The Mariner is a twin of the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute. All are unibody SUVs with a fully independent suspension. Our Ford Escape had a roomy interior that included a spacious rear bench. Handling is relatively nimble. The 3.0-liter V6 serves up adequate acceleration. Fuel economy was disappointing at just 18 mpg overall. The Mariner's sibling, the Escape, tipped up in the government rollover test.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side and head protection air bags available, standard from 2008. ESC available in 2008, standard from 2009.
Model Summary
The Mariner is a twin of the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute. All are unibody SUVs with a fully independent suspension. Our Ford Escape had a roomy interior that included a spacious rear bench. Handling is relatively nimble. The 3.0-liter V6 serves up adequate acceleration. Fuel economy was disappointing at just 18 mpg overall. The Mariner's sibling, the Escape, tipped up in the government rollover test. A hybrid version, like the Escape, is available for the Mariner. In our tests, the Escape hybrid attained 26 mpg.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.3-liter 4 (153 hp)
  • 2.3-liter 4 hybrid (155 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (200 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2006 Mercury Mariner owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The body paint is peeling around the wheel wells. It is flaking off."

Christine G., PA (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)
Rust

"Body rust - bubbling & blistering. Subframe is rusting to the point of needing replaced."

Christine G., PA (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"fender around rear wheel wells"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"Rust starting to develop under the doors and the 5th door"

William L., ON (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"This is my third Ford SUV and it will be my last because each the body has rusted away before the mechanics have worn out"

Keith N., PA (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"The tone rings on this vehicle need constant attention. I've replaced two sets of tone rings since owning it. I am not hard on my vehicles when driving. I may not look for an AWD vehicle for my next car"

Don G., MD (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)
Differential

"worm bearing"

Dennis H., NY (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"Rear differential leaked fluid requiring service"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Driveline vibration

"Getting rattle or knocking noises from under rear of car"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"brake ring"

Anonymous, NY (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"The hybrid energy recapture system failed on the from wheels requiring service"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Normal routine brake wear

"Assume this to be normal brake wear"

Anonymous, NC (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Within three years of purchasing this vehicle, the transmission stopped working and left me stranded. The trans needed rebuilding/replacement"

Don G., MD (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

"3rd factory transmission in car. Other 2 failed. total 186,000 miles on car. Never cover by warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Tie rods

"Right outer tie rod needed to be replaced"

T S., KY (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"this is second time within 3 years that we've had to replace the wheel bearings, both left & right"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Back up lights non functioning until GEM replacement"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)
Interior lights

"Occasionally Interior lights remain on while vehicle is in motion, or when stopping vehicle. At the same time, the door locks are affected"

Pat M., MI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Sunroof leaks during very hard rains. I resealed it myself"

Anonymous, TX (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Unidentifies Rattle comming from the rear"

Anonymous, CO (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"$1200 remove and replace alternator due to location on engine"

Pat M., MI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 3.0-L V6)
Hybrid/electric battery replacement

"Hybrid electrical system not functioning properly between gas and electrical drive transfer"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"The shift control doesn't go all the way into PARK which causes the car to die"

Mike J., IL (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

"Transmition leaks very much, it is an older car, so I expected this to happen eventually. I just need to bring it to a mechanic to get an estimate. After the estimate, I will decide weather or not to replace this car. Other than that, it runs very well and am happy with it."

Anonymous, IL (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Had to replace"

Anonymous, MO (2006 Mercury Mariner None 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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