New Fusion/Milan Hybrid Beats Camry Hybrid's 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.
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.
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.