Illustration for article titled Rental Review: 201(something) Ferd Fusion Platinum Hybrid

On Sunday night I found myself, my wife and my 2 girls stranded in Denver with my connecting flight to Rapid City cancelled for weather. United was nice enough to NOT reschedule me for another flight, but rather to leave me in Denver to figure it out for myself. It’s only a 6-hour drive from Denver to Rapid with a 5 month old and a 2 year old. How hard can it be? TO HERTZ!


Initially offered a Nissan Somethingorother I replied with my usual rental counter-plea of “Do you have anything else?!” He had a Fusion. “That’ll do.”

The final-gen Fusion is a car I’ve admired since its debut. It’s pleasant to look at. I wanted to like this car so badly, and in typical Ecoboost form, I probably would have enjoyed it. But that Hybrid drive... it’s so bad. So, so bad. The electric motor doesn’t appear to do much of anything and only pulls its weight under the most minimal of loads. The engine booms and shudders to life. The slip-n-slide CVT is as bad as any Nissan CVT I’ve experienced. Then there’s the useless, gimicky menus on the TFT display that allow you to “Collect leaves a you drive!” and proclaim “Thank you for driving a hybrid!” upon shutting it down. This cause me to vomit in my mouth a bit.


The seats were decent, the NVH was quite tolerable, it held the road fine, the steering was numb, the seats were okay, the UI on the Sony CarPlay system was clunky, the dial-a-gear shifter is stupid and unintuitive- I found myself accidentally putting the car in reverse instead of park more than once, the steering wheel... ugh... are car companies in a contest to see how many tiny buttons they can cram onto a steering wheel? The trunk is itty bitty because the hybrid batteries take up a bunch of room, the gas tank is teeny (why do car companies make you choose between decent economy and a decently-sized fuel tank? 10 mpg? 40 mpg? You’ll stop for gas every 200 miles and you’re gonna LIKE IT!).

I know I complain about my wife’s RAV4 a lot, much to the chagrin of Zoidberg, but this car made me miss the RAV4.


I’ll end my bitching now and step outside to continue yelling at clouds.

I hate new cars.

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