New Mariner Hybrid: Nice and green

Also sold - in different guises - as the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, Ford's small hybrid SUVs offer an excellent value.

Inside line
Controls for the stereo system and climate are nicely laid out and easy to use. At night, the Mariner's dash and knobs glow in light blue hue.
2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Inside line
The Mariner's luxury-looking exterior makes some of the cheap interior plastics seem even more unfortunate. Ford Motor Co. really needs to find a more convincing, or at least nicer-looking, silver-colored plastic than the toy-store stuff they use here.

Functionally, the Mariner has a lot going for it. The center console is capacious, especially if you remove the plastic inner bin. Actually, there are two. A small one and a really big one.

Each bin has an extension that allows it to be clipped to two spots on the outside of the center console, creating a handy hanging basket for storing things occupants might need to reach easily.


Subtle changes

Sound and silence

Easy ride

Inside line

Stability issues

Dollar for dollar
Ford updates two of its classic trucks for 2008. Ford's Escape and the SuperDuty F-450 (more)

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.