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Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    Folks never are asked to justify an expensive radio or a handling suspension package, but the hybrid choice always seems to get put under the economics microscope!

    That's because nobody buys a radio or suspension to save money, but most folks use cost savings (fuel) as a justification for buying a hybrid. Not saying they need to justify it, but that's what happens more often than not. Same reason people use the cost of upcoming repairs as a justification to buy a new vehicle.
  • texases said: "Folks never are asked to justify an expensive radio or a handling suspension package, but the hybrid choice always seems to get put under the economics microscope! "

    When the hybrid costs 6 or 7 thousand dollars over the normal version of the car, yes, it might get a little scrutiny from most folks.

    I do like your comments about giving up acceleration for fuel economy. If one is willing to do this, and, say is willing to get a vehicle with a 10 sec 0-60 mph time, then fuel economy gets really good. Take the '10 Fusion 4-cylinder, for example, as its going to get 34 MPG on the highway without being a hybrid and costing thousands more.
  • One aspect of the Fusion hybrid (and all nybrids) we haven't been talking about is the penalty you pay in safety and handling.

    Safety: The hybrid is carrying an extra 400 lb set of 'slugs' under your butt. That is not good for collision performance.

    Handling: High speed maneuvering can't be good with the extra weight of the hybrid.

    Performance: Since AWD eats gas, you don't typically see this on the more serious hybrids like Prius and Fusion hybrids. A friend of mine with a Prius says it does crappy in the snow because the battery weight is over the back wheels. Acceleration of hybrids tends to be worse, due to the extra battery weight.

    For my money, I would: Get a 4-cylinder, high-MPG, version of a car, and put the $6,000 bucks I save into an FDIC insured savings account. My choices are getting better as they add direct-injection, higher-compression (more efficient) engines and put CVTs or 6-speed automatics in more cars, increasing MPG of the basic 4-cylinder models of Malibu, Fusion, etc. With non-hybrids like that, I can still thumb my nose at the Saudis and Chavez, too, while driving something that doesn't have a ton of batteries attached to my butt.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,573
    Equally optioned, the difference is typically about $3000. Also, the Camry, Altima, and Fusion hybrids all have 0-60 under 9.0 sec, with the Altima at about 7.1 and the slowest (the Fusion) at 8.5. No different than my '96 ES300.

    I guess I'm adding other factors into the purchase, like decreasing oil imports and having fun (I'm an engineer, so I may have a strange definition of fun) working with the hybrid technology.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I understand perfectly what the EPA tests are intended to do and I don't disagree.

    The original post that set off this mini blaze stated that hybrids were not intended for highway driving. I disagree, that's all. They all do wonderfully on the highway.

    As regards pricing that's far far more subjective. There is no right/wrong or good/bad barometer. If a person normally expects to spend $25000 - $35000 on a vehicle then the hybrids are simply the most economical choice. There is no 'premium', it doesn't exist for these buyers. In fact there's a discount, i.e. the amount of fuel saved.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Well said. We all know that hybrids often do better in the city than the highway cycle, but that said, the highway mileage numbers are still very good, and the combined numbers are impressively better than the already good 4 cylinder ICE-only counterpart.

    Some people will pay more for newer tech, as well as for having a certain level of comfort while still knowing they are doing some small part to address dwindling resources and the need to burn less fuel to have cleaner air. The lower fuel cost is just a bonus, but one the hybrid owner gets to take advantage of each and every week of ownership. Actual "payback" is beside the point. If all vehicle purchases were made with a spreadsheet in mind, there would be a lot fewer choices out there.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    There is a premium for a hybrid over the same non hybrid car. You don't get batteries, inverters, electric motors and displays for free. Go price a TC/TCH of FF/FFH similarly equipped.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Oh, come on Allen. Did you really not get his point? If a person plans to spend $25K to $35K on a car, where is the premium?? OF COURSE the hybrid version costs more than the ICE version, but it is more car, more tech, and consequently more flash, dash and sass in the marketplace. Compare the hybrid to a non-hybrid in the same price range, and what premium is anyone talking about?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    I got the point and I don't agree with the way it was worded.

    If a person normally expects to spend $25000 - $35000 on a vehicle then the hybrids are simply the most economical choice. There is no 'premium', it doesn't exist for these buyers. In fact there's a discount, i.e. the amount of fuel saved.

    I agree that a person willing to spend that much may not care that the hybrid cost $3K more. Just like they may be willing to spend $3K on a DVD/NAV/Stereo option or $5K on a luxury package.

    If a person plans to spend $25K to $35K on a car, where is the premium?

