2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid Review

The attainable luxury hybrid

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid Review

A little over a year ago, I paid just over $4.00 for a gallon of gas in suburban Chicago. In the city itself, where real estate values and overhead costs for corner gas stations are much higher, the price was up to $4.25 for a gallon of regular. Those numbers virtually shut down sales of gas guzzling cars, especially large SUVs and pick-up trucks, which quickly led to the billion dollar losses at Chrysler, GM, and to a lesser degree, Ford. 


1. The 2010 Milan hybrid is based on the all-new Ford Fusion and even gets that car’s impressive new hybrid system delivering 41/36 mpg (city/hwy).

2. It’s possible to drive up to 47 mph on just electric power.

3. At $31,235, the Milan Hybrid is roughly $4,000 more than either a similarly equipped standard Milan or a Fusion Hybrid.

But high gasoline prices were good news for companies like Toyota, which sell high-mileage hybrids like the Prius. Not only did the (then second generation) Prius hybrid get 45 miles per gallon, it could also fly – as in, fly out of the dealer’s showroom as fast as they came in. A usual 45 to 60 day car supply, turned into only a week’s worth of inventory at Toyota dealerships around the country.

But then the banking crisis hit, the stock market plunged, and the country was thrown into a deep recession seemingly overnight as we headed into the fall and winter months.  And gas prices fell like a rock. Six months ago, I filled up my tank at the same gas station that I’d paid $4.00 a gallon, for only $1.99 per gallon. And the hybrid Prius models began to stack up on the dealer lots like cordwood. Ah don’t we Americans have short memories?

But even though we’re still mired in a very sluggish economy, that will last at least another year or so, gas prices are still rising. Yesterday, $2.77 was the going rate, and I’m sure that if OPEC, the big oil companies, the speculators, and whoever else conspires to screw the public with the price of oil and gasoline have their way (which they always do) we’ll continue to see prices rise. And when the economy really starts to take off, we’ll be seeing that $4.00 per gallon again. This time, however, American car companies, especially Ford will be ready with more high mileage models, and hybrid technology cars.


Ford is banking on the Mercury Milan and its sister car, the Ford Fusion to be the standard bearer in the hybrid car wars. And after driving the Mercury Milan, I think Ford will be a major player.

The Milan is powered by a 2.5 liter, gasoline engine, coupled with an electric motor to produce a very respectable 191-hp and 166 ft-lbs of torque. Ford says that if you feather the gas pedal just right, you can pull away from a stoplight and reach 47 miles per hour with only electric power moving the vehicle. A multitude of dashboard readouts called the Smartgauge Cluster with Ecoguide allows you to select one of four different levels of information to be displayed while you’re driving.

You can start with the basic fuel level and battery charge status. Then you can add the electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer. Next you may include engine output power and battery output power to the mix. Finally, you can go full zoot, and see which wheels the engine power is going to and how much power the accessories are drawing from the system. And surrounding those readouts, you can see how you are doing with your short term driving efficiency by watching a vine blossom with green leaves as you drive efficiently, and see them wither as your right foot gets heavier on the accelerator than necessary. Yeah, it’s a bit silly, but lots of cars pack a little show biz into their dashboards. When you’re new to the driving experience however, it’s easy to forget to watch the road instead of all those displays. The main thing about the Milan hybrid, however, is that if you do not look at all those electronic gauges, and just drive the car, you wouldn’t know you were driving a hybrid, which is a good thing. With the Prius, you always are aware that you’re driving something different.

Whether using a light or heavy foot off the line, the Milan accelerates briskly, smoothly and the power is seamless between electric and gasoline modes, so you wouldn’t know by feel whether you’re being powered by the gas engine or the electric motor. You should hit 60 mph in about 8.7 seconds, and passing on two lane roads, or merging onto highways is quick and easy, and again, it felt no different than with a standard gas-only motor. The Continuously Variable Transmission, or CVT, helps with the smooth power delivery, as you can’t feel traditional upshifts or downshifts. It also helps the Milan achieve its excellent mileage, which is rated at 41 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway.  With a 17-gallon gas tank, a range of over 600 miles is a reality.

The brakes are excellent and stop the car easily from speed. Because the brakes are regenerative, meaning they recapture 94 percent of their energy to recharge the electric batteries, they have a slightly different pedal feel than normal brakes, but it’s easy to get used to. 

The Milan handles just like the non-hybrid Milan, which means it corners well without much body lean, soaks up bumps easily and has a very comfortable ride quality, as any solidly built sedan should. The electric power steering provides lots of positive feedback to the driver and is very responsive. This Milan was as much fun to drive on twisty roads as any car in its class. Traction and Stability Control are standard.


The cabin of the Milan is absolutely beautiful, and would be fitting of a car costing thousands of dollars more. Two-tone, power 8-way adjustable, heated leather seats are as comfortable as they are eye catching, and ready to serve the driver well for long hours behind the wheel. The contrasting colors also flow to the door panels and lower dash. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands and features redundant audio controls and the cruise controls. The padded dashboard has handsome brushed aluminum accents that blend into the console area as well, and the padded center armrest has a jack for your MP3 player. Dual zone heating controls in the center stack are easy to see and use, as are the audio controls. The console, large glove box and door pockets provide ample convenient storage. Rear passenger room is spacious for three adults, and by pulling down the rear armrest, two adults will enjoy a long trip in style and comfort.  Because the batteries for the electric motor are located behind the rear seats, they do not fold down to increase the size of the trunk, however. And though the trunk is somewhat smaller than the trunk in the standard Milan, it is still spacious for luggage, golf clubs, and groceries, and seems more usable than the hatchback cargo area of the Prius.

My test car added a sliding moonroof and Navigation System with a rear view video camera. It also had the optional blind spot detection system in the side view mirrors with a warning light on the mirrors, which lights up when a vehicle is in your blind spot in an adjacent right or left lane. And if you activate your turn signal to make a lane change while there is a car in your blind spot, you’ll hear a warning beep to alert you. This is a feature that will save countless accidents and should be standard in every vehicle.

The Milan has an understated elegance, with clean lines. The rear taillight treatment with part of the lenses on the trunk lid and part on the rear quarter panel is reminiscent of a Mercedes Benz. The front end features the Mercury grill with vertical chrome slats and chiseled headlights and is distinctive to the brand. Fit and finish, inside and out, is first rate.


The base price of the Milan Hybrid is $31,235, which is roughly $4,000 more than either a similarly equipped non-hybrid model or a Fusion Hybrid. Add a few options, like the ones mentioned above and you’ll be looking at a sticker price just north of $33,000. That’s still a very reasonable rice for a luxury sedan that’s also a hybrid.

I enjoyed this Mercury more than I did the Prius or Camry Hybrid. I thought it was more powerful, better looking inside and out, more responsive, and handled better than either Toyota. The Milan offers a traditional, formal, 4-door sedan with a proper trunk, and room for 5 adults in a comfortable package. It proves that you don’t have to give up those attributes to own a car that will offer outstanding gas mileage. And as gasoline prices continue to rise, as they inevitably will, the Mercury Milan Hybrid will look better and better in your driveway.

Related Reading:

2010 Ford Fusion – 4dr Sdn Hybrid FWD Specs
2010 Toyota Prius: First Drive
2010 Honda Insight
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid
2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked