If you haven't noticed, Ford's been on quite the roll lately. After turning down government aid, the Ford Motor Company managed to turn a profit in the last quarter. And it's not hard to see why. Their all new line up boasts some of the best cars on the market—they've got something for everyone. Want a muscle car? They got you with the Mustang; you want a pick up truck worthy enough to participate in the Baja 1000? They got that too with the maddeningly dope F-150 SVT Raptor. Then we learned today that Motor Trend named the Ford Fusion their 2010 Car of the Year for its "impressive bandwidth as a model range." Yeah, the range of models within the Fusion line is impressive, but our favorite was the Fusion Hybrid. Read on to find out why...
PRICE: (base) $27,625
SPECS: Engine: 191 net hp: 156hp Duratec 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve Atkinson cycle, 106hp Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor (electric)
MPG: 41 city/ 36 mpg
If you've driven any number of hybrids, you've surely noticed a significant difference in the way they drive compared to normal, gasoline powered cars. The brakes usually depress in a weird way due to the regenerative brake system that turns the energy wasted during braking into energy the car can use. And when the electric motor kicks in there's a very noticeable change over; sometimes it's so noticeable, a hybrid newbie may think something's wrong with their engine. The Fusion Hybrid doesn't suffer from either of those set backs. If it wasn't for the customized gauges or the badges, you'd be hard pressed to realize you were driving a car with a gas engine and an electric motor. It's that good. The brakes function and feel like normal brakes, and the cut off between the electric motor is barely noticeable. A main barrier of admission for most people when looking at Hybrids is them not wanting to sacrifice their usual driving experience. With the Ford Fusion, you don't have to.
The Fusion was already a good looking car, more in tune with Ford's Euro offerings than its stateside models. For 2010 Ford nipped and tucked the Fusion's sheet metal to give it an even more sleeker look. Get the Fusion in its Sport trim and you have a car that looks as good as some more expensive sport sedans. But we're not talking about the Sport trim here, we're focusing on the Hybrid, and let's just say, Ford must have spent most of their mind muscle in making the car sip fuel than look fly. Better (bigger) rims and some sort of kit would have rounded out the look a little better. Though we're sure those opting for the Hybrid aren't too concerned with looks.
Clean and modern. Not too fussy, Ford nailed it with a great blend of quality materials and accents. The seats, which are made from 85 percent post-industrial materials, are comfortable but sturdy, offering decent lumbar support—great for long road trips. Hop behind the wheel, turn the key and your eyes will be immediately drawn to the new dual LCD SmartGauge Cluster. With bright greens and blues the SmartGauge cluster uses two LCD screens to the right and left of the speedometer to inform you of your gas mileage, battery level, fuel level and your electric motor levels. But the coolest part of the cluster is the green motivator all the way to the right. What starts out as a bunch of vines grows into a bush of leaves as you drive more greenly. Pretty dope.
Our Fusion Hybrid came equipped with Sony's 12 speaker (two subwoofers), 390 watt, Dolby DAEP 5.1 Surround Sound technology equipped, 6-disc in-dash CD system. And it knocks. We wish the volume went a little higher, as it was hard to really get into your song when driving with the window's open. If you're getting a Fusion, this is the system to get.
Let's be real: You don't buy a hybrid to stunt. That said, the Fusion is one of the best looking hybrids on the road. Spec it out a lil' and you can at least look like you're driving a sports sedan.
ONE MORE THING:
Most hybrids can only go up to 20mph in electric mode, where as the Fusion Hybrid can go up to 47 mph.
Hybrids are a tough sell for some people, we know. But peep this: We took the Fusion Hybrid to Massachusetts for a weekend, drove all around, drove back and didn't have to stop at a gas station once. We don't know about you, but having money in our pocket is cool to us. And besides, what girl do you know doesn't want to save the planet? Think about it.
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