Week Twelve: The Mercury Mariner

Match at first sight
After white, black, and strange purplish vehicles given to us by Lebanon Ford the Mercury Mariner’s sparkling turquoise gray was classy and unique. I was so comfortable that I forgot I was test driving the car and thought it was mine, which is the first time I can honestly say that in all the weeks so far. That’s when I knew that this SUV was me.

Maybe I live in Cincinnati and not the mountains of Colorado, but a girl can pretend. The Mariner made that a little easier—if I had a kayake, or a bike I rode more often than once per year, it would be strung up on the SUV and we’d be off on a weekend trip. But that’s just fantasy. However, the Mariner would be a fabulous vehicle for a camping trip with another couple. It has an already “broken in” feel, like your dog could sit on the backseat or you could throw a tackle box in the back without worrying about messing something up. It’s a livable car, regardless of how hard you work or play.

Okay, so maybe I was in denial about all the sporty things I could have been doing in the Mariner’s week. In reality, the SUV fit my lifestyle in that I could throw my bags or friends in the back seat comfortably, and the groceries popped into the back section with ease. However I did miss the pop open back that came up automatically in the Edge. I was spoiled that week.

Perks and Jerks
Although the whole back door didn’t automatically come up for groceries, the back window did open without having to pop up the whole back. This was nice when you just had a few things to throw in there.

I am notorious for forgetting to turn off the headlights (and on for that matter), but this Ford had an automatic function on the headlight knob. Other Fords have always beeped when you forgot the lights, and call me naïve, but that would just make me more agitated—what had I forgotten? After quite a few weeks, I’m starting to associate that beeping with the lights, as opposed to the beeping that happens when you forget your seatbelt. Speaking of that, it is persistent! We’re not talking just a little reminder. More like a polite reminder followed by another stern reprimand if you haven’t put it on five seconds later. It will continue the whole ride on and off if you don’t succumb to the demands. It is the law, I know, but geez.

However the SUV was just the right height, especially on a busy highway. You feel like you are high enough to be safe, but not high enough to have to climb into the vehicle. You have presence around the jerks of the road who think they can push you around, and semi trucks can see you approaching in their rearviews, unlike some smaller cars.

See you in my dreams
I was actually legitimately sad to see this car go. I realized that your car becomes a part of yourself, or at least your daily routine. You get used to the feeling you have driving, the ambiance in a car you really enjoy—be it airy and sporty like the Mariner or compact and classy like the Taurus. I know we will meet again some day.

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About Jeff Cryder Jr.
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  • The Escape/ Mariner line up has done wonders for Ford/Mercury. They are truly great vehicles. Like you mentioned in the article, they aren’t a big bulky SUV, but they feel rugged enough for a weekend camping trip.

    The strong point of the Escape or Mariner is in my opinion, a mixture of drive ability and sport appeal. As far as drive ability, the car is a straight shot getting in, you don’t have to climb up or fall down, very convenient. When driving the vehicle, it is so easy it seems to drive it self. It is big enough (like you said) to feel safe, without having that over whelming feeling of driving a large SUV.

    The sport appeal is also key. It triggers a lot of small families that aren’t ready to leap into the mini-van, soccer mom image. This is a step between the sports car and the mini-van, it is fun and versatile.

  • Charlie–Very well put about the young families not ready to leap into the soccer mom image. It seems perfectly comfortable for a family with one or two small kids. It seems even a little more convenient than the inaccessible (far) back seats of a minivan. Thanks for your input!

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