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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m on day 2 of driving around Seattle in a Ford Fusion hybrid. As a volt owner this car is like night and day

Pros
- this car is spacious compared to the volt
- the Bluetooth syncs with the phone instantly, and remembers it so it stays on Bluetooth when you start the car
- twin sets of arrows with OK button on the steering wheel gives you some interesting configurable options for the left and right sides of the dash, plus it has an eco mode as well as gives you instant feedback in your driving efficiency. I like the ongoing bar graph on the right side showing your 30 min MPG stats.
- power seats!!!
- inset wide angled mirrors in the mirrors. Even the equinox has these, why doesn’t the Volt get the love
- too many buttons on the steering wheel (as much as I like configuring the dash displays, it could have been done differently)
- center console display is too tiny and not touch
- no Aux port, onto USB and Power.

Cons
- small battery, wish it was an energi model, but even that has a smaller battery than the volt
- cruise control layout is confusing, unlike the volt layout which I can control with touch only. Trying to find 6 buttons by feel is really challenging. They should at least put some bumps on the plus and minus buttons and something on the cancel button.
- trunk has 2 tiers presumably because of the battery, I would have preferred they stick in an insert to make it flat

All said and done, I wish Chevy made a Voltec Impala PHEV. I know, someone is going to mention the Malibu Hybrid, but I really like not sipping dino juice once in awhile.

The Fusion goes back tomorrow, then off to Redmond, OR where I will pick up another car, and a 3rd when I get to Portland (huddle jumpers in between). I’m hoping to choose some other interesting cars to try.
 

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My wife used to have a C-Max-Energy, which is the same drive train and ergonomics. She liked the size and comfort, but I didn't like the way the gas motor needed to turn on at seemingly the slightest provocation. Even worse when hot. And at 15-19 miles of EV range, it was often just another hybrid.

I went another way on a rental in Denver recently. A 2018 Tesla Model S 100D. Turo. I still like the GM braking system. So I got the Tesla bug out of my system for another 6 months. :)
 

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I remember prior to buying my Volt I tried to find an Energi. In Atlanta mind you, the closest to me was over seventy miles away!!! Two dealers I chatted with never brought them in but would order one if I put down a substantial deposit.
 

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My wife borrowed the Volt for a few days a week ago so I drove her 2010 Mazda 3. My wife was consulting for a client about 20 miles away; she usually works from home. Her 2010 Mazda3 is not a bad car, and has more pep than I remember from the 2.5L engine. It revs a lot when you hit the gas; the acceleration is almost comparable to the gen2 Volt. But for my city dominated driving the fuel economy was really lousy, it estimated <20mpg for the 3 days of driving I did. It made me appreciate what a great car the gen2 Volt is.
 
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- too many buttons on the steering wheel
- center console display is too tiny and not touch
- no Aux port, onto USB and Power.
- cruise control layout is confusing,
- trunk has 2 tiers presumably because of the battery,
I have done test drives in the Fusion Hybrid, and I know what you are describing, but there are some points I disagree with you:

- There are cars with even more buttons than on the Fusion and other Ford vehicles. The right buttons can control the functions of the center console with little distraction or reaching over (which the Model 3 makes you do!)..

- That center console IS a touch screen! Are you confusing it with the dash display?

- There are audio and video Aux ports inside the arm console, plus two USB ports and a SD slot to listen to your own music. And there are two 12 VDC power posts and a 120 VAC AC outlet, too. Ford was the first to offer AC power with the 2005 Escape Hybrid.

- Cruise control is simple, because it uses international symbols. Some cars have the cruise control on the left stalk which makes it strange to handle when most drivers expect lighting controls.

- The trunk battery does take up some space. But the "tier" allows one to carry some bags that will stay in that space. The trunk goes all the way to the back of the rear seats so it can carry plenty of cargo, and you can carry long items if you fold down the backs of the rear seats.

If you wish to be sure I am correct, I can post here a link to the Fusion Hybrid's Owner Manual, which is online, like all the other Ford and GM vehicles. I do suggest that your read every owner manual of every rental. I do!

My latest rental in Miami was a 2017 Nissan Maxima, which has no compass. I was getting lost due to the lack of cardinal directions. My older cars all have a compass.



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speaking of a compass, I cannot believe I went months without realizing that all G2 Volts have one.
As does my 2013. A bit of overkill as I know which direction I'm heading whether driving local or in strange (unfamiliar) city. The once and only time I didn't know which direction I was heading was one time going home from brother-in-laws in Edmonton to where we were staying (about 15 years ago). I some how got turned around 180 degrees. It was 10pm in summer and there was still a light glow in the West (which I thought was East). Once my internal compass did the 180 degree flip I got home no problem. That was the one and only time that happened and for the first time experienced what people do when they get "lost". The only time a compass would have come in handy.
 

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I always try to reserve a plug in or at least a hybrid when I need a rental car, but I never seem to find any available. What is the trick for getting these? I need a rental in July in Montana.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I have done test drives in the Fusion Hybrid, and I know what you are describing, but there are some points I disagree with you:

- There are cars with even more buttons than on the Fusion and other Ford vehicles. The right buttons can control the functions of the center console with little distraction or reaching over (which the Model 3 makes you do!)..

- That center console IS a touch screen! Are you confusing it with the dash display?

