When I drive to Toronto, I tend to rent a car for the trip as my jeep is very shaky, and very uncomfortable for a longer trip. It is also a huge gas guzzler and it is about the same price for me to rent a small car and pay $40 to fill it up vs. the $80 it costs to fill the Jeep (which I have to fill up multiple times).
So this trip I had the opportunity to try out a car that both Paul and I are interested in buying in a year or two. That car is the Ford Fusion. It is the ‘economy car’ of the Ford line-up, but has received rave reviews – even from the Top Gear Guys. I did enjoy driving it and only had one real criticism about it which unfortunately is a deal breaker for us right now (will explain below).
This car drove really well for an economy car. The smaller, cheaper cars tend to have a bit more of a rough ride. But the Fiesta was VERY pleasant to drive. It got going pretty quickly and I didn’t feel like the car was shaking that much (compared to the jeep and to my previous car, the Pontiac Wave). It had cruise control as well, which is always a treat. The steering was pretty good, but I wasn’t too comfortable parallel parking, so I avoided it.
Bells and Whistles
The car we had was the totally upgraded vehicle, so it had: Cruise Control, A/C, Automatic transmission, the Ford Sync System, Bluetooth, Power windows….all that fancy stuff. Most of it is standard ‘upgrade’ material. The stereo had a nice sound to it. The Sync system was a bit of a pain to use at first since it requires you to pretty much glance at the owner’s guide before really getting to use the system. I also found that the whole Sync Panel was a bit too high up for me. I did enjoy using the Bluetooth system to make calls via the car sound system vs. my iPhone headphones (remember I drive a 99 jeep….I have a tape deck for pete’s sake!). Also, when I went to sync my phone, I suddenly could no longer use my auxiliary cable to hear my iPhone music. I was driving on the highway during this, so I didn’t have the opportunity to pull over and figure it all out.
The inside of the car
Again, pretty nice for an economy car. My Dad did not like the seats as he found them hard (he has the same criticism for all economy cars though). The driver’s seat had an arm-rest, but it made fetching my coffee a bit of a pain, and I almost spilt it a few times. The backseat had a good space to it….except when you installed a carseat (see below for the Mommy part).
Got the stroller in, plus had room for some bags. All I need really. At this point in time I would NOT buy the hatchback version of the Fiesta though, as I really need the trunk space!
In my opinion, it is the same as the Wave. People have been saying it is great on mileage, which is true, but it didn’t blow my mind away. Just like the Wave, I need the whole tank to get to my parent’s house in Mississauga. Compared to the Jeep though, the gas mileage is fantastic. My point being:
Jeep: Can barely get to Mississauga on one tank of gas (I usually stop, because I am paranoid of running out). Cost to fill up the tank at today’s prices (hovering at $1.30 a litre): $80
Fiesta: Can get to Mississauga on one tank of gas with no problem. Cost to fill up the tank: $45
In terms of gas this is what I did via the Fiesta: Drove to Mississauga, Etobicoke, Toronto Beaches and Back, Waterloo and back (around 150Km), Etobicoke and back, Milton and then Milton to Ottawa.
What did I spend on gas this week (given that my tank was full when I started): about $100. What would have that cost me in the jeep: guesstimate of $200.
Ok, here is the deal breaker. When you install a carseat in the back, you have to bring the front seat all the way to the front. There is no way that I can possibly sit that close to the steering wheel and not drive like an idiot, so that means the passenger seat is moved all the way up to the front. This is crap for the passenger. I sat in that seat for a second and I couldn’t stand it. There is nothing special about Max’s car seat. It is a standard Graco Snugride. I have the same stupid problem with the jeep. Why can’t the car companies put a car seat there and literally had a few inches of space to utilize the car better? . For this reason, we are not buying the Fiesta any time soon, which is a big disappointment. We may purchase it as P’s car once some used cars go on sale, but we won’t be using it as our family car.
Overall the car is great. If you are not in the family way, I would definitely recommend that you check it out. If you are in the family way: consider buying the Fusion! My parents have an 2007 Fusion and there is plenty of room! We are looking into that now as an option, especially since there is a Hybrid version (my Dad is looking at that car too as he really enjoyed driving a Prius, but like’s the Fusion a lot).