What do you know about hybrid cars? Ford Fusion in particular?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by jbcarioca, Mar 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am stuck with dense urban traffic and fuel at US$7.25 per gallon. The only hybrid sold here in Rio is the Ford Fusion. I have driven a fair number of Prii as rental cars but know zero about the Fusion.

    I cannot do something crass like go to an auto site, so I must depend on the Truth as only milepointers understand it.

    What advice have you for me?
     
  2. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    Unknown about the hybrid version, but I had a Fusion as a rental car this past week and can tell you about the interior. This rental was pretty substantial - leather and sunroof. Power seats were very adjustable and handled my 6-4 frame well. Steering wheel was both tilt and telescope. All-black dash materials that were softer and more rubbery in feel and texture than most. Fit and finish quite good. Ford has gone to a kind of silly chime when starting the car - a three note trill that sounds a bit kindergarten-ish. Plenty of steering wheel controls for radio, cruise, etc. Let me know if I can answer any other questions about the car for you.
     
  3. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    The Fusion has continuously been a top pick by several of the large car magazines in the States. Personally I think it also looks way better than the Prius too. A few things to consider though. There are many cars that are just economy cars with smaller engines that still get very good gas mileage and will get you where you need to go just as fast that are not hybrids (the Chevy Cruze Eco is not even that small of a car for example). While you may marginally save on your fuel costs each week when you have a hybrid you pay a lot of that privilege upfront. Furthermore there is some more research that the greenness of a hybrid is slightly overrated because of the environmental effects of producing and recycling the battery. Another option to look at if it is a plug-in hybrid like the Volt of the Prius which will be out next year (not sure if either of those will be available in Rio). If you have a shorter compute this would allow you to get to work fully on electric power though you will still have the availability of gas for longer trips or when it is more economically advantageous to the engine. I have test driven the Prius PHEV and it is quite a bizarre golf cart feeling though I like the idea.
     
  4. willyroo
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    willyroo Active Member

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    Diesel?

    (Yes the Jetta is smaller than a Fusion, but a great car with great mileage...)
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Ahem, I have been a happy Prius owner since 2004 (currently have the 2010 model) and I don't think it feels like a golf cart at all.

    As for the OP's question -- I don't have any experience with the Ford Fusion, but I really think a more car-focussed website would be the better place for this question (just like I wouldn't recommend asking for advice on FF programs on an iPhone website).

    Here's another suggestion: if you have a chance to visit the US, you could look into renting a Fusion from a Ford dealer:

    https://www.fleet.ford.com/rentacar/Rental_Dealer_Locator_response.asp
     
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  6. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    I've been looking at the Fusion Hybrid and the Prius. (I need to replace my 4x4 SUV due to age and MX cost. We have the SUV and a Honda Civic. New 4x4 truck would get 18-22 MPG. Prius would get 45+. Civic gets 30 city, 35-40 highway. Fusion is low 30s. Thinking about getting Prius, selling Civic, selling SUV, buying small 4x4 pickup).

    The price of a Prius IV is less than the X-Plan price of a Ford Fusion Hybrid. It's also much less than a hybrid Escape.

    Fusion has a great reputation, and Ford's the best US automaker. The price differential is a killer for me.
     
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  7. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    My comment was specifically geared to the 2012 PHV Prius in full EV mode driving around town. It was a very different experience to any other car I have driven including earlier Priuses and other hybrids.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. As you may know, the 2010 model has an "EV mode", too. But personally I find it to be not very useful (more like a gimmick or built-in "game") as you have to drive very carefully to keep it in EV mode.
     
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  9. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Yes, in the plug-in version you get, I think, 12-15 miles of pure EV as long as your are under freeway speeds.
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Thanks for all your help. I have checked with auto sites as well as my industry contacts, but knowing how people who live more or less than I do react helps. The Volt will not come here, nor is the Jetta here (we have tons of VW's though), the next generation Prius is coming next year. I will try the Fusion next week. [​IMG]
     
  11. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    My uncle has a Fusion Hybrid and I have the non-hybrid version. They are both excellent cars. I took the hybrid out for an extended test drive and I enjoyed it very much. It's definitely lacking in power versus the non-hybrid version but that is too be expected. I totally mashed the gas pedal at one point and the pick up was minimal. Despite that, it's still a nice car and if you're not an aggressive driver on the open highway (like me), I think you won't even notice the lack of power. Depending on how often you'll be in traffic, this may not affect you anyway.

    The transition from electric to gas is pretty smooth. You can tell it's happening but it's a very small rumble. My uncle, who does a lot of city driving, is averaging about 36 MPG. I'm averaging about 32 to 33 with mostly highway. If price didn't matter, I likely would have went with the hybrid version.
     
