2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV

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Mercury Mariner Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 34/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

  • Although its driving dynamics fall short of the newer compact sport-utilities in this price range, the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid will appeal to consumers who want to get in on the hybrid experience without giving up the practicality of an SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Solid acceleration with hybrid powertrain, real-world fuel economy in the 30 mpg range, spacious backseat.

  • Cons

    Noisy gasoline engine, modest handling limits for a small SUV, stiff brake pedal feel, no stability control.

  • What's New for 2008

    The most obvious update on the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid concerns its refreshed interior and exterior styling. In addition, there's a redesigned roof panel to reduce wind noise. Mercury has also added a slightly less expensive front-wheel-drive model to the lineup. New standard equipment includes side and head curtain airbags, and an MP3 player input jack. The optional navigation system is now DVD-based, and it has a touchscreen interface. Satellite radio is a new option.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (28 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Wow... what a great value

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Was searching for a good value in a used Hybrid car. Was concerned about performance, price and reliability. Did my research on this car and was very impressed with performance, handling, features and style. I would highly recommend and would suggest that if interested, you take one for a drive and see what I mean. I have a Fusion that I like as well, but this really has been a great choice! Performs like a powerful 6 cyl, but gets 30+ MPG combined milage (my real experience). Comfortable and gets positive comments from my family and friends like it was a New Car!




You've got to be kidding!

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I recently acquired a 2008 Mariner with 25K miles. I could not imagine a more uncomfortable and noisy vehicle. The vehicle is extremely loud as the variable drive whines and the engine roars when engaged. The car in general is just loud. This car is loaded with leather, NAV, etc and it is extremely uncomfortable. I have a 25 mile one-way commute and I can not get to my destination fast enough. The only good comment I can provide is that the gas mileage is great as I am averaging 29+ consistently. Test drive and compare to other vehicles in this category thoroughly before you decide (btw, this is the brother to the Ford Escape and I would expect a similar experience)




Road noise

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Biggest complaint about this vehicle is the road noise from below when driving. My husband, who drives a Diesel, comments every time he gets in this car about how noisy it is and I have to agree. I am surprised to see all these reviews claiming 30+ MPG. I have had this vehicle almost 2 years now and on average, 26-28 MPG is what it gets.




Just what i wanted

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Fortunately I bought this 10 months ago before gas got even worse. I love the car and being geograhpically impaired, I love the GPS navigation although I could have saved money and bought a hand held. I'm nervous about ice and snow, so I got the all wheel drive version, but still the mileage is great (over 30 consistently). Ford has a winner here, and for the price, it is very competitive with some other crossover/SUVs I looked at. My husband now wishes he had one too.




Skimpyrider

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Pros: Excellent vehicle with surprisingly good stability-very close to Hondas' roadability. Tight turning radius a big plus. Lots of fun to drive. Cons: Center led display of time, temperatures etc. cannot be see in bright sunlight. GPS/radio screen could be brighter and crisper (higher resolution).




Ford/mercury out did themselves! wow!

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I researched this vehicle for 6 over months. After so much anticipation would it live up? I took the keys in Aug 07 and have never been happier. It surpassed my dreams! It is fun to drive, but you do need to be watchful. I have scared folks, when running on the electric motor, all you can hear are the tires on the ground. Which can be eerie. The kids tease it is quieter than the 'Barbie' Car! We have taken it on a major vacation 700 miles one way for 12 hours and it did great. 31 mpg. Saved us 1/3 cost in gas over our Windstar while not losing comfort. Handled the mountain curves. The navigation system was helpful but gave warnings in some areas. Ford has out done themselves with this one!



Full 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Review

What's New for 2008

The most obvious update on the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid concerns its refreshed interior and exterior styling. In addition, there's a redesigned roof panel to reduce wind noise. Mercury has also added a slightly less expensive front-wheel-drive model to the lineup. New standard equipment includes side and head curtain airbags, and an MP3 player input jack. The optional navigation system is now DVD-based, and it has a touchscreen interface. Satellite radio is a new option.

Introduction

Hybrid SUVs like the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid are aimed at car buyers who want it all. By sport-utility standards, fuel economy is high and tailpipe emissions are low, yet you end up with a vehicle that looks and acts like a perfectly normal family vehicle. In other words, you can live the hybrid car lifestyle without losing day-to-day practicality. Pretty neat.

Introduced for 2006, the Mariner Hybrid has the highest fuel economy ratings of any SUV on the market, an honor its shares with its Ford Escape Hybrid and new-for-2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid corporate siblings. Industrial-inspired bodywork distinguishes Mercury's compact SUV on the outside, and inside there's a considerable amount of faux satin-aluminum trim. Power comes from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine working cooperatively with a pair of electric motors (three on all-wheel-drive models). Net output is 155 horsepower. On the road, the Mariner Hybrid feels quicker than the standard four-cylinder Mariner, but it's not as swift as the V6 model.

