The Sierra Club muffles its negative rhetoric and casts a rare vote of confidence in Ford Motor Co.'s environmental practices following the intro of the Mercury Mariner Hybrid CUV.

The Mariner Hybrid was scheduled for 2006 but was pulled ahead to launch in July due to strong demand for Ford's first hybrid CUV, the Escape Hybrid, which was launched in 2004 to rival Toyota Motor Corp.'s successful hybrid assault on the U.S. market.