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  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The SUV cloning is getting a little ridiculous....I don't see a reason for the Mariner to exist. Implement the upscale interior changes to the Escape and call it a Limited if you must. The SUV market is already flooded so adding another model that won't sell well seems like a stupid idea and a waste of money. I suppose Ford is trying their hardest to keep Mercury alive, but Mercury was never meant to be a manufacturer of SUVs and adding another one is not the correct way to fix things.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Actually if Mercury sells at least 20K, it'll be profittable. The Lincoln Mercury dealers dont have a small SUV. Their thinking is that if someone can't afford the Mountaineer, they will buy into the Mariner. Better to cover all possible grounds, than to lose a customer to the competition. The same thinking relates to the Aviator and Mountaineer. If a customer can't afford the Aviator, you have the Mountaineer in the same showroom.

    Also, it gives some variety to customers. Those who don't want an Escape because you can see one at every traffic light, can opt for the Mariner, something that sets them apart, with a few more luxury touches here and there. And thats what most Mercury's now will be about.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I think this vehicle shows why Ford is going to fall behind GM and DC in the coming years. Ford still thinks its ok to just blantantly add makeup to an existing vehicle and sell another under the umbrella of a different brand. The fact that some Mariners, which are supposed to be upscale, will be equipped with that dog of a 4cyl engine (Car and Driver tested an Escape 4cyl at OVER 11 seconds to sixty... with a MANUAL!) blows my mind. The Mariner may be profitable dollarwise, but what does it do to Fords' already lacking perception? The ailing Mercury brand? NOTHING.
    The only worthwhile Ford product in the last few years, has been the Focus- a truly exceptional vehicle for the class, RUINED by poor initial quality and longer term reliability. The Taurus/Sable are a joke, and sell well only because, I feel, they are getting alot of customers who would otherwise be buying smaller, superior cars that dont sell at discounts (Corolla, Civic, etc). The new Freestar/Monterey? You're kidding right? Did they actually even do a redesign? A 4.2 truck engine in a minivan that only produces 23lb ft of torque more than a competing minivan's engine which is almost a WHOLE LITRE smaller? I could go on, but I'm supposed to be talking about the Mariner. Call the Escape whatever you want, Ford is tanking.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The Escape will receive the new 2.3L I-4 that's in the Ranger and Mazda6, and only 10% of buyers opt for the 4 cylinder,manual combo. This was offered NOT to be compeititive, but to gain more CAFE credits to be used for other less fuel efficient vehicles. This same 2.3L I-4 will be the basis of the new Escape Hybrid, (and upcoming Focus) and it's quite sophisticated overall compared to the competition.

    Building the same vehicles for different brands is what will be common in the future. They'll be very few vehicles who will have 400K+ sales, therefore niche products will be quite common. And only way of making them profitable is by making different versions, of the same vehicle. Suspension settings, NVH can be tuned differently between vehicles, to give each it's own identity, while keeping everything basic. This also allows for cheaper parts in the future, as well as cheaper insurance by having parts redily available.

    GM has always had the art of badge engineering, they are now noticing how to differentiate vehicles, but using old-tech OHV engines is not what customers want. Now they are rushing on trying to seperate the identity of each brand, although it'll be quite hard for them, and monetarily speaking it'll require much more to acquire that.

    Dont expect any automaker to change overnight. Changes and decisions being made now, WON'T take effect till 2-3 years from now...

    Ironically, the Focus was rated more reliable car in Europe, they just bastardized the product when it crossed the pond. We can thank Jaques Nasser for that one, luckily he's out of Ford =)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Points well taken, and thank you for correcting me regarding the 4 cylinder engine. However, even with "changes and decisions being made now" as you say, they wont take effect for another 2-3 years. Which still leaves Ford behind IMO. GM and Chrysler are in a much better position, with more competitive products in the pipeline ALREADY. As you stated GM has learned how to effectively badge engineer. I dont think the OHV engine issue is a big one. As long as they can design an OHV with good fuel economy and competitive power, I'm sure most buyers wont notice.

