2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Jun 26, 2003
Was in LA over what they are now calling "Indigenous People's Day" to discover what the big deal is about the big city on the left coast.

Been to the SF Bay area dozens of times for work, but in all my years, never made it to LA.

Avis offered a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid with 43k miles give or take.

Spent about 5 minutes getting acclimated to the car, setting up mirrors and such. At first, wasn't sure I was going to like it, as I about threw oilBabe through the windshield in the Avis lot as we approached the gate to leave.

Didn't realize they moved LAX to Detroit. For what CA is getting in gas tax revenue, I expected very smooth roads.

Things did get better as we moved away from LAX, but oilBabe described LA as tired, and I'd agree that many parts of the city are indeed, tired.

But the Fusion ate it all up. We drove up to the Griffith Observatory to take in the views of the Hollywood sign and the views of the sprawl below. Figured I got better with the brakes as I was no longer throwing her through the windshield. Got to where I could consistently score 90 or better on my braking score, recouping energy in the battery.

The car handled well. No problems with pairing my phone with the in car entertainment system. It didn't take long to figure things out. I could hear Vicki, the name we gave to the Waze voice that would vector us around, avoiding traffic, through the stereo as I streamed music or podcasts during our drives. As it was two model years old, the front tires were new, but the rears looked older and I think they were the source of the road noise we hear. I didn't take the time to move their tires to the front. But I've had enough bad wheel bearings and similar to believe this was worn or tired tires causing the noise.

The transitions from electric to gas engine operation where generally imperceptible. Occasionally I would feel the transition. But usually I couldn't tell.

After the Observatory, we found an In-n-out Burger to blow our diets and get in on the CA burger phenomenon. No real problems parking the car in a very crowded lot. That's when I figured out I wasn't a fan of the knob that had you change from P to RND or L.

From there it was off to Simi Valley and the Reagan Library. That's a thing oilBabe and I are doing, trying to visit as many Presidential libraries and museums as possible. The car got to highway speed as one would expect from a 2L NA engine. It seemed to need a bit more prodding to climb some of the hills on the freeways at times, but managed to easily do the 70-80 MPH traffic was doing.

I can see the appeal in traffic. In bumper to bumper, one can run in pure electric mode a fair bit. The gas engine would remain off unless the state of charge got low enough or the demand from the throttle pedal was high enough that the gas engine was needed.

According to the display, we managed to do an average of 41.4 MPG over the 401 miles we had the car. While we put 11.x gallons of gas in the car, I have no idea how close to full the previous user left it, so I can only report what the display indicates.

However, it seems reasonable as that figure is in the EPA range of figures.

Inside, there was plenty of room. However, I don't care for the openings in the console under the dash. Put my wallet in there leaving Avis and couldn't find it when we got to the Observatory. Some panic, but I knew it was inside the car. It had fallen into the passenger foot well during a turn. While I avoided that by never putting my wallet in there again, seems this could be more like our Altima where there are sides and even a door for this binnacle, so stuff doesn't fall out.

The car had pushbutton start and a pushbutton on the trunk for a release, but never found a button to unlock the doors. So I had to fish out the fob to unlock the doors. It could be user error. However, I never had to read a manual for my Mazda, Nissan or Toyota to get such a system to work. They were very intuitive. So if there was a key-less proximity lock/unlock feature for the Fusion, it wasn't obvious. The Mazda and Nissan have obvious buttons. For my Toyota, when you touch the door handle, it would open. I saw no buttons nor did touching the door handle do anything. So annoying that it wasn't an obvious interface.

Anyway, after the Reagan, we went to our Air BnB rental home off the 101 at Laurel Canyon, changed clothes and oilBabe wanted to go to Beverly Hills for dinner. Well, at least after 6pm parking was $5, and we had to be out by 9pm, so the wallet was relatively safe.

While not as numerous as Porsches, Audis and Mazeratis, the Ford Fusion really wasn't out of place with all the other Hybrid vehicles on the roads.

Day two was Santa Monica, the peer, a bike ride on the beach, and then back to visit a local restaurant near our home for dinner. The sticky brakes came back for the first few stops of the day. So I wonder if there is something about the hybrid braking system that leads to the first few stops being more sticky and then smoothing out. If it were learning, wouldn't I un-learn and re-learn this after spending all day in Santa Monica? It seems to be a first drive phenomena that doesn't come back until the next day.

