2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

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$29,225

starting MSRP

2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

1 trim

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2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid review: Our expert's take

By Emily Hansen


There are crazy things that I do to try to save energy. I stuff socks with rice and lay them in front of my doors. I recycle, I buy compact florescent light bulbs and, a couple of years ago, I traded my giant SUV for a smaller crossover that is more fuel-efficient. Mercury does me one better by offering a hybrid engine for its popular Mariner – sister vehicle to the Ford Escape. Many have the perception that a hybrid vehicle has less power and is not as robust as a gas-only engine. This couldn’t be further from the truth in the Mercury Mariner. The car has good pickup and the one of the only times I notice that the car was a hybrid was when I stopped at a light and the gas engine shut off. I was told this would happen, so I didn’t suffer the embarrassment of trying to re-start a running car at a light – you know that nasty grinding sound that makes everyone turn and stare. After about an hour, I was used to the change in sound – no problem. The other instance that is out of the ordinary is starting the car after being parked – the electric part of the engine turns on in this instance and is so quiet that I must rely on gauges to determine that the Mariner is in fact ready to roll.

The optional navigation system also provides real-time information about how the hybrid engine is running. I can watch the energy flow go from the gas engine to the battery as I come to a stop at a light. Distraction you say? It could be, but I find that after a while I no longer look at the display. I understand that stepping on the gas makes the gas engine turn on and stepping on the brake actually charges the battery. The real distraction here is the navigation system, but don’t try typing in s-t-a-r-b-u-c-k-s while driving – this system won’t let you. Mercury has eliminated this distraction by disabling most of the navigation controls when the car is in motion. I consider this a safety feature! The Mariner hybrid with 4WD has a mpg rating of 33 highway and 29 in the city. In my own personal, very short, test I got about 26 mpg. I could definitely get used to this – although those numbers are lower than what I expected in a hybrid, they are certainly better than I am getting in my own personal vehicle. I can go about 400-500 miles on one tank of gas in this Mariner hybrid – that means I can go nearly 10 days without filling up. That sounds like savings on my annual family budget – now we’re talkin’.

Before driving the Mercury Mariner hybrid, I had a perception that the cargo space would be compromised by the all-important battery. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The cargo area is plentiful and is not reduced in any way by the presence of the battery. I could easily lift up the cargo area carpet and see the battery there, but I could place all of my gear on top of it with no worries. A must in my family! My kids were able to put their bikes in the back for a quick trip down to the bike trail – success. Now I would not consider this car “Mother Proofed” if I didn’t write about the rear seat. They are really uncomfortable for adults and teenagers, even my kids’ booster seats seem to sit at an unnatural angle. The other drawback to this car is the adjustment to the driver’s seat – I never quite feel a fit in this car. It seems a little like wearing a new pair of shoes, I want to love them, but they are killing me.

Overall the Mercury Mariner hybrid is a respectable small SUV that will suit the needs of many families. The added benefit of savings in the family gas budget and a tax credit in many states make the extra cost of the buying the hybrid version (approximately 5k more than the gas engine) almost equal. The other factor for me is doing the right thing for the environment. The hybrid engine is rated as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle or PZEV – something that is important to me as a mom. To me the value of green cannot be underestimated this is after all my children’s future I am talking about here.

*For more information on the Mercury Mariner and its safety features visit Cars.com.

LET’S TALK NUMBERS

LATCH Connectors: 2

Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample

SENSE AND STYLE

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great

Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 3.5
  • Exterior styling 3.5
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews

4.4

Most reliable car I've owned!

I loved this car so much. If I could find another I would but it again. I only need to fill up the car 2 1/2 weeks if that. I love the way the car drive on the road.

4.0

Love it

I got the car like a few months back. I am second owner for it.I bought it from a private owner. It has 50K on it and looks really new.So far it looks good and easy to get used to it.It has a great interior and It is giving me around 27+ city/25 Highway.The only hitch in this over all great car is the driver's leg area.Its a bit congested.I am an average person and I felt the pain initally becuase of that.But now I got used to driving it and its perfect ..I love it and the way it changes from hybrid to engine and back to hybrid is really awesome.I SOME TIMES like to drive more than 5 miles just on electric drive and its a real fun.especially early in the morning .In all over this car a lot and I am happy with it by all means.

See all 2 consumer reviews
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