|Think upscale Escape, and youre in the ballpark with the new Mercury Mariner. The Mariner offers the same engine choices (4-cylinder and V6) as the Ford Escape, same towing capacity (3500 pounds with V6), same cargo volume (66.3 cubic feet with rear seat down), same steering (power rack and pinion) all among a host of other same as items. But the Mariner does have an assortment of exclusive appointments, like a drivers side keypad for keyless vehicle entry, two-toned door panels and seats, wood grain and chrome interior accents, and turn signal lamps on the front fenders. The unibody-constructed Mariner with four-wheel independent suspension is an immensely pleasurable compact sport utility vehicle both in terms of driving and riding. Available in front wheel drive and 4WD, Mariner is a classy-brassy-sassy travel companion.
Packed with an array of standard equipment, the Mariner Premier-trimmed SUV features privacy glass, leather wrapped steering wheel, heated leather seats, electronic message center, anti-lock brakes and brake assist, automatic dimming rearview mirror, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Mariner does strike an aura that is unique from the Ford Escape, and thats a good thing. There are, of course, a number of Mercury design cues grille, taillights, etc. but the functional underpinnings are what really make this vehicle (and the Escape) a great ride and drive. When fitted with V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission, the 4WD Mariner grabs fuel per gallon numbers of 18 city and 23 highway and carries a MSRP of $26,405.