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Disappointing first fill up


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#101 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 11:20 AM

This past week I celebrated my one year anniversary with Ginger.  I have to say this car has been everything I wanted and more. 

 

Before I get into a more thorough 'review' lemme update my mileage since the job/commute change.  As I feared, the mpg has plummeted with the combination of short drive and cold weather.  As I post this it is currently 1 degree outside.  Fahrenheit.  While this has been a fairly mild winter there have been plenty of cold mornings and I still use the remote start to warm it up.  With only a six mile drive to work, unless I let the remote start run for 10-15 minutes, the engine never fully warms up so I rarely go into EV mode.  I have optimized my driving for the route I take (the highway route) and know where it's best to coast, best to brake, and even best to step on it.  I imagine that when summer comes around I'll tweak this further as the engine will be warmed up by the time I get to the highway.  

 

The beautiful thing about this short commute is just how little gas I use.  Even with stunningly low mpg, I only had to fill up twice since my last post in December.  For roughly two months of driving I've spent about $40.  

 

 

OK.  My thoughts on the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium (Ginger) after one year of use.  Fuelly (which I am addicted to now!) claims I have achieved 40.2 mpg.  Ginger claims I have achieved 42.5 mpg.  Either way I couldn't be happier.  Well... I COULD be happier, but I'm very satisfied by those numbers.  No one would mistake me for a hypermiler, but I do practice good braking to recoup as much energy as possible and I do accelerate less forcefully than I used to.  

 

The only options Ginger lacks is the Adaptive Cruise Control and the Self Parking.  I have yet to be in a situation where I would want the Self Parking so there's no loss there as far as I'm concerned, but I do wish I had got the ACC.  I absolutely love driving people around as I can amaze almost anybody with all the bells and whistles.  From the auto high beams, to the rain sensing wipers.  From voice activated Sync, to the lane keeping assist.  From the key fob never leaving my pocket, to the two way remote start.  My brother got a new Chevy Traverse with all the bells and whistles and he's still jealous of Ginger.  A friend of mine owns a Chevy Volt and beyond the fact that he doesn't really use gas, he's jealous of Ginger.  And beyond impressing others, I get enjoyment out of just about every feature.  I love talking to my radio instead of fiddling around with the knobs.  I love never having to worry about turning on the lights or even bothering with the brights.  I love that Ginger gives me a nudge with the steering when I'm 'bumping' the lane instead of beeping at me.  I love walking out of work with my coworkers and knowing that my car has turned on, while they are all rushing to the windows to see if their remote starts actually turned their car on.  I love having toasty warm seats and even more I adore having my steering wheel warm enough to grip comfortably.  I love having cooled seats in the summer.  I love leaving the windshield wipers 'on' and having them only operate when necessary.  I even love MFT.  

 

A word about MFT.  Yes, it's slow.  Yes, the screen isn't very receptive to touch.  Yes, it's a fingerprint magnet.  But I really do like the way it looks.  I find the black background is very pleasing and easy to read both in the daylight and at night.  It's operation is straight forward and with the four way home screen it displays just about all the information I'd want out of a combination entertainment/HVAC display.  I rarely use navigation so I can't compare how good it is compared to my phone or a garmin, but when I need/want it it's a joy to press a button and set everything up via voice without ever taking my eyes off the road.  "Navigation.  Destination.  POI...."  so on and so forth.  

 

Speaking of displays, I really like the dashboard displays.  I have the left side of my screen displaying the Empower style guage as well as my trip odometer.  I don't use the fuel guage as the 'miles to empty' has been good enough for me.  The right side of the dash is almost always fuel economy graph in 6 minute intervals.  At a glance I can get all the information I'm after.  When I'm on a trip and not just commuting or banging around town I switch the right hand screen to the turn by turn directions from the Nav system.  Again, at a glance I get the information I need... how many miles to the next turn and which way I'll be turning.  

 

I absolutely adore the exterior styling.  That sleek grille, those swooping body lines, those wonderfully brilliant cat's eye tail lights.  it all adds up to a beauty of a car.  

