Apr 5, 2009

Our Review of the Ford Fusion Hybrid 4/5/09

We worked a Green Expo yesterday in central Florida and a local Ford dealer had the new Ford Fusion Hybrid in a booth next to the Conserv-A-Store booth.
This is our very unscientific review of this new car for the Ford line.

It is a pleasurable car to look at.
Edmunds says, "Upon its debut, the Fusion's spacious cabin, responsive driving dynamics and attractive styling made it competitive, but there were a few missing elements that prevented it from being a true segment leader. A thorough refresh for 2010, however, addressed those elements, elevating the Fusion to elite status among midsize family sedans."

The mpg statistics are quite impressive:
US News says, "Ford claims that the Fusion Hybrid will be more fuel efficient than the 33/34 mpg Camry Hybrid by a meaningful 6 mpg. Further, it can reach an impressive cruising speed of up to 47 miles per hour on electric power alone."
We believe we saw 41mpg in city driving on the window tag.

Leftlanenews says, "Like other hybrids, the system utilizes regenerative braking, an upgraded nickel-metal hydride battery (said to be 20 percent more powerful than previous batteries), and a “smart” climate control system."

The price is a bit high for our blood but comes in close to the Taurus and at $4/gal gas which certainly will return one day is a great fleet option candidate for large business and government fleets.
Leftlanenews says, "Ford has announced a base price of $27,270 for its new 2010 Fusion Hybrid sedan. Basic features like dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, keyless entry, power windows, mirrors, and locks, capless refueling, traction control, and ABS are all standard equipment."

Availability:
The local Ford dealer said that it may hard to get product since the car could be quite successful.
He said much of the product initially will go to California and New York making it harder for the Florida dealers for example.
He did seem excited to finally have a solid moderate gas consuming vehicle to sell against the Japanese models.
The engine was on for demonstration often during the day and it was extraordinarily quiet.
The rep oddly did not seem to know the city of manufacture and jokingly said maybe China?

A passerby @ our booth said he felt the Escape hybrid(which sat next to the Fusion hybrid) was a better deal due to it's larger room capacity although it's mpg is less than Fusion.

We are excited. We have driven Fords for years and have generally been satisfied with their performance and durability. BUT we were sure we were going to need to leave Ford for Toyota for our next car to get higher mpg but maybe the Fusion Hybrid shows Ford is finally turning the corner a bit.

Hard to believe it took near bankruptcy, $4/ gal gas, and a recession to get them to be more innovative. The local dealer blamed the lack of foresight in not producing a higher mpg sedan earlier on lobbying efforts in DC by gas and oil interests and stricter safety regulations in the USA than abroad.

We blame it on an American bravado that resources were always to be available so there was not need to conserve, the past Texas based Presidential administration that was TOO tied to oil and gas interests for the sake of the non Texas part of the USA(and the world) and did not want to change, and the old saw that democracies never change unless they are forced to.

But if we can go to the moon and build a 747, we can build a pleasant hi mpg sedan and the Ford Fusion Hybrid looks like a great start to us.

Of course the Tata Nano @ $4k off the lot leaves room for a lot of oil and gas purchases to equal $27k?

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