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2011 Mercury Mariner

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2011 Mercury Mariner Review

Awesome technology and impressive crash test scores make it a decent choice for a crossover SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

As 2011 marks the last year of Mercury production, the 2011 Mercury Mariner still offers innovative features that remain unavailable on most rivals. One of the high-end features is Ford’s Sync, a voice-activated multimedia system. When connected by using your Bluetooth-enabled phone, Sync provides traffic directions and reports in a turn-by-turn fashion. Models offer parental feature called MyKey for keeping teenage drivers at an electronic limit for stereo volume levels and vehicle speeds. The automatic parking technology also provides a worthy component; the system actually assists with parallel parking.

Overall, it serves as a satisfactory small crossover with comparable fuel economy, output, and real-world performance. The power of its 240 horses may not be faster than other rival crossovers, but it proves more than adequate to get up to speed with some gusto. Plus, with the excellent scores in crash tests, the 2011 Mercury Mariner makes a worthy choice for a compact SUV.

The Range

Body Styles: compact SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Mariner Base I4 or V-6, Mercury Mariner Premier I4 or V-6

What's New

Although it marks the last year of production, the 2011 Mercury Mariner includes some very desirable and advanced technology features, which surpass some rival automobiles.

Exterior

The only distinguishing differences between the 2011 Mercury Mariner Base I4 and base V-6, as well as the Mercury Mariner Premier I4 and V-6, concerns the different engines under the hood. Otherwise, the base model comes standard with foglights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Options include a moonroof and roof rack for the base model.

The Mercury Mariner Premier models come standard with the above and add rear parking sensors. The Chrome Appearance package spices up the Premier model with side step bars, a sunroof, a back-up camera, chrome roof rails, and 17-inch wheels.

Interior

The interior of the base Mariner model includes air-conditioning, satellite radio, full power accessories, audio controls on the steering wheel, and a CD stereo with four speakers and an auxiliary audio jack. Options for the base model include leather upholstery, heated front seats, ambient interior lighting, Sync, and a power driver’s seat. The Mercury Mariner Premier interior comes standard with the above base options and adds a six-speaker stereo and a rear-view mirror with auto-dimming.

The Chrome Appearance package includes upholstery of full microfiber suede and a hard-drive-based navigation system with HD radio, real-time traffic, music storage, and Sirius Travel Link. The Auto Park system comes with the Chrome Appearance package. This new technology by Ford actually steers the car during parallel parking. Automatic dual-zone climate control and a stereo system upgrade to seven speakers come in this package.

The Mariner offers a useful amount of cargo volume, totaling approximately 29 cubic feet with the rear seat upright and about 66 cubic feet after folding the rear seat down. The Mariner's front seats feel adequately shaped for comfort, though the rear seat feels a little less comfortable as they don’t offer adjustability or a recline function.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Mercury Mariner offers either all-wheel or front drive. The up-level model three-liter V-6 cranks out 171 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, while the base 2.5-liter inline-four generates 171 lb-ft of torque and 171 hp. The Mercury Mariner feels reasonably secure in quick direction changes and the ride seems pleasantly agile. Braking distances remain longer than similar compact crossover SUVs. The six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifting, and both of the engine performances prove quite satisfactory.

Safety

Stability control, traction control, side airbags in the front seat, anti-lock brakes with rear drums, and full-length head curtain airbags come standard in the 2011 Mercury Mariner.

The braking performance of the mariner receives poor ratings though. It requires approximately 140 feet to completely stop the car from 60 mph.

With a perfect five-star rating from the government, the Mariner excels in all areas of frontal-offset, side, and front crash tests. Additional testing receives a score of ?good? from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercury Mariner I4 front drive: 20/28 mpg city/highway
Mercury Mariner I4 all-wheel drive: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Mercury Mariner V-6 front drive: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Mercury Mariner V-6 all-wheel drive: 17/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent crash test scores
  • Impressive high-tech goodies
  • Adequate fuel economy and performance

You Won't Like

  • Poor braking performance
  • Rear seat non-reclining and difficult to fold
  • Ordinary driving experience

Sum Up

Awesome technology and impressive crash test scores make it a decent choice for a crossover SUV.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Kia Sportage
  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
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