HOT APPLE FUSION
Published on Thu, Mar 18, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Tommy Grafman As the power of green and the popularity of hybrid machines become more of a staple on American roads, Ford has laid claim to some prime real estate in this niche with the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. As Ford says, this is currently the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America, with an EPA city rating of 41 miles per gallon (yes, the Prius gets more, but it’s a midsize hatchback). Moreover, the Fusion Hybrid has a range of 700 miles per tank! Some vehicles excite me and this is one of them. It’s a pleasure to turn the key on and you hear nothing – the car goes right into electrical mode. No roar of an engine, just silence. It’s a great way to start your morning. With the Fusion Hybrid, you ceased driving a car, and you are now at the helm of the Starship Enterprise. The Fusion is basically a rolling computer with wheels. The dash is an LCD display (except for the speedometer, which is the only analog gauge). The LCD displays are completely customizable like a computer. With four display modes, Ford calls it the SmartGuage. Included in the SmartGuage are EV mode, Fuel, MPG, Average miles, and your Green Trees and Leaves (the more efficiently you drive, the more your tree grows). Being a tech-head, I feel completely comfortable with all the technology. I’m in my environment. Pulling out into the street while in reverse is easy, comfortable and about as safe as you can get with the Fusion working for you. With the built in rear view camera display in the dash and the CTA (Cross traffic Alert), which sounds a warning when it detects a vehicle approaching either side of the Fusion while you are slowly moving in reverse, you feel very much in control.
Another great safety feature of the Fusion is the blind spot indicators built into both sideview mirrors. When a car enters into your blind spot the indicator icon will “light up” in the sideview mirror. A sound thru the dash is also an option, but hearing a ding every time somebody enters your blind spot will become annoying. This option really should be mandatory on all cars. The Fusion is a smooth ride thanks to the (eCVT) electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. The 191 horsepower has the feel and power the Fusion needs for a midsize sedan. Driving around in the Fusion Hybrid in the city for a week, I say to myself, “I want this car!” With gas prices on the rise, it’s nice to pass by gas stations I ordinarily visit during a regular work week. With full electric (EV) mode possible up to 47 miles per hour, the Fusion Hybrid actually gets better gas milage in the city.
The interior has a number of interesting touches that personalize the car. Among them are heated leather seats and ambient lighting that can be altered according to a palet of six colors. The Fusion Hybrid could easily be referred to as a geek’s dream. From the Microsoft SYNC System with Navigation, to the 8-inch LCD, to the Sony sound system (5.1 Surround Sound Dolby Pro Logic 390 Watts, two amplifiers, 12 Speakers), to the 10 gigabyte hard drive (you can have your personal jukebox storing the music to put through that sound system). My eyes glaze over just thinking about it. With the Microsoft SYNC System, coupled with the car’s navigation and voice activation, you have the ability to talk and tell the system what you want to do, from music and songs titles. You can tell it where you want to go, and it will compute the destination (you get a visual map and vocal turn by turn). The Sync system will also wirelessly synchronize with most phones, including the Apple iPhone, so you can make and answer phone calls hands free via the dash and steering wheel you can also play your iTunes and playlist wirelessly.
The Fusion’s built-in hard drive allows you to insert a CD with music, read it, and store the songs and pictures in your own personal jukebox. You can then voice what songs or artist you want to hear. The car also has an awesome 5.1 Surround Sound Dolby Pro Logic II Sony audio system (exclusive to the Fusion). With 390 Watts, two Amps and 12 speakers, this system will punch you in the chest with music! The Fusion Hybrid is a solid midsize car, a sedan with great business sense that doesn’t look like a hybrid. There are other small details that make this car so appealing - things like an abundance of storage compartments, and not having to mess with a gas cap - just a flap that shields the finish. With all the modern electronics on board, you are able to conduct business in your “mobile office” while getting great mileage. You will find yourself learning to drive in a more ‘green’ fashion (as your mpg goes up, your digital tree grows).
I did have a few issues with the Fusion. I’m not a fan of the grill… I think it could have used some more effort in the design aspect. I’m not a fan of the plastic chrome look on the knobs and the stereo. The trunk, as in all hybrids, suffers from having all the batteries on board. Overall, The Fusion is aesthetically pleasing and a solid, state of the art hybrid sedan. This is my favorite hybrid car by a country mile. It’s a great car for the commuter and for people on the go in the city. To me, this is one cool mobile office. For more information about Ford products, go to ford.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Price: $27,950 (base) $33,210 (as tested) EPA rated gas mileage (city/highway miles per gallon): 41/36 Engine type: 2.5-liter Atkinson-Cycle I-4 engine and Permanent-Magnet AC-synchronous electric motor (191 horsepower net) Transmission: Electronic Continuously Variable (eCVT) Drive configuration: Front-wheel drive Suspension: Front independent short-and long-arm (SLA) with double lower ball joints, stabilizer bar Rear independent multi-link, stabilizer bar Brakes: Power Front/Rear Disc, Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Dimension Length: 190.6 inches Width: 72.2 inches Height: 56.9 inches Curb weight: 3720 pounds