  • navigator3740navigator3740 Posts: 279
    I like it. But I'm also on my 3rd Mountaineer. I'm a good Mercury prospect though, because I like the basic Ford product, but in a nicer version, with options and some upgraded features and appearance. And, they'll sell some. One gripe I do have though, as
    Ford tries to carve out the Mercury niche again after some admitted neglect, they should not offer the base engines in a Merc. Mercs should perform - be something you can count on to beat the base Ford model - a performance line, not just have leather and a nicer grille.

    Thanks for the preview!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Usually Mercury's have been a more dressed up version of a Ford, with a higher output engine.

    This is evident with the Monterey, which will offer the 4.2L as it's sole engine, while the Freestar will have the 3.9L as the standard engine. (BOY do I hate this engine family and counting down the days till they get rid of them). Vulcan 3.0L will be the next one to die, then these Essex Twins.

    For the Mariner which is a year away, I would have prefered having the 3.0L Duractec V6 as the standard engine, and sole offering. But the suprise of offering it with the 2.3L was a last minute issue.

    I also think (hint) they should offer a longer warranty on Mercury vehicles, over Fords vehicles. Pushing to a possible 4 years.....
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Posts: 279
    well, the CAFE probably motivates them to offer the small engines....if they sell a couple, it lowers the overall rating, huh? But, why do you hate the essex engines, if I may ask? I've not had one, so I don't have a clue.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Ok it has pros and cons....

    Pros: It's architecture has been fully exploited, and it can do much more, but Ford won't invest more on it for good reason.

    Pros: The head gasket issue, has been resolved.

    Pros: It's a cheap engine for Ford to manufacture.

    Cons: It's loud, sounds like farm machinery, it's rumbly, unrefined, crude.

    Cons: It turned many customers off from buying another Ford product, because of the head gasket situation of years ago. Even if Ford offered an Extended warranty on them (even on used vehicles) it still left a sore taste on many's mouth.

    Cons: It's NOT that fuel efficient. It holds comparibly to Chrysler 3.8L OHV (closest example per displacement), but to make it "hold steady", transmission needs to be programmed for more "relaxed" performance. Therefore, causing some aggresive drivers to play more with the gas pedal, therefore giving them even worse results at the gas pump.

    Overall, the engine did well for it's time, and aside from the head gasket issue (for models not effected) it proved to be bulletproof for the most part. Not as great as Fords 5.0L V8 OHV of years ago, but alright. It just needs to rest, and allow for the more modern variety to take place.

    One the new Mustang debuts, the only vehicles with these engines will be the Freestar/Monterey. And the only reason the Vulcan 3.0L has been kept alive, is because the Taurus is too porky too contend with the next powerful engine in the Ford stable.... The 2.3L DOHC I-4. IN comes Futura to resolve these issues. The Ranger will solder on with it, till a replacement is found. Already the Flexible Fuel Version of the Vulcan engine has been canned.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Mercury actually is a brilliant idea. May be Toyota has to mimic it. The reason why I didn't buy Taurus or Camry, because they look plain and are on every corner. Sable just looks more upscale and unique. I mean it works and best part of it is that Ford doesn't need to make any sunstantial investment to cover customers who don't like Taurus/Camcord thing.

    BTW if Toyota made Camry clone in more stylish way for almost the same price as Camry and call it anything but Toyota I would consider it seriously because it is an excelent car in many aspects but is too boring like soccer mom type or grandpa type vehicle and Toyota name has a boring image attached to it also.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Actually in Japan, there are trimmed versions of the Camry. They'll take one vehicle, and have a few tailored versions of the same vehicle, but within the same line. If Camry is too common, you could try Avalon, although it costs a bit more.

    Also Mercury has featured items that appeal to women more over. Like the seats of the Mountaineer, in relationship to the Explorer, or a bit altered. The emphansize to this was to make it easier for women to enter/exit without messing up their skirt. I believe it's the bottom/side bolster, that differs.