    Well DUH - It's in the extra $3K cost of the hybrid over the non hybrid. If you're both saying that buyers won't PERCEIVE it as a premium then that I can agree with. They will also PERCEIVE that they're saving money overall based on lower fuel costs. But PERCEPTION is not REALITY.

    I'm sorry but I'm a literal person. If you say there's no premium when there clearly is I have a problem with it. If you say there is a premium but nobody cares then that's fine.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    There is a premium for a hybrid over the same non hybrid car. You don't get batteries, inverters, electric motors and displays for free. Go price a TC/TCH of FF/FFH similarly equipped.

    Of course there is a difference in price. There is also a difference in price between the 4 cyl and the V6; between the base model and one with Navi and Leather.

    The key point is that Ford and Toyota and Honda have discovered that there are whole swaths of buyers that will not even consider the base model of the Fusion or Camry or Civic under any circumstance. For these buyers those base models don't exist.

    This isn't a theoretical beauty pagaent. It's about identifying buyers and what they want and what they don't want. For the ultra budget conscious the hybrids probably are NOT the best choice....a good used vehicle is a better choice. For those expecting to pay $25000 - $35000 for their next new vehicle any one of the hybrids is a great choice because they're less expensive overall than the other vehicles in that price range.

    Buyers first of all classify themselves into price strata. A $40000 vehicle buyer will not consider a $14000 strippie outside of extraordinary circumstances. A $19000 buyer doesn't really 'shop' a Mercedes, he or she may look but they know that they don't belong there budget-wise.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well DUH - It's in the extra $3K cost of the hybrid over the non hybrid. If you're both saying that buyers won't PERCEIVE it as a premium then that I can agree with. They will also PERCEIVE that they're saving money overall based on lower fuel costs. But PERCEPTION is not REALITY.

    I'm sorry but I'm a literal person. If you say there's no premium when there clearly is I have a problem with it. If you say there is a premium but nobody cares then that's fine.


    After 8 yrs of addressing these concerns this key concept has proven itself valid.

    Buyers in this price segment see the benefits of having the most fuel efficient vehicle in that price stratum. The vehicle makers know what they're doing in these pricing structures.

    The Camry V6 loaded goes for $33000 MSRP ......... 268 HP
    The Camry Hybrid loaded goes for $32000 MSRP .... 187 HP
    The Camry I4 loaded goes for $31000 MSRP ........... 161 HP ( soon 179 HP )

    I'd expect the FFH to have a similar structure.

    All three have the same equipment, the only difference is the drive system. Buyers in this price stratum recognize that the hybrid overall is the less costly vehicle. You see the price premium ( vis-a-vis the I4 ) while I see the price discount ( vis-a-vis the V6 ). In addition when you add up all the estimated costs over the lives of these three vehicles the TCH comes out far lower overall.

    Thus for the literally-minded not only is there NO PREMIUM but in fact there is a discount.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689

    Buyers first of all classify themselves into price strata. A $40000 vehicle buyer will not consider a $14000 strippie outside of extraordinary circumstances. A $19000 buyer doesn't really 'shop' a Mercedes, he or she may look but they know that they don't belong there budget-wise


    Speak for yourself. I seriously test drove a $18K used mustang GT and a $20K mercury cougar before buying a $38,000 Lincoln LS. I just wanted something fun to drive and price wasn't an issue (below $40K).

    For those expecting to pay $25000 - $35000 for their next new vehicle any one of the hybrids is a great choice because it's less expensive overall than the other vehicles in that price range.

    Now you've TOTALLY lost me again. Let's say I'm looking at a $30K Fusion that happens to be a hybrid. I can also get the EXACT SAME VEHICLE without the hybrid powertrain (2.5L I4) for $27K that still gets great fuel economy. So my choice is to get the non hybrid or pay $3K more for the hybrid version that gets much better fuel economy.

    HOW DOES THAT MAKE THE HYBRID CHEAPER?? It might turn out to be cheaper 5 or 10 years down the road based on future fuel costs, but it costs more up front.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If you really want to save money buy a cheap econobox. But that's not what most people want. If you want a Fusion or Camry with the best fuel mileage or it just makes you happy to drive a hybrid then go for it. I just don't like to hear people use cost savings as a justification. It's similar to people trading in SUVs and losing thousands in depreciation just to save a few hundred dollars in fuel. Or spending $25K on a new car to save spending $2,500 to fix an old one. You have to look at the big picture.

    There are cost savings overall in certain cases, for example in the case of the Camry ICE / TCH it's significant. Those savings of lack thereof are controlled by the vehicle makers as they structure their prices. The numbers are clear.

