I love my Mariner. It has everything I want and nothing I don't need. My only complaints are: the back windows don't go all the way down, the glove compartment is very small, the vanity mirrors are not lighted, and the silver finish (around cup-holders and knobs, etc) can scratch. It comes with a 6 CD player and MP3 plug-in and a front and rear charger (for gps, cellphone). I like that the seat fabric is black and low-key...most fabrics are tacky and loud. This Red is gorgeous....I LOVE it! When I first test drove it ....it felt a little rough but I had been driving a Ford Explorer for several years (worth twice as much due to all the bells and whistles), but this is a smaller SUV, so you really can't compare the two. After a few days, I didn't notice a difference. Ford Escapes, Mazda Tributes and Mercury Mariners are all basically the same vehicle with a different name and minor finish differences. Big bang for your buck - hope my 2008 Mariner lasts for ever!
I traded in a 2000 Audi A6 4.2. The Audi was far superior in performance and handling but value for dollar, I love the Grand Marquis. Just went on a trip to the Outer Banks and avg 27 mpg at 65 mph! On regular! The comfort of the ride and the storage for luggage was comparable to an suv. I feel the car was made for me. Bad knees and the car is super for entry and exit.
The Mariner has almost all the same great comfort features of my Landrover LR3. Leather trim, sunroof, heated seats, electric seats, etc. Few things I missed were arm rests while driving distances, stereo controls on the steering wheel, and heated seats in the second row. (If you haven't had stereo controls on the steering wheel then you won't even notice.) But hey, the Mercury was 1/3 of the price of my Landrover and looks great too. Fuel economy is 17mpg in the city and uses regular unleaded fuel. All in all a comfortable little SUV. Its not big cargo vehicle and it doesn't race around the city, but its fun and comfy to get passengers near and far.