    Sables rear end, (droopy which I dislike) also seems to be favored by women. Just going with what the consumer clinics state... I find it rediculous to pay for such surveys. Oh well....
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Avalon is good but looking outright ugly. It is for old 60 y.o. folks and is still Toyota what doesn't sound cool. It doesn't drive right, no road feeling, too soft suspension, basically Buick. If Toyota made something like Interpid but with Toyota quality interior and powertrain and give it different brand idendity that would be cool

    I like Sable's rear ending especially, it has some british flair, though I am not a woman. Sable is more stylish, more conservative and looks more refined than Taurus and it has no Ford logo on it. Ford just doesn't sound cool enough to me. And thats the whole point about Mercury. But I agree, my wife likes Jaguar. By the same token, have Ford to kill Jaguar just because it shares platform with Lincoln LS and Mondeo (I would prefer LS or Mondeo though as being more sporty cars and yes paying less).
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Posts: 279
    Ant, is the Essex a decendent of the old 3.8L I had in my Continentals & Cougars in the 90's? Actually, that engine has been around since 82, hasn't it?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Actually today I just saw the results of the JdPowers Initial Quality Results. That test measure defects in the first 90 days a customer purchases a vehicle. And ironically the Mercury Sable placed top, on preimium midsize sedan. NOT that I take these results seriously (long story) but it's a nice indication.


       Yes, the 3.8L OHV is the Essex, it's bored out cousin is the 4.2L OHV that was the standard engine on the F-150. Which is now going into the Freestar/Monterey. And the 3.8L grows up a little to 3.9L OHV .
        These engines were used in numerous vehicles back in the 80's and 90's, and were adaptable to FWD or RWD applications. It was torquey for it's time, but now there's just much better engines available.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    what, is Ford stooping to GM's low standards by shoving century old pushrod motors into new vehicles?

    that pretty much crosses it off my list then. Who wants a4.2l OHV rough running v6, in a premium sedan?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    No, you misread the information. The sedans will NOT use any OHV engines. The Freestar/Monterey will be the last to use 3.9L/4.2L OHV V6's, next generation will switch to the new 3.5L DOHC Cyclone V6. Ford is phasing out it's OHV engines.
  • navigator3740navigator3740 Posts: 279
    One of the things that impressed me, and moved me to Ford products in the late 80's, was that I noticed that Ford started fuel injecting their cars in 83, and had the whole fleet converted to multiport FI by 86, whereas my 83 Fleetwood had it, but my 90 Fleetwood had a Carb on a Chevy engine! Most of the GMs still had throttle body FI through the mid 90's. So, Reg, I see your point as I notice the lag in GM's technology advances hasn't changed much. I didn't know my 3.8L engines were an essex platform, but I liked them. They were economical, and performed! Torquey, like you said, ANT. My 92 Continental, for all it's problems, would way out accelerate my friends 85 Deville with the 4.1L V-8. For a 6 to do that, I was impressed! I did lose one head gasket on that car, but that was just one more trip to the dealer, actually, its last trip to the dealer....if you know what I mean. But I had that engine in 2 Cougars, a Marquis and 2 Continentals and generally, they were great. However, I concede, their time has come.

    Now, if you wanna praise an engine, I'm most impressed with the 5.4L Triton. I ran one 65,000 miles in my last Navigator with -0- problems, and the one in my 03 Nav is even nicer. The smoothest power train I've ever had, and great power. Remarkable, IMHO.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes the Triton V8's have received Top 1- Best Engine Award consecutively for the past 5 years from Ward's Auto. This year they didn't make the cut mainly because not much has been done to update it, and compeition was fierce, but I'm sure with the new 3V 5.4L versions, it'll make it again. The benefit of that engine is it's able to produce a great deal of torque, down low on the RPM scale. Sure you'll have competitors engines making possibly a little bit more torque, but what good is it if you need to climb 4000+ to acheive it. And in such heavy vehicles, having torque down low is best.

    From the Big 3, Ford leads in engine techonology. GM seems to make old-tech work, and that's where they save costs. As well as interior materials. Shortly they'll be releasing their new Malibu, and they are tauting it as such a major reinvension of the american sedan. YET, they'll be using OHV engines...

    Ford is trying to scale down it's engine family, so in the near future, look for 3 simple families. The global I-4's from Mazda, the Duratec family (V-6s), and the Triton (V-8s).

    BTW, according to numerous publications and media sources (when OHV was king) Ford's Windsor engines (5.0L and 5.8L) have been regarded as the most reliable of it's kind.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have owned a few of those over the years. Had 2 of the 5.0L V8s in the 90's in Explorers. They were smooth, torquey, powerful, and sounded great! Also dead-bang reliable. Never a problem with either of them.
  • argentargent Posts: 176
    There's a big difference between the 302/351 (descendants of the original thinwall 221 of 1962-1963) and the somewhat misbegotten 3.8L OHV V-6 of the early eighties, which was made by more or less lopping off the last two cylinders of a 302 V-8.

