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Navigation without GPS

One thing I love about the nav unit in my Ford Fusion Hybrid is its ability to function without a GPS signal.  Sometimes in the morning it takes a few minutes to acquire the GPS satellites.  The nav unit still tracks the car's progress on the map!  I guess that its matching up speed, steering direction, and road data to determine where you are on the map.

This is particularly striking in a parking garage, where you can watch the car go around and around up the ramps with no GPS available.

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Reader Comments (6)

I've just started reading your very informative blog and uniquely similar experiences with my own FFH! I too make it a mission to get the best milage everyday, despite those stressful times of going near 50 on the turnpike. I apologize as you probably get a lot of crazy questions, but I'm hoping you might know as you have owned your hybrid longer. I've only owned mine since December and have seen a great increase already with mpg as its gotten warmer. However, I notice that on the roads I travel (NJ turnpike) that the battery remains charged only at 50% even though the engine is running for my 45 minute commute. Does your charge to 100% during times the engine is constantly running? I find it odd that the FFH wouldn't attempt to charge the battery to maximum capacity and then assist the engine so that when it is off the highway you have 100% or close to that you can maneuver with. Any insight on this? Thanks -Matt

March 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Bill, thank you so much for this blog! I guess you know how hard it is to find really good hands-on impressions of the features of a new car, below the surface-level stuff you get in a magazine review. I had some pretty specific questions about the nav and the other options in the FFH and yours is the only site that has really answered them for me. Wonderful job.

So far the only two things that worry me about the car are the non-locking glovebox and the fact that the back seats don't fold down for cargo. Are you at all bothered by either of these things in yours?

I'm hoping to order one this week to squeak in under the (much smaller this year) March 31st tax credit deadline, just as you did last year. Hope I don't end up waiting until June for the car.

Thanks again for the blog. I'll definitely keep reading!

March 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

@Matt, my FFH behaves the same way. On the highway, it manages the battery state of charge at 50%. My guess is that its trying to maximize MPG on the highway by using the battery for occasional acceleration, and not using excess fuel to charge the battery.

April 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

@Elaine I agree the fact that the seats don't fold down is a minus, but the trunk space isn't that bad and we have another car I can use if necessary. The glove box doesn't bother me because I don't keep valuables in there.

Glad you like the blog! Sorry I haven't been posting as much recently.

April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Wood

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