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 |  Aug 30 2011, 8:15 PM

Now that we know the mid 1990s Honda Civic and Accord hold the top two spots amongst car thieves, what cars do thieves avoid most?

Well, aside from the BMW 5-Series, the common denominator on this list is that these cars are all pretty dull. Interestingly, midsize SUVs and German sedans are among what the Highway Loss Data Institute deems to be undesirable to car thieves.  These vehicles are likely on the list because they have proper anti-theft mechanisms that go beyond a mere alarm system. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Aveo is a rolling anti-theft system in itself.

Here’s the Top 10 car that thieves dislike:

  1. Audi A6 all-wheel-drive, large luxury car
  2. Mercury Mariner (2009-10) small SUV
  3. Chevrolet Equinox (2010) midsize SUV
  4. Volkswagen CC (2009-10), midsize car
  5. Chevrolet Equinox four-wheel-drive (2010) midsize SUV
  6. Lexus RX 350 (2010) midsize luxury SUV
  7. Saturn Vue midsize SUV
  8. Chevrolet Aveo (2009-10) mini station wagon
  9. BMW 5 series all-wheel-drive large luxury car
  10. Mini Cooper Clubman 2-door car

[Source: USA Today]

 |  May 02 2011, 2:55 PM

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NHTSA is investigating the 2010-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner for a rear window that could potentially shatter. So far, the government agency has received 18 complaints regarding the rear window shattering when the tailgate is opened or closed.

200,000 Escape and Mariner vehicles will now be investigated, and Ford has issued a service bulletin regarding the problem. One woman and her 10 year old son were reportedly injured by glass shards. Ford and NHTSA have not issued recalls yet, but a Ford spokesman told the Detroit News that they were “aware of the investigation.”

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Jan 03 2011, 12:23 PM

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After 71 years of acting as Ford’s middle child, the final nail in the Mercury coffin was pounded in, as dealers removed all remnants of Mercury logos and signs from their dealerships, marking the end of the brand’s existence once and for all.

Mercury vehicles ended production in October, although a final order for government agencies continued to be produced. Although Mercury produced some iconic vehicles, such as the early sedans used in the hot-rodding community, and the Cougar muscle car, the brand became little more than cosmetically enhanced Ford products throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s, giving consumers scant reason to purchase a Mercury vehicle.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Oct 05 2010, 3:22 PM

It’s official. Ford has announced that production of Mercury vehicles for retail customers will end on Sunday, October 10 this year. It’s not entirely the end of Merc manufacturing – vehicles will continue to roll off the assembly lines for a few more months, but they will be aimed strictly at fleet buyers – rental car companies, government agencies and the like.

But even as production winds down, there actually seems to be fewer deals to be had – including the loss of bonus cash offers – quite extraordinary, since sales of Mercury vehicles have spiked recently. In August, the brand sold 9,039 vehicles for the month, comprising 2,976 Mariner SUVs, 2013 Milan mid-size sedans, 651 Mountaineer SUVs and, get this, 3,399 Grand Marquis full-size sedans – proving that even on its deathbed the old body-on-frame rear drive mastadon is just as much a gravy boat now as it ever was.

Although production will be ending on Sunday, Mercury dealers will still be selling cars as long as inventory remains available. So if you fancy getting yourself one of the last examples of Ford’s original medium priced brand, better get your skates on. Here’s some of the offers currently being pedaled by dealers and good at least through Monday next week.

  • 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis: 0% for 36 months, plus $1,000 bonus cash and two years of free maintenance, or $4,000 in total cash back .
  • 2010 Mercury Mariner: 0% for 60 months and two years of free maintenance, or $2,000 in total cash back .
  • 2010 Mercury Mountaineer: 0% for 36 months, plus $1,000 bonus cash and two years of free maintenance, or $3,000 in total cash back .
  • 2010 Mercury Milan: 0% for 60 months and two years of free maintenance.
  • 2011 Mercury Milan: 0% for 60 months, or $2,000 cash back.
  • 2011 Mercury Mariner: 0% for 60 months, or $2,000 cash back

[Source: USA Today/Drive On]

 |  May 17 2010, 5:45 PM

2008-ford-econoline

It may cost more money to purchase and fill up, but SUVs , trucks and mini-vans are cheaper to insure. This information is coming from a recent government report that based its findings on the fact that some vehicles cost less to fix, and therefore reflects how much it will cost to insure.

Based on losses of insured vehicles for the model years 2007 to 2009, work van Ford E350 Econoline tops the list as the cheapest vehicle to insure. It’s followed by the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV, and the Chevrolet Traverse.

Due to the fact that so many of the company’s vehicles made the list, Ford has no issues about tooting its own horn. “Vehicle affordability continues to be the most important purchase consideration for car and truck buyers, rivaled only by fuel economy,” said Frederiek Toney, a Ford vice president. “We design our vehicles to be easier and more affordable to repair because we know this saves our customers money in insurance premiums and repair costs over the long term.”

The only car to make the list is the Smart ForTwo microcar. The basic idea behind the list is that some vehicles are cheaper to fix if you crash them, and that difference is reflected in their insurance So that Econoline van is 61% cheaper to insure than the average vehicle. The Mariner is 59% cheaper to insure. Traverse is 57%.

Other cheap vehicles to insure, and their percentage they are cheaper than average:

Ford E350 Econoline: 61%

Mercury Mariner: 59%

Chevrolet Traverse: 57%

Ford Escape: 50%

Jeep Wrangler: 53%

Smart ForTwo convertible: 52%

GMC Acadia: 47%

Saturn Outlook: 46%

Ram 1500: 45%

Ford F-150 Supercab: 44%

Kia Sorento: 44%

Dodge Grand Caravan: 40%

Ford F-250: 40%

[Source: Kicking Tires]