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This paper presents MARA, a joint mechanism for automatic rate selection and route quality evaluation in wireless mesh networks. This mechanism targets at avoiding the problems of lack of synchronization between metric and rate selection decisions and inaccurate link quality estimates, common to main existing proposals of multihop wireless routing metrics and automatic rate adaptation. In this proposal, the statistics collected by the routing protocol are used by the rate adaptation algorithm to compute the best rate for each wireless link. This coordinated decision aims at providing better routing and rate choices. In addition to the basic MARA algorithm, two variations are proposed: MARA-P and MARA-RP. The first considers the size of each packet in the transmission rate decision. The second variation considers the packet size also for the routing choices. For evaluation purposes, experiments were conducted on both real and simulated environments. In these experiments, MARA was compared to a number of rate adaptation algorithms and routing metrics. Results from both environments indicate that MARA may lead to an overall network performance improvement.