plainsman (CO) on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "good handling, good traction, nice exterior"
Cons: "transmission cold performance, interior, SYNC"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I have the base model plus V6, AWD, Sun & Sync as major options. I like the exterior looks and the Tuxedo Black finish. The acceleration is brisk whether from a standing start or while passing on the highway. With 87 octane E10 gasoline I get 23 mpg (mostly highway miles.) The interior generally looks fine but the seats are not that comfortable. Dislikes: flimsy, cheap sun visors don't stay in place; 6-spd. auto. trans. slams into 3rd gear when cold and accelerating to 50 mph; silver finish on hard plastic areas of interior shows wear easily, SYNC does not always reconnect reliably."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By MIKE93 (NJ) on Friday, March 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,200overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This vehicle was bought brand new and it is fully loaded (excluding the navi). as the vehicle started to age all of the plastic bits of the interior started to make annoying noises. The transmission BLOWS (because its a 4speed!!!!!), it can't get out of its own way when you need to accelerate on to the highway! the trans blew up at around 55k because you have to put your foot to the floor in order for the vehicle to move! But on a good note the vehicle is a very good at long distance trips, a grocery getter and great in the snow. Other than that its just ok....."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Mike (OH) on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, drives like a car, sensible, plenty of space"
Cons: "Boring, dull, bad fuel economy, costly to fix"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"My Mariner is nice, nothing to get excited over. Perfect for a day of grocery shopping or hauling... but not the prettiest, shiniest thing on the road. Little things have been nickel and diming me to death and it has really lost value over the 2 years I've had it."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By ERIC (OH) on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful