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2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Road Test

Chevy Flex Fuel HHR

Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid

Saturn VUE 2 Mode Hybrid

Mazda Tribute Hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI Diesel


Being able to tout oneself as the best in class is one thing. Being able to stake claim as the choice of presidential candidates certainly would move that prestige a notch above special. Those bragging rights were won by Mercury's gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Mariner sport utility vehicle during earlier, frenzied presidential primaries. Now, the 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid continues to rack up points for fuel efficiency without sacrificing roominess or creature comforts in the process.
2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Interior
2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid Interior
Two major changes are added for 2009. A new, upscale Limited edition, and a new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that's the power base for the hybrid model. A new, six-speed automatic transmission is designed to add such smoothness to driving that it leaves no hint there is sophisticated hybrid technology operating underneath. Improvements to braking mask the switch from regular to regenerative braking, which helps recharge the requisite hybrid batteries.

Mariner's interior gives no hint this is a fuel-stingy, earth conscious vehicle. Its available navigation system, power moonroof, heated premium leather seating, reverse sensor, SIRIUS Satellite Radio availability and other high tech amenities give it a luxurious quality feel in a roomy interior with plenty of cargo space, despite the in-floor rear battery pack. Ford's interactive SYNC platform, with USB connector, links MP3 and Bluetooth with voice activated selection. And one probably wouldn't suspect a Mariner secret: Seating cushion foam made with soy to limit petroleum use.

Candidate ecology consciences aside, the Mariner hybrid has reason to boast. It gains the coveted Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle classification (also known as PZEV), that meets the strict standards of California and other emissions conscious states.

While base pricing starts at $28,750 before $695 in destination and delivery charges, tax credits help to offset that. The front-wheel-drive version qualifies for a $3,000 credit, or a $2,200 credit with all-wheel-drive. With estimated best fuel economy of 34 city/30 hwy (front drive), the 2009 Mercury Mariner Hybrid provides a guilt-free escape from downsized limitations in a stylish, easy handling package with tough capability.