Last post on Apr 19, 2012 at 3:15 AM
You are in the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrid
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Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, Sedan
#182 of 1144 Good Job Ford
Jan 15, 2009 (8:39 am)
Ford Fusion Kicks Tail among family-hauler hybrids
Ford has a weiner.
Ford has pulled off a game changer with this 2010 model, creating a high-mpg family hauler that’s fun to drive. That achievement has two components: First, the machinery is unexpectedly refined—call it Toyota slickness expressed with car-guy soul. Second, the electronic instrument cluster involves the driver, invites you into the hybrid game, and gives you the feedback needed to keep increasing your personal-best mpg number.
Or you can say the heck with it and opt for a minimum-distraction display that shows little beyond the speedo.
No matter which you ultimately choose, you’re welcomed to the game with green grass and blue sky, a dashboard notion so corny we would groan if it weren’t so vividly executed. Hybrid enthusiasts will select the expert screen. All eyes sweep to the power grouping that shows the level of battery charge beside two columns of discharge meters, one for power consumed to propel the vehicle, the other a sum of all accessory loads (lights, fans, air conditioning, stereo, etc.).
How far can you go without the engine? That’s the game. Easy on the accessory loads, of course, but whenever you’re moving, the propulsion meter gives you an EV bracket. Keep your propulsion power within the EV bracket by modulating the “gas” and you’ll drive on the battery, up to 47 mph under ideal circumstances. Call it a video game to go.
Under normal driving, the engine starts and stops far more often than in the other hybrids. It comes and goes stealthily. Your wife won’t notice, and you probably won’t, either, unless you’re really into the hybrid game.
Nothing about the leather-lined test car, optioned up from its $27,995 base price to $32,555, seemed economy minded except for the mileage readings. On that score, the Fusion topped the others, turning in a 34-mpg score card for the overall 300-mile test run. It also finished highest in two of the three specialized tests, with a 34.3-mpg mark on the rural loop and 36.9 mpg on the city loop. Official EPA fuel-economy numbers are 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, roughly 720 city miles between fill-ups. For a four-door with civilized room for five, that’s a standing-O achievement.
Though the Fusion gets out-hustled by the Altima and the Camry—at 3805 pounds, the Ford is the heaviest of the four—we think 8.5 seconds to 60 mph is just fine considering the fuel economy. All of these players were too tightly grouped in braking and roadholding to draw significant distinctions, but for the record, the Fusion did tie with the Altima at 0.80 g for top marks on the skidpad. The suspension feels nicely taut, well planted. The tires communicate more than the Camry’s and speak in tones more refined than the Altima’s.
As in the Altima and the Camry, the power delivery of the Fusion’s CVT is hard to hold steady in cruising conditions. The test logs include many comments about “surging.” Engaging the cruise control deals with it every time.
Ford really hit all the marks with this hybrid Fusion, combining excellent fuel economy with slick manners and an engrossing personality. Fun and fuel economy have finally gotten married in a mid-size sedan.
#183 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [gregg_vw]
Jan 15, 2009 (8:48 am)
Likewise fewer and smaller battery packs storing less energy, which hurts fuel efficiency. It's a tradeoff. Their more "normal" drive got them 44 MPG. That 60+MPG figure was what they call an 'efficiency drive" which was a Honda-designed 16 mile loop (which means it was designed for the Insight to get REALLY good MPGs, probably with the hills set up so that it re-gens exactly enough battery power to get up the next one or something) and A/C was unnecessary.
Basically we have to see what the EPA says. That's the ultimate level playing field, where the vehicles are tested under the exact same neutral conditions. Though i have to admit that Insight is one sharp-looking vehicle; MUCH better looking than the Prius. And I do like hatches.
I may put this up against the I4 Fusion...though the Fusion has Sync.
#184 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [bpizzuti]
Jan 15, 2009 (9:02 am)
The Fusion and Insight do not really compete. The Fusion is a mid-size (more than a foot longer and 1,000 lbs heavier) and so is roomier, faster and quieter. Trade-offs are much higher price and lower mileage. Yes, when pushed, the Insight "only" got 44 mpg. When driven normally, the Fusion got 34 (see post above yours). When driven for economy, the Fusion has seen high 40s. The Insight when driven that way, will go to mid-60s. Both are great figures for the respective size of the cars. But obviously and for good reason, the smaller, lighter Insight gets better mileage.
#185 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [gregg_vw]
Jan 15, 2009 (11:19 am)
It's going to be next to impossible for anyone to get 60-ish mpg in an Insight for any long period of time or of driving. The technology is the same as the HCH except that the e-motor is less powerful ( less capable ). Yes the vehicle is more aero and may be somewhat lighter but neither is going to jump the fuel economy from the low 40's to the 60 mpg range.
After some months and millions of miles of driving I'd expect the Insight II to be just at or just below the HCH real world numbers of 43-45 mpg day-in and day-out.
Now even if the Insight II does 'only' get 42-43 mpg overall it will exceed the FFH values overall by 10% or so. However the key point is that it will cost $8000 - $10000 less!!! The two vehicles are not targetted toward the same demographic segments.
