Although the Mercury Mariner Hybrid has been out for five years, Ford's first hybrid sedans are coming out this year as 2010 models. The Mercury Milan Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid are both gas-electric hybrid versions of midsize sedans that can also be had as pure gas cars with either four- or six-cylinder engines.
The Milan Hybrid offers a comfortable seating position for the driver, and its relatively high greenhouse gives mostly unobstructed views all around. A blind-spot warning option monitors the rear quarters of the vehicle, turning on an amber warning in the side view mirror if it detects another car.
The hybrid power train is made up of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 106 horsepower electric motor. Both the engine and motor can drive the car's wheels. The combined system horsepower is 191. Fuel economy is rated at 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
In the last couple of years, Ford has raised its cabin tech game far beyond the competition. The Milan Hybrid benefits from these features, with an optional navigation system and excellent MP3 player and cell phone integration.
A few buttons mounted between the spokes handle cruise control and audio functions, but the most important activates the voice command system, one of the better we've used. You can also configure the instrument panel with steering wheel buttons.
Accessible with steering-wheel buttons, menu items on the left side of the instrument panel let you configure the car, including what gauges are displayed. The car has four presets for its instrument panel labeled Inform, Enlighten, Engage, and Empower.