The Mariner Hybrid's powertrain is among the most advanced available. It is a "full" hybrid electric system — meaning the system can switch automatically between pure electric power, pure gasoline engine power, or a combination of electric battery and gasoline engine operating together, for maximum performance and efficiency at all speeds and loads. When braking or decelerating, the Escape's hybrid system uses regenerative braking — where the electric drive motor becomes a generator, converting the vehicle's momentum back to electricity for storage in the batteries. The Hybrid powertrain gives 155 HP has nearly the same acceleration performance as the conventional 200 HPV6 Escape, thanks to the abundance of torque.
Ford Motor Company plans to produce 4,000 Mariner Hybrids in 2006. A number of Mazda Tribute Hybrids will also be produced.
Ford Motor Company set durability and reliability objectives for the Mariner Hybrid. Field tests continued until the objectives were acheived. The Mariner Hybrid's power system is the product of 170 prototype test mule vehicles, tested in five climate extremes on three continents.
The Mariner Hybrid, along with it's sister model Ford Escape Hybrid and cousin Mazda Tribute Hybrid, are known as full hybrids. They can run purely on electric power in many urban driving conditions. This is reflected in their higher city MPG rating (compared to highway).
The Mercury Mariner debuted in late 2004 as a 2005 Luxury compact SUV, which is based on the Ford Escape with enhancements and more luxury touches and features. The Ford Escape was jointly developed with Mazda, in which Ford owns a controlling interest, and was released a few months after the nearly-identical Mazda Tribute. The Escape is sold in Europe as the Ford Maverick while the Mariner is not.
It is built on the Ford CD2 platform, which is in turn based on the Mazda GF platform, which was used by the Mazda6.
The Mariner offers a 3.0L V6 engine, all wheel drive system, four wheel disc brakes with ABS and color keyed exterior styling. No low range gearing is offered. A back-up obstacle detection system is available for Premier and Hybrid variants. Mercury Mariner Hybrid models have an optional navigation system with screen displays for power flow and fuel economy.
For 2008 The Mercury Mariner Hybrid is significantly restyled .
Customers told Mercury the changes should focus on styling, the reduction of noise and vibration, and the addition of navigation and MP3 compatibility. Accordingly, there's a new exterior design that raises the Mariner's beltline while tweaking its front and rear fascias, headlights and taillights, liftgate and hood.
Inside there are new seats, which are quite comfortable. The seat's leather looks and feels like quality, as do most of the plastics lining the pillars, doors and dash. Overall, the interior design and materials are a substantial improvement.
The 2008 Mariners ride quality has also been improved significantly also. It often uses its full-electric mode in stop-and-go driving, and it's virtually silent with the exception of a few unobtrusive, yet exclusively hybrid-style clicks and whines. Even at freeway speeds, tire and wind noise are significantly damped.
It's also safer. All Mariners come standard with side-impact airbags that deploy from the seats, plus curtain-type head protection airbags.
Dual knobs for driver and passenger climate controls are found on either side of the dash, and the temperature display is high on the dashboard above the audio and navigation system. Mercury says this design makes the information easier to read while driving
After flipping up the seat bottoms and removing the headrests — a lengthy process relative to its competition — the Mariner's rear seats fold flat to accommodate 66.2 cubic feet of cargo space, some 7.6 cubic feet more than the Mazda CX-7.
Visually, there are small Hybrid badges just behind the front wheels and also on the rear hatch. The hybrid has a vent built into its left rear quarter-panel glass which helps to cool the battery pack located under the luggage bay. The biggest difference can be noted on the tachometer. The Mariner Hybrid, has it's tachometer needle equipped with a sub-zero setting. This setting is used to indicate that the vehicle is running only on electric power, such as while sitting at a stop or even while traveling on the road in certain conditions.
The Mariner Hybrid's gasoline engine is a 2.3-liter, inline four-cylinder that operates under the Atkinson cycle, which is a technology designed to reduce the level of fuel combustion. The Atkinson cycle makes somewhat less horsepower, but keeps intake valves open longer and operates under a higher compression ratio.
Mercury Mariner Hybrid was named 2006 "Green Car of the Year*" by Green Car Journal.
Mariner Hybrid named a Consumers Digest Best Buy. Mariner Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient SUV on the road has been named a Consumers Digest Best Buy for 2008. It's easy to see why Consumers Digest was impressed. Its strong acceleration is combined with fuel economy that delivers 34 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in the city. The magazine was also impressed with the Mariner Hybrid's "seamless" transition between electric and gasoline power, as well as the smooth, powerful performance of the CVT (continuously variable transmission).