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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Voted Most Popular, Toyota Weeps Quietly

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Environment, Ford, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | March 26th, 2009 | 10 Responses |


From contests to sponsorships to ad spots, Ford has sunk a shit ton rather large amount of advertising dollars into hyping the Fusion Hybrid and the result has been, well, successful. Admittedly, they are playing with the home team advantage but as both Chrysler and GM can firmly attest to, American consumers are not so blind with nationalism that they’ll shell out upwards of $20k for a sub-par product. So contrary to the theory commonly discussed in many Toyota forums, the Ford Fusion Hybrid did not earn its seemingly overnight popularity solely because of some simpleton patriotic uprising, but rather because, to be quite frank, it doesn’t suck…and because whoever Ford’s got running the PR department is batting a perfect 1.000.

Even before its grand unveiling at the 2008 LA Auto Show, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid had already landed its first gig as the official pace car for the Ford 400, the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale and the final race of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making it the first hybrid electric vehicle ever to lead the field to the green flag at a NASCAR race. In January, Ford gifted a brand new Fusion Hybrid to the Drumm family on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and shortly thereafter launched the “We Race You Win” contest offering Nascar fans the chance to win a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. A few weeks later, the Fusion Hybrid managed to snag another win after the federal government announced that, as per the terms of the new hybrid car purchase incentive program, both the Fusion Hybrid and the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid qualified for a $3,400 tax credit, the highest currently available. Ford’s crowning media-whore moment, however, didn’t come until early February when Ford CEO Alan Mullaly personally called to thank a customer who had cancelled his plans to purchase a new Prius and plunked down a deposit on a 2010 Fusion Hybrid instead.

Incredibly, despite the fact that we generally view hybrid’s as the dregs of automotive society and usually harbor a distinct dislike for heavy media coverage, we have still yet to generate any sort of loathing or disgust for the Fusion Hybrid, and could possibly even be persuaded to buy one with negligible physical torture.

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10 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    I just made a down payment on the 2010 Fusion Hybrid earlier this week. Originally my intent had been, as you mentioned, the $3,400 tax credit, the highest available. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to leave behind my 2007 Mazda3 S-GrandTouring for the new Fusion Hybrid; however, the tax credit was a major factor as my taxes will be eating me alive for the next two years.

    The more I began to read reviews and flip through the model year book, I’ve become quite fond of the car. I guess I’ll truly know once it’s available for me to pick up. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty excited about this car. I’ll always be happy to see a thumbs up for an American Automotive company.

  2. roger says:

    How can you purchase a car you haven’t taken for a test drive? Will the dealer allow you to withdraw from the contract if you find the car is actually a dog?

  3. Suzanne Denbow says:

    @Roger: It depends entirely on the dealer. Some will refund your down payment and allow you to walk away, others will require you to take delivery of the vehicle. Either way, you should be absolutely clear on the terms of the agreement before you fork over any cash.

  4. mike says:

    Everything I’ve read and all the reviews indicates this car will be the hybrid to have. More power and mileage than almost any hybrid out there plus its full size and looks good.

    This NA automotive catastrophe seems to have shaken up Ford, they’re coming out with some good cars and innovation. I hope the economy doesn’t kill them – I think the got a better chance at survival than GM or Chrysler.

    Just give us the diesel Fiesta, Dammit. NA buyers would appreciate diesel if they knew it could get them 65 mpg and can be recycled from other oils. I think lack of education is the issue. NA needs that car.

  5. Wordsworth says:

    We’ve also put down a deposit on a Fusion hybrid. The terms provide that we can refuse the car for whatever reason, for a full refund. In fact, since most dealers are expecting strong demand for the car, they’re fine whether we take delivery or not– somebody will.

  6. Imee says:

    I don’t think I ever gave the Ford Fusion enough credit before. It seems like a great car to me now though, even before the voting thing happened. I was originally thinking of buying a Prius (my family has this thing for Toyotas) but I might convince them to reconsider the Fusion.

  7. Butch Deadlift says:

    @Imee: I would try and convince them if I were you. Everything I’ve seen of the 2010 Fusion, Hybrid or not, has me fairly impressed with it. For all intents and purposes, it really is a much better car than the Prius; it’s a car that was designed to be a best-in-class regular gas midsize sedan, and also manages to be an arguably best-in-class midsize hybrid. And all that at a very competitive price? It’s getting pretty hard to advocate anyone buying a Toyota, if you wanta hybrid.

    Personally, I’d still buy a TDI Volkswagen for my fuel-efficient car of choice, but that’s just me.

  8. Encinoman says:

    I bought the first one in California over the weekend and so far I love it. I live in the San Fernando Valley in LA and the most awesome thing is driving on Ventura Boulevard for miles under electric power only (at 40mph and below.) I highly recommend the 502a package–for another $4000 you gave the nav computer and display, leather seats, sun/moonroof, backup camera, etc. (Package is $5200 but rapid order discount takes $1200 off).
    It’s also fun to drive; I’ve had it up to 80 on freeway but prefer 65 or so out of hybrid nerdiness.
    Oh, yes, gas mileage–I’m averaging 35 miles to the gallon with my whole family in the car and doing nothing special to save gas.

  9. Roy Soltoff says:

    My wife and I also put down a deposit March 20th on the Fusion hybrid (ice blue w/ black interior) with the 502A package and remote starter (wife wanted that). The dealer did offer to refund our deposit if we chose to walk away from the car. We got to drive one around the dealer’s parking lot one weekend when a sold one was in and the new owner let the dealer show it to people over the weekend. Reviews on this car are absolutely great. And we were not disappointed on the mini drive. The $3400 tax credit is available for those placing an order (that’s your purchase) prior to 4/1/ 2009 and $1700 ordered 4/1 through 9/30. Then it drops to $850 until 3/31/2010 at which point it is $0. Also the bailout bill passed in February gives us a tax deduction on the sales tax which in my state of Virginia, will save us about another $350. We were given a target delivery of 6-8 weeks, so here’s hoping it comes in early next month. Incidentally, the Feds will be buying a quantity of Fusion hybrids this Fall based on an article relating to the Fed’s upcoming purchase of 17000 fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles from the GM, Chrysler, and Ford.

  10. jamgolf says:

    I’ve owned it fo about 3+ weeks now and have put 1000+ miles on it. I love it. I have owned Lexus and Mercedes in the past. I laso owned a Prius last year. Fusion Hybrid is an incredible car. For me, its just a perfect family sedan – its comfortable, spacious, good looking, safe, full of nice to have features (I have the 502A pkg), and it is fuel efficient. I am a bit of a nut-case when it comes to cars and keeps changing them every few months but I intend to keep/drive this car for a long time.