Last post on Jan 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM
You are in the Mercury Mariner
What is this discussion about?
Mercury Mariner, SUV
May 03, 2003 (2:01 pm)
The SUV cloning is getting a little ridiculous....I don't see a reason for the Mariner to exist. Implement the upscale interior changes to the Escape and call it a Limited if you must. The SUV market is already flooded so adding another model that won't sell well seems like a stupid idea and a waste of money. I suppose Ford is trying their hardest to keep Mercury alive, but Mercury was never meant to be a manufacturer of SUVs and adding another one is not the correct way to fix things.
#3 of 514 Different....
May 03, 2003 (4:57 pm)
Actually if Mercury sells at least 20K, it'll be profittable. The Lincoln Mercury dealers dont have a small SUV. Their thinking is that if someone can't afford the Mountaineer, they will buy into the Mariner. Better to cover all possible grounds, than to lose a customer to the competition. The same thinking relates to the Aviator and Mountaineer. If a customer can't afford the Aviator, you have the Mountaineer in the same showroom.
Also, it gives some variety to customers. Those who don't want an Escape because you can see one at every traffic light, can opt for the Mariner, something that sets them apart, with a few more luxury touches here and there. And thats what most Mercury's now will be about.
#4 of 514 Mariner
May 03, 2003 (6:19 pm)
I think this vehicle shows why Ford is going to fall behind GM and DC in the coming years. Ford still thinks its ok to just blantantly add makeup to an existing vehicle and sell another under the umbrella of a different brand. The fact that some Mariners, which are supposed to be upscale, will be equipped with that dog of a 4cyl engine (Car and Driver tested an Escape 4cyl at OVER 11 seconds to sixty... with a MANUAL!) blows my mind. The Mariner may be profitable dollarwise, but what does it do to Fords' already lacking perception? The ailing Mercury brand? NOTHING.
The only worthwhile Ford product in the last few years, has been the Focus- a truly exceptional vehicle for the class, RUINED by poor initial quality and longer term reliability. The Taurus/Sable are a joke, and sell well only because, I feel, they are getting alot of customers who would otherwise be buying smaller, superior cars that dont sell at discounts (Corolla, Civic, etc). The new Freestar/Monterey? You're kidding right? Did they actually even do a redesign? A 4.2 truck engine in a minivan that only produces 23lb ft of torque more than a competing minivan's engine which is almost a WHOLE LITRE smaller? I could go on, but I'm supposed to be talking about the Mariner. Call the Escape whatever you want, Ford is tanking.
May 04, 2003 (1:15 am)
The Escape will receive the new 2.3L I-4 that's in the Ranger and Mazda6, and only 10% of buyers opt for the 4 cylinder,manual combo. This was offered NOT to be compeititive, but to gain more CAFE credits to be used for other less fuel efficient vehicles. This same 2.3L I-4 will be the basis of the new Escape Hybrid, (and upcoming Focus) and it's quite sophisticated overall compared to the competition.
Building the same vehicles for different brands is what will be common in the future. They'll be very few vehicles who will have 400K+ sales, therefore niche products will be quite common. And only way of making them profitable is by making different versions, of the same vehicle. Suspension settings, NVH can be tuned differently between vehicles, to give each it's own identity, while keeping everything basic. This also allows for cheaper parts in the future, as well as cheaper insurance by having parts redily available.
GM has always had the art of badge engineering, they are now noticing how to differentiate vehicles, but using old-tech OHV engines is not what customers want. Now they are rushing on trying to seperate the identity of each brand, although it'll be quite hard for them, and monetarily speaking it'll require much more to acquire that.
Dont expect any automaker to change overnight. Changes and decisions being made now, WON'T take effect till 2-3 years from now...
Ironically, the Focus was rated more reliable car in Europe, they just bastardized the product when it crossed the pond. We can thank Jaques Nasser for that one, luckily he's out of Ford =)
May 04, 2003 (7:18 am)
Points well taken, and thank you for correcting me regarding the 4 cylinder engine. However, even with "changes and decisions being made now" as you say, they wont take effect for another 2-3 years. Which still leaves Ford behind IMO. GM and Chrysler are in a much better position, with more competitive products in the pipeline ALREADY. As you stated GM has learned how to effectively badge engineer. I dont think the OHV engine issue is a big one. As long as they can design an OHV with good fuel economy and competitive power, I'm sure most buyers wont notice.
May 04, 2003 (2:38 pm)
I like it. But I'm also on my 3rd Mountaineer. I'm a good Mercury prospect though, because I like the basic Ford product, but in a nicer version, with options and some upgraded features and appearance. And, they'll sell some. One gripe I do have though, as
Ford tries to carve out the Mercury niche again after some admitted neglect, they should not offer the base engines in a Merc. Mercs should perform - be something you can count on to beat the base Ford model - a performance line, not just have leather and a nicer grille.
Thanks for the preview!
May 04, 2003 (6:21 pm)
Usually Mercury's have been a more dressed up version of a Ford, with a higher output engine.
This is evident with the Monterey, which will offer the 4.2L as it's sole engine, while the Freestar will have the 3.9L as the standard engine. (BOY do I hate this engine family and counting down the days till they get rid of them). Vulcan 3.0L will be the next one to die, then these Essex Twins.
For the Mariner which is a year away, I would have prefered having the 3.0L Duractec V6 as the standard engine, and sole offering. But the suprise of offering it with the 2.3L was a last minute issue.
I also think (hint) they should offer a longer warranty on Mercury vehicles, over Fords vehicles. Pushing to a possible 4 years.....
May 05, 2003 (5:24 pm)
well, the CAFE probably motivates them to offer the small engines....if they sell a couple, it lowers the overall rating, huh? But, why do you hate the essex engines, if I may ask? I've not had one, so I don't have a clue.
May 05, 2003 (7:05 pm)
Ok it has pros and cons....
Pros: It's architecture has been fully exploited, and it can do much more, but Ford won't invest more on it for good reason.
Pros: The head gasket issue, has been resolved.
Pros: It's a cheap engine for Ford to manufacture.
Cons: It's loud, sounds like farm machinery, it's rumbly, unrefined, crude.
Cons: It turned many customers off from buying another Ford product, because of the head gasket situation of years ago. Even if Ford offered an Extended warranty on them (even on used vehicles) it still left a sore taste on many's mouth.
Cons: It's NOT that fuel efficient. It holds comparibly to Chrysler 3.8L OHV (closest example per displacement), but to make it "hold steady", transmission needs to be programmed for more "relaxed" performance. Therefore, causing some aggresive drivers to play more with the gas pedal, therefore giving them even worse results at the gas pump.
Overall, the engine did well for it's time, and aside from the head gasket issue (for models not effected) it proved to be bulletproof for the most part. Not as great as Fords 5.0L V8 OHV of years ago, but alright. It just needs to rest, and allow for the more modern variety to take place.
One the new Mustang debuts, the only vehicles with these engines will be the Freestar/Monterey. And the only reason the Vulcan 3.0L has been kept alive, is because the Taurus is too porky too contend with the next powerful engine in the Ford stable.... The 2.3L DOHC I-4. IN comes Futura to resolve these issues. The Ranger will solder on with it, till a replacement is found. Already the Flexible Fuel Version of the Vulcan engine has been canned.