With all the high gas prices out there, hybrid vehicles are continuing to become more popular among drivers. There are a few SUV hybrid choices out there, and the Mercury Mariner hybrid seems to be the most popular of those choices. Check out some of the features of the Mercury Mariner hybrid and what sets itself apart from the other hybrids.
For the most part consumers seem pleased with this SUV hybrid, and reviewers say that the handling is respectable. While maybe not glowing praise there, the power steering was designed to be sensitive to the speed in which the vehicle is traveling. In this respect the enhanced steering is an improvement. However, many people are finding that small SUVs have better steering capabilities than the Mariner and that this hybrid is not conforming.
The power steering is providing the engine with what is known as a lower drag and this improves the gas mileage. This also makes the Mariner drive more like a truck that a car. The suspension is not built for off-road driving, but it’s perfect for paved surfaces, and the vehicle handles flatly going through corners while retaining its composure on fast transitions.
58.8 miles per hour will give the consumer better gas mileage, but the nature of hybrid SUVs tend to be slower and lacking the same power as regular vehicles. With gas prices being what they are, that slowness is less of an issue than normal. This should be one of the first things anyone interested in purchasing any hybrid SUV should ask about if only to get a good idea of how the vehicle will perform.
Does this mean that the Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV is not a good vehicle choice? That there are others out there better than this Ford model? No. The Mariner can do zero to sixty in 10.8 seconds from a dead standstill. So what? Unless you are planning on a career drag racing this is a respectable number and well within the established limits of the hybrid SUV economy.
The power train is the big ticket item in this SUV and the one thing people talk up the most. It’s powerful and can move the SUV 25 miles per hour solely on electric alone. The four-cylinder engine is a DOHC 2.3-liter that utilizes and well-known and admired Atkinson operating cycle. There are 330-volt nickel-metal battery packs in the motor that have designed for the hybrid sealed inside.
The variable transmission arrangement in the Mariner also provides seamless acceleration on both the gas driven and electric driven engines. That means your hybrid SUV starts out on the gas and eventually shifts to the electric motor as the acceleration continues to rise. Braking causes mechanical energy to be converted and then stores in the rechargeable batteries. This is actually pretty efficient and it eliminates the need to plug the vehicle in to an electrical outlet.
Gas Mileage and Environmental Issues
Ford is touring the Mercury Mariner SUV hybrid as being one of the ‘greenest and cleanest’ vehicles they have ever designed and manufactured. It falls under the strict Super Low Emissions Vehicle classification which is a clean-air standard most of the states in America have gone to following. As a result of this design engineering, the Mariner has also qualified to be listed as being labeled an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle. This is saying a lot because getting this award and label is very difficult.
The Mariner produce 1 gram of carbon monoxide per mile, nitrogen oxide at 0.02 grams per mile, and unburned hydrocarbon at 0.01 gram each mile. This numbers are extremely low when put side by side with the numbers regular cars produce. The Mariner’s exhaust emissions are dang near non-existent.
Fuel economy right now is a serious issue, but the SUV comes in at 33 miles per gallon in city driving and 29 miles per gallon on the open road. This is opposite of what most cars get, but part of that has to do with the electric motor. Remember, braking helps recharge the battery and there is considerably more stop and go traffic in the city than on the open road.
The fuel economy in a Mercury Mariner Hybrid comes from three different things. The power train helps stretch the mileage of every gallon of gasoline to its fullest. The unique CVT system takes care of running the engine, and finally the gasoline engine switched over to the electric motor when sitting idle, slowing down and moving at slow speeds. All of these help keep the fuel consumption to a minimum, giving you more gasoline for your money.
The Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV is priced at around $26,000. This figure is competitive plus Ford points out that their environmentally sound product is socially responsible.
The Mariner also has one of the best safety systems. Other than the safety belts and airbags mentioned earlier, it also has a SecuriLock anti-theft system, tire pressure monitoring system that show up on the dash console, and an anti-lock brake system. It also has remote key-less entry.
It is reliable and durable with a power system that is going to be difficult to improve on. It handles well in all weather conditions and there is no question why it has won all the awards and recognition is has. The Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV is definitely a good choice in hybrid vehicles. Even Consumer’s Digest thinks so. It gave it a ‘Best Buy’ award already for 2008.