Finally, a hybrid sedan with a fairly engaging drive. While the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of the most gas-efficient sedans available, it also trades a little bit of extra efficiency to offer a driving experience with better handling than we expect from a hybrid. Then toss in its roomy interior, comfortable ride and plenty of user-friendly electronic gadgetry, and you've got a solid choice for a hybrid with a bit more pizzaz than its rivals.
The 2010 Fusion Hybrid is the first American hybrid (combination gasoline-electric powertrain) that isn't an SUV. It's basically a well-equipped Fusion SEL with hybrid hardware. It's also benefited from the same upgrades given to the 2010 Fusion, including an edgier look, an interior makeover with new feature controls and higher grade interior materials.
True, both the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get better gas mileage, are hatchbacks with more cargo room and are less expensive, but they are also significantly slower with less capable handling. Yes, they are kind of boring behind the wheel. The Fusion Hybrid offers a "more fun" alternative, while still being no slouch when it comes to saving at the pump.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
Standard features on the midsize 2010 Fusion Hybrid sedan include full power accessories, cruise control, an 8-way power driver seat, 6-way power passenger seats, a keyless-entry security code pad, dual-zone automatic climate control, a specialized gauge cluster, rear parking sensors, a tilt/telescoping steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 17 inch alloy wheels, foglamps, automatic headlamps, the Ford Sync electronics interface (with voice commands, Bluetooth and iPod control) and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio and a 6-CD/MP3 changer.
There's an optional Moon & Tune Value Package that includes a sunroof and a Sony 12-speaker stereo system. The Driver's Vision Package adds a blind-spot warning system with cross-traffic alert and a rearview camera.
Opting for the optional leather upholstery also adds heated front seats. In addition, a navigation system is also available with voice-activation, a single-CD/DVD/MP3 player (instead of the 6-disc), 10 GB of digital music storage and Sirius Travel Link (includes real-time traffic, weather and other features).
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Two components power the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The first is a 2.5 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that generates 156 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with an electric motor that boosts total output to 191 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sends power to the front wheels. The end result is a quite quick hybrid that goes from a standstill to 60 mph in just 8.7 seconds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the Fusion Hybrid is an excellent 41 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway. To add some perspective to this, the city number is 7 mpg less than the Prius and an 8 mpg improvement over the Camry Hybrid.
Standard safety features on the 2010 Fusion Hybrid include antilock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and rear parking sensors. In addition, a blind-spot warning system and rearview camera are available options.
While government crash tests for the 2010 Fusion Hybrid had not been completed at the time of this writing, the 2009 Fusion has earned solid ratings: a perfect five-out-of-five stars for both front collision protection and front side protection, as well as four stars for rear side protection.
The Fusion Hybrid's cabin is well-designed, attractive and made of high quality materials. With its special gauge cluster (pictured), called the SmartGauge, there's a myriad of useful graphics and information available to the driver. One example (out of the four selectable choices) displays animated shrubbery becoming fuller the more economical the driving. The available Sync system with voice recognition is also a big plus, allowing for hands-free operation of cell phones and portable MP3 players.
The seating is comfortable, supportive and roomy for both front and rear occupants. Due to space taken by the car's battery pack, the trunk's cargo capacity comes in at 11.8 cubic feet ... bigger than sedan hybrids like the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, but considerably smaller than the hatchback hybrids like the Prius and Insight.
Except for the Altima Hybrid, which is only available in nine states and gets poorer fuel economy, the 2010 Ford Fusion is the most engaging hybrid to drive. Of course, it's not intended as a "sport sedan", but for a hybrid it possesses impressive acceleration, steering feedback and body control when cornering. And overall, the ride is quiet and comfortable.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Bank Repo And Government Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.