The 2009 Mercury Mariner is a scaled down version of the Ford Escape, but don't tell the hybrid model that! During the recent presidential debates, the Mariner Hybrid turned out to be the next president's preferred vehicle. Why is that? Taking a peek inside the vehicle may give some clue as to the reason.
The 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid is available with a brand new engine, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, producing 153 hp. This is mated to an electric motor and a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that offers smooth operation. Preceding models were marked with a consistent groan under acceleration, but the 2009 model seems to be mostly free of that. This gives the vehicle pretty consistent acceleration, though it may be a bit underpowered. The vehicle is also available in front-wheel drive configurations or as an all-wheel drive platform.
Finally, the 2009 Mercury Mariner hybrid does offer a few modest upgrades to the vehicle, including a more luxurious interior than the regular model can boast. The touch-screen navigation system is a nice addition, while the leather upholstery adds another element of class.
2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Performance
There is one word that can sum up the performance of this hybrid - heavy. The small 4-cylinder engine is not capable of giving the vehicle decent times off the mark, nor is it capable of powerful passing on the highway. In fact, if you need to pass someone on the highway, you will need a running start to get up the required speed. Of course, the vehicle is a hybrid, so some slack should be given in the area of power and performance.
Fuel economy for the Mariner hybrid comes in around 30 mpg, though different driving habits can change this substantially. This makes the Mariner hybrid one of the most economic SUVs Ford has ever produced. Handling in the Mariner is decent, with a very tight turning radius that makes it an ideal option for urban dwellers. The lack of enormous amounts of body lean during turns is also nice, thanks to the addition of an electronic stability control system, (something that last year's model was missing).
2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Interior
The interior is the area of the Mariner hybrid that truly shines. The plastics used are of high quality, with plenty of texturing for aesthetics. In addition, the leather seating is comfortable and elegant. The touch screen navigation system is very nice, easy to use and can be seen in almost all lighting conditions. In addition, it can actually make some of the controls in the SUV less complicated than in the gasoline-powered model. Even the interior gets a nod towards the environment, though; the padding used in the seats is made with soy, to reduce petroleum products used in construction.
The front seats are pretty spacious, with plenty of room for all but the tallest drivers. The driver's seat can be adjusted to suit most needs, while the controls of the Mariner are notably easier to reach than in the gasoline version. The center console is enormous, and makes up for the tiny glove box. The rear seats are also spacious, but there is no way to recline the seats, nor are the seats particularly high off the floor. The rear seats of the hybrid do fold down, giving you additional cargo capacity, though the rear compartment is not exactly cramped without it.
2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Safety Features
The 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid does offer a few safety features for your protection. Dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, front side airbags, rollover sensors, traction control, electronic stability assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, an antitheft system and more come standard on all hybrids.
The 2009 Mercury Mariner hybrid is an excellent choice for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. However, don't take the President's word for it - drive it for yourself. If you are unfamiliar with the drawbacks of most hybrid vehicles (in terms of power, at least) it is highly recommended that you drive one before deciding that this is your dream car.
The Mariner hybrid offers fuel savings, as well as cutting out numerous other petroleum-based products from its manufacturing, making it certainly one of the greenest vehicles to come from Ford thus far.