New Fusion/Milan Hybrid Beats Camry Hybrid's MPGs. And?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
new fusion milan hybrid beats camry hybrids mpgs and

A quick reminder: the Toyota Prius OWNS America’s hybrid market. Year-to-date, the Japanese automaker’s sold 142,365 Priora. Even during October’s carpocalypse, at a time when gas prices have fallen back to pre-Katrina levels, ToMoCo shifted 11,804 of the gas – electric hybrids (down “just” 13.6 percent). All other hybrids– including Toyota’s Camry gas – electric variant– must live off of crumbs from the Prius’ table. So when Ford announces it’s about to sell a hybrid Fusion with better mileage than the Camry hybrid– a six (according to the press release) or five (according to Automotive News) mpg improvement around town and an indeterminate number on the highway, the words “big whoop” spring to mind. Or even, perhaps, why bother? Certainly the Gods of Corporate Average Fuel Economy must be satiated. But doesn’t Ford have to sell the vehicles for them to count against F-150 mpgs? As for the badge-engineered Milan hybrid, well you gotta put Mercury’s babe on your website! In your garage? Not so much. (The car. Not Jill.) More interesting: SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide. The doo-hickey “coaches” hybrid drivers to maximize fuel efficiency. John Madden voice prompts optional, presumably. Oh, and props to The Blue Oval Boyz for improving the 2.5-liter I4 Fusion for better torque, and offering a six-speed manual.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 19, 2008
    Prius is a technology fad; No, it's not. People who say this might as well say "fuel injection is a fad". Hybrid powertrains are going to show up everywhere, just perhaps not in the way people think. They're simply the next in a long line of technologies (direct injection, fuel injection, lock-up torque converters, variable valve timing) that increases the efficiency of a given drivetrain. It doesn't matter if your car is run by gas, diesel, propane, nuclear fission or pixie dust: the kind of technology in the Prius will end up in every car, because as resources become scare and expensive, efficiency becomes more and more important. Even electric-only cars are going to need regenerative braking, electronically-controlled continuously variable transmissions, idle-stop and the like. In fact, they'll need it more because the energy storage ability of batteries is way, way behind that of gasoline.

  • Safe as milk Safe as milk on Nov 19, 2008
    ray24 : I’ european and I drive a 2007 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi that makes 4,5 liters/100 km. Enough said, Prius isn’t for me the big deal about it’s mileage. it's not the mileage that attracts americans to the prius, it's the green aspect. Strippo : Want the Fusion hybrid to be unique and clearly Green? Then make it in a unique wagon version that is only available with a hybrid drive train. Throw out the old thinking about wagons. This would work. interesting idea. although, i'd like to see a conventional i4 based fusion wagon stripped to come in at below $20k. there would be virtually no competition and i think it would defy conventional wisdom and sell... a true taurus wagon would do well. and i'm not talking about the explorer wanna be taurus x. there's something nostalgic and practical about an american station wagon: bring 'em back!

  • Skierpage Skierpage on Nov 19, 2008

    jgholt: Otherwise, hybrid buyers want the “hey look at me - I’m green!” charm of a unique vehicle. Unproven. There's only one highest-mileage least-polluting car, and in an incredible engineering achievement it's a practical 5-door midsize car, not a cramped subcompact, for a reasonable $23K. That's the reason other hybrid models don't sell as well, not their looks. alex_rashev: Prius is a technology fad; one can only charge 30K for a 20K car before the consumer shifts their tastes Ridiculous. Environmental concerns aren't going away. And the Prius list is $22,000-$24,270. And soon any car that can't recover energy while braking and that continues to burn gas at a standstill will be seen as hopelessly primitive.

  • M1EK M1EK on Nov 20, 2008

    So much FUD, so little time. 1. Prius IS midsize. Smaller than Camry? Sure. Smaller than Fusion? Sure. Bigger than Corolla and Focus, though (much bigger). 2. Your diesel Focus doesn't touch the Prius in real-world mileage, if past "Prius killers" are to be believed. And it's dirtier than sin. 3. Ford deserves praise for building a real hybrid, not GM's bullshit. And the Camry Hybrid is a decent car, so if they can beat that in mileage, they've done well. 4. Most people buy the Prius because it delivers superior mileage in a midsize package (can carry a lot of stuff, back seat room is superb). By now, all the people who wanted a green "look at me" package have had it for 3 or 4 years. It's well ensconsced in the top 20 these days, outselling the entire marquee of a couple GM brands. Some of this crap needs to be retired. Find some new FUD, please.