2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

I really can't think of a $33,000 sedan I'd rather be driving. Actually, the only thing I'd change is to delete the twelve-speaker Sony sound system so the price could even be a bit lower. Not everyone will be happy with the price premium of a hybrid, but the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion hybrids are about as good as it gets. And that includes those $100,000 luxury hybrids.

I'm still impressed by the Milan hybrid's ability to cruise down the road at speeds over 40 mph on battery power alone. The real trick to returning good fuel economy is using the gas engine to get up to speed and then letting the electric motor push you down the road at cruising speeds.

Some of the controls suffer from typical hybrid traits -- the steering is very electric and overboosted, and the brake pedal feels very spongy -- but the actual driving experience is just like you'd expect from a regular Milan. Suspension tuning is pretty good for Michigan's crumbling roads and the extra weight of the battery pack is noticeable, but not offensive.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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