    The V-8 was one of the best small engines of its time, lightweight, efficient, and reliable. The V-6 was a hasty stopgap in the wake of the fuel crises and CAFE standards. A layout and design that was intended for a 90-degree V-8 is not ideal for a six-cylinder engine. (A 90-degree V-6 is not balanced the way a crossplane 90-degree V-8 is, and it really should probably have a balance shaft.)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    If Ford would have continued refining the 5.0L, I'm sure today it would have been a great engine still. But it's too much money to invest, in just keeping that engine family alive. Now you'll have V6's making almost the same amount of power.

    I'm still perturbed at the fact, that the 4.6L V8 in the Crown Vic, makes a paltry 235HP. There's so much potential for that engine, but it's not only the initial engine investment, but numerous hardware needs to be refined, and strengthed to deal with the additional power, Which is why it's been kept at such a low number.

    Now with 3V techonology that will be implemented on the 4.6 and 5.4, along with VVT, the engines will received their proper glory they have deserved.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    On the one hand, 3V is novel, and clearly a step up and I'm all for it. But why not go all the way to 4V? Can it cost that much more? Or, is 4V reserved for the Lincoln & Premier brands only to differentiate them from the Ford line? Not entirely a bad concept I guess....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    3V will be implmented on the 4.6L and 5.4L engines, Doesn't matter if it's Ford, or Lincoln brand vehicles. The Navigator will later receive a 4V unit (not like the current one, but think Ford Falcon of Australia).

    One of the reasons for 3V over 4V, is it's less complex to manufacture. Current 2V versions allow more accessible low end torque. Which is why the Mustang GT, and Crown Vic/GM/TC, F150, use the 2V SOHC versions. They are able to keep it afforable for customers, WHILE those vehicles require a bit more low end torque. Turning them into DOHC 4V units, might increase their torque a tiny bit, but allows more horsepower, but at higher RPM's, which might not be that much useful.

    Granted, there's the Mustang (previous Cobra) with the DOHC 4V version, which compared to it's SOHC counterpart, it gives it more horsepower which helps for passing and higher end situations, but hardly raised it's torque output. Cost wise, it's pretty hard to place a DOHC V8 engine on a vehicle under $30K, which is why the Mustang Cobra (previous year) and Marauder, start a bit over that.

    Variable Valve Timing techonology helps with all these situations. It allows the engine to breathe, or not breathe at the propert times for maximum output through out a wide range of engine RPM's.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    Its hard to justify not using 4v on more expensive Fords when pedestrian cars like Hyundais use DOHC 4v and sell them at dirt cheap prices. Makes it look bad when you are selling a 20+k product with SOHC and 2v at those prices.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    True, but those 4V's on 4 Cylinders, equals 16 Valves. While 4V's on 8 Cylinders, equals 32 Valves. That already is techonology/sophistication overkill, and unheard of in any vehicles under $30K.

    Also, you will notice those 4V, 4 Cylinders, need to whine pretty high to feel much. VVT- Variable Valve Timing, implemented on such an arrangement, is probably the only way to counteract that effect. And that's slowly reaching down -20K vehicles.

    Weird Sidenote: VW uses 5V's on it's 1.8L engine. Turbo helps offsets the need to rev too high for power.

    When is DOHC good for? For high RPM senarios.
    When is SOHC food for? For low RPM work.
    What to use to make the best of both worlds? VVT

    But because of all the available techonology now available to counteract against it's pros and cons, you can have pretty much any arrangement possible.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    can we expect some VVT on a Lincoln product?? Any idea? Not that I'm complaining about my current powerplant, it is the smoothest and finest I've ever experienced.....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Already this years '03 LS, has VVY, increasing the power from the 3.9L DOHV V-8 from 252HP and 267TQ, to 280HP and 287TQ.

    As to the Navigator and Aviator, it's awhile away but it's coming. The Town Car, now that's another story....
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The Town Car is on a respirator, and has a living will. No heroic measures will be used to keep it alive.....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Want the future dirt on the Town Car?
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