 

I absolutely adore the interior styling.  The perforated leather seats look great, the dashboard looks and feels wonderful.  The MFT screen is a joy to look at.  The 'buttons', while a little sensitive to touch, are just gorgeous in my humble opinion.  Ginger has the medium ceramic colored interior and it adds just that extra bit of style to her.  

 

And of course, the reason I got her... the fuel mileage.  After a year of driving I'm completely satisfied with 40+ mpg.  That's equal to or better than my previous car (2012 Ford Focus), in a car that's heavier, sturdier, and far more luxurious.  Oh, and that includes letting her idle for about 15 minutes on cold mornings!  Could I improve those number?  Sure, but it would mean making sacrifices to the style (grille blocks), or my driving.  I love that with almost no thought or consideration to how good my fuel economy is affected, I can drive the way I want and STILL get these numbers.  

 

Now, I'd love to say that I love everything about Ginger.  But there are some quirks worth mentioning.  First and foremost is the damned alarm button on the remote.  I've had five cars now with an alarm button on the fob, and I may have tripped it by accident once or twice before Ginger.  With the fob in my pocket and me bending over to tie my shoes I hit the damned button at least twice a month.  Speaking of the fob, I wish the red/green light on it was brighter or at least bigger. In bright wintry sunlight it can be hard to tell if it flashed red (indicating I need to be a bit closer to remote start it), or if it flashed green (indicating I can safely put it back in my pocket).  I wish I had about another half inch or so of dead pedal space.  But this only comes up when I have an achy ankle or on very long (4+ hours) stretches of driving.  I wish the rain sensing wipers didn't stop the lights from coming on automatically in the rain.  Yes, the DRLs are on, but when it's raining out I'd like my tail lights to be on too.  I wish there were a few more pockets and places to put stuff.  I have yet to find an acceptable place to put change in the car that's easy and convenient to use.  Right now the best place seems to be the little cubby right in front of the gear selector... and that's just difficult to see what's there when I pull up to a toll booth or go into a fast food drive through.  I can toss the change into it easily enough but getting it out isn't worth the effort.  The stereo/speakers could have been tuned better.  I don't mean sound quality as it's good enough for me, but the stereo allows the music to get louder than the speakers can handle.  I'd normally say this is an issue with me or my music, but I could crank the Focuses volume all the way up on just about every single song and the speakers sounded great.  In Ginger... well I'm fairly sure I've blown a couple speakers.  I now only take the volume 4/5ths of the way up, and on some music that still gives me an annoying rattle or six.  Oh, and at higher volumes the music and the active noise canceling works together to increase the bass.  It's very annoying to get that 'extra' bass only to have it cut out when I am coasting to a stop.   I wouldn't miss the bass if it wasn't tantalizingly offered up at random moments.  

 

At the end of the day though, Ginger is a car.  Ginger gets me from point A to point B.  She does so in comfort while using very little dinosaur juice.  What really sells me is that when I see my car... I smile.  Walking up to her makes me happy.  Driving in her is comfortable and easy.  I never have thought "If I only had..."  a bigger car, a more fuel efficient car, a more powerful car, a more comfortable car, more techy toys in my car.  To put it another way... I'm constantly looking at cars.  Cars.com and Autotrader.com used to be daily stops for me as I was constantly lusting after the next big thing.  But I've had to stop looking.  There just isn't another make or model of car that fits into my price range that I want.  Would I like to have a high end Bimmer or Merc?  Sure.  Would I like to have a Tesla?  Yup.  But those are not within my means.  For cars that I can afford... there just isn't anything better.   The only car that I'm considering (and will probably get next year) will be the Energi version of this car.  My commute more or less killed the idea of getting one last year, but once I get closer to a reasonable trade in loss, I'll be able to comfortably fit into a lease.  

 

 

 

So... TLDR?  I LOVE my car.  I can't imagine having different one, and my constant searching for a 'better' next car has stopped for the first time in over a decade.  


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#102 OFFLINE   md13ffhguy

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

Nice writeup, Calvin!

