Mercury Mariner Hybrid: Untold Health Benefits Could Save Lives
The non-automotive media has listed various reasons for people wanting to own a hybrid, including everything from saving at the gas pump to making a social statement. Recently, we tested the Mercury Mariner Hybrid and discovered some reasons we have never heard mentioned before.

We based the first leg of our fuel-mileage loop on the hybrid's uncanny ability to flip anything anyone ever knew about stop-and-go fuel mileage ratings upside down. The Mercury Mariner Hybrid's fuel economy is estimated at 33 city/29 highway mpg. We got as much as 38 mpg in heavy traffic by nursing it, and as low as 25 mpg on the highway, romping on it as hard as possible.

Loaded with a large bag of fiery red Cheetos and a full tank of gas, we headed out onto the highway. In Southern California, that means the local freeway onramp and a ton of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Our Mariner was equipped with the optional GPS system that includes a fuel mileage indicator. The slower we crept in traffic, the higher the numbers jumped on the indicator. After 2 hours on the San Diego Freeway and not all that many miles traveled, we noticed our stress levels were way down.

Wow, what a selling point. In addition to all of the obvious benefits of owning a Mercury Mariner Hybrid, the little SUV could probably prevent its owner from having a heart attack. Even if all owning a hybrid did was lower your blood pressure because of money saved, it would still be worth the suggested retail price (MSRP) of $29,840.

If you think we're kidding, just call your doctor on your cell phone and tell him, "Yeah, I'm sitting in rush hour traffic, and I got real uptight about all the gas I'm burning, when all of a sudden my heart blew out of my chest and splattered all over the windshield. Uh, I was wondering how much you would charge to sew it back in?" We'll bet it's going to be more than $29,840.