Day three was a drive down to Long Beach to the Aquarium of the Pacific. We overslept and didn't make the marathon (darn) but did enjoy the aquarium. But we did experience the first stops phenomena again today, and let's just not keep you in suspense, again on day four.

An unmemorable lunch in the area, and then off to the Nixon library. Since we joined the Reagan, we got to go the Nixon for free. Glad we did. Let's just say Nixon was a complex man and leave it at that. It was educational.

oilBabe wanted to visit another Housewives.... place, Sur, so we had dinner there. The food was overpriced and unremarkable. People watching was good. All sorts of 20 something club goers lined up to get in to the club side of things. oilBabe even sat with her back to the street view, giving me the full panorama of young talent in miniskirts.

From there, since the wax museum was closed, we did the Iconic Randy's Donuts, since vacation calories don't matter and then back home.

Day four, packed the luggage in the car. Keep in mind, with the hybrid, the back seats don't fold down, so if you have large items, you need to consider that. It wasn't a problem for our carry on bags, but if you expect to carry skis, it will probably be on top of this car.

We were flying out of John Wayne in Santa Ana, so after a quick trip through the Walk of Stars and LeBrea, we drove the hour down there. Again, the car seemed sluggish going up hills, but was excellent in stop and go either on surface streets or when freeways were more stop than go. A much nicer airport than LAX, BTW. Less Detroit pothole, more SoCal beach side chic.

A trip to the Crystal Cove Shake Shack for lunch and then we put just over 11 ( I had said 10, but was looking at the receipt for the Equinox..) gallons of fuel in the rental before turning it in with 401 miles on the trip odometer, to be in the 40 MPG ball park.

Again, who knows how close to full or how many undocumented trips this car took by Avis employees running to get lunch or whatever. I was impressed that we did 400 miles and there was still a good 1/8th of a tank of fuel in the car when we refueled right before the turn-in.

So the positives were fuel economy, room, comfort. The negatives were low power at times, no aids like blind spot monitoring, noisy tires, and the non-intuitive proximity key lock/unlock.

Still, while the list of negatives was longer, I'd still consider getting one of these used as a daily driver if the price were right. It's hard to argue with 40+ MPG and the logic behind trying to recoup otherwise lost kinetic energy by using regenerative braking.

At least the car didn't let us down, unlike AA, who decided to cancel our leg from ORD to STL.

Which means another rental car report, as oilBabe and I both had to be back at work and we got a 2018 Equinox from Avis as a one-way....

But I'm tired as we got in at 3am, so that report will have to come tomorrow.
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Nice review and report. LAX is a real pit with the exception of the new Bradley International Terminal. I've flown through there a couple of times. Customs and immigrations was in a bunker type of building. Two hour lines.
Thanks for the review! I always like to hear what others have to say about cars. The Fusion is a very nice riding car, but I find the cloth front seats very uncomfortable. The lack of power would be an issue for me as well since I am now used to my Camry's power. It moves for what it is. Ironically, people always throw people through the windshield when they drive it for the first time. The regen brakes are just VERY powerful at the start.
I "think" in California we "usually" celebrate Caesar Chavez day instead of Columbus day.

40mpg and low power is about right for mid size hybrid sedan. Fusion is one of the more popular domestic here (most non rental I have seen are hybrid), of course, you'll see about 50 Prius per 1 Fusion Hybrid.

Nice trip, glad you enjoyed it.
The hybrid has 4 cubic ft less trunk space than the non-hybrid model.

Originally Posted by DaRider34
Doesnt the battery eats alot of the trunk space compared to the regular fusion?

The local news in LA was going on and on about the first ever Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, so it's a new city holiday/event.

Originally Posted by PandaBear
I "think" in California we "usually" celebrate Caesar Chavez day instead of Columbus day.

Either I must have had to learn everyday, as the first few stops of the day were like this, or the car has to relearn something to adjust when the friction brake would engage. It just seemed odd that it was a daily learning experience for one or both of us, me and the car.

Originally Posted by Dorian
It moves for what it is. Ironically, people always throw people through the windshield when they drive it for the first time. The regen brakes are just VERY powerful at the start.
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