Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Interior is awash in hard, hollow plastics
The rear seat is as flat as a day-old soda
Cargo configurability is a few steps behind the competition
The 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid might aim for the upscale market, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that their interiors fall well short of any pretense of luxury. The 2010 Mariner provides ample room for four adults, but getting three across into the rear bench seat is best confined to shorter trips. The front seats are well shaped, and the view through the tall, vertical windows lets driver and passengers see well above sedan-roof height.
Reviewers are impressed with what Edmunds calls the "comfortable interior," and they go on to assert that the "front seats are nicely shaped and supportive." The Cars.com reviewers have mixed reactions to the "five-seat Mariner's" front seats, though, which they say "have decent adjustment range, though the power driver's seat doesn't include a power recliner-you have to angle it forward and backward manually."
Reviewers are very split on rear seat comfort. ConsumerGuide deems the "knee clearance and foot space" to be "well above the class norm" and says "the supportive and well-countered seat is wide enough for short-trip three-adult comfort." On the other hand, Edmunds blasts the rear seat, calling it "flat as a day-old soda" and complaining that it "offers neither a recline function nor fore/aft adjustability." Cars.com agrees with their critique, saying "the seats have durable cushions, but the ones in back are a bit low to the ground, so tall passengers should expect to become familiar with their knees."
With a total passenger volume of 100 cubic feet, the Mariner is smaller than some other compact SUVs, including the Honda CR-V and the seven-passenger Toyota RAV4. Cars.com points out that the Mercury Mariner "offers a competitive 66.3 cubic feet of storage space" when the seats are folded. But many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com's experts find folding the rear seats to be a challenging and convoluted chore. Edmunds says, "it's a pain to fold the rear seat down," and Cars.com explains, "The rear seats aren't adjustable, and folding them down is a frustrating three-step process: Remove the head restraints, flip the seat cushions forward and the seat down."
According to ConsumerGuide, the "cabin small-item storage is plentiful" and "includes several console bins, as well as pockets in all four doors."
But the major complaints stem from the poor materials quality inside the 2010 Mariner. While Edmunds reviewers declare that "fit and finish is good inside the 2010 Mercury Mariner," this represents a very clear minority opinion. Cars.com rips into the Mercury Mariner's overall quality, claiming "the plastics look and feel cheap, with uneven gaps along some surfaces." ConsumerGuide says the interior is "awash in hard, hollow plastics" and deems "the overall ambiance [to be] low-buck," noting that their "extended-use test vehicle has some misaligned trim on the front-passenger door."
ConsumerGuide reviewers compliment the climate controls, which they say "are simple to use," but they complain that "the available navigation system absorbs most audio functions," and the end result is that "some simple adjustments are needlessly complicated" on the Mercury Mariner.
The 2010 Mariner and Mariner Hybrid ride and handle much better than earlier models, due to a suspension that was completely retuned to refine the ride, with new struts, shock absorbers, and sway bars. Reviewers notice the subdued driving environment. ConsumerGuide says that "wind and road noise are also present but are not objectionably loud," and Cars.com points to "sound-deadening improvements" that make it "possible to enjoy instrumental music without cranking the stereo" even at highway speeds.
The 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid win points for quiet ride and comfortable front seats, but the interior materials may disappoint.