The Insight IMO will be a HUGE hit and put a real hurtin' on GM and Ford and Toyota and Mazda and Nissan because it will hit them squarely in the middle of their compact car segment where the Corolla, Focus/Fiesta, Sentra, Accent, Mazda3 and Cobalt live. Honda's gain in the Insight II will come at the expense of these non-hybrids, not the Prius or FFH or TCH.
#186 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [kdhspyder]
Jan 15, 2009 (11:32 am)
It's going to be next to impossible for anyone to get 60-ish mpg in an Insight for any long period of time or of driving. Well of course that is true, but you keep missing the point! It will also be next to impossible for the Fusion to get high 40s for any long period of driving. Mid-30s will be more like it...and that is darn good mileage for any mid-size.
And no, the Insight will not put much hurt on the ICE compact sales, because while it is the cheapest hybrid, it still costs more than a Corolla or Sentra or Accent. You can buy a lot of gas with the difference in prices. In addition, there are at best only 100,000 available for US buyers. It's another choice and choice is good.
#187 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [kdhspyder]
Jan 15, 2009 (2:41 pm)
kdhspyder said "However the key point is that it will cost $8000 - $10000 less!!! " ... No, the Fusion Hybrid will be $27,000, and Honda says it is "trying" to bring the new Insight in at $20,000, so thats $7,000 diff.
The Insight is a good compromise from a real car, I admit, for those that don't mind the skinny tires and SLOW acceleration (0-60 mph in about 11 seconds, a snail's pace). The Fusion Hybrid is a real car, not wimpy.
kdhyspyder also said "The Insight IMO will be a HUGE hit and put a real hurtin' on GM and Ford and Toyota and Mazda and Nissan because it will hit them squarely in the middle of their compact car segment where the Corolla, Focus/Fiesta, Sentra, Accent, Mazda3 and Cobalt live. Honda's gain in the Insight II will come at the expense of these non-hybrids, not the Prius or FFH or TCH. "
Actually, you can get a new Sentra right now for $10,000, half the price of an Insight. Comparably equipped, the Sentra with automatic and air, will come in at about $13,000, much cheaper than a maybe-$20,000 Insight.
Still, as Ford's Fusion Hybrid deserves the most credit here for how they are stomping the Camry Hybrid, Honda and Toyota are providing the Insight and Prius that are cheaper to buy than a Fusion Hybrid, so kudos to them. The winner will be the consumer.
All that being said, I'd still rather just buy a 4-cylinder Fusion with automatic and get my 33 MPG EPA hiway mileage, and save the $7,000 into a CD, the diff from a comparably equipped Fusion 4-cylinder and its Hybrid cousin. For some, they will want a hybrid, and if you do over 15,000 miles per year, you can make the difference up. However, with a hybrid, you will sacrifice braking, steering, and some safety performance with all those expensive, heavy batteries under your butt. With the addtion of direct injection and start/stop tech in a standard Fusion, you can boost the MPG another 10% anyway for an additional $900 of equipment, so hybrids just aren't the future for me.
#188 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [coldcranker]
Jan 15, 2009 (4:37 pm)
My understanding on the Insight II prices are that Honda will start them at $18500 and range them up to ~$23000. At $18500 that's right in the middle of the Corolla, Civic, Mazda3, Focus, Cobalt,Sentra pricing.
$13000 Sentra's are loss leaders at best. That's not truly indicative of the market price for this model. If so that would put the Versa well under $10000... Sorry can't buy it.
#189 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [kdhspyder]
Jan 15, 2009 (5:37 pm)
Yeah, I think I said Sentra was currently $10,000, but I think I mean Versa. I was confused. There was a big push by Nissan recently to have the lowest priced car in America, and the Versa came in at $10,000, a good buy.
#190 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [kdhspyder]
Jan 16, 2009 (9:15 am)
It is NOT in the middle of Focus, Cobalt, sentra pricing. It is very much at the high end of compact/subcompact sedan market. Sure, you can pay over $20K for a Focus, but almost no one does. And remember, the Insight is not as large or as roomy as a Sentra or Focus. It is subcompact in size (based on the Fit), has subcompact hp, wheels, tires, etc. It is more expensive precisely because of the hybrid equipment.
#191 of 1144 Re: Honda Insight (and Prius) wimps compared to Fusion. [gregg_vw]
Jan 16, 2009 (6:18 pm)
gregg_vw, I agree. I think you can get an '09 Cobalt with automatic, air, traction control, and ABS brakes as the only options, for about $17,000 (edmunds.com price). Thats actually kind of close to an Insight's projected estimated price in the future. There is not a great deal of difference in the prices, but there is about $3,000 worth!
Bottom line, if a consumer can live with snail-slow acceleration in the Insight/Prius, either one, then those might be a good choice. The Fusion Hybrid (191 HP, 3700 lbs) accelerates 0-60 mph in about the same time as my '05 Freestyle (203 HP, 3900 lbs), which is 8.5 seconds, instead of the slow 10 or 11 seconds it takes an Insight/Prius to meander to 60 mph. Also, the Fusion Hybrid will handle best.