Clearly Ford Has a Winner: 2010 Fusion Hybrid Extended Test Drive

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There was a time not too long ago that you couldn’t have paid me to buy another new American automobile. Don’t take that statement that wrong way; it wasn’t for lack of trying. I love the lines of the true classics like the ’57 Chevy or the ’65 GTO. But somewhere in the last few decades, the American manufacturers seemed to just give up on making a good product—and I went through several modern American pieces of junk before I gave up trying too.

Yet in the last two years there is one major American manufacturer, who, above all others, seems to have come out the other end of a dark tunnel with a clear vision for its future and a line-up of solid, well-designed cars on which to build—Ford.

Of all the cars Ford has released recently, the one that has gotten the most “green” coverage is the Fusion Hybrid. It’s a good looking car and most people I know who’ve driven it have come back and told me that they were impressed—including even a couple die-hard “anti-greenies.” Yet, for some inexplicable reason I’d actually been resistant to test drive it even when presented with an opportunity. Maybe all that leftover resentment hanging around from my past experiences was having more of an effect than I thought?

Whatever the reasons, it turns out I was being an idiot to resist this car. Seriously.

So when one of my favorite bands announced they were holding a 3 day music festival in Indio, California—Phish Festival 8—my mind subconsciously put 2 and 2 together, subsequently let me in on its little secret, and thus was born the idea to conduct a test drive of the Fusion Hybrid from the airport at Long Beach to the festival and back with fellow blogger and Phish Head, Tim Hurst. It would be a several day trip over 300 miles and it seemed like the perfect way to get to know this car as if we really owned it.

I want to get this one point out there right off the bat: even though Ford provided us with the test car, everything you read in this review is in no way influenced by any relationship with Ford. During the test drive I tried to remain as objective as possible.

Read on over the next several pages to hear about real-world fuel economy, convenience, comfort, safety, build quality and my overall impression.

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Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.