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#8

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $13,773 - $14,978
Original MSRP: $30,090 - $31,840
MPG: 34 City / 31 Hwy
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2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid performs better than ever thanks to a new engine and other performance improvements.

  • "It's no sports car -- or a Toyota Prius, for that matter -- and the hybrid side of its personality still seems like a little bit of an afterthought (I drove with the lightest of all possible feet, and I rarely got the car to go full electric, despite not using any accessories or climate control), but it does its job well enough." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Coupled with a super-smooth ride and about 34 miles per gallon while running errands around town, the Mariner Hybrid is a capable hauler that certainly outshines some of the gas-guzzling competition." -- Environmental News Network
  • "All those improvements translated well out on Michigan roads, as the 2009 Mariner Hybrid was much more refined than its 2008 predecessor. The new Mariner Hybrid is quieter, the engine turn-off isn't noticable and drivers can now go up to 40 mph without having to revert to petrol-power." -- Autoblog
  • "The Mariner Hybrid's general performance was nothing special, but it was perfectly adequate for my day-to-day mom-driving." -- Mother Proof

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers are thoroughly impressed by the Mariner Hybrid's new 2.5-liter 153-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which replaces its 2.3-liter 133-horsepower engine. Fuel economy is excellent and tops the compact SUV class (along with its platform-mate, the Ford Escape Hybrid). According to the EPA, the FWD model achieves 34/31 mpg city/highway, while the 4WD model achieves 29/27.

  • "I'm amazed by how seamless the transition between gasoline-engine and electric power is in the Mariner Hybrid. More than a few times I looked down to see that I was cruising at more than 30 mph and running without an internal combustion engine. I had no idea the internal-combustion engine (ice) switched off, which isn't something that can be said for all hybrid vehicles." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The new mill is essentially a bored-out version of the outgoing 2.3L, though Ford added variable intake timing to improve power and refinement. The new engine is much smoother and more powerful than the previous powerplant, though fuel economy doesn't suffer as a result." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

For 2009, the Mariner Hybrid's handling has improved due to a new braking system. This makes for a smoother ride and more refined driving experience.

  • "A new powertrain damping system reduces vibration and feedback to the occupants. The braking system has been refined for a seamless transition between regenerative braking and standard brake functionality." -- MSN
  • "Whether the engine was on or off, we were impressed with the newly solidified drive characteristics. While the 2008 model looked the part of an all-new CUV, it sometimes felt floaty and cheap on the road, but the 2009 model has better balance and all-around improved composure on the road." -- Autoblog
  • "The '09 Mariner Hybrid also receives a new brake system, which has been designed to transition seamlessly from traditional braking to regenerative braking, according to the automaker. The regenerative brakes charge the battery pack by capturing kinetic energy. In addition, a new pedal sensor improves pedal feel and gives drivers a better sense of braking power." -- Car Gurus
  • "Improvements to braking mask the switch from regular to regenerative braking, which helps recharge the requisite hybrid batteries." -- Road & Travel Magazine

Next Steps: 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

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