"Wake up and smell the coffee Toyota!"5.0 starson by Be-Mo
Pros: Long term average >40 MPG at 5,000 miles
Smartguage / LCD - so much wonderful info makes it a joy to drive
Sirius traffic/weather/gas prices - it WORKS!
No compromises due to the HYBRID power plant (styling and smooth, quiet, great ride, etc)
Cons: Engine noise not intuitive ie. when you stomp on it instead of an immediate high rev it is delayed (the accel is immediate)
More luxury features? this may be an engineering compromise to improve the mileage in which case I would take 1-2 extra MPG
Summary: I stumbed into purchasing this car after primarily looking at poor-mileage SUV's to fit my 5-person family + guests. I saw this 2010 Fusion Hybrid in the showroom and was very impressed by the technology. A few weeks later my job situation changed requiring that I drive 500 miles a week. The 7-passenger suv with 15 -20 mpg no longer made any sense. The test drive was underwhelming. It is so hard to get good use of the EV without driving around for for 10 min or so to charge the battery. Long story short, I bought it based on the MPG rating and the incredible interior and technology (sync, nav, smartguage, bluetooth, usb, etc), hoping that I would get the EPA mileage.
It was a great gamble, within 2 weeks I was able to get 50.0 mpg on a 100-mile (mostly highway) trip. When I am stuck in Chicago traffic and everyone is frustrated, I am enjoying the fact that my mileage goes UP at these slow speeds (in EV mode). At first I thought the growing leaves was gimmicky but after 2 months with the car, I still think it is great whenever I have a lot of leaves (my max is 23 leaves - but I know I can do better!). My wife calls me obsessed. I never gave a hoot about my gas mileage before (our minivan and old suv averaged 15 mpg). Now it is a source of pride and accomplishment. With 5,000 miles on the car I am above 40 mpg. I don't "hypermile" but I use some care to keep in the EV mode when possible. I still travel the highways at 75 mph. I admit that sometimes I try to accelerate solely on electric power and I am a traffic hazard. I have mostly given that up as an inconvenience (unless I am close to my 23 leaf max). The most convenient and yet still efficient method is to get up to speed on the gas engine and then cruise on the electric motor.
Driving is fun again to me, despite my long commuting hours. "Best Hybrid Ever" per USA Today. Well, I say "Best Car Ever".
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