Once hybrid vehicles from Honda and Toyota proved to work well in the real world of American streets during the early 2000s, other U.S.-market manufacturers climbed aboard the gasoline-electric bandwagon. Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid for the 2005 model year and sales proved quite strong; its Mercury-badged sibling, the Mariner Hybrid, appeared the following year. The Mariner Hybrid never induced many vehicle shoppers to sign on the line which is dotted, despite gasoline prices going absolutely ape in 2008, though it remained available all the way through the Mercury brand's 2010 demise. Here's one of those rare trucks, found in a Denver-area yard last month.
The Escape/Mariner Hybrids got amazing fuel economy for tall, truck-shaped machines, though the serious penny-pinchers with long commutes skipped anything built in the 21st century and began driving up the prices of the once-scorned Geo Metro XFi, gas-sipping champion of the previous decade.
The Mercury brand was on the ropes by this time, with not much to distinguish the once-distinctive Mercury machines from their near-identical Ford counterparts. The 1999-2002 Cougar was the last Mercury sold here with no twin brothers over in the Ford showrooms.
I do see the occasional Escape Hybrid in places like this, though such gas-saving small SUVs tend to retain their value well enough that it takes a crash to retire one. This Mariner Hybrid hit something hard and either flipped on its side or scraped a guardrail for some distance.
The airbags deployed and, presumably, spared the occupants from serious injury. That's the good news. The bad news is that fixing this kind of damage to a 13-year-old vehicle made by a defunct brand just isn't worth it to insurance companies, hybrid-electric powertrain or not. We can assume that the battery pack lives on in another Escape/Mariner.
Navigation, Bluetooth, and other features that were considered pretty slick in 2007.
This truck was in pretty good shape until the very end.
Jill Wagner proved that you can bury a Mercury emblem in volcanic soil and it will grow into a brand-new Mariner Hybrid. That's how science works!
You can go to the same field and tap on a Mercury emblem, if you want to get a regular gasoline Mariner.