Mother Proof's view

If you’re looking for a flashy car, you’ll want to consider something other than the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid. However, if comfort, great gas mileage and lots of features matter to you, then give this hybrid a try while you can. Ford recently announced the end of the Mercury brand.

The front-wheel-drive Milan Hybrid was a perfect fit for my family of four, which includes two kids in booster seats. I couldn’t help but smile as I easily climbed into the driver’s seat, loaded my kids into the backseat and put groceries in the trunk. The Milan Hybrid starts at $28,180; my test car cost $33,010.

It’s a hybrid, so it was so cool to start the car and roll out of the driveway without an ounce of engine noise. Mercury says the Milan Hybrid is capable of running on electric power up to 47 mph. However, I could only get it to 30 mph or so before the gas engine kicked in. For city driving, the Milan Hybrid was superb. I averaged 37.1 mpg during my weeklong test drive and used less than a quarter tank of gas. That’s hardly anything. With that little gas used, it sounds like I didn’t drive the car at all, but I did — every day for every errand — and loved it.

Astonishingly, I was quite content with this little beauty that screams nothing but midsize sedan. In the front, the headlights are shapelier than in previous years, and grille is elegantly simple, with a large Mercury logo sitting in the center. In the rear, the Milan Hybrid has bulky taillights that might not appeal to everyone, but this mom loved them. I want everyone to know what I’m about to do in my car and steer clear of me and my precious cargo. The big taillights helped me accomplish this goal. For that added dollop of do-gooder satisfaction, small hybrid badges on the exterior let everyone know the Milan Hybrid is doing its part to keep Mother Earth green.

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

The boxy-sedan nature of the Milan Hybrid has its perks such as large windows that made for incredible visibility around the car. After weeks of being smooshed into the tiny second rows of sports coupes, my boys appreciated the added visibility, too. They also liked how easy it was to open and close the sedan’s doors. No need to get help from Mom.

The Milan Hybrid has a 156-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder gas engine that’s paired with an electric motor. This car takes regular gas, but you’ll hardly stop at a gas station because it gets an EPA-estimated 41/36 mpg city/highway.

When you do have to hit the gas station, you’ll discover the Milan Hybrid’s capless gas tank. With it there’s no more touching the damp, soiled fuel cap. Simply gas up and go. This feature made driving the Milan Hybrid that much more enjoyable.

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times

Aside from being a perfect fit for my 5-foot-4-inch frame, the Milan Hybrid’s interior was accommodating and stylish without being too fancy for my family. Its two-tone leather upholstery made it easy to wipe up crumbs and spills. However, I didn’t appreciate the multitude of colors in the dashboard area; the glove box was light gray, with a black-colored stripe sitting just above it, and the top half of the dash was dark gray. It was too much.

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

The Milan Hybrid has a brightly illuminated gauge cluster called SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which is more of a fully animated screen than a grouping of dials. The two LCD screens, which are configurable on either side of a traditional speedometer, told me which engine was in use and how much power it was using. This encouraged me to drive more efficiently; I went from averaging 36.1 mpg at the start of my test drive to 37.1 mpg by the end of it.

My test car had the optional voice-activated navigation system atop its center stack. For me, the controls for the air conditioning and the heated seats were too low on the stack; I’d have liked to move up the navigation screen to make the other controls easier to reach. The Milan Hybrid also has the standard Sync multimedia system.

This five-seater has two cupholders and two bottleholders in the front row and two cupholders in the rear seat’s armrest. There are a couple of convenient cubbies, including one in front of the gearshift and another at the base of the center stack.

In the second row, my boys were able to buckle themselves in without whining because of the stable seat belt receptors.

While not massive, the cargo area was just the right size for my weekly grocery run.

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

The Milan Hybrid has received the highest score of Good in frontal, side-impact and rear crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In past years those scores would qualify the Milan Hybrid to be named a Top Safety Pick, but this year a new roof-strength crash test was added to the requirements. The Milan Hybrid received an Acceptable, the second-highest score, in the roof-strength test, which is not high enough to receive Top Safety Pick status.

Even though the two sets of lower Latch anchors are buried beneath the seat cushions, they were easy to get to. My boys’ booster seats fit well in the Milan Hybrid’s rear seat, but it could be a tight fit for rear-facing convertible and infant-safety seats.

The Milan Hybrid comes with standard antilock brakes with brake assist, an electronic stability system, traction control, a backup camera with rear parking sensors, and seven airbags, including side curtains for both rows and a driver’s knee airbags.

Get more safety information on the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid here.

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

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