Used 2007
Mercury Mariner SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Mercury's Mariner Hybrid is a mechanical clone of the Ford Escape Hybrid. What separates these Ford Motor Company cousins are the Mariner's upscale interior trappings and handsome new styling. Where the Escape looks rugged and a bit boyish, the Mariner is dressed to the nines, wearing Mercury's new styling esthetic of bold vertical lines, polished chrome and brushed aluminum. Under the Mariner's skin resides a hybrid gasoline engine and electric motor, along with a large battery pack cleverly placed below the floor so as not to take up cargo or passenger space. As the Mariner Hybrid offers the same roomy interior as its gasoline counterpart, the only penalty for going green is the extra green you'll have to shell out - nearly $8,000 over the base four-cylinder Mariner.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you are trying to enjoy the advantages of a four-wheel-drive SUV, but at the same time do your part for a better environment, then the Mariner Hybrid is a good choice. The Mariner Hybrid is a mainstream vehicle with a conscience.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

Is fuel economy your number one requirement? The Mariner Hybrid may not be your best pick. If your driving is stop-and-go, the vehicle may match EPA figures. But if a lot of your driving is on the freeway, you might have results in the range of 24 to 26 miles per gallon. Compare the premium cost of the Mariner Hybrid against other gasoline powered compact SUV's to determine your best value.

What's New for 2007

No major changes for 2007

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The Mariner Hybrid is superb for city driving, where it shows its best fuel economy and acceleration statistics thanks to the assist of the electric motor. For in-town driving, it is whisper-quiet at speeds below 15 miles per hour, when it is working solely off the battery pack. During braking, a regenerative system converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and recharges the battery pack, so when you step on the brakes you are recharging the system and storing the energy for future use. The Mariner Hybrid is also easy to park and maneuver through tight traffic situations. On the highway, it's a stable and comfortable ride, but is not to be misconstrued as an interstate cruiser in areas of either performance or fuel efficiency.

Favorite Features

Airbag Package
This option is a real bargain at a price of $595 and includes side-curtain airbags and a rollover sensor.

Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System
The available four-inch information display not only provides the necessary data on all of these systems, it also delivers information that allows you to educate yourself on how to adjust your driving to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Clean modern lines set off the Mariner Hybrid interior, which is available in either standard cloth or optional leather trim. Either features a two-tone treatment, with the leather choice offering Pebble leather surrounding parchment perforated inserts. Continuing the theme of the satin-aluminum grille, Mariner Hybrid owners will enjoy more of the same accenting the center console and instrument cluster. Tasteful touches of Sappele woodgrain and chrome accent the door handles and gear shift trim. The interior calls to mind an upscale office setting. Appropriately, the Mariner Hybrid provides ample room to take care of the family business with space for up to five adults or 65.5 cubic-feet of cargo capacity. The 60/40 split fold-down rear seat provides useful interior flexibility.

Exterior

Up front, the Mariner Hybrid features the signature Mercury waterfall grill done in a satin-aluminum finish for a definite high-end look. There is no mistaking that the profile of the Mariner Hybrid bears a family resemblance to its corporate sibling, the Ford Escape Hybrid, but the presence of privacy glass on the rear doors, rear quarter windows and lift gate works well at differentiating the two. Nice touches such as a chromed exhaust tip, 16-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels and front fog lamps further separate the Mariner from the Escape. Hybrid badges mark the front doors as well as the rear lift gate and center caps on the wheels. There is a roof rack with horizontal crossbars for extra cargo-handling versatility.

Notable Standard Equipment

The Mariner Hybrid doesn't skimp on standard features, which include remote keyless entry with two fobs, driver's door-mounted keypad and illuminated entry system, power windows with one-touch-down driver's-side feature, six-way power driver's seat, message center with compass display, floor console, AM/FM stereo/six-disc in-dash CD changer, power sideview mirrors, solar-tinted glass on doors and liftgate, power-assisted steering, Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (eCVT), Intelligent four-wheel-drive system, power four-wheel disc Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), regenerative braking and a battery saver. Standard safety features include dual-stage driver and single-stage front-passenger airbags with front passenger sensing, tether anchors for child-safety seats and a passive anti-theft system.

Notable Optional Equipment

Owners can personalize the Mariner Hybrid by choosing from an extensive list of individual options and trim packages, including an upgraded stereo, moonroof with console and leather-trimmed heated front bucket seats with manual lumbar support for the driver. Choosing from among some option packages might give you the best value. The available Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System includes energy-flow graphics, a fuel economy display and navigation capability with full map, turn-by-turn, voice direction and points-of-interest features. The Safety Package includes front side-impact airbags and the Safety Canopy System with side-curtain airbags and rollover sensor. The comprehensive Premium Package includes leather-trimmed heated front seats, heated sideview mirrors, the Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System, a retractable cargo-area cover and complete Safety Package, plus a reverse sensing system.

Under the Hood

The powertrain story of the Mariner Hybrid is both under the hood as well as beneath the rear cargo area. The main power source for most driving conditions is a four-cylinder, 2.3-liter gasoline engine with an innovative combustion process known in engineering circles as the Atkinson cycle, which Ford claims delivers enhanced efficiency. Working in conjunction with a 70-kilowatt electric motor that is powered by a battery pack located beneath the rear cargo area, the Mariner Hybrid can deliver a maximum of 155 effective combined-system horsepower. The nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which is essentially like 250 D-cell batteries wired in series, is rated at 330 volts. Fuel economy numbers for typical interstate driving will likely dip to the 24 to 26 miles per gallon range.

2.3-liter in-line 4 Atkinson-Cycle Engine with Permanent-Magnet Electric Motor
155 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (combined)
124 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 32/29

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Pricing Notes

The Mariner Hybrid is nicely equipped with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $28,615. With no alternative engine or transmission choices, the only price changes are for options: $595 for the Airbag Package, $1,995 for the Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System, or $3,795 for the Premium Package. Prices consumers are actually paying can differ substantially, so check the Fair Purchase Prices to compare. Only the Ford Escape Hybrid is directly comparable to the Mariner Hybrid, if a bit less refined in the area of creature comforts. Other hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius or Honda Civic, are compact sedans that fail to provide the same space and cargo flexibility of the Mariner Hybrid.

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