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Friday
Apr172009

Atlantis Green revealed

In Black is the new green I discussed how dark the Atlantis Green Fusion is.  I went to a local dealer today to check out the Atlantis Green vs Black fusions.  Here are a couple of pictures:

In the sun there is a difference.  Hard to tell though on a cloudy day.

Thursday
Apr162009

No more gas cap!

Now this I can get behind.  No more gas caps left at the service station or flapping in the wind!

Looks like a rubber sleeve kind of hugs the fuel pump as it goes in and then a trapdoor is forced open by the tip of the fuel pump nozzle.

Thursday
Apr162009

What they don't tell you about MS Sync

They don't tell you much!  There are a couple of pretty lame forums for Sync that don't get much traffic.  Then there's SyncMyRide but you need a VIN number to join that. 

Why aren't there any enthusiast reviews of Sync?  Perhaps Ford and Sync aren't "cool" enough to attract the kind of fanatical following that the Prius has among the gadget-conscious.

I've had some limited exposure to Sync in my test drives.  As I learn more about it I'll post about Sync and its good points/bad points.

Thursday
Apr162009

Black is the new green

I ordered an Atlantis Green FFH.  The ads show this as a nice forest green.  So, the other day I went to a nearby dealer who had a green one in stock.  It was a cloudy day.  When I saw the car, I thought it was a mistake!  That car was black!

Just to be sure I checked the sticker - Atlantis Green.  Looking closely, I could see it had some green particles in the finish but you could hardly call this car green!

This is the Atlantis Green FFH as shown by the Ford build your own website:

But believe me it looks black in real life; I'm going to go look at it again in the sun. I may be switching my order to a grey one.

Wednesday
Apr152009

First test drive

I ordered my FFH on March 31 without having seen or driven one - I had to order it by March 31 to get the tax credit of $3400.  About a week later my dealer got one in.  It was black with the 502a package and stone interior (I ordered a green FFH with black leather and 502a package). I went over as soon as it was prepped and drove it. It drove nicely though I didn't get to drive it far. It only had about 32 miles on it. It will take awhile to get used to the LED interface but it was great. I put a few green leaves on it ;-) I tried some hard acceleration and it went ok, nothing to write home about, and I didn't push it too much because it was not broken in yet.

The Sony stereo is one of the best I've ever heard in a car! No graphic equalizer, just bass and treble controls but that's all that's needed. Great bass, open treble, with an effortless, powerful quality to it. There is a "DSP" mode that only has one setting but sounded ok, no huge cathedral hall reverb or anything like that (good!). I hooked my BlackBerry up to the USB port easily and it recognized the songs/artists/albums on it and played them.

The nav unit has a straight down view and a birds eye view similar to Garmin's. It was nice, but I think I like my Garmin 370 better - it has a more refined interface. But this one's built in :-)

This is a complex system with the NAV and all, but it does a lot. The interface can be clunky. For instance, alphabetic keyboards are not QWERTY. Looking up artist names can be tedious - not nearly as quick and intuitive as Blackberry.

As for the inside, I'd say its very nice but not classic like an Audi or BMW - lots of buttons and controls and no wood trim.

The backup camera was awesome, except it kept beeping because it was raining and it mistook the rain for an obstruction I guess. The BLIS system was also impressive.

I'm 6'1" and had no problems in the front seat with moon roof. My head just brushed the top when sitting in the back.

All in all, I really liked it. Sure I'd change some things but this car has everything I wanted.

Wednesday
Apr152009

FFH Forums

There's nothing as lively as PriusChat.com for the FFH.  There are a few sites though:

Ford Fusion Forum - this is the most lively site that I've found

Blue Oval Forums - lots of good information and fairly active

CleanMPG - a real enthusiasts' site

Ford Fusion Club - reasonably active

Edmunds - Removed on June 9, 2009 because of their silly posting policy.

Ford Sync Forum - this forum has gotten better recently; you must register to see posts!

Owner to Owner (Sync) - pretty dead

Ford Fusion club - Facebook group, fairly dead

FordFusion.net - A nice site but not much going on

Leave a comment if you know of other FFH sites.

Wednesday
Apr152009

Under the wire

I have a 1998 Audi A6 2.8.  Its a little long in the tooth and only gets 17 mpg average - and that's when its warm out.

My requirements for a new car were simple:

  1. I wanted a hybrid - I'm a technology buff and hate paying $70 for a fill-up like I did in the summer of 2008
  2. The stereo must be excellent! The Audi has a great Bose system.
  3. It should have streaming A2DP bluetooth support so I could play music from my BlackBerry through it

I had been planning to look at the new 2010 Prius, thinking I might pick one up this year sometime.  Then I happened to read about the $3400 tax credit if you purchased a new FFH prior to March 31, 2009.  This was on March 28th!

It wasn't clear to me whether I had to buy or just order a car by March 31.  Buying one was not an option because the car wasn't in dealerships in my area yet.  I visited a dealer to look at a 2009 Fusion and he showed me a memo from Ford - it said "order or purchase" by March 31 to take advantage of the credit.  A subsequent check of the IRS website confirmed this.  I'll post the link if I can still find it.

My brother-in-law helped me find a dealer in Princeton that would order one for $500 over invoice.  To make a long story short, I was able to leverage that with a local dealer (NOT the one who I first went to) and ordered an Atlantis Green FFH with the works (502a package) for $30,120 plus tax.  Not a bad deal, as I've read stories of dealers looking for higher than MSRP in some locations.  I should have it within 8 weeks!

Tuesday
Apr142009

Welcome to the Ford Fusion Hybrid blog!

I recently ordered a Ford Fusion Hybrid.  This blog will focus on news, reviews, and my experiences with the car.  Please feel free to suggest topics in the comments section!

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