We have a somewhat larger version of that engine
and have found it very problematical. The combined gearshift throttle arrangement made it impossible to power up the engine
in Neutral, which as one might wish to do while working on it or tuning it or for other reasons and we finally had that arrangement removed at no minor cost. As to general reliability
, ours has proven finicky, constantly requiring adjustments. About half of the people I know with Mercury
engines swear by them, the other half at them. FWIW, in no case would I buy another or accept one as a gift.