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#103 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 07:45 AM

I figured at this point I should go ahead and update this thread.  My shorter commute has reduced my mileage by 25%.  I started keeping a spreadsheet last April so I could monitor the difference in the reported gas mileage and the actual gas mileage.  Using those numbers I ran an average of 43 mpg on my old commute.  My new commute gives me 34 mpg.  

 

Ouch

 

You can clearly see the difference on the Fuelly.com graph:

 

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You can also see how little I fill up by how smooth the second half of that graph is.  I used to fill up once a week... I now fill up about once a month.  Another way to compare the amounts I drive;  I put just under 20,000 miles on Ginger before getting the new job.  It took 9 months.  In the 9 months since.... just under 4,000 miles.  I've tried both the city and highway commutes and there isn't any appreciable difference between the two even in the summer. 

 

Now before anybody replies with 'oh you can improve your mileage by doing this...' understand that I DID try to improve my mileage using several methods talked about here.  For about a week July I calmed my driving down.  I did see a vast improvement (up to 43 mpg per trip), but it was achieved by sacrificing my driving enjoyment.  The takeoffs were agonizingly slow, and I was focusing much of my attention on eeking every mile driven out of every gallon burned.  I bet I could still improve that number and it would be easier if I let that become my normal mode of driving... but that's just a step too far for me.  

 

Don't get me wrong... I still love my car.  I still brag about the mileage I'm getting, but more often than not I talk about its comfortable ride, it's tech, and it's quiet driving experience rather than just throwing out the mpg numbers.  And as my mind starts to wander and consider what my next car will be... I have to admit it probably won't be another FFH.  If I want to keep chasing the mileage ghost, I'd consider getting a plug in hybrid and I think going with the Fusion Energi Platinum would be an obvious choice.  The biggest problem with getting a plug in hybrid is the actual plugging in.  My garage just doesn't have the wiring as is to do it.  I tried to plug in a friend's Volt about 4 times and it only took a charge once... and it blew a circuit after 5 minutes.  So I'd have to hire an electrician to come in and set that up for me.  While mileage is important to me (both for saving money and for just simply being green), it's not the only thing important to me.  I could chase the 'luxury/technology' desire and go with a Cadillac ATS.  I could chase the sporty/design desire and go with a Mustang Ecoboost or a V6 Camaro.  I could go with the funky/driving desire and go with a Mini Cooper.  

 

The fact is at 40+ mpg, the FFH was a lock on my next car.  At just over 30 mpg.... the door's going to open to other cars.  


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#104 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 09:39 AM

I don't know where you get the 34. Mileage is so dependent on temperature and trip distance such that you can only compare similar periods. Your mileage this Aug. is about 38. Your mileage last Aug. was about 44. That can easily be attributed to trip distance. Your low point started in the winter when a 15 mpg temperature effect is common. The temperature effect is 2 mpg per 10º F. your car is behaving normally. You won't get anywhere near the advertised mpg on a non-hybrid in your usage.


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#105 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 06:51 AM

I'm not exactly sure where I got the 34 either.  I re-did my calculation just now figuring between April and August of 2015 and the same period in 2016 (the periods I have in the spreadsheet under both driving circumstances) and my old commute netted me 42 mpg while the new commute got me 36 mpg.  I never once thought that something was wrong with the car and agree that this is just the differences in the commute.  Nor do I think I could reach 36 mpg (or 34 mpg) with a non hybrid.  

 

The reason I'm opening the door to non hybrids is that I look at every car as a sacrifice.  I want power.  I want efficiency.  I want style.  I want uniqueness.  I want good value.  Driving the FFH just about maxed out the efficiency, got me a good dollop of style, and completely ditched uniqueness and power.  Overall it's a good trade off and makes it a good value.  But that's at 40+ mpg and the efficiency was all the more important when I was putting 500 miles on it every week.  Now that I'm only putting ~50 miles on it per week and getting ~35 mpg.... the equation changes.  

 

Don't get me wrong, I think the Fusion is a beautiful car.  Compare it against anything in the midsize sedan market and it's just head and shoulders above when it comes to looks.  But a pony car looks better than a midsize sedan.  There are also far fewer new Mustangs on the road where I live when compared against Fusions.  There's no doubt I would take a major hit on the efficiency side when moving to a 300+ horsepower car, but I think even at ~20mpg the equation I use would end up with me having a big fat smile on my face.  

