I went to the Vancouver auto show today (practically a religious pilgrimage for me by now), and the venue had an area to test drive hybrids, plug-ins, and full electrics. Sadly there were no Teslas. I saw the Toyota Camry hybrid, all the Prius variants, the Lexus ES hybrid, the Lexus CT, the Lexus NX hybrid, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, Ford C-Max Energi, and of course the Fusion Energi.
I actually wanted to test the BMW i3 but the lineup was too long, so I settled with the ES300h and NX300h. Both those cars drove quite well - the ES in particular was much quieter than the FFH in terms of engine sound (they're equally quiet in EV mode but the FFH's engine is pretty loud when you step on it). However neither car gets the killer mileage of the FFH so that's a tradeoff.
I was about to leave after having some fun with those two Lexuses, and then I suddenly saw the Energi pull in. I thought, "Hey, I may already own an FFH but why not try it out?" The lineup for the Energi was nonexistent (I guess we can thank the BMW for attracting all the attention) so I was immediately able to hop in after the last test-driver got out.
This model I drove was a fully loaded Titanium with everything - BLIS, rain sensing wipers, park assist, you name it. Very nice stuff. I also got to try the Titanium seats for the first time and I actually find them more comfortable than on the SE O_O.
Unfortunately, a lot of people had already driven the Energi before I did so there was almost no juice left in the battery, meaning no pure-EV acceleration for me to try out. So I had to "deal" with the Energi's engine being on most of the time during my test drive. Here's where things get interesting.
When accelerating, I discovered that the Energi with its engine on was nowhere near as loud as my FFH - and in fact the low level of noise was comparable to what I experienced in the Lexus ES300h. Seriously, I floored it pretty hard from 0 to 60 km/h and was shocked that it didn't produce the annoyingly loud noise I'm used to hearing in the FFH.
So guys, is this awesomeness an Energi thing or did 2015 models get updated with improved acoustic silencing? I'm all ears!