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TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid to bring you this hands-on review that covers styling, performance, safety, utility, and features from on-the-road observations. TheCarConnection.com's editors also researched reviews from other sources to give you a comprehensive range of opinions from around the Web-and to help you decide which ones to trust. High Gear Media drove a manufacturer-provided Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid to produce this hands-on road test.
Both restyled and extensively refreshed with new powertrains, the 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid are remarkably good mid-size sedans that should be better known than they are. Although they're mechanically identical to the Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid models, the Milan's cleaner exterior and more stylish interior set it apart, taking it a step up. Starting at $21,860 ($31,915 for the 2010 Milan Hybrid), the Milan line competes in the hotly contested mid-size sedan market with cars like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu.
There are multiple versions and options for the 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid, including front- or all-wheel drive, four- or six-cylinder engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and a hybrid model-although not all combinations are available. All-wheel drive, for instance, is available only with the V-6, and if you want a manual gearbox, that limits you to the four-cylinder.
The base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine delivers 175 horsepower, and can be matched with a standard six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0-liter V-6 cranks out 240 hp, and comes only with a standard six-speed automatic-although it offers no manual shifting options besides "drive" and "low." Best fuel economy figures for the standard Milan are 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway for the four-cylinder with the six-speed automatic; specifying the six-speed manual subtracts only 2 mpg from the highway rating. Adding the V-6 engine exacts a penalty, with the front-wheel-drive version rated at 19 mpg, 27 mpg, and the all-wheel drive even lower at 18 mpg city, 25 highway.
The 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid is the range's clear fuel economy champion. It's rated at a stunning 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined EPA rating of 39 mpg-a much better rating, it's worth noting, than the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Only available as a high-spec front-wheel-drive model, the hybrid-electric drivetrain pairs a specially modified version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electronically continuously variable transmission (eCVT). Inside this complex piece of equipment are electric motors that can either deliver power or recharge the battery, depending on the demands placed on the car, the battery's state of charge, and many other variables. The 2010 Milan Hybrid can run in all-electric mode at speeds as high as 47 mph, and it drives "like a regular car," with few of the oddities found in other hybrids. That said, it's as much a statement as an investment in economy, since it's fully $10,000 more than a plain-Jane Milan with the four-cylinder and six-speed automatic.
The 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid are notably good on the road, with four-wheel independent suspension providing handling that's among the best for family sedans. In fact, handling should be a major reason to consider the Milan over blander competitors like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. The drive is more engaging, and ride quality is smooth and drama-free, although some reviewers consider the electric power steering numb.
Inside, the 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid offer spacious accommodations with ample legroom and lots of space for cargo. Adults fit fine in the rear seats, and all five seats are comfortable. While the interior isn't quite as luxe-looking as that of a Chevrolet Malibu or Honda Accord, it's modern and stylish.
Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, as well as side and curtain airbags, are standard on every 2010 Milan and Milan Hybrid. For every trim level, AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is now an option. The Milan 2010 gets a five-star rating for frontal driver and passenger impact tests and driver-side crash protection, along with four stars for passenger side-impact safety, and it's been named an IIHS "Top Safety Pick."
For 2010, the optional Voga Series trim package takes the car to a new level. Available only on the Premier models, it consists of unique carbon fiber interior trim, leather seats and door inserts of a very stylish cashmere color, and unique Voga badges inside and out. Ambient LED lighting in a variety of colors is available, and Premier Series models come standard with Sirius Satellite Radio.