2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

The Mercury Mariner and stablemate the Ford Escape are two small SUV models from Ford, with identical drivetrain options. Ford began offering full hybrid versions of the cars for the 2005 model year.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Grille design

Styling differentiates the Mercury Mariner Hybrid with the Ford Escape Hybrid, such as the different grille designs.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Hybrid horsepower

The 2009 Mariner Hybrid gets a bigger engine than its predecessor, up to 2.5-liters from 2.3-liters. The addition of an electric motor gives the car a net 177 horsepower.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Room for five

As a small SUV, the Mariner Hybrid has room for five, plus cargo space, with a high driving position.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Ride quality

The Mariner Hybrid is top-heavy, so not designed for spirited driving. The suspension delivers a comfortable ride.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Back glass

The back glass opens independently from the tailgate, making access easy.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Cargo space

Opening the tailgate allows full access to the cargo area, a space that can be increased by folding down the second row seats.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Interior materials

The Mariner Hybrid isn't that much more luxurious than the Escape Hybrid, but the leather and chrome accents are nice.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Electric power steering

The Mariner Hybrid uses electric power steering, helping out the fuel economy. Many new models are coming out with this feature.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Green zone

When the needle is in the tachometer's green zone, the engine has shut off, usually at a stop light or in traffic.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Transmission

As with most full hybrids, the Mariner Hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission, delivering smooth acceleration.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Sync button

The voice button on the steering wheel activates the car's Sync system, which lets you play music just by saying an artist's name.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Power flow

This power flow animation shows the car working in hybrid mode, drawing power from both the engine and electric motor.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Maps

Maps are rich and colorful, and include useful information such as traffic flow on major roads.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

On-screen keyboard

We like this simple onscreen keyboard method of address entry.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Weather information

Sirius Travel Link brings in weather information, complete with a five day forecast and a weather map for the whole country.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Gas prices

One key feature of Sirius Travel Link are fuel prices, which can be sorted by cheapest to most expensive.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Movie times

The system also includes movie times, making it particularly easy to plan impromptu outings.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Sync phone system

The Sync Bluetooth phone system is very good. It can import your phone's contact list and give you voice commands for calling friends.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Sirius satellite radio

Sirius satellite radio is present, and includes little graphics for the current station.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

MP3 CDs

The single disc slot can read MP3 CDs, but the interface merely shows folders.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

USB port

The USB port can be used for a USB drive, an iPod, and many other kinds of MP3 players.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Track display

The track display shows various information about the currently playing music, and allows access to the Music Library.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Music Library

In the Music Library, you can choose to browse music by album, artist, and genre, whether your music is on an MP3 player or USB drive.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Audio system

The premium audio system in the Mariner Hybrid has seven speakers and a subwoofer, but isn't all that good.
Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
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