Junkyard Find: 2011 Mercury Mariner, Last Gasp of the Mercury Brand Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2011 mercury mariner last gasp of the mercury brand edition

Ever since I found one of the very last Oldsmobiles in a Denver car graveyard, I’ve been keeping my junkyard eye open for other final-year-of-marque Detroit machinery. We’ve got the 1998 Eagle, the 2001 Plymouth, and the 2010 Pontiac, and now it’s time for one of the very last vehicles to wear the Mercury badge: this 2011 Mariner Premier.

Ford announced the demise of the Mercury brand in June of 2010, and the Milan, Grandma Keith Grand Marquis, and Mariner staggered on long enough for a few of these cars to get 2011 model year designations.

The Wikipedia entry for the Mariner states that the final Mariner came off the Kansas City line in October of 2010, but this truck’s build tag shows a December assembly date. Some Grandma Keiths were built during early 2011, and I’ll keep looking for one of those.

This Mariner appears to have suffered some sort of front-end collision, followed by an especially brutal front-body-and-engine removal after it arrived at the junkyard. Normally, I wouldn’t photograph a junkyard vehicle this torn up (which is why you don’t see the WRXs and Evos that I find every so often in Denver yards), but ’11 Mercuries are nearly impossible to find.

The Premier was the upscale trim level of the Mariner, itself an upscale version of the Ford Escape. After 72 years of the Mercury brand, it came down to this. I’ll find a 2010 Saturn and a 1997 Geo next, if anyone cares.

Don’t forget the 6-disc CD changer and satellite radio!

Back in the 1960s, when men sloshed on Studd Cologne and made women weep, Mercury was pitched as “the man’s car.” By the middle 2000s, Dearborn wanted some of the ladies’ money, so Mercury ads targeted women.

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  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Jan 28, 2021

    Put 220K miles on a '05 Ford Escape 4WD while living in upstate NY. Only issue was sway bar came loose twice and front rotors would warp every 90k miles. Had the 6 disc CD player blasting while buzzing the NY Thruway. Traded it in due to the tin worm and busted A/C. Replaced with '12 Escape which has had more niggling issues, but will hold on to it. None of the new cars have CD players for my 3ft stack of CDs.

  • Mustangfast Mustangfast on Feb 19, 2021

    Flex fuel badging meant that thing had the Duratec 30. I can see why someone was anxious to yank it out of the engine bay, they last forever. My parents have a 2011 Escape and I have a 16. Yes the interior is nicer in mine but I don’t see it lasting as long as this older gen

  • SCE to AUX Good summary, Matt.I like EVs, but not bans, subsidies, or carbon credits. Let them find their own level.PM Sunak has done a good thing, but I'm surprised at how sensibly early he made the call. Hopefully they'll ban the ban altogether.
  • SCE to AUX "Having spoken to plenty of suppliers over the years, many have told me they tried to adapt to EV production only to be confronted with inconsistent orders."Lofty sales predictions followed by reality.I once worked (very briefly) for a key supplier to Segway, back when "Ginger" was going to change the world. Many suppliers like us tooled up to support sales in the millions, only to sell thousands - and then went bankrupt.
  • SCE to AUX "all-electric vehicles, resulting in a scenario where automakers need fewer traditional suppliers"Is that really true? Fewer traditional suppliers, but they'll be replaced with other suppliers. You won't have the myriad of parts for an internal combustion engine and its accessories (exhaust, sensors), but you still have gear reducers (sometimes two or three), electric motors with lots of internal components, motor mounts, cooling systems, and switchgear.Battery packs aren't so simple, either, and the fire recalls show that quality control is paramount.The rest of the vehicle is pretty much the same - suspension, brakes, body, etc.
  • Theflyersfan As crazy as the NE/Mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor drivers can be, for the most part they pay attention and there aren't too many stupid games. I think at times it's just too crowded for that stuff. I've lived all over the US and the worst drivers are in parts of the Midwest. As I've mentioned before, Ohio drivers have ZERO lane discipline when it comes to cruising, merging, and exiting. And I've just seen it in this area (Louisville) where many drivers have literally no idea how to merge. I've never seen an area where drivers have no problems merging onto an interstate at 30 mph right in front of you. There are some gruesome wrecks at these merge points because it looks like drivers are just too timid to merge and speed up correctly. And the weaving and merging at cloverleaf exits (which in this day and age need to all go away) borders on comical in that no one has a bloody clue of let car merge in, you merge right to exit, and then someone repeats behind you. That way traffic moves. Not a chance here.And for all of the ragging LA drivers get, I found them just fine. It's actually kind of funny watching them rearrange themselves like after a NASCAR caution flag once traffic eases up and they line up, speed up to 80 mph for a few miles, only to come to a dead halt again. I think they are just so used to the mess of freeways and drivers that it's kind of a "we'll get there when we get there..." kind of attitude.
  • Analoggrotto I refuse to comment until Tassos comments.