Monday, November 30, 2009
Ford has some of the freshest product out there and some really inovative technology in the pipeline and on dealer's lots today. EcoBoost, SYNC and upcoming Hybrid and Electric vehicles.
There's always room for improvement (Mustang) but there's little doubt about which of the domestic brands will come out on top, it's going to be Ford all the way.
But what about Mercury? Did I just buy the next "Orphan" brand?
Now, let's see when we can expect that IRS?
Ok, so today is day 21, I've put 510 miles on my Mariner and it's already been back for a warranty repair? Yes, you read that correctly, the Mariner had to go back to the dealership today. The good, the bad and the not so ugly facts are these. On Saturday I was setting off to visit friends, we pull out of the driveway and get 1,000 feet when I hear a knocking noise from the suspension. I went less than a mile when said knocking noise caused me to turn around and park the Mariner. Luckily we have more than one vehicle, so we transferred our weekend bags to the Honda and set off. This morning the Mariner went the less than 5 miles back to the dealership.
And the problem was? Driver's side stabilizer bar link had come loose. I have to give credit to the dealership. They found the problem quickly and 2 hours later we were on our way home, without any knocking noise.
But only 19 days into this "extended test drive" (lease) a stabilizer link fails?
My Ranger had a a stabilizer link fail, but after 10.5 years and 57,000 miles.
I'll put this off to a fluke this time, but I'll be documenting any further problems very carefully.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I had a full load of passengers and leftovers coming home, and everyone was impressed with the ride comfort, even the back seat. Since I will never ride back there I hadn't really considered this, so it's a bonus that it's so nice.
The SYNC system's Bluetooth really made it easy, as I was receiving and making calls from the road in bumper to bumper traffic without any distraction. The voice command dialling and clear display high up on the dash meant that I didn't ram into the idiot that cut me off on I-87.
My sister who loves her Explorer but is wanting a smaller more efficient vehicle next spring liked my little Mercury so much that she's putting on her list for consideration. Her real goal is the Ford Edge, but the Escape/Mariner make a nice second choice. She was thrilled when I told her it's a 4 cyl and what milage I'm achieving.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
On the plus side, all the tech features are amazing, the ride is smooth and I don't get killed merging onto busy highways. Only 171 horsepower, but that's enough for the nimble Mariner. I can only imagine that the V-6's 240 hp would really make this move, but I'm not complaining, the better fuel economy from the 2.5 more than makes up for the fewer ponies.
One minor complaint is this, in order to fold the rear seats flat, you need to remove the headrests and find a place for them. This is not a problem unique to the Mariner, I've encountered it in the past with other vehicles, but it is a minor inconvenience none the less.
The load floor is flat and large enough to swallow a ton of gear. I'm in the middle of moving my office at work and I'm using my Mariner for the job. Several boxes of office supplies and files, the copier, fax machine, phones and PC tower all fit without a fuss. The load height is perfect for me and I would imagine for most folks. The liftgate height is enough that I don't bump my head even with the stupid bump cap required in our work area.
This is a very easy vehicle to live with on a day to day basis. No road trips on the horizon, unless you count the 60 mile drive upstate to see family for Thanksgiving, so I can't say how it will be on my anual 5 hour pilgrimage to Cape Cod.
While I don't notice the rear drum brakes when I'm driving, it still hits me that in this day and age they're back there. I'll be interested in how they feel this winter.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
When I got home today, in the mail was a very nice thank you note from Frank C, my salesman.
And I have to say, that with all the cars I've bought over the last 22 years, this is the first thank you note I've ever received. A real classy touch. But it doesn't end there, Frank gave me key fobs with his name and number on them as well as a pen embossed with the same info.
And I'm not sure how best to say this, so I'll just say it. Frank is an older gentleman, and it's been my experience that many of the older salesmen don't keep up with the new technologies and concepts/future models. Frank is in his late 50's or maybe even older, but he had a great grasp of the SYNC system and other tech features (which the Mariner is full of) and like I said he knew about the Kuga, Fiesta and other foreign/future models coming down the pipeline. Only after I made my deal did I even mention my blog in detail. He modestly said he wasn't very Internet savy, but I kind of doubt that. Frank struck me as a very low key, but very smart guy.
I figured out how to SYNC up my phone, actually very easy, so that's tech toy 1 down. I need to load up a flash drive with tunes and try that, then hook up my MP3 player and test that. The Sirius radio is ok too. I have to admit the Ambient lighting is kind of goofy, but I picked a color (blue) that matches the dash lights.
24 hours may seem premature, but I'm sure that in 24 months I'll still be loving my Mariner.
Monday, November 09, 2009
My opinion of the refreshed Mariner/Escape/Tribute is a matter of record here, the only flaw is the lack of 4wheel disc brakes. The level of luxury and technology are both fairly high, especially at this price point. I was joking with my salesman Frank that when this lease is up, Ford should finally have the new Kuga based Escape/Mariner replacement out. That may be no joke. And if FoMoCo can SYNC up those dates, then that's what I'll do.
Now to learn how all my new toys work! I've got to learn the SYNC system, load up my MP3 and USB Flash Drive with tunes, then select which Sirius stations I want to listen to. The ambient lighting is actually kind of cool. But over the next 27 months I'll also give my day to day impressions of my first Mercury.
Yeah, it's hard for me to believe, but with all the FoMoCo products I've owned over the years, this is the first Mercury I've ever had.