Roadshow Video Reviews
2010 Mercury Milan HybridFord has an unassuming winner in this CNET Editors' Choice hybrid.
^M00:00:00 [ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> While the American car industry was melting down, a minor miracle happened in Deerborn. Ford stared down Toyota's Camry Hybrid and simply built something better, their Fusion and Milan Hybrids. Let's drive the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid version, see why It's a CNET Editor's Choice, and check the tape. ^M00:00:22 [ Music ] ^M00:00:30 >> Now our Milan Hybrid is, of course, a hybrid. And here it is. Two-and-a-half liter in line four is your gas engine component, but it's not a very stout one. You can get good power out of two-and-a-half liter Fords; just not this one. It's an Atkinson cycle motor, which is one that tends to emphasize full fuel burn at the expense of some power and performance. Now, of course, you've got an electric motor bonded to it, and that's where the power gets rounded up; 191 horse power, 136 foot pounds of torque. That torque number though, I'm pretty sure, is the gas engine only. The mileage number is the key; 41, 36. And we're seeing that that's really a very honest number in real world driving. Zero to 60? Yes. Now this car has one of the most innovative interfaces you're ever going to find in a vehicle today. And I'm not talking about that LCD nav system with all the media features. That's great, but that's almost pedestrian compared to that. What is that? That's a really cool almost entirely video duel smart gage Ford instrument panel. The one on the far right is an area that monitors your greenness of driving, including showing vines nad leaves that will grow more as you drive greenly, and they'll shrink away as you step on the pedal too much. Next to that you've got instantaneous MPG. Next to that is your gasoline level, standard speedometer with an actual physical gage. Imagine that. To the left of that you've got your battery charge level, very important in a hybrid. To the left of that, you see this blend gage that will show you how much gas engine versus electric motor you're using. Or if you're in EV mode, it says EV, which means you're running pure electric. If you press the setup button here, you get an almost irresponsibly detailed array of menu choices to configure this car; amazing amount of stuff. One of the interesting ones there is display settings. If I go to the right of that, you have four display modes. You see those. Inform, enlighten, engage, and empower. Touchy feely stuff, but let's check them out. Inform, it says provides minimal feedback. Enlighten, stream line for the joy of driving. What? Engage, designed for fuel efficient driving. Boy, that's right. And finally empower, the one that gives you the most information like we're seeing right here. Then the navigation unit on these cars, these Ford products these days, is really good. The map on the left could be sharper. That resolution, the rendering really is what I'm talking about, is a little bit fuzzy, and it's kind of busy as you can see. But the actual stuff that gives you the details of how you're going to navigate the next instruction is really outstanding on these products. It's a hard drive based system here, by the way. If I hit the media button, you can see I've got my CD-DVD, which is a single slot down here. This current disc has MP3s on it. I've got a record button right here. That means I can really, not record, but transfer those, any of those tracks right there over to the hard drive. There are radio settings, of course. We've got AM, FM, and this case it's a Ford product so we have Sirius Satellite Radio. Under the I button here, speaking of satellite radio, we have all these other services including SIRIUS Travel Link. This gets very interesting, because this technology is going to give you traffic, weather, movie listings, fuel prices, and sports info. Now because it's Sync, it's got some great features for portable connectivity. A2DP, stereo, Bluetooth, streaming. So if you've got a smart phone that's also a media player with A2DP Bluetooth, you can hook it up that way. Down in here, we can find an AUX jack right next to a USB port. Notice the sound system in this car is Sony branded. In this car it's 12 speakers, a plus two subs as I understand it. So 14 drivers overall. 390 watts of power. It sounds good, and does a pretty darn good job with compressed files making them sound better than they actually are. One transmission option on this car, it's an electronic controlled CVT, continuously variable transmission, which uses two changeable pulleys to change the ratio between input and output of power infinitely. When you do put this guy in reverse, you're going to have a rearview camera, which is part of the whole Milan Hybrid package. Also, rear park aids in the bumper, so you've got a lot of redundancy in terms of backing into things. ^M00:04:23 [ Music ] ^M00:04:25 >> This car's power train is tuned for efficiency and smoothness. But the smoothness of the power blending and the delivery through the electronic CVT gearbox is really very well done. You don't get 41 miles per gallon city by letting your two-and-a-half liter Ford drag this car around very much. No, the Milan's Hybrid system leans on the electric motor pretty hard. Theoretically, taking the car up to around 45 miles an hour on electric only. But in the real world lower speeds, but you'll definitely be surprised how often this car runs silent up into the low twenties. The bliss of blind spot detection system is pretty simple. It gives you an illuminated indicator in the side-view mirror when there's a car in your blind spot. A Milan Hybrid base is just under 32K, but as of mid-2009 may qualify for an 850 to 1700 dollar federal tax credit. The only major tech we've talked about that is optional is the LCD based navigation system with SIRIUS Travel Link, and it's hard drive based. It costs about $1800. However, all Milan Hybrids have the new version of Sync, which is able to provide a simple form of prompted navigation and traffic data. ^M00:05:38 [ Music ]