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2010 Mercury Milan Performance

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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."

The 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid offer good performance, but their fuel economy and handling separate them from the mid-size sedan pack.

The new engines improve performance that was formerly no better than average. Motor Trend says, "Performance is improved with the new four; 0-60-60-mph times drop by a full second, to 9.5 seconds." ConsumerGuide reports that V-6-powered Mercury Milans "have good passing and merging power, even with the additional weight of AWD," and Kelley Blue Book adds that "the Milan is eager to pass or merge."

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com approve of the transmission offerings on the 2010 Mercury Milan. ConsumerGuide says "the smooth, responsive six-speed automatic makes the most of the available power," although they would like a "manual-shift mode, which would be useful on hilly roads." Edmunds too wants a manual-shift option on the Milan's automatic, to "make the car even more attractive to driving enthusiasts."

Fuel economy figures for the standard Milan have improved substantially, to a best-in-class 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 being 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.

On the road, the 2010 Mercury Milan and Milan Hybrid are adept in corners, and many reviewers are surprised by the Milan's handling characteristics. The Milan's four-wheel independent suspension provides handling that's among the best for family sedans. ConsumerGuide loves the car's road abilities, proclaiming that the Milan possesses "good balance in turns with modest body lean" and finds that "AWD traction is a boon on slick road."

Handling is 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. Motor Trend notes that "squeezing into the perfect parking space is now easier, thanks to the turning circle, which has been shortened by about one foot." ConsumerGuide concludes it all adds up to an impressive driving experience.

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