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#6

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $15,223 - $16,495
Original MSRP: $30,105 - $31,855
MPG: 34 City / 31 Hwy
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2010 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 Mercury Mariner Hybrid has very similar performance to the conventional Mariner. Unfortunately, it inherits the Mariner’s overly long braking distances.

  • "Many drivers interested in hybrid vehicles expect diminished performance compared to their conventionally powered counterparts, but the 2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid should more than satisfy most drivers." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "Drivers will appreciate the smooth ride of the Mariner Hybrid, although the SUV can get quite loud under hard acceleration. The main complaint reviewers have about the 2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid is its lackluster braking performance -- the stopping distance from 60 mph is much longer than the average for its class." -- Automobile.com
  • "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

The Mariner Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that makes 153 horsepower and a permanent magnet electric motor that makes 94 horsepower. Power from the electric motor comes from a 330-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery. The engine is paired with an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Test drivers say the engine has plenty of power and note that the powertrain shifts seamlessly from gas to electric power. However, they say the engine can be overly noisy.

Fuel economy is excellent and tops the compact SUV class (along with its platform-mate, the Ford Escape Hybrid). In fact, the Mariner Hybrid is currently the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market. According to the EPA, the FWD model achieves 34/31 mpg city/highway, while the 4WD model achieves 30/27.

But if you don’t want to pay the Mariner’s $30,000 price, you can still get decent fuel economy in a non-hybrid SUV. The GMC Terrain has a 22/32 city/highway rating. That means it gets one mile per gallon more than the Mariner Hybrid on the highway, though admittedly less in the city. Best of all, it starts at a staggering $5,800 less than the Mariner Hybrid.

  • "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
  • "Under hard acceleration, the Mariner Hybrid has the feel of its adequately powered V6 siblings, only with a labored four-cylinder sound." -- Edmunds
  • "The combination of the gasoline engine and electric motor gives the Hybrid acceleration similar to a V6 engine." -- AutoMedia.com

Handling and Braking

Since the implementation of a new braking system in 2009, the Mariner Hybrid's handling has improved, making for a more refined driving experience. But the changes didn’t address all of the Mariner Hybrid’s problems. Reviewers report that, like its conventional Mariner sibling, the hybrid has some of the longest braking distances in its class. Intelligent four-wheel drive is optional for all Mariner models.

  • "The ride quality is fine for vehicles in this class, but the added 300 pounds from the hybrid powertrain and batteries tend to add some body roll and reduce some of the crossover's agility. … Though braking distances are poor, the brake pedal has a solid feel to it once the driver gets used to its slightly touchy action." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether the engine was on or off, we were impressed with the newly solidified drive characteristics." -- Autoblog

Next Steps: 2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

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