I've had this car since 2009 when it made me buy it from across the parking lot while at a restaurant! This car has held up to hauling artwork, art supplies, camping gear, hauling college student things, dogs, building materials, oh and many people too! It is durable and has outlasted many other friends' vehicles by far. Low maintenance car and has dealt w/ many unusual weather issues w/ ease. The back seats fold down to give you space for whatever you need to haul and is split/flexible too for those times when you need three seats and hauling things. Whenever she goes in for a trade, it would be a great first car for anyone.
Our car has been garage kept, low mileage, driven smoothly. Transmission has been a nightmare. Has been to the dealership 8 times for exact same transmission issue without long term repair. They simply reset the computer. So it's obviously a software problem. They deny there is a recall or even a service bulletin regarding same, even though I have found proof otherwise. Now that it's out of warranty, they want to charge $175.00 each time they "reprogram " the computer. As it turns out, a FORMER service tech explained that this involves disconnecting the battery for 30 mins. That's it!
Our dealer will not stand by any one these so called 'repairs', and that's the real issue. No real repair, no long term fix, no support or warranty on service.
Next vehicle model will be more thoroughly researched with long history of good service ratings, likely a Subaru.
We bought this car in august 2009. We have taken it to the dealer in 3 different occasions for transmission problems. The first time they said they had to reprogram the computer. The second time they said they had a recall and they had to reprogram the computer again. This week we took it in again and they said they can fix the problem since they cannot reproduce the problem while testing it. This is the worst car we ever owned. The rpm jump to 6000 in the highway, the car basically stops working and you have to get out of the highway to avoid an accident. This happens randomly. Once you stop and restart the car it runs without problems. This dealer has not help us in solving the problem.
I just bought a used 09 Mariner I4. I had a V8 07 Ford Explorer. I actually like the Mariner better. The Explorer was smooth and quiet, but still felt a little sluggish, even with the v8. The Mariner handles better and is more fun to drive. The 4 cyl is buzzy on acceleration and at times at stoplights. Cruising at highway speeds it is quiet and smooth and plenty powerful, even with four of us and luggage.
Be aware that the Ford warranty states that if your vehicle must be kept overnight, they owe you NOTHING. No loaner, no rental, no reimbursement. NOTHING. My eight month old Mariner began losing transmission fluid at 8800 miles. I took in in to the dealer and a WEEK later they tell me that they are waiting for a replacement axle. This is a recurring problem for the Ford and Merc Escape/Mariner which is leading to a shortage of parts. Service Manager told me he has two vehicles waiting for that axle. This is the last Ford product for me.