The Mercury Mariner Hybrid--the first full-hybrid premium compact SUV--is now the first vehicle to be honored by Green Car Journal as "Green Car of the Year." Mercury Mariner Hybrid received the "2006 Green Car of the Year" award Thursday at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. The award winner is determined by an 11-member panel of international jurors comprised of automotive and environmental experts, including Carroll Shelby, Jean-Michel Cousteau and Mario Andretti. The Green Car of the Year award is designed to recognize environmental leadership in the automotive industry. The jury includes Green Car Journal staff, as well as experts drawn from transportation technology, automotive design, racing, environmental protection, social engineering and other related fields. It makes its final selections based on research and driving experience, with an emphasis on vehicles that advance overall efficiency and functionality while decreasing environmental impact. Gasoline-electric hybrids, near-zero mission gasoline models, advanced diesels, and an array of vehicles capable of operating on alternative fuels were among those considered. The Mercury Mariner Hybrid received top honors among five finalists. Pricing for the 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid starts at a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $29,840. By 2008, Ford will have five hybrids on the road, including the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Mazda Tribute Hybrids. By 2010, Ford plans to increase its global hybrid production to approximately 250,000 hybrid units annually.