We just picked up our new Ford Fusion Hybrid tonight, and I got a chance to drive it for about an hour and a half. So far I’m very happy with it. We’ve now traded in both our 2004 and 2005 Priuses for an Altima Hybrid and the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Both of us had decided we wanted a little more ‘car’, a little more performance, and were willing to give up some mpg performance to get it.
Both of these hybrids are larger, more comfortable, and provide better handling and driving performance. Neither can achieve the MPG of the Prius, but the benefits outweight that loss, at least for us. I’m loving both cars, and can go into a more detailed Prius/Altima/Fusion comparison at some point if anyone is interested, but here’s some quick impressions on the Fusion:
- Handling while turning is quite nice. As good if not a touch better than the Altima.
- Acceleration is significantly better than the Prius, but not quite up to the energy of the Altima.
- Dashboard is very, very cool. I love all the various display options, and it’s great at conveying lots of info in a relatively small space. Plus it’s very colorful and fun. Colorful and fun is good.
- Nav screen is large, and very crisp and clear. Text is quite easy to read, and it has all the options you could want. I like that the nav system speaks most street names while guiding you, rather than just the major highway names like other nav systems do.
- The Sony sound system is very good. Not quite as good as the Altima’s Bose system, but still quite nice sounding.
- For some reason they decided to still make the driver insert and turn a key rather than push a button. It’s inconvenient when you’ve gotten used to being able to keep the key in your pocket.
- Exterior styling is very pleasant, especially the front view. Side and rear views are a bit staid, but fine nevertheless.
- Interior styling doesn’t wow me. The leather is ok, and the emphasized stitching lines are a tad tacky, imho, but overall looks fine.
- The ‘blind spot’ warning lights on the two side mirrors are great, as well as the very clear image from the back-up camera.
- Putting the headlights to ‘Auto on’ waits for fairly low light levels before coming on, but it’s a nice convenience so I’ll continue to use it.
- The various phone and MP3 sync options are excellent. Both my iPhone and Zune player were no hassle to get working with it. The iPhone works great via Bluetooth and my Zune hooks in via the built-in USB port and it was a snap to start browsing through all the music on it via the center nav screen and/or voice commands.
- I’m glad the voice control can be trained for two peoples’ profiles, and after training my voice it interpreted every voice command correctly. (At least whenever I gave a valid command.)
- I love being able to speak the name of someone in my contact list and have it recognize it and call them.
- The lighted cup holder with choice of lighting colors is very gratuituous, but fun. As above, fun is good. I chose the deep blue color.
- Averaged ~36 mpg on my trip home from the dealership, and 38.6 on my trip from home up to Reading and back again.
So, that’s it for initial impressions. I’m very happy with the Fusion so far. Russ gets to drive it tomorrow, but then I’ll be taking it into work on Wednesday, and I already can’t wait!