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SUV a bit sluggish but easy on ozone

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champHowever, the Mariner’s powertrain can get it doing 25mph on just the electric motor. When the engine isn’t needed – such as at slow speeds, when coasting or idling in traffic – it shuts down, and electric power kicks in. There is little sensation that a power shift is under way, but the engine rpm needle drops below zero into the green zone, a clever eco symbol. All this is possible because the company revised the control system’s software to improve how the two power systems work together. The company also promises better fuel efficiency of 34miles per gallon while motoring around town, about 14percent better than the 2007 model. And the hybrid components come with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The test model came equipped with the hybrid premium package that can display the hybrid system in operation on the video screen. Mercury went big with the redesign, too. The Mariner got a new hood outfitted with a “waterfall grille” that is larger than on previous models. The grille’s opening is bigger and so is the Mercury badge. A new roof panel helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness, and recessed channels improve airflow over the vehicle.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Like its corporate cousin the Ford Escape, the Mercury Mariner received a remake for 2008, including the option of a full hybrid power plant. “Full” means the hybrid system can run on its gasoline engine, electric battery power or both. And Mercury says the acceleration is similar to a V-6, but with a smaller gasoline engine. During trips around the San Fernando Valley, the 133horsepower engine seemed a tad underpowered at times, and it was sluggish climbing the steep grade at the south end of Winnetka Avenue. The test model also emitted a strange creaking noise when accelerating and stopping. But this ride is about eco-friendliness and not horsepower. last_img read more