Ford Goes Troll-ing Consumer Auto Forums For Compliments On The 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

We just got the latest press missive from Ford on the 2008 Mercury Mariner in both hybrid and non-hybrid flavors. The release, headlined "2008 MERCURY MARINER IS A HIT WITH ONLINE CONSUMERS" is a list of supposed owner comments culled from the posts of consumer auto-site forums. As you can expect, the remarks provide glowing recommendations on the '08 Mercury mini-SUV using words like "best," "love" and the always forum fan fave of "WOW!" All of this gushing got us wondering whether every Mariner forum post on the consumer auto sites is filled with gushing car-love. It turns out that's not the case. We were able to come up with some forum posts that seem to indicate maybe the Mariner isn't "A HIT" with every online consumer. We've got the full press release plus the cream of the contraindicative crop below the jump.

First let's start with Paula Williams on the Yahoo! Autos Forum. Here's what she has to say:

"Where to I begin! The second day I owned the vehicle (250 miles) the brakes began to make a rubbing noise and the rear end made noises when making right hand turns. Now with just 2700 miles, it sounds like I'm driving a vehicle with 250,000 miles. I contacted the salesman where I bought the vehicle in Aberdeen, Maryland and he said it was my responsibility to contact Ford. So, since Maryland has a "Lemon Law", as instructed by our State Attorneys' General Office, I sent Ford a certified letter concerning my issues. No response to date. After spending $27,000 and owning the vehicle for just two months I am reduced to keeping the radio cranked up loud to drawn out the noises from the rear end. I've taken it to the dealership three times for these issues and finally, after demanding the technician ride in the truck with my husband, they said that they heard the noise. They said Ford is aware of the problem; that it is not a safety issues but merely a "nuisance" issue; and hopefully they should have a "fix" sometime in June or July. Meanwhile, I'm driving the vehicle only when necessary and have even been driving a rental. I'm scare because of the brake issues. So, please, don't buy this vehicle. It looks terrific and I had researched my purchase for several months before buying. I know there are "lemons" out there and I guess I got one, but the customer service from both my dealership and Ford/Mercury is what really hurts the most, In these days and times you would think that Ford would be trying to keep customers. My husband and I have bought Fords for over forty years. However, I don't think I will buy Ford again. They've lost two very loyal customers."
Next up is daryll44 at Edmunds :
"We were all excited to potentially lease a 2008 Mariner Premier. Then we drove it! Here are my issues:
1. Went back to DRUM brakes on the rear to save money. Who has drum brakes any more?
2. Noisy as heck.
3. No handles to hold onto while driving or getting in/out.
4. The "carpet" was some cheap composite fiber stuff.
There is no comparision to Honda CRV which did everything better, gets better mpg, and holds it's value MUCH better. I've always been a Ford guy but I can see why Ford is in the trouble that they are in."
Lastly, here's what New Hybrid Owner over at Cars has to say:
"First - no traction or stability control. Toyota manages to include these in their hybrids - so should Ford. Second, the seats are just not very comfortable. I'm of average height, but the seat cushions are not long enough - I feel like I'm perched on a padded stool. Third, the soundproofing is better than previous models, but it is inadequate. Road noise at highway speeds is louder than it should be. Fourth, the "audiophile" sound system sounds great a slow speeds, but does not compensate for road noise. Fifth, I wish that it had Xenon or at least better headlights. Last, there is a lot of fancy chromed plastic in the cabin, which should have had a satin finish - it's blinding when the sunlight hits it!"
Now here's the full press release from Ford:
2008 MERCURY MARINER IS A HIT WITH ONLINE CONSUMERS
* "Best Little SUV on the Market!!!!!!!!"
* "All factors considered (size, price, features, performance, efficiency), this is well and by far the greatest vehicle ever made."
* "Everything about it is just wow!"
* "Best car/SUV I purchased in the last 20 years."

The 2008 Mercury Mariner is generating rave reviews among consumers as it enjoys a brisk sales pace. Mariner sales were up a whopping 97 percent in June, helping Ford, Lincoln and Mercury crossover sales climb 83 percent - the largest sales gain in the industry's fastest growing segment. Mariner attracts more new customers to Ford and Lincoln Mercury as a percentage of trade-ins coming from competitors' models than any other nameplate, except Ford Mustang.

The Mariner is completely redesigned inside and out. In addition to fresh sheet metal and a remade interior, Mariner is updated with a comprehensive safety package, a quieter ride and more refined driving dynamics.

