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TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner 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 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid to produce this hands-on road test.
The 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid are solid, stylish five-passenger compact SUVs that were completely updated for 2009. Although they're nearing the end of a model life that began a decade ago, Ford continues to add features. New for 2010 are five driver aids: blind-spot warnings in the mirrors, the MyKey programmable key, a rearview camera, Ford's well-reviewed Active Park Assist, and an upgraded version of the SYNC infotainment system. In the highly contentious compact-SUV class, they compete against the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, the Hyundai Tucson, and the new-for-2010 GMC Terrain. The base Mariner starts at $23,560, and the Mariner Hybrid at $30,105.
The traditional, upright lines of the 2010 Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid disguise their actual personas: They're carlike crossovers. A Mariner makes no attempt to soften its lines, unlike such competitors as the Honda CR-V; it's an SUV from any angle. But the tasteful chrome grille and other fashion-forward design elements set it apart from the more pedestrian Ford Escape, with which it shares a platform. Inside, materials and appointments were extensively upgraded a few years ago, giving the Mariner pair both matte metallic accents and a two-tiered instrument panel.