Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 Mercury Mariner Review

The 2008 Mercury Mariner SUV is an update to the design of the 2005 model with a longer and wider front grill, bigger headlights, and a higher front posture. The tail lights now wrap to give the backend a vaguely Euro style.

Inside every button and knob is well-defined with ice blue lighting and faux-aluminum accents. An exciting addition is a top-of-dash display above the center stack showing interior and exterior temperature, climate, and radio control data.

Under the hood there's a standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder (16 valves) generating 153 horsepower. The optional engine is a 3-liter V6 (24-valves) producing 200 horsepower. (Both are four-speed automatics standard.) With a newly revised suspension system and Ford's recently unveiled Electric Power Steering technology, the 2008 Mariner handles smoothly (and with less noise, 12-20% less, thanks to a good bit more insulation.)

Storage and space are the bywords of the 2008 Mercury Mariner with a center console featuring multi-sized removable bins that can also be affixed to the sides of the footwell or to the rear of the console itself. The 60/40 rear seats fold and the cargo carpeting flips over so the rubber backing becomes an efficient liner for messy or muddy loads. (There's another storage bin under the carpet.) Access to the cargo area can be achieved through the rear door window or by raising the entire liftgate.

Look for all the standard safety bells and whistles with a complete array of air bags including a curtain system. You get anti-lock brakes and stability control (AdvanceTrac and Roll Stability Control.) Add to these features ABS, yaw control, and traction control and you get a machine that handles smoothly, grips the road, and protects the occupants.

The basic facts on the 2008 Mercury Mariner are this. You're getting a four-door SUV with room for five available in six trim levels. Look to spend between $20,730 to $25,380 MSRP and expect fuel economy of 12/23 to 23/26 depending on configuration. All in all, a good deal with high customer satisfaction from a proven line of SUVs.

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