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  12. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    That is very useful. My choice leans to hybrid despite much higher cost because gasoline costs me more than $7.25 per US gallon and I am always in city traffic so acceleration does not matter but economy does. Thanks.
     
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  13. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    At that price, you'll recover the cost difference faster. My uncle still drives pretty aggressive, even in the city. I imagine if you're in traffic and you can stay in electric more often, you can probably get better than 36MPG.
     
  14. 2lovelife
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    2lovelife Silver Member

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    Count on some serious depreciation on the hybrid because of the astronomical prices of replacement batteries after 7 - 10 ears. If you ever plan to sell the car, the resale loss will hurt. If you expect to drive it until you drop, not so much of an issue. Plus the higher costs of pyrchase must be prorated on the shorter vehicle life (or the cost of new batteries).

    Diesel is a much better choice for both economy & residual value.
     
  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Diesel cars are prohibited here (don;t ask) nor is there a subsidy for hybrid/electric. I had a diesel in France and found it to be everything one could ask for. I am a huge fan of modern common-rail diesels. here, with cheap biodiesel and a climate ideal for it they would be even better. maybe the new government will change policy. Lots of people hope for that.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    According to my tracking spreadsheet over the last seven years I've been getting between 41 and 49 MPG with my 2004 and now 2010 Priuses with an average of 45 MPG. Mostly short distances, mix of freeway and city. Freeways in Bay Area during commute hours have lots of traffic.
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    i neglected to mention that a friend here imported a 2009 Prius through the gray market and has averaged 43 mpg in Rio traffic, according to the car computer. It is a US version. he spends about three hours per day in heavy stop and go traffic in Rio. That comes close to a miracle in my book, more so since the a/c is on all the time, it is very hot, and the fuel is 25% ethanol.
     
  18. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    The Fusion I think was car of the year a few years ago, and ranks highly as not too much more than the combustion only version. I don't know THIS car directly, but my neighbor has the Lincoln MKX hybrid (also, car of the year in it's category) which is built on the fusion platform and he LOVES it, gets routinely over 40MPH and thinks the quality is very good. That car here in the USA sells for only 36K$ for the Lincoln model, I think that many people have commented that if one wants a Ford Fusion with SOME options, then it is actually cheaper to just get the lincoln MKX
     
  19. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    I don't understand this. The Prius has been in the US for over a decade and there's no evidence of "serious depreciation." Fusion hybrid batteries are warranted for 8 years/100,000 miles. There are few, if any, reports of Fusion (or any other hybrid) batteries failing early. Even if you keep the car more than 100K miles, by then there will be plenty of salvaged batteries from wrecked Fusions for a reasonable cost, or a brand new pack for about $3,000 - roughly the cost of a new transmission. Did I mention this was after 100,000 miles?
     
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  20. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    I've also heard of Prius taxi cabs going well over 200K miles without having the battery fail. I personally wouldn't be too concerned about the batteries in hybrids.
     
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  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I sold our 2004 Prius earlier this year with 101,000 miles. I had been tracking the MPG over the lifetime (well, my ownership) of the car, and it did not go downhill.
     
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  22. 2lovelife
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    2lovelife Silver Member

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    I never said the batteries would fail. I have confidence in the hybrid model. You pay more for a car and make your money back if you drive it far enough.

    I did say, that IF the OP was going to drive it until they dropped, it was a good buy. But if there was the chance that they'd sell at anytime, especially early in the car's life, they will lose on the depreciation. That is my experience after buying a Hybrid new and selling it within the first few years.

    I note your examples are 100,000 and another poster 200,000 miles. Everyone knows they make great taxis and are good for the long haul.

    Are you saying a new battery pack for the Fusion is only $3000????? Are prices for Civic and Prius similar. If I can confirm this fact, then that makes my earlier worries much less serious.

    I'd like to know how your MPG was? Was it 2/3rd of the MPG claimed. I had a Civic Hybrid and it the mileage was great, but at no time was it even close to the mileage claimed.
     
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  23. 2lovelife
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    2lovelife Silver Member

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    But I stand by my claim that A DIESEL may be the better purchase!
     
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  24. DenverBrian
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    DenverBrian Silver Member

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    That's what's being quoted on several car forums. And again, even if it's $50,000, it doesn't appear that anyone is having to replace their battery packs - even after 200,000 miles in the case of taxi fleets. So it's a difference which makes no difference.
     
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  25. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    But it is a moot point for the OP...

     
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