2008 Mercury Mariner Page 1

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The 2008 Mercury Mariner is the nicest Ford Escape you can buy, but it remains a midpack performer in the crowded compact SUV/crossover class.

 

 

 

All About Green Machines by TCC Team (10/16/2006)
The basics - and more - about earth-friendly vehicles.

 

 

By Rex Roy

 

Little SUVs are big business. Some of the best-selling vehicles in the land are compact SUVs with names like CR-V, RAV4, and Equinox. These nameplates routinely hit yearly sales marks that are well into six figures.

 

Comparatively, the Mercury Mariner is a sales chart footnote that only sells 17 percent as many units as its very popular sibling, the Ford Escape (with over 168,000 produced through October, 2006). Those in charge at Mercury would like to improve the Mariner's sales performance, and in quest of this goal have refreshed their entry-level SUV in some significant ways—many of which you can't see.

 

Our first glimpse of the 2008 Mariner was at the Miami auto show. Here's what we saw, starting with the obvious: changes you can see include the new sheetmetal up front. The new hood has what designers call a bigger "forehead," referring to the surface at the hood's leading edge. The hood's new profile is more squared-off and elegant. Mercury stylists also redesigned the headlamps to have a more technically sophisticated look, and crafted a fascia to hold the new look together.

 

To keep things balanced, the rear fascia and taillamps were revised as well. Other less noticeable changes were made that cleaned up the Mariner's look by banishing lower bodyside cladding and incrementally reduced its aerodynamic drag by cleaning up trim.

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