Search Results for: Mariner

Rating 67/100 Background For a long time, Mercury vehicles have been little more than gussied-up versions of Ford products. And so it is with the 2011 Mercury Mariner, which is a slightly uptown version of the Ford Escape. The interesting twist is that this will be the Mariner’s last year, because Ford has decided to …

Rating 60/100 Background The Mercury Mariner debuted four years ago, but it’s essentially a rebadged version of the Ford Escape introduced way back at the turn of the century. Since then, both models have received significant styling, interior, powertrain and suspension revisions. These have kept the Mariner fresh, but it remains an open question whether …

Rating 68/100 Background Nine years is an eternity in the automotive world. For many automakers, that’s almost enough time for two complete model cycles. Yet the 2009 Mercury Mariner soldiers on atop a platform that’s entering its ninth year of production. Fortunately, a collection of important changes for ’09 should prevent this aging design from …

Rating 65/100 Background Something of an anomaly in the marketplace, the compact but upscale Mercury Mariner SUV gets a not-so extreme makeover for 2008. The Mariner debuted three years ago as a more luxurious version of Ford’s Escape. And like its relative, the Mariner’s “top-half” revamping for this year means new sheet metal and a …

Rating 67/100 Background Consumers like small SUVs because they offer more cargo space than similarly priced sedans, not to mention a taller drive height and all-weather capability. When compared to larger SUVs, fuel economy is often a strength as well. Even smaller brands like Mercury have realized the importance of having a compact sport-ute in …

Rating 82/100 Background In most respects, the 2010 Mazda Tribute appears to be a fully modern compact crossover SUV. As a clone of the Ford Escape, it shares the same basic set of strengths and weaknesses. In its favor, it has handsome exterior styling, a choice of a powerful 4-cylinder or V6 engine and top-notch …

Rating 58/100 Background Last year, the Mazda Tribute got a brand-new wardrobe for Christmas. The exterior was thoroughly overhauled and the interior was freshened with better materials, smarter controls and a more pleasing design. Unfortunately, the car underneath mostly remained the same, including its pair of inefficient and weak engines. So for 2009, the Tribute …

Rating 58/100 Background The Mazda Tribute used to be advertised as the SUV with the zoom-zoom soul of a sports car, specifically a Miata. In reality, the Tribute had the soul of a Ford Escape, sharing much of that compact SUV’s DNA. That was hardly a bad thing, as it shared a cozy carlike driving …