What it is
2008 Mercury Mariner – Preview: The 2008 Mercury Mariner may still share its platform with the Ford Escape, but now looks decidedly different thanks to an interior and exterior facelift for the 2008 model year. The second-gen Mariner includes a cleaner and more modern exterior style, revised interior, new electric power steering and a choice between front-wheel and all-wheel-drive on the hybrid trim. Mercury says the new look will define many of the brand’s upcoming vehicles. The ’08 Mariner reaches showrooms in early 2007.
Why it matters
What’s under the hood?
What it looks like
What we think
The Mariner’s revamp arrives at a crucial moment for the Mercury brand, though it may not be enough. While the Mariner seems to have all the right elements on paper – all-wheel-drive, improved accommodations, modern styling and an available hybrid – the lack of improvement to the powertrains may leave buyers cold after a ride around the block. With tough crossover competition at every dealership, it’s important for the Mercury Mariner to look – and feel – a significant cut above the Escape, along with other mainstream CUVs. We’ll see what kind of difference the 2008 Mariner makes when the new Escape debuts at the LA Auto Show in November.
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Co.