    In the case of the Camry / TCH the savings are significant.
    In the case of the Matrix / Prius there are no savings, the two vehicles cost the same over a normal lifespan.
    In the case of the Highlander / HH the non-hybrid costs less overall significantly, by design.
    In the case of the Civic / HCH the hybrid costs somewhat less.
    In the case of the Escape / FEH the hybrid costs somewhat less.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You may be among the exceptions in your range of purchases. The bulk of the population doesn't have such a wide view.

    Again there is no question that the two vehicles have different acquisition costs. But this view is too narrow to be valid. In the end the FFH will cost less to purchase and to operate than the non-hybrid version.

    BTW, In the acquisition cost of the FFH did you factor in a potential Federal tax credit of $2500 - $3000 and/or many of the state tax credits available?

    With the superior fuel economy and the superior resale value of the hybrids even without the tax credit(s) the total cost of ownership and operation are going to be lower....for normal driving and a normal ownership period.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    For those expecting to pay $25000 - $35000 for their next new vehicle any one of the hybrids is a great choice because it's less expensive overall than the other vehicles in that price range. Ok, keep being like a dog with a bone if you must, but your literal interpretation is simply digging in your heels and not acknowledging that I am not comparing a hybrid Camry for example to an ICE Camry. Of course the hybrid costs more.

    If I am spending $30K or so, I will look around at what that money will get me. The hybrid will go up against more expensive cars than the non-hybrid, because, given the extra equipment and tech on board, it is worth the extra dough and deserves to be compared with other vehicles that cost as much as it does. The hybrid is likely to have better resale, which in most cases takes care of the higher tariff at the beginning. And it is not just fuel costs you save. There are tax credits, and of course the operating costs are going to be lower than those of a Nissan Maxima or Audi A4.

    As for your contention that you consider a wide range of prices and products, well so do I and so do lots of other people. I have a Suzuki, a VW and a used F150 and like them all. But I am telling you that if I consider buying a mid-size hybrid sedan, I am unlikely to compare it with the ICE version and say, "oh, I should get the ICE because it is cheaper." I am not interested in a 4 cylinder bread and butter mid-size sedan, and am only considering the hybrid one because of the hybrid powertrain and the stuff that goes with it. I may drive the Audi and others in that price range to make sure that I might not be more happy with the characteristics of another near luxury car in that price range, even if the mileage is lower. But I won't be looking at another used F150 and saying "F150? or hybrid?" Now, someone else might. We are all individuals.

    But I can assure you that my spreadsheet comparisons of operating costs will not be between, say the Milan hybrid and Milan 4 cylinder, because I do not want a Milan 4 cylinder, so why run the numbers? I want the hybrid. If I bought the 6 cylinder ICE Milan, I could by your same thinking say that the 4 cylinder is less expensive overall (and therefore presumably should have been the one to buy). Yes, it is cheaper to buy and operate. So what? I don't want it.

    This is what some of the other posters are pointing out by saying there is no premium. It depends on where you focus or what prespective you take of your universe. In addition, others have pointed out the tax advantage and resale factors in addition to lower fuel costs, for those who do make the ICE-hybrid comparison.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Posts: 585
    I've been kind of poking in and out for a while. I'm not in the market for a new car, still paying mine off. I haven't read all posts here so if this has been brought up before I'm sorry.

    Curious about what people are saying about the prospect of having to replace the battery pack at some point in the car's useful life. I don't know how much the battery costs, but I venture to guess about $5k or thereabouts. I'd be interested to see what people think about having a non-hybrid car that eventually is paid off vs. having a hybrid that, while paid off (eventually), will require a replacement battery as all batteries die.

    If I'm confusing I apologize, but I'd be curious to know.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,689
    I guess I wasn't clear. When I say there is a premium for the hybrid all I mean is you have to may more up front for the hybrid powertrain. Even if the MSRP difference is only $2K (no way it's less than that if you're comparing apples to apples) you have to figure that you can get another $2K in discounts on the ICE compared to the hybrid at MSRP or above. So the real world difference is more like $4k. It could be even less than that but it depends on the vehicle.

    You then have to take into account a lot of other factors - insurance, finance charges, resale value (which depends on how long you keep it), tax credits, maintenance and fuel costs - to see which one is cheaper. I admit that if the upfront costs are low and there are tax credits then the hybrid may pay off in just a few years - but it depends.

    This all assumes that you've decided you want to buy a TCH or FFH and the only question is whether you should get the hybrid or the I4 ICE, which is exactly what I would be doing since I'd pick the car I wanted first, then evaluate powertrain options.

