Danielle takes the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid out for a spin...
In working for a conservation nonprofit, it's not very often I get the opportunity to review a highly anticipated hybrid vehicle. I spend more time in my car looking out the window trying to identify a passing bird then I would noticing the smoothness of an engine or the efficiency of the brakes. That being said, when offered a chance to test the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, I jumped at it. I have already made a deal with myself that when my 2000 Ford Focus dies, a hybrid (or no car at all) will take its place.
The first night with the Fusion Hybrid was exhilarating. I decided to take it for a spin with a few of my favorite critics, my mother and brother. Fords are a family affair for the Brigidas--my mother drives an Explorer, my dad a Ranger, my brother an Escort. They were immediately impressed by how the car sparkled and how inviting the interior was.
One of the biggest differences we noticed was how quiet the car was while in hybrid mode. There was no blatant engine roaring at startup, which was definitely a nice change--though I felt the need to blast music a bit louder than normal to let any humans or animals know I was coming. My brother liked the seamless acceleration of the Fusion, and I think he was impressed with the pick-up. Overall I think my mother and brother realized that hybrid cars could be pretty sweet and luxurious too.
I'm not one who needs or wants luxury. I feel good when I rough it--but I will admit that the Ford Fusion had a way of making you feel okay about spoiling yourself. And that felt good too.
The bells and whistles on this particular Fusion--such as the seat warmers, multi-colored ambient lighting, and voice activated navigation--were well received by all my passengers. They only added to what was thoroughly impressing me as one of the most efficient vehicles I'd ridden in. What I appreciated about the ride was that I was getting an average just slightly under 40 miles per gallon, and I was not at all in the ideal driving conditions to kick in the Electric Vehicle power. It seems that Ford has invested in the Fusion and turned it not only into a car that can consistently get you anywhere from 40 to 60 mpg, but that doesn't compromise comfort, safety or style.
Here are five things you should know:
- Ford estimates that you will spend only $731 annually on gas (based on 15,000 miles at 1.90 a gallon)
- Your expected city mileage has an EPA rating of 41 MPG
- Your expected highway mileage has an average of 36 MPG
- It can go up to 47 miles per hour in Electric Vehicle (EV) mode
- Your can monitor how sustainably you are driving with the car's "efficiency leaves" (seen below on right)
In the end, I was distraught to give the vehicle back. What started out as a treat turned into a tease! I loved what the Fusion challenged me to expect from a car--and what I should expect from myself as a driver. Through the different power meters and gauges like the efficiency leaves, I was able to adjust my driving and drive smarter, taking into account how much I braked, how I accelerated, and even what accessories I was using.
Overall, I learned so much, and I'm very glad Ford has taken its green movement to a new level. I think the Fusion will challenge the hybrids of today and inspire the cars of tomorrow.
To learn more about the technical details of the Hybrid check out Ford's 2010 Fusion Hybrid site.