My Smooth Ride In A Hybrid Fusion L

Posted on September 16, 2011 by LCT Magazine

I was pretty excited when Windy City Limousine dispatch informed me that the vehicle picking me up from O’hare to take me to the 2011 BusCon Expo at the Navy Pier would be a hybrid. For some reason, I had a hunch I would be picked up in the Fusion L, and my intuition surprisingly proved correct for once. I’ve been curious about this vehicle since I first heard about it (mainly because I’ve been looking to get a hybrid to replace my gas-guzzling Impala and reduce the dent that my 50+ mile/day commute puts in my wallet) and I now was getting a chance to actually experience it.
First, I would like to offer my humble opinion that the Ford Fusion is a good looking car. Even though the blue oval isn’t as striking as the Lincoln, Cadillac or Mercedes emblems, there was still an air of luxury when the clean, shiny black sedan pulled up along the curb of the middle island. In front of it were a pair of Town Cars, and behind it was a Navigator, but all the heads around me turned to watch the silver-grilled hybrid.
 
My chauffeur welcomed me to Chicago and took my suitcase to load in the trunk. It fit in fine, but I could tell that the trunk wasn’t nearly as spacious as the Town Car’s. Other than that, everything else seemed comparable to the Fusion’s older and bigger cousin. Keep in mind that I’m not a very big or tall person, so the head- and legroom were more than ample for me. In fact, the Fusion L has 0.4 MORE inches of headroom than the Town Car, and only 2.7 inches less in legroom.
 
Maybe it was the vehicle, maybe it was the excellent driving of the chauffeur, but I found the ride to be ultra-smooth. As I chatted with the chauffeur about the nuances of Orange County – my knowledge coming from experience, hers from The Real Housewives of Orange County – I completely forgot that I was in a Ford and not a Lincoln. Every time we slowed down, I thought about how the battery was charging through the regenerative braking system. When I drive my car, all I can think about when I brake is how soon I’ll have to change my brake pads and how much gas I’m wasting.
 
Here’s how the Fusion L matches up against the Town Car L:
 
 
FUSION
HYBRID L
TOWN CAR
EXEC L
Overall Length (in.)
196.6
221.4
Overall Width (in.)
72.2
78.5
Rear Shoulder Room (in.)
56.5
59.9
Rear Head Room (in.)
37.8
37.4
Rear Leg Room (in.)
42.7
45.4
Rear Door Width (in.)
47.3
49.0
Trunk Capacity (cubic ft.)
11.8
21
Fuel Tank Capacity (gal.)
17.5
19.0
Range (miles)
682
342
 
 
 
It is true that clients’ perceptions of a vehicle affect their attitude toward it (since the big guns in advertising do an excellent job of shaping our opinions), but I believe that once the client is in the car, they’ll hardly notice the difference, so long as the interior is clean and the chauffeur drives well. Sure, the Fusion cannot and will not replace a larger luxury sedan such as the Town Car, especially with the smaller trunk space, but something I don’t understand is why fleets continue to incorporate the Prius as their hybrid of choice when there exists a bigger, more stylish, and overall better vehicle option in the Fusion L Hybrid.
 
I can go on forever about this vehicle, but I’ll show some mercy for our readers, who have a million other things to do -- such as reading the rest of the articles on LCTmag.com and the Sept/Oct issue of LCT Magazine).
 
Many thanks to George Jacobs and the wonderful people at Windy City Limousine for the excellent service and the opportunity to ride in an alternative vehicle.
 
-- Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor
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