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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Register your Fusion Hybrid at the official Ford authorized registry here.

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A rather frustrating buying experience so far...

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7 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   toofas


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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:15 PM

Hello everyone.


I had hoped to introduce myself under the elation of having just received a (first time new car) custom, new FFH.  While I have already placed an order (I’m currently awaiting a VIN), I’ve found the buying process rather nauseating, at best, and not nearly as exciting as I had hoped.


As with most people, money is an object, and the process of determining what sacrifices I can live with when selecting ‘the’ car I want has been grueling.  That’s fine though, as this is part of the process.  What I am truly having trouble getting over, even to the point of contemplating sacrificing my $500 deposit in favor of a used ‘A-to-B’ solution, is the distaste I have for the ONE option for wheels that come with the car I specified.  Yes, wheels (Well, the general ignorance of their own products on the part of the sales staff is another topic).


I’ve ordered an SE Hybrid, as best I can define it, given my financial limitations… and I’m OK with it, except that the 502A package forces me to accept the awful 17” Sparkle rims.  To me, they are horrible.  What I can’t get my head around is the lack of alternative options for a part that is simply bolted on, and not integrated.


I truly fancy the 19” H-Spokes from the gasoline Titanium (I’ve selected Magnetic and think the dark H’s with it are fantastic), but I *think* I would be satisfied with the 17” version that is part of the SE 501A "Appearance" Package (they look like smaller, lighter colored H’s) for the Hybrid, but they’re unavailable as I’ve selected the 502A package.  The HyTi isn't an option, either, due to the uncomfortable 'sport' style seats (whereas the luxury seats from an SE with 502A are rather comfortable).


This seems ridiculous to me, as selecting the appearance package would force me to lose a bunch of other stuff… just for a different rim.  I figure it has to do with manufacturing, logistics, etc., but come on.  These are wheels.  They’re not integrated into the car!


What is most disconcerting is that the dealers have NO flexibility from big Ford in this regard, or so they say.  If we work something out, then either they eat the cost (which they won’t), or I pay through the nose for it.  Again, for wheels that, otherwise, come on other flavors of this same car (I understand the scientific/performance implications of the 19” H’s on the hybrid vs. the 17’s).


So, all other issues aside, my problem seems to have come down to having to choose between comfortable seats (SE w/502A) or somewhat stylish wheels (SE w/501A or HyTi).  Does anyone else experience this frustration?


(I’m beginning to thinks it’s just me, in part, because the dealers act to me as if I’m the only person who ever asks for alternate options on a new car order.)

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#2 OFFLINE   Waldo


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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:55 PM

Wheels are very easily changed after the fact.  Find a place like this: https://detroitwheelandtire.com/and they'll likely be able to swap you the wheels you want for a few hundred bucks.

There are a lot of reasons you can't pick and choose the wheels that come with the different packages.


#1 is simply profit, wheels are the single highest margin item on a car and the marketing teams will set up the lineup in order to maximize the amount of money people will spend on optional wheels.  Even though you may think the appearance package is a "lower cost" package than what you want, it's designed to entice people that would have otherwise bought a base model to spend extra for something that stands out.  Marketing has obviously decided that they'll make more money setting it up that way (forcing people to buy the whole appearance package) than if they just had those wheels as an individual option.


#2 is the complicated EPA fuel economy rules.  Basically the most common options are the ones that have to be used for fuel economy testing.  For example the Lincoln MKS first came out with one 18in wheel and two 19in wheel options.  The two 19in wheels were actually the same wheel, one was just painted a different color than the other.  But since there were two, about 30% of the cars would come with one of the 19s, another 30% would come with the other 19 and 40% would come with the 18.  So that meant that even though 60% of the cars came on 19s, the 18 was actually the single most popular option, and thus it was the one used for fuel economy testing.  Not coincidentally, the 18in tire has much lower rolling resistance than the 19in.  In the case of the FFH, I think the base wheel has a bit of an aerodynamic advantage over the other wheel.  Bottom line is that Ford has to manipulate which wheel options people buy in order to ensure the lowest rolling resistance option is always the most common.


#3 is simply complexity.  A very small percentage of cars are actually factory ordered, so Ford has to keep the options fairly limited so that the dealers can keep everything in stock without maintaining huge invetories


#4 safety.  Not all wheels/tires are compatible with all versions of a model lineup.  For example the FFH is heavier than any other Fusion and it could be that the 19in tires do not have as much load capacity as the 17in tires, and therefore would not have enough margin of safety for the heavier weight of the FFH.  Handling performance is also important and different models may not meet the handling requirements with certain tire combinations.