 

This is all purely academic at this point.  If I throw my work bonus in, I can probably get a new car in March of 2017.  So that's the earliest I'd be actually making a decision.  


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#106 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:47 AM

It would seem that an Energi would be a better decission if you are only driving 50 miles a week. You wouldn't be using any gas. :)

 

Paul


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Current Record:  12/30/2014  902.2 mi.  63.8 mpg  14.13  gal. (Actual GPS:  922 mi.  68 mpg  13.5 gal.


#107 OFFLINE   md13ffhguy

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:45 AM

How about a Fusion Sport? Wish I could morph between my hybrid and one of these!

http://www.autoblog....t-drive-review/

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#108 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 08:46 AM

I don't think you ditched the uniqueness. Hybrid's are a very different car. I too like uniqueness and I think my 2010 FFH is the most unique car I've every owned since 1956.



#109 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 11:15 AM

>Now that I'm only putting ~50 miles on it per week and getting ~35 mpg.... the equation changes.<

 

Driving only 50 miles a week, who cares what the gas mileage is.


Edited by mwr, 11 September 2016 - 11:16 AM.

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#110 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 06:34 PM

It would seem that an Energi would be a better decission if you are only driving 50 miles a week. You wouldn't be using any gas. :)

 

Paul

 

The main problem with the Energi (and any plug in hybrid... I'd consider the Volt too) is getting power to the garage.  It's just not wired well enough to handle it.  Sure, it wouldn't be that big of an investment but I don't plan to be in this location for long and don't look forward to making an investment above and beyond the car itself (maybe twice, if/when I move).  Maybe after a few years of sportiness I'll be ready to move back into fuel efficiency and green mode and will be ready to kick back in a plug in at that time.  

 

 

How about a Fusion Sport? Wish I could morph between my hybrid and one of these!

http://www.autoblog....t-drive-review/

 

You know, I hadn't considered the Fusion Sport before.  Having more horsepower and torque than the ecoboost mustang certainly gives this some pizzaz.  But I'd be right up against the same problem as the hybrid or the energi... it's just not nearly as unique as the 'Stang.  

 

I don't think you ditched the uniqueness. Hybrid's are a very different car. I too like uniqueness and I think my 2010 FFH is the most unique car I've every owned since 1956.

 

When I talk about the uniqueness I mean obvious uniqueness.  When I park my HyTi next to an SE that's the same color, even I have to approach the car to see the difference.  To you and me?  Sure, it's a vast difference.  To my coworker that believed I was driving a $22,000 car and scoffed at the idea of a $36,000 Fusion... well it's just one of the most common cars on the street now a days.  I'm sure there are other cities where the car dynamic would make the Mustang comparatively common.  But since I've been looking, I've noticed 3 of the newer designed (2015 and on) mustangs on the road here in my little town. In the same time period there were dozens of Fusions (2013 and newer).  

 

Another way to put it... if I have to explain what makes it unique, then it's not unique enough.  

 

>Now that I'm only putting ~50 miles on it per week and getting ~35 mpg.... the equation changes.<

 

Driving only 50 miles a week, who cares what the gas mileage is.

 

I agree completely.  That's why I'm not focusing on fuel economy now.  If I had my old commute saving even 5 mpg is worth it.  Now?  I can lose 10 mpg and not really notice it.  That's what makes the Mustang, the ATS, and now the Fusion Sport enter consideration.  

 

 

Keep in mind, one of the main reasons I'm looking at changing vehicles is monthly price.  I don't plan on owning my next few cars for more than a few years each.   On my old commute a Lease just wasn't a feasible option (20,000 miles in 9 months).  Now I'm only looking at leasing prices.  Here's what I'm looking at so far from Ford's site speced out how I'd want them:

 

Fusion Sport:  $467 a month (trade up in power and driving experience)

Fusion Energi Titanium: $502 a month (more efficient, more upfront cost to make the garage work and set up a charging station)

Fusion HyTi: $512 a month (same experience I currently have, no upfront costs)

Mustang Ecoboost Premium: $546 a month (More unique, lose some 'luxury' options, trade up in power and driving experience)

 

My current payment is $667 a month... so ANY of these is a savings.  Thankfully I can't make this decision for another few months, but if I could pull the trigger right now my heart would go with the Mustang.  The Sport.... I'd have to give that some more thought.  Similar driving experience to the 'Stang but at a $80 a month savings with the luxury options. 


