For years analysts have been recommending to Ford that they shut down the Mercury division unless they actually create some unique vehicles for the brand. With few exceptions like the 1998-2002 Cougar, Mercury has had few vehicles that weren't just rebadged Fords in decades. According to Warren Brown of the Washington Post, female buyers are the primary reason for Mercury's continued existence.
In his decidedly unscientific analysis, when his wife and assistant evaluated the Mercury Mariner Hybrid a few weeks after the Escape hybrid they found the Mariner a much more enjoyable vehicle. They thought the Mercury was distinctly different and less SUV-like.
I find this all highly dubious and I seriously doubt that most women would actually feel this way, especially if they tried the vehicles back-to-back. Aside from possibly some different color combinations and maybe a little extra chrome trim in the Mercury, the two vehicles are exactly identical. A Mariner is equally as SUV-like as an Escape and anyone who says otherwise is deluding themselves. Let's hear what the women out there think in the comments.
[Source: Detroit News]