Bottom line is there are a lot of different reasons you can't select just any wheel on your order and lots of different reasons the dealer's can't accommodate you.  But once the car is in your hands, you can do anything you want since wheels are very easy to change.

  • hybridbear, GrySql, corncobs and 1 other like this

#3 OFFLINE   hybridbear


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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:29 PM

When we first looked at the FFH & Camry Hybrid in summer 2012 we were amazed by how much you could customize the FFH. Toyota doesn't allow any factory orders and has much more limited option combinations. While you may not like the wheels that come on the FFH SE with 502A package, you can always swap them out after the fact.

  • GrySql likes this

Current Vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium - White Platinum Metallic

2013 Ford Focus Electric - Ice Storm



Previous Vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE x2


#4 OFFLINE   Cobra348


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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:45 PM

I scoped out/used Ford.com before even going to a dealer.  It allowed me to explore all the options in the FFH SE and Ti lines.  I knew going in what I wanted and needed to see if it would work.  HyTi trim allowed me to get everything I wanted.  A little bit more cash and some stuff I wasn't thrilled at getting but it turns out some of my preconceptions were wrong and I'm glad I did what I did.


Now, wheels ... I ordered a set of 17" Verde Regency rims from TireRack to use with the factory tread in non-Winter months.  The factory rims will be shod with snows when it comes time to get them.  I also added some Steeda parts and got me a donut spare.  Added costs but for everything I wanted.


You have to ask yourself what you REALLY are wanting to use the car for and how you want it set up.  As pointed out, rims are easily swapped out and for an area where snow falls, the 2-set swap like I do may be the way to go.


Here's my FFH with the current non-Winter rims and OEM Michelin tread.  As I recall, with TPMS sensors mounted and the drop-shipped to local Goodyear store it was $725 or so incl. s&h.


EDIT - original link to rims was not working - got one that does (to Photobucket)


Edited by Cobra348, 12 July 2015 - 02:36 PM.

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Larry - aka Cobra


Big Red: 2017 FFH SE, Ruby Red, Med Light Stone leather

602A SE Luxury Package, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control w/stop & go

Driver Assist Pkg (lane keeping, BLIS, auto high beams, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel)

My additions:  WeatherTech lasercut floor mats, in-channel wind deflectors (dark smoked),

Steeda strut tower brace, Steeda rear sway bar, Steeda hood struts, Ford donut spare,

blacked out grille

Summer rims/tires - 17" Verde Regency rims with OEM tread

Winter rims/tires - 17" OEM rims with Goodyear UltraGrip WRT Ice

#5 OFFLINE   Griswald


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Posted 09 July 2015 - 06:49 AM

Yea, I hate 'em too, but I learned to live with them. Next time lots of extra cash falls into my hands, I am going to swap them for a set of carbon fiber wheels.

#6 OFFLINE   Hybrider


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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:30 PM

For under $1000 (including TPMSes), you could have the 5-spoke 18" wheels that were only available on the 2013-2104 models of the FFH SE.


The 5-spoke wheels are in IMHO is one of the most awesome wheel designs ever done.




Just sayin. :arrive_alive:

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2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Ingot Silver (Appearance Package)

Ordered: 01/07/2014 | VIN assigned: 01/14/2014 | Window Sticker: 02/05/2014 | Build Date: 02/12/2014 | Arrived at Dealer: 02/25/2014 | Delivered: 02/27/2014

#7 OFFLINE   jeffo65


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Posted 09 July 2015 - 11:25 PM

My wife had the same issues when she decided on what options the car would have. She was able to get what she wanted by going with the 2013 FFH SE with the 18" 5 spoke rims and get the spoiler. She had no issues with the seats and even felt that the SE seats were more comfortable than the Titatium seats.
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#8 OFFLINE   Hybrider


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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:44 AM

Yes, I agree that the FFH SE Appearance Package cloth seats are very comfortable. And that is even with me having previously been driving a 2004 Buick Century, which was designed with a squishy boat-like suspension and cushy-soft, velvety seats.

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Ingot Silver (Appearance Package)

Ordered: 01/07/2014 | VIN assigned: 01/14/2014 | Window Sticker: 02/05/2014 | Build Date: 02/12/2014 | Arrived at Dealer: 02/25/2014 | Delivered: 02/27/2014

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