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.