2008 Mercury Mariner Interior
The cabin of the 2008 Mercury Mariner impresses reviewers with its attractive, two-tone look and well-thought-out storage features. "Impressive fit and finish are evident in the Mercury Mariner's five-passenger cabin," explains Edmunds.
The consensus of reviewers is generally positive with respect to the redesigned Mariner interior. Many test drivers noted its spacious seating and stylish use of materials and color treatments throughout the updated interior, which includes a new dash, seats, and controls. "Satin finishes and chrome accents surround the interior," observes Cars.com, adding, "The radio and climate controls are also updated and now sit flush with the center console." At the same time, "Perhaps most welcome," Car and Driver adds, "is the new 'ice blue' interior lighting and IP illumination, which replaces that nauseating Ford green. In all, the new interior decor and features put the Mariner in a whole separate league compared with the current model." Edmunds calls the seats "well-bolstered and comfortable," while Kelley Blue Book praises the cargo areas of the Mariner as "large and well-shaped."
Considerable engineering work was put into reducing cabin noise, vibration and harshness -- which had been cited as a common complaint in previous Mariners. The 2008 Mariner includes 25 percent more carpet than 2007 models, and the carpet itself is 50 percent thicker. A new roof panel is designed to reduce wind noise, as are the new, larger side mirrors. Sound-deadening material built into the windshield completes the package.
The 2008 Mariner includes completely new seats, after the seats of previous generations were sometimes criticized as uncomfortable. The new seats seem to be an improvement.
"The front seats are well bolstered and comfortable," according to Edmunds. A generally well-liked two-toned color scheme, with cloth contrasting-color inserts on cloth seats or faux-suede contrasting-color inserts on leather seats is available. Mercury says that 80 percent of the Mariners it builds will feature the two-color look. Heated seats are available on Premier models, but the points out that, "One annoyance is that the controls for the heated fronts are low along the side of the seats near the floor, a location that allows precious little room between seat and the door panel to activate the heater. With gloves on, it would be a chore."
Rear seats are generally seen as less impressive. Edmunds complains that "the rear seat, although roomy, has flat cushions and offers no recline or fore/aft adjustments. Folding that seat down is a chore, too, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be flipped down."
The two base-model Mariners (four-cylinder and V6) feature air conditioning, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, full power accessories, keyless entry, and tinted privacy glass. The Premier model includes all of these features, plus leather upholstery with faux-suede inserts, a six-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, an in-dash CD changer and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Stereo and Entertainment
Premier and Hybrid models feature an upgraded sound system that Mercury calls it's "audiophile sound system." CNET says "that description is a bit of a stretch, as the car only gets six speakers and a subwoofer, when you get the Premium package. But it is a reasonably good-sounding system and will do for most people. Just don't expect deep bass or a particularly rich sound." The audiophile system features 320 watts of power.
Premier and Hybrid models of the 2008 Mariner include an all-new, DVD-based navigation system. This features a standard 6.5-inch screen, a vast improvement from the small screens found on previous editions of the Mariner. CNET finds that "Besides its ugly map display, the navigation system is very functional. It has touch-screen operation, accurate route guidance, and many methods for entering a destination. We particularly like the ability to find the nearest freeway entrance or exit."
Designers have added lots of interior storage spaces to the 2008 model. The center console is now the largest in the class, and features removable bins so that drivers can configure the storage space however they wish. Car and Driver was impressed that "the center console storage area has three levels, the lower being large enough to hold a laptop."
The Cargo capacity of the Mariner is 29.2 cubic feet, fairly typical for this class of vehicle, and a respectable 66.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. New for 2008, "The cargo area now features a separate 'wet' area under the floor," according to Car and Driver. This hidden, waterproof compartment is lockable. However, the explains that lowering the seats to access the full cargo area isn't a simple operation. "To fold down the rear seats to enlarge the cargo area, a person has to lift up this cushion and then maneuver it to get it upright against the front seatbacks. It's not as intuitive a maneuver as I expected. Also remember to remove the rear-seat head restraints, or the rear seatback won't lie flat."