If you decide a hybrid SUV is a good fit for your lifestyle, there are now several to choose from: The Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid is the cheapest; the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has the highest seating capacity (seven); and the Lexus RX 400h is the most luxurious. Given the high asking prices for the Toyota SUVs, most buyers are apt to shop the Mercury Mariner Hybrid against the Saturn. In our view, the Mercury is the better bet, as it offers slightly better gas mileage, a superior driving experience and a higher level of overall refinement.

However, if you compare the Mercury Mariner Hybrid to newer all-gasoline SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, it doesn't stack up quite so well. These small SUVs outpace the Mercury in nearly every area, from cabin accommodations to handling dynamics, while coming very close in the fuel economy race. That's not to say that buying a 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid couldn't still make sense, especially with the healthy tax credit available on it during the '07 calendar year. But with all the competition among small SUVs in this price range, we encourage prospective hybrid SUV buyers to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A compact SUV, the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid is available in one four-door body style with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). Standard amenities include 16-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, an in-dash CD changer, an MP3 player input jack, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood-grain interior trim, cruise control, full power accessories and a trip computer. The optional Premium package provides a roof rack, rear parking sensors, heated leather seats, an upgraded seven-speaker audio system, a DVD-based navigation system with a hybrid energy flow/fuel consumption display and a cargo cover. Most of these items are also available as stand-alone options, as is a 110-volt AC outlet. A moonroof is bundled with Sirius Satellite Radio as the "Moon & Tune" package.

Powertrains and Performance

Every Mercury Mariner Hybrid is powered by a 2.3-liter gasoline engine working with electric motor/generators. Cumulative output is 155 horsepower. Mercury calls the transmission a CVT (continuously variable transmission), but there's no rotating belt as in a conventional CVT. Instead, the motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gearset to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. Once behind the wheel of a Mariner Hybrid, all you have to do is move the shift lever to "D" and press the gas pedal. In addition to its propulsion duties, the gasoline engine is used to recharge the Mariner Hybrid's battery pack. A regenerative braking system, which captures kinetic energy that would ordinarily be lost as heat, also contributes to the recharging effort.

All-wheel-drive Mariner Hybrids have an additional electric motor that provides power to the rear wheels when extra traction or acceleration is needed. It's not a true all-wheel-drive system, though, and buyers who require a serious snow vehicle will be better off with the regular gasoline-powered AWD Mariner. With the EPA's adjusted fuel economy ratings for 2008, the front-wheel-drive Mariner Hybrid comes in at 34 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, while the AWD version is listed at 29/27.

Safety

All major safety equipment is standard on the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid, including four-wheel antilock disc brakes, a tire-pressure monitoring system, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. Stability control is unfortunately not available. In the backseat, you'll find three-point seatbelts and head restraints all the way across.

Although the NHTSA has yet to crash-test the '08 Mariner Hybrid, the similar '07 model performed solidly, posting four out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact crash tests, it received five stars for both front- and rear-seat occupants. In frontal-offset crash tests conducted by the IIHS, the '07 Mariner rated "Acceptable" (the second highest on a scale of four). In side-impact testing, it earned a "Good" rating (the highest).

Interior Design and Special Features

The Mariner Hybrid's interior is tastefully accented with satin-finish faux aluminum, chrome and wood-grain trim. The major benefits of this year's refresh are evident in the control layout, which is simpler to use yet more modern in appearance, and the optional navigation system, which now has a standard-size screen and a touchscreen interface. The backseat is roomy and comfortable enough to keep a pair of adults content on road trips. There are 26.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and you can fold them down to open up 66 cubic feet of capacity. One knock against the Mariner Hybrid's cabin comfort is its lack of an electric air-conditioning compressor. Instead, the gasoline engine powers the compressor, which means that the cabin only stays cool when the engine is running. Using the "Max A/C" setting prevents the engine from shutting down on hot days, but negates the fuel-saving benefits of this hybrid SUV's idle-stop feature.

Driving Impressions

With a four-cylinder gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors working on its behalf, the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid feels nearly as quick as the V6 Mariner and returns outstanding fuel mileage. Unfortunately, the gas engine makes quite a racket during hard acceleration. Ride quality is acceptable for a small SUV, but handling is unimpressive, as the extra weight of the hybrid components gives the Mariner Hybrid a top-heavy feel when rounding corners. The regenerative brakes provide solid stopping ability but can be hard to modulate due to an overly stiff initial pedal feel.

Talk About The 2008 Mariner Hybrid

Read more about the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 34
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs