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Ford Introduces 2008 Mariner Hybrid with Some Enhancements

6 October 2006

Mariner08
The 2008 Mariner Hybrid.

Ford unveiled the new 2008 Mariner and Mariner Hybrid (earlier post) at the South Florida International Auto Show, which opened today in Miami Beach.

This marks the first major refresh of the Mariner model since its launch in 2005. The hybrid version benefis from the design and trim enhancements to the parent model as well.

In addition to the overall model changes, such as the use of a speed sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) system that improves overall feel and is more efficient than conventional systems, there are several hybrid-specific changes as well.

Mariner Hybrid comes with a 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor. The gasoline engine produces 133 hp (99 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 124 lb-ft (168 Nm) of torque at 4,250 rpm. The electric motor produces 70 kw @ 5,000 rpm and 330V maximum voltage.

The net result is 155 hp (116 kW) for the system with 0-60 acceleration comparable to a 200hp V-6 engine and a boost in city-driving fuel economy of nearly 75% compared to the V-6 conventional Mariner. An electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is the only available transmission on the hybrid model.

For 2008, Mariner Hybrid engineers made revisions to software in the control system to improve transparency—the transition between gasoline and electric operation. The transition from all-electric to gasoline power to a combination of the two is now even more seamless and virtually imperceptible to the driver.

Also, the four-wheel-disc regenerative brakes have also been retuned to provide better feel. With the 2008 model year, Mariner Hybrid will be available for the first time with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Previously, the Mariner Hybrid was offered only as a all-wheel drive model.

Ford has not yet announced the fuel economy for the front-wheel drive version. Estimated fuel economy for the all-wheel drive is 32 mpg city (a 1 mpg decrease from the 33 mpg of the preceding model) and 29 mpg highway (the same as the earlier model).

The Mariner Hybrid recently was awarded the first Motorist’s Choice Award for compact SUVs by IntelliChoice.com and AutoPacific, and is the only hybrid vehicle to be included on their inaugural awards list.

October 6, 2006 in Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

a boost in city-driving fuel economy of nearly 75% compared to the V-6 conventional Mariner

Translation: Instead of 32 mpg in the city it now gets 33 mpg.

Pizmo, I don't understand where you got your mileage from, this article doesn't state any, and somehow your numbers seem off.

I'm not a fan of GM at all, but from what I can see in this article (subjective elements like aesthetics and such aside--they're personal preference) I have to say I'm pretty impressed! (Not necessarily with the mileage figures, but with their change in course here). Actually I'm quite stunned!

GM is actually putting out a four cylinder! And one that only makes 155 horse total! This is quite unheard of for an SUV type vehicle for a domestic maker in North America! Can it be that they are finally getting something in their heads at management levels? I thought we'd never see this with all their emphasis put on their "big rigs."

155 horse plus the extra torque from a motor is plenty to get you around in all circumstances, unless you're towing a trailer of concrete. Our older van has less than this and it works just fine for us. People just get used to having 250-350 horses and don't want to come back down again. Admitedly, 250 ponies are more fun, but they cost in almost every other way.

Like I said, I don't like GM in general, but this is something they need to be encouraged to continue with. We don't know what the long term reliability will be like (I'm not too hopeful), not all the info and stats are given here so I am still somewhat reserved, and I hate the way GM changes its tune about Hybrids with every change in the winds of expediency, but here I am very suprised to actually find myself saying "keep up the good work GM."

Whoops!, and a big whoops at that: change "GM" found everywhere in my last post to "Ford." Oops! Talk about mis-reading something!

But the rest of the letter still holds pretty much, except for the part of changing tunes to the winds of expediency. I still think GM is the worst for that. Keep it up Ford!

Pizmo, I don't understand where you got your mileage from, this article doesn't state any, and somehow your numbers seem off.

MY2007 Mercury Mariner

V6, AWD - 19 city/23 highway
Hybrid - 32 city/29 highway

In the post, it says "a boost in city-driving fuel economy of nearly 75% compared to the V-6 conventional Mariner".

19*(1.75)=33

Make sense now?

GM is actually putting out a four cylinder! And one that only makes 155 horse total!

Post title: "Ford Introduces 2008 Mariner Hybrid with Some Enhancements"

Mercury is a Ford brand, not a GM brand.

Whoops - sorry, John. Your latest post wasn't up for some reason when I wrote the last part. Do I owe you a Coke or is it the other way around. :)

These seem like extremely minor improvements not worthy of a press release. Some companies would simply make these changes mid-year without any big announcement.

Now for the really important question: it is October, 2006. Why on earth are they introducing a 2008 model year vehicle? If the technology is ready, why not make it a 2007 model year vehicle???

"Mariner Hybrid will be available for the first time with a choice of front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive."

33mpg city would be the 4wd version.

35mpg city should be expected for the 2wd version (2007 Mariner V-6 2wd gets 20/24).

35mpg city should be expected for the 2wd version (2007 Mariner V-6 2wd gets 20/24).

And the 2007 FWD Escape Hybrid (same vehicle) already gets 36 in the city.

Freudian slips abound.

That is a huge improvement in city gas mileage. This is exactly the type of vehicle I like as well.. If Ford can deliver at a decent price I think this vehicle could sell very well.

That is a huge improvement in city gas mileage.

An extra 1 mpg is a huge improvement?

Pizmo what grade are you in?

As you stated before its:

V6, AWD = 19 city/23 highway
Hybrid = 32 city/29 highway

Thats 13 mpg more city("nearly 75%") and 6 more highway NOT 1 mpg.

No mention of flex fuel capability :( I was hoping the 2008 model upgrade would add flex fuel capability since Ford previewed a SULEV flex fuel Escape Hybrid in Jan 2006.

FFV would be nice to just be more than others are offering. It might only be useful in the midwest, but it would show what Ford can do if they want to.

Pizmo what grade are you in?

You can always tell a good argument is coming when it starts with a silly insult.

Thats 13 mpg more city("nearly 75%") and 6 more highway NOT 1 mpg.

The Mariner Hybrid is an existing product. This post has to do with the improvement of that existing product, which given the numbers in this article, amount to 1 mpg. That is the post topic, and it was elaborated on more than once in the comments.

Also, it is inaccurate to compare the 4 cylinder hybrid with the 6 cylinder conventional. The fuel mileage improvement is 41% with the current model, and if our estimate of the new model is correct, maybe a percentage point or two more, if the fuel mileage of the conventional model has remained unchanged (which we don't know).

From what is presented it seems the only changes are:

Smoother operation (transperancy between engine, motor, and simultaneous modes), improved electric power steering, the availability of the hybrid with FWD for the Mariner, and a very slight improvement in fuel economy over the previous hybrid. I welcome any improvement of fuel economy (regardless of how small) if it is done at the same price.

I'd really like one of these.

It seems like a reasonable "start"....if it had been delivered in 2000.
Toyota delivered the Prius in 1998. Ford, GM & DC got about $1 billion in subsidies thru the PNGV program to develope a hybrid.

Sorry about the insult Pizmo, But the statement
"a boost in city-driving... conventional Mariner"
is talking in general about the hybrid model, not the improvements. The mpg actully goes down from 33 to 32.

With performance comparable to a V6 why not compare?

I find it amazing that the PNGV got them to hybrid designs and they shelved them. Toyota and Honda were watching the program and started their own designs. They continued with the hybrids and the rest went back to depending on SUVs for high margins.

I have an escape hybrid. It has never gotton 32 mpg in the city. If I drove at a maximum of 25mph with an extremely gradual acceleration maybe. The average with my hybrid (and it currently has 42,000 miles on it, is 25mpg highway (going up hills or mountains kills the gas mileage) and 28mpg in the city. I doubt the mariner will do any better

The MPG is disappointing.

2008 model will have basically same mpg as the 2005 model

Meh. The series-production Euro-market turbodiesel CRV handily beats those numbers. I'm not impressed, given the price premium.

I have an 07 ford escape AWD with 5300 miles on it, and living and driving anywhere between 5200' and 7000' I'm getting real world mileage of 28-30 city and 28-29 hwy.(that's not relying on their computer estimate) We just returned from a 600 + mile round trip to Santa Fe with the 65 cubic feet in the rear jammed packed with luggage (my wife's) and on the way back with said luggage and 2 healthy sized wood chairs (70-80#) and at 85mph most of the time, and 90-93 mph where possible, we averaged 26.4 mpg. All this on 87 octane with a slight headwind on the way back. This is my kind of performance and utility......

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