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#111 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 09:37 PM

It's not important to me that most others recognize a hybrid as unique. The ones that do recognize it as unique are the ones that I care about.


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#112 OFFLINE   tr7driver

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 01:12 PM

I love my Stang GT Convertible.  If I were only planning on keeping a car for a few years I'd seriously consider a used 2 or 3 year old car and bank the savings.



#113 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 06:45 AM

I guess it’s time I update my mileage here and give another review.  Ginger was telling me that as of me starting my shorter commute I was getting 36.2mpg.  Using fuelly and a spreadsheet to keep a closer eye on it I got 33.5mpg.  That includes many cold morning remote starts and letting her burn gas for 15 minutes.  With the short commute and my driving style I think I can be happy with that. 

 

I stand behind my review from February of 2016… I love this car.  Only a couple things have gone wrong that needed attention since my last post.  The first wasn’t anything wrong with the car, just the dealership and Ford in general.  In late November a rock hit my windshield and gave me a spiderweb crack right in my field of vision.  Insurance paid to replace the windshield, but they sent me to a local glass shop instead of the dealer.  Sadly this meant that I had to then take the car to the dealership to get the front camera realigned.  At first I thought it was BS… but after losing the lane keep assist function and having Ginger get a little schizophrenic on her high beam usage (I feel bad for that poor guy in front of me while I figured out how to turn off the auto high beam option!) it became apparent that it did need to be realigned.  The dealer didn’t have much luck in re-aligning the camera and after 4 attempts and a month on the phone with some kind of higher up in Ford service, they decided that the camera needed to be changed out.   And sadly, that’s where that story ends.  As of June 3rd, they hadn’t gotten a replacement in to finish the job.  They blamed the computers, they blamed the part being on back order, they blamed their phone system, and finally the service tech admitted he had forgotten about it. 

 

The other problem was a bit on the random side.  After a long (for me) drive of 100 miles the car went into limp mode and told me to pull off the road.  This couldn’t have happened at a worst time or place as it was at the convergence of 2 major highways and a major street interchange during 5 o’clock rush hour traffic.  Thankfully I remember reading here on the forum several stories like this and kept my calm.  I pulled off the road, turned the car off, and sat there for a couple minutes.  After a quick prayer, I turned Ginger back on and goosed her pretty good to get back into the fast-moving traffic.   She ran fine.  The check engine light came on and off for about another 100 miles over 5 days of commuting, but there was no other indication of any problem.  That was about a month ago and there hasn’t been a peep from Ginger since. 

 

Since my posting last summer, I have been considering my next car.  I’m just the kind of guy that’s always looking forward to “What’s next?”.  I kept bouncing between several cars;  Ford Mustang Ecoboost, Ford Fusion Sport, Ford Fusion Platinum, and Cadillac ATS.  I would consider a Platinum Hybrid, but I had no intention of paying any additional money for it as the mpg just didn’t add up any more.  There just wouldn’t be enough physical gas saved and certainly not enough money saved to warrant the extra money.  In January, I thought I had narrowed it down to a single car.  The 2018 Ford Mustang Platinum.  It picked up quite a few of the techy toys I wanted that hadn’t been on the previous model years, and added that beautiful all digital gauge cluster.  That also helped me put a new car out of my mind as I would have to wait until much later in the year before I could even price it out, see exactly what options it had, and physically see one on the road or at the dealer. 

 

In December I had test drove a Fusion Platinum at my local dealer.  At the time I was $8000 upside down on my car, so there was no good deal to be had.  The salesman was good though and evidently wrote down that I said I’d reconsider in May or June, so he called me back.  He had even made sure they had another Fusion Platinum on the log (not exactly a common occurrence at this particular dealership!).  He had left me a message and I left him one back saying that I appreciated the call, but I was sold on the 18 ‘Stang and to call me back when they got one on the lot for me to check out. 