    If you're not willing to consider an ICE powertrain at all then it's a moot point anyway. Which I guess is what you guys are trying to say. If I wanted a hybrid then I'd buy one but I wouldn't try to rationalize it as being cheaper because there are always cheaper alternatives.

    I'm done. Buy whatever you want and rationalize it any way that makes you feel better.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,573
    Re: the batteries, Toyota says they're proving to be very long-lived, life of the car kind of thing. One big advantage of hybrids over pure EVs is the ability to optimize the charge-discharge cycles. I think the Prius battery price is now around 3K, and it's guaranteed for 100k (150k in CA, I think).
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,681
    the funny this is, most of the owners (middle aged women) are convinced the batteries are going to fail. it probably won't happen.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I think that may be WAY too broad a brush with which to paint that segment. If you preferenced it 'In my area it appears.....'

    ;)
    In this area that there are a lot of well-off middle aged women buyers, but also there are a lot of professionals - especially doctors, a HUGE segment of retirees, but the the majority is probably active military and ex-military families - mostly officers.

    Yes the one of the fears of these first-time buyers is 'how long will the battery last?'. The data shows that there is no reason ever to have to replace the battery. Like anything else take care of it and it should last the life of the vehicle.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    I disagree, that's all. They all do wonderfully on the highway.

    Probably they are ideal for your kind of 55-65 MPH level highways. On the other coast we have many highways posted up to 75 MPH with 8% grades. Cross winds that shut truck & RV traffic down for days at a time. I would say a vehicle like a Prius is marginal under those conditions. I would expect the Fusion hybrid to be good for all highway travel.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    If the economy stays in the tank and the Fusion Hybrid follows the Escape Hybrid it will be a big premium.

    My brother in law just purchased a 2008 Escape AWD Limited in November. They wanted the Escape Hybrid. The only Escape hybrids available were 2009 models. They paid right at $22k for the loaded V6 Limited and Drew Ford would not go below $32k for the AWD Hybrid Limited. I doubt the hybrid will perform as well as the V6 and mileage is only marginally better. They are getting about 21 MPG with the car and love it.

    They take about 3 trips per year to Washington where their son lives. They did not figure the 3 MPG highway gain with the hybrid was worth $10 grand.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    They could have got 29 MPG with the FEH AWD. That's the number at gh.com for that model. The 2WD is at 32 MPG.

    So he is polluting more and paying more for fuel, but has a lower monthly payment.

    He could have gotten about 38% better mileage with the Hybrid.

    Tell him he screwed up. LOL !!! :)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "I would say a vehicle like a Prius is marginal under those conditions. I would expect the Fusion hybrid to be good for all highway travel. "

    What "areas on the other coast" are you talking about? Mountain ranges?

    Why would a fusion, which is far less aerodynamic than a Prius, do better in high winds?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Crosswinds don't care much about front to back aerodynamics. Some of the more egg-shaped small cars are actually not so good in crosswinds. The Fusion hybrid is wider and weighs more. It will likely be better in crosswinds than the Prius.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let me ask you. All of the readers here.

    Have anyone of you EVER been forced off the road because of crosswinds????

    Ever? In any vehicle?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    And your point is?

    Doing a lot of wheel corrections v. doing fewer (or even no more at all) is what we are talking about here.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My point is that anyone using the "well, I might get caught in severe crosswinds one or two times in my life, so maybe I ought to choose the Fusion/Milan over the Prius" decision point is a complete idiot.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    Tell him he screwed up. LOL !!!

    You are a funny guy. Even using your 29 MPG for the hybrid and saving 38% it would take nearly 200,000 miles and over 12 years to make up that difference. That is with gas selling for $4 per gallon. At today's gas prices it would take 400,000 miles and 25 years to recoup that $10k. The real point is he just retired and will probably put less than 10k miles per year on the vehicle. There is not a chance he screwed up.

    The only reason I think he screwed up is it is too small. I was crowded in the back seat when he picked us up at the airport. He traded in his 2006 Explorer which turned out to be a much bigger gas hog than the 1996 Explorer he had before. Like me and my Suburban he was sad he ever traded the 1996 Explorer for a new one. Vehicles are just not as good as they were in the 1990s. At least the ones I have owned.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991
    to choose the Fusion/Milan over the Prius" decision point is a complete idiot.

    That is a harsh thing to say for a desert rat like yourself. I would not want to leave the city limits of Phoenix in a Prius. AZ where the wind blows most of the time.
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