- There are audio and video Aux ports inside the arm console, plus two USB ports and a SD slot to listen to your own music. And there are two 12 VDC power posts and a 120 VAC AC outlet, too. Ford was the first to offer AC power with the 2005 Escape Hybrid.

- Cruise control is simple, because it uses international symbols. Some cars have the cruise control on the left stalk which makes it strange to handle when most drivers expect lighting controls.

- The trunk battery does take up some space. But the "tier" allows one to carry some bags that will stay in that space. The trunk goes all the way to the back of the rear seats so it can carry plenty of cargo, and you can carry long items if you fold down the backs of the rear seats.

If you wish to be sure I am correct, I can post here a link to the Fusion Hybrid's Owner Manual, which is online, like all the other Ford and GM vehicles. I do suggest that your read every owner manual of every rental. I do!

My latest rental in Miami was a 2017 Nissan Maxima, which has no compass. I was getting lost due to the lack of cardinal directions. My older cars all have a compass.



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I searched inside the armrest console and didn't find the aux plug (I was looking for the 8mm headphone port). Could it be possible that it was an option on a higher tier vehicle and the base doesn't have these? My armrest console was devoid of the 8mm plug nor the 2 USB ports, all it had was a cigarette-style power plug. There was another power plug on the back of the armrest console for the rear passengers. My steering wheel left buttons controlled the left part of the DIC (driver information console) and the right steering wheel buttons controlled the right part of the DIC. The Fusion Hybrid also had another set of up/down/left/right/OK buttons below the center screen controlled the center screen. I tried touching my center screen multiple times (habit caused by Volt ownership) with no result, and had to use the 4 buttons below the screen or the 4 arrows and OK button below the row of 4 buttons to access anything. So again, maybe the touchscreen is on a higher tier model of Fusion.

BTW, my next vehicular rental from the Redmond/Bend OR area ended up being an Nissan Altima. I haven't found a compass yet, but I've only been in the car for about 40 minutes. The cars are like night and day. The Fusion Hybrid was quiet, had a very smooth ride, and would really go when you punched it. The Altima drives like you're riding in a tin can (bumpy as heck, you hear all the road and wind noise in the cabin), you punch it, the engine whines like crazy, but the car barely moves. I'll proclaim this car to be a compete POS (sorry, if you are a Nissan fan, but I call it like I see it). The seats are horrible, the interior layout is horrible, and it has convinced me that I'll never buy a Nissan product for my driveway. Next time I'm given a Nissan, I'm going to ask to exchange it for something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always try to reserve a plug in or at least a hybrid when I need a rental car, but I never seem to find any available. What is the trick for getting these? I need a rental in July in Montana.
I lucked out. As a Hertz Gold Member some of the larger airports allow you to pick your vehicle just by walking out to a particular lot and driving the car to the exit to check out. Seattle had one Fusion Hybrid amongst a bunch of pickups, Kias, and Hyundais. When I get to Portland, I will also be able to choose the car with my National rental. Last I remember, LA and San Francisco also had this with National. So my guess is Montana probably doesn't have a big enough airport to allow this feature.

My favorite rental of all time was when I was able to rent a Volvo C30 from the Champaign, IL airport. Apparently someone rented it from the east coast, drove it partway, decided they couldn't take it any more, so traded it in for a different car. My original rental was a Toyota Camry where someone obviously smoked in the vehicle, so I was able to trade it in for the C30. The car was awesome, the only thing that would have made it better would have been if it had a stick shift instead of an automatic transmission. But the auto-stick was the best responding of any rental car I've ever driven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So for the third leg o this trip I was stuck in a Toyota Corolla. But surprisingly it came with lane departure warning, steering assist, and automatic cruise control. I could get used to acc, as i would set it to 72 mpg, and allow it to slow the car as needed when I approached oncoming traffic. I was a bit worried it might freak out on 2 lane highways with oncoming traffic, or lots of windy roads where I thought it might decide to accelerate when a car moved left or right in front of me because of the curves, but it worked like a champ. The lane departure warning worked too, but I like to hit the apex of the curves and even touch the lines when I do so, and they lane departure warning would beep as I came close, even when I really intended on doing what I was doing, so I ended up turning it off. I tested steering assist, and could feel it nudging the steering wheel once in awhile, but it’s really not a full-on autopilot like in Teslas.

I can live without any of this stuff, but it was fun to play with. Unlike the crappy Nissan, the Corolla cruise plus and minus stalk went up and down by MPH increments so it was nice to budget up or down 5 as the speed limiters changed. But I was in enough traffic where I never had to nudge, the car in front of me would set the pace,and the ACC in my car would keep a safe distance.

When in busy Portland traffic, there were a few instances while on a 3 lane highway where the a-hole behind me thought I wasn’t tailing the guy in front of me close enough, so they would pass me on the right only to get in front of me ant get stuck anyway. I didn’t look in the owners manual whether there was a way to set the trailing distance, but it’s definitely set for a very safe distance, I would normally drive a little closer.

The road noise and cabin insulation was worse than the crappy Nissan, and we really missed the smoothness and quietness of the Fusion as our first rental of the trip. The ford surprised me. If I had a shorter commute or was a long distance road warrior, the fusion energi would be a fine vehicle for the task. I haven’t tested a Malibu Hybrid yet, and if it the same, my GM loyalty would win out,
 
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