 

But his call stirred up those lovely car shopping feelings.  I saw that I had reduced my upside-down nature on Ginger to about $4000 as I had been making regular payments (paying over $700 a month to get it paid off sooner), and her blue book value hadn’t dropped by all that much (about $800).  What really got me thinking though was trying to figure out when the KBB value would drop significantly again.  When the 2018s hit the market would I lose another few thousand in value?  When I hit 36,000 miles and lost the bumper to bumper warranty, would she bottom out in value?  I really had to think about those as both would be true by the time the 2018 Mustangs became available.  Plus I had to consider that this was a refresh of the Mustang and it would be a more desirable car… how likely was it that my dealer would get a fully loaded (outside of performance upgrades) funky orange Ecoboost Mustang on their lot?  Would I need to search and possibly wait until spring of 2018? 

 

Between me leaving the message to the sales guy and him calling me back, I decided that if I could get the Platinum at a good value on a lease, I’d go ahead and do that.  Wrapping up what I owed into a lease would guarantee that I could get a good value on any car I wanted in 3 years.  Including a Mustang Ecoboost.  I did my research this time and knew what the value of the Platinum was, what current incentives they had to work with, and the KBB value of my car.  As I hate deciding to do something (buy a new car) and not being able to do it, I went ahead and found some alternatives.  There was another identical Platinum a few towns over, there was a loaded Fusion Sport that I’d consider at the dealership where I had purchased Ginger (a town over), and the local Caddy dealership had an ATS at a surprisingly good price.  And as a stop gap, I even printed out the window sticker of a Chevy Cruze Hatchback that I knew would fit my price range.  With all that material in hand I showed up at the dealership and made what I thought was a good offer.  We only had to go back and forth a little bit (I think their service department screwing around with my camera for 6 months helped my negotiating position!) and we came to a mutually acceptable price. 

 

So here now a week later, I’m the proud owner of a 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum AWD.  Her name is Isabella (very classy… made in Mexico!)  As I’m sure everybody here knows, the Platinum has all the options including the two I was missing before; Adaptive Cruise Control and Self Parking.  I’m not completely sold on the rear fascia of Isabella as I think Ginger’s cat’s eye tail lights looked better, but the front end with those great headlights, those great LED running lights, and that spectacular grill looks much better.  And in White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat, with those 19 inch Chromed wheels, and that stunning Coco Brown and Ceramic Tan Leather interior she actually stands out a bit from other Fusions. 

 

I’m not under any kind of delusion though.    There will be plenty of people that will only see Isabella as another Fusion.  And I’m going to be dropping down from Ginger’s 33mpg to an expected 20mpg.  But I couldn’t be happier with the purchase as I’m getting into a better car and saving money every month on the payments.  In three years I’ll also be able to save a LOT more money per month. 

 

So I’m afraid that this is also goodbye.  Without a hybrid any longer I’ll have to find another Fusion forum to join up.  Thanks to everybody that helped me learn as much as I could about Ginger.  This really is a great forum and a great community! 

 

isabella1

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#114 OFFLINE   jadei

jadei

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  • Location:Florida, United States
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Posted 11 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

Grats ccalvinn. I have a 15FFH and my eye was wandering at other cars recently as well. That's on hold now as a new job and relocation may be happening and car negotiations are the last thing I need to be wasting time on.

I have about 11 months and/or 12k miles left on the new car warranty though so I will wait.

How much trade in value did you get? Last I checked online I think I was optimistically looking at 15k max.

Good luck with the new car, I'm sure you enjoy all the new bells and whistles.
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#115 OFFLINE   CCalvinN

CCalvinN

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  • Location:United States
  • Current Vehicle:2015 FF HyTi
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Posted 11 June 2017 - 02:48 PM

I'm not quite sure what the final value was. When I negotiate I only use and want to talk about the monthly payment. But if I'm remembering the paper work correctly, I think they gave me $16,000 for Ginger.

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