Consumers looking to go green with one of the available hybrid sedans on the market should definitely drive the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid
or its cousin, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
I recently drove the Milan Hybrid
and I am pleased to say it's quite impressive. And, unlike a couple of its competitors, the Milan Hybrid
doesn't have that must-be-a-hybrid look.
But if you want folks to know your Milan is a hybrid, don't worry. There are hybrid badges on the front doors and along the rear to inform others of your eco-friendly car. From a distance, the badges aren't easy to see and the car looks stylish and luxurious.
The Milan Hybrid
is a five-passenger sedan with plenty of room for four adults. The base cloth seats are eco-friendly (made with recycled products) but they aren't as supple as the optional leather seats.
The cabin is well equipped with many standard goodies like automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and keypad code exterior access, power front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror and SYNC (Microsoft electronics interface).
Options include a 12-speaker audio system, moon roof, voice-activated navigation system, Sirius Travel Link, blind-spot warning system, rearview camera, leather upholstery and heated seats. However, I did note that you can't get a Homelink universal remote transmitter in the Milan.
I have to say that I'm a huge fan of SYNC, which allows you to link up Bluetooth phones and digital media players.
Also, SYNC now features 911 assist and a vehicle health report with no monthly fees.
When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system is ready to assist in placing a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag-deploying accident.
In regard to the vehicle health report, SYNC gathers relevant information from the major vehicle control modules, which is sent to Ford via a toll-free number that's dialed using the customer's paired mobile phone.
I must tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the Milan Hybrid
's configurable and entertaining cluster. It's referred to as a "Smartgauge" with "Ecoguide." When you drive less aggressively, leaves will begin appearing on the graphic display to inform you that you're driving efficiently.
The 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid
is powered by an economical 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and permanent magnet AC brushless electric motor.
The gas engine is rated at 156 horsepower and the electric motor is rated at 106 horsepower. Without going into details, you can't merely add them up to figure out total output. These two units combine for a net 191 horsepower.
Just know that the transitions between full-electric mode and when the gas engine comes online are extremely smooth. You pretty much have to look at the instrument cluster to see when the gas engine comes online.
Amazingly, the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid
can operate in full electric mode all the way up to 47 mph. That's much higher than any of its competitors. But, to reap the benefits of staying in electric mode longer, it requires a light touch on the throttle.
Even if you're hard on the throttle, there's no need to worry about charging up the high-voltage battery pack. That automatically happens while driving and during braking. When applying the brake pedal, the electric motor becomes a generator and returns energy back to the battery pack that would normally be lost.
The battery pack is mounted in the luggage area behind the rear seat and does take up a bit of space, but that's a small price to pay for the high (41 city/36 highway) fuel economy.
In case you're concerned about the expense of having to replace the battery pack, it comes with an eight-year/100,000-miles warranty.
The Milan Hybrid
's transmission is an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission that helps blend the power without any shifts.
It's amazing how smoothly the vehicle feels and operates. The overall driving experience is very nice without the herky-jerky feel associated with early hybrid models.
Starting price for the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid
is $27,500. The hybrid package adds about $4,000 to the cost of a comparably equipped non-hybrid Milan. 2010 MERCURY MILAN HYBRID ENGINE:
156-horsepower I-4 ELECTRIC MOTOR:
106-horsepower 275-volt AC NET HORSEPOWER:
191 (combined from gas engine and electric motor) TRANSMISSION:
continuously variable transmission DRIVETRAIN:
front-wheel drive FUEL ECONOMY:
41 city/36 highway BASE PRICE:
$27,500 AS TESTED:
$33,735 (including $725 for destination) WEB SITE: www.Mercury