Following are verbatim consumer reviews of the 2008 Mercury Mariner as posted on three top automotive research sites: www.autos.yahoo.com, www.edmunds.com and www.autos.msn.com

1. I Made the Right Decision - "Best car/SUV I purchased in the last 20 years. Great gas mileage. More than enough room in the back seat. Cargo space is good. A lot of head room, so if you are tall, no problem. I switched from a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I like the Mariner much better. Smoother ride, less road noise, and better handling. Just a great SUV and you don't have to worry about gas. It's listed at 20-26; however, I am averaging 27.5 miles per gallon." - posted by Midas on www.autos.msn.com
2. Traded Up to an American SUV! - "I love the luxurious ride in my 2008 Mariner. The ride is smooth! Lots of nice features for the price, leather seats, dual temperature controls. I am enjoying the navigation system, Sirius radio, dual temperature controls. I can set the internal temperature. Many extras." - posted by Maureen on www.edmunds.com
3. Best Little SUV On the Market !!!!!! - " Recently I purchased a 2008 Mercury Mariner and I have to say I could not be happier with it. This is my second Mariner. The first one was a 2005 and I loved it so much, I just had to have the redesigned model. First of all, the ride is 100 percent improved over the old model. It is quiet and smooth and it handles much better. The navigation system is very easy to use and gives precise directions and the Sirius radio is great. You can put just about anything in that DEEP center console. I am 6'3" and I have plenty of head and legroom but the rear legroom can be tight and the quality of the interior is improved over the old model as well. I really recommend the Mercury Mariner to all." - posted by Nick on www.edmunds.com
4. So Far, the Best Vehicle Ever Made - "All factors considered (size, price, features, performance, efficiency), this is well and by far the greatest vehicle ever made. For me, it's mostly a city car, and I'm getting 30+ mpg. In the winter I have 4x4 traction and plenty of pickup on the freeway, when I am passing Honda Odysseys and the like. It's true that the mpg is lower than Prius, but this is a reasonably sized vehicle for a family of four with luggage, which the Prius clearly is not. Until plug-in cars are available, this is the best vehicle on the market." - posted by Ex-Toyota Driver on www.autos.msn.com
5. ' 08 Mariner Premier - "My new ' 08 Mercury Mariner is an awesome SUV. It has a smooth ride, it handles great and has plenty of cargo space. To be just a 3.0L V6 it has plenty of get up and go. It runs very quiet and the transmission shifts very smooth. The exterior looks great. I love the design and style and the fit and finish is very good inside and out. To be as small as it is, it has plenty of space for you to get comfortable. I love the way all the radio and climate controls are made and I like the display screen at the top of the dash above the a/c vents. The interior design looks great. I love everything about this SUV. I couldn't be happier. I really think you should check the Mariner out because it's awesome." - posted by Tyler on www.edmunds.com
6. Great Look ... Great Price - "Recently purchased '08 Mariner after test driving two competing SUVs. This was the best, most quiet and most comfortable ride. Recently took a small road trip and averaged 27 mpg. Friends compliment on the look of the inside and outside. Love it so far." - posted by Sandy from North Carolina on www.autos.yahoo.com
7. My Mariner - "I love the stylish look of this SUV. For 2 months we shopped for small to mid-size SUVs and we narrowed it down to three choices: this vehicle, Honda CRV and Jeep Liberty. The ride of this vehicle had it all over the other two options. I actually see peoples' heads turn when I drive by to look at my ride. I originally opted to get this vehicle in black - but once I saw the vivid red it was all over. It is also spacious and roomy and I like the placement of all the controls, too." - posted by Judi in Ohio on www.autos.msn.com
8. Great Small SUV - " The handling is quick and responsive. The interior noise is very low, even at highway speeds. The leather/suede seats are very comfortable and cooler/warmer than all leather. The dashboard is very easy to read with the ice blue lighting and the controls are easy to reach. The center console has as much room as larger SUVs. The Mercury Mariner Premier is very comfortable and easy to drive. I would recommend buying it to anyone." - posted by David from Mesa, Ariz., on www.autos.msn.com
9. 2008 Hybrid Rocks! - "Getting an average of 38 mpg in Atlanta traffic in a SUV and not changing my driving habits very much. The premium package is a must with the hybrid. The stereo and DVD Nav are great. Nav has better features than most standalone systems and the audiophile's sound is HUGE! Tax credit knocks $3000 off the price." - posted by Steve Atlanta on www.autos.msn.com
10. Wow -"This hybrid is awesome. I bought it for my wife. I find that I am trying to find ways to get the keys from her hands. This Mariner is just fun to drive and well appointed. Everything about it is just wow! Definitely pleased. Plus the tax incentive will definitely help offset the cost. Must go drive and try out. If you can afford to spend a little more, it's worth it!" - posted by Darwin on www.edmunds.com