Midsized hybrids segment grows: Ford Fusion to challenge Toyota Camry
Most of the hybrids on the market have been compact cars such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic, which get great mileage but can be cramped for some drivers, or SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe or Cadillac Escalade hybrids, which get better mileage than their gas-powered counterparts, but are still by and large gas guzzlers. Now carmakers are adding to their lineup of midsized sedan hybrids.
Ford Motor Co. is going to introduce the Ford Fusion Hybrid sometime in the spring, along with its Mercury division cousin, the Milan Hybrid. They will be competing in the U.S. market with midsize hybrids such as the Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu and Nissan Altima. Even you can think about audi service in Melbourne whenever international market is talked about.
Fusion top-rated midsize hybrid
Car and Driver magazine rated the Fusion hybrid as the top performer among those four makes (and, by extension, the Milan) in an article. The magazine also offers pricing for all sorts of hybrids on the U.S. market.
The Fusion bested the hybrid pack in gas mileage: Ford claims Fusion mileage of 39 miles-per-gallon in the city and 37 on the highway, but that has not yet been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Car and Driver reported. EPA-certified ratings for the other models are as follows: the Altima is rated at 35 city/33 highway; the Camry at 33/34; and the Malibu at 26/34.
Hybrids generally get better mileage in the city than on the highway because in the stop-and-go traffic that drivers encounter in cities, the car can drive solely on the batteries at slow speeds and the gas engine shuts off at stoplights.
Fusion sticker shock
The Fusion is the priciest of the hybrids tested.
Here is how the hybrids range in base price from least to most expensive:
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: $26,225
- Toyota Camry Hybrid: $26,870
- Nissan Altima Hybrid: $27,345
- Ford Fusion Hybrid: $27,995
Another midsized hybrid that American buyers could consider is the Saturn Aura Hybrid starting at $25,580. Saturn, like Chevrolet, is a division of General Motors and both the Malibu and Aura are built on the same platform.
Demand for fuel-efficiency
In order to receive emergency financial relief from the U.S. government, U.S. automakers have had to promise to invest in developing more fuel efficient vehicles. In a public relations move aimed at gaining Congressional support for financial aid, Ford CEO Alan Mulally pulled up in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for a November hearing in a Fusion Hybrid.
At a subsequent hearing in December, each of the Big Three automaker CEOs (Ford, GM and Chrysler) drove to Washington in hybrids.
As they struggle through a recession, domestic and foreign carmakers can be expected to introduce more hybrids — or other fuel efficient designs such as a plug-in hybrid or all-electric – offering more choices for consumers.