The Mercury Mariner, which shares its platform with the Ford Escape, continues with many mechanical improvements aimed at more power, better fuel economy and better drivability. The Mariner Hybrid is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. The Mariner, which seats five people, competes with other small SUVs, including the Honda CR-V, Acura RDX and Hyundai Tucson.
What's new for 2009
For 2009, the Mariner gets a 171-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 240-hp in its 3.0-liter V-6, an optional six-speed automatic transmission, a revised suspension and recalibrated antilock brakes.
The 2009 Mariner comes with a few minor exterior modifications meant to cut down on fuel consumption, but no major changes were made to the SUV's looks. Small air-deflecting devices were added in front of the rear tires on models without running boards. Level with the Tucson at 68 inches tall, the Mariner stands 3 inches taller than the Acura RDX and 2 inches higher than the Honda CR-V. It's narrower than the Honda by half an inch and the Acura by 2.5 inches, but half an inch wider than the Tucson.
- Redesigned front bumper spoiler
- Low-rolling-resistance tires
Ford's Sync system and Sirius Satellite Radio are standard on Mariner Premier and Premier V-6 trims and optional on all other models. The optional navigation system with a 6.5-inch screen can also play DVDs, and a 330-watt stereo with a six-disc CD changer is included in the navigation package. An auxiliary jack that supports MP3 players is standard on all Mariners.
- New comfort-designed seats made of soy-based foam
- Quieter interior
- Sync voice-activated communication and entertainment system
- Optional voice-activated navigation system
- Standard cruise control
Under the Hood
A new 171-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine replaces the previous 153-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder. The 3.0-liter V-6 uses a new compression ratio to give it a power boost, up from 200 to 240 hp. The Mariner did away with its hydraulic steering system in favor of electric power-assist steering, resulting in better gas mileage. Both engines can be mated to an optional six-speed automatic transmission, but the five-speed manual is still standard. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
- Drive-by-wire electronic throttle control
- Retuned suspension and steering for better ride comfort and handling
- Recalibrated antilock braking system
Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard, as are antilock brakes. An electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control is also standard. Roll Stability Control is designed to help prevent rollover accidents.
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Standard antilock brakes
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