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2010 Ford Fusion: MT Car of the Year

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The Ford Fusion midsize car has been selected as Motor Trend magazine’s 2010 Car of the Year, beating a field of nearly two dozen contenders.

The award is among the most prestigious in the automotive industry, and it will provide Ford Motor Co. with an additional marketing tool to promote the sedan, which is the 10th best-selling vehicle in America and continues to pick up steam.

To be eligible for Motor Trend’s award, the vehicle under consideration must be totally new or substantially redesigned, and released within the 12 months before Nov. 1.

The Ford Fusion, first introduced in 2005, was refreshed this year with an upgraded engine, new transmission, better fuel efficiency as well as a redesigned front end and interior.

The new model was well received by auto critics. Free Press automotive critic Mark Phelan, for example, called the Fusion “the first Ford midsize sedan since the original 1986 Taurus that you must test before you buy any of its competitors.”

Ford has successfully used the improved fuel efficiency and new look of the Fusion to win new customers.

The automatic 2010 Ford Fusion S gets a combined 27 miles per gallon, which is better than a similar model of the Toyota Camry, which gets a combined 25 m.p.g., and the Honda Accord, which gets 25 m.p.g.

Since the redesigned Fusion was introduced in March, it has become the top-selling car built by an American automaker. Ford builds the Fusion at its assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Through October, U.S. consumers have purchased 148,045 Fusions, a gain of 15.3%, according to Autodata Corp.

While midsize car rivals such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima outsell the Fusion, all of those models have posted posted year-to-date declines.

Through October, Toyota has sold 294,493 Camrys, a 23.7% decline. Honda has sold 244,579 Accords, a 26.6% decline. Nissan has sold 169,435 Altimas, a 29.8% decline.

While Motor Trend's award is one of many such awards by a variety of magazines and organizations in the automotive industry, Michael Bernacchi, professor of marketing at the University of Detroit Mercy, said Motor Trend's award will help Ford.

“There is a lot of award clutter out there,” Bernacchi said. “But I think it certainly it is of great value for dealers, when they have you in their clutches, to be able to pass this information on.”

http://www.freep.com/article/20091117/BUSINESS01/91117041/1319/Ford-Fusion-is-Motor-Trends-Car-of-the-Year

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This is very good news for Ford and shows how excellent the Fusion is because it beat out the toughest Detroit competition in a generation.

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Insight should have won.

Except that the Fusion is a better overall car than the Insight.

Great news for Ford!

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Insight should have won.

Meh. Insight is nothing new, just a Prius wannabe. And Prius won the MT COTY in '04.

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Except that the Fusion is a better overall car than the Insight.

Well sure, it's a more expensive car in a higher segment. So is the Accord.

On what grounds?

Affordable and practical high MPG hybrid. Whether you like the car or not, it does something important for the automotive world by bringing the price of hybrids (including its competition) down, while retaining everyday functionality of an ordinary car.

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Well sure, it's a more expensive car in a higher segment. So is the Accord.

Affordable and practical high MPG hybrid. Whether you like the car or not, it does something important for the automotive world by bringing the price of hybrids (including its competition) down, while retaining everyday functionality of an ordinary car.

Except the ride is worse than the Civics and the mpgs aren't exactly mind blowing. The Fusion is a much more complete package that offers something for everyone: Sportiness, V6, 4-banger, advanced hybrid system with best in class fuel economy, that drivers better than any other midsize hybrid, lots of features, lots of space.

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Insight should have won.

My wife and I dropped by the local Honda dealer just for a look see at what they had on the showroom flood.

The Insight had her laughing out loud. Not sure the insight is even the car that the Prius is, much less the car the Fusion is.

The last Honda I'd really want to buy went away when they stopped building the S2000.

Overall, I am not that impressed with the insight. The TDI VW Golf, helll yes...the insight...meh.

Chris

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Except the ride is worse than the Civics and the mpgs aren't exactly mind blowing. The Fusion is a much more complete package that offers something for everyone: Sportiness, V6, 4-banger, advanced hybrid system with best in class fuel economy, that drivers better than any other midsize hybrid, lots of features, lots of space.

Hey you sound like a Ford spokesman. Hitting on all the Fusion highlights with such fervor. What you described can be found in the Camry, Altima, and even the last generation Accord. Other than being an all-around solid vehicle, the Fusion does nothing exemplary or special. The Insight, on the other hand, is the first sub-$20k hybrid. Scoff at that all you will. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I think an affordable and practical hybrid is more reward-worthy than another cookie-cutter mid-sizer that is finally on par with the imports.

Everyone here blasted the Civic for winning in '06. And I may have even argued a similar point as you're trying to argue right now (complete package, something for everyone, etc etc).

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Insight should have won.

ha! not judging by the amount of bad press its gotten about how crappy a car it is. honda cheaped out and it shows.

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My wife and I dropped by the local Honda dealer just for a look see at what they had on the showroom flood.

The Insight had her laughing out loud. Not sure the insight is even the car that the Prius is, much less the car the Fusion is.

The last Honda I'd really want to buy went away when they stopped building the S2000.

Overall, I am not that impressed with the insight. The TDI VW Golf, helll yes...the insight...meh.

Chris

I wasn't impressed with the quality of the Insight -especially the interior and slightly sagging glove box (in the one I looked at). I did compare it to the Prius the same day (different dealer), and I can say confidently that the quality of the Prius is about the same, despite its higher price.

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Hey you sound like a Ford spokesman. Hitting on all the Fusion highlights with such fervor. What you described can be found in the Camry, Altima, and even the last generation Accord. Other than being an all-around solid vehicle, the Fusion does nothing exemplary or special. The Insight, on the other hand, is the first sub-$20k hybrid. Scoff at that all you will. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I think an affordable and practical hybrid is more reward-worthy than another cookie-cutter mid-sizer that is finally on par with the imports.

Everyone here blasted the Civic for winning in '06. And I may have even argued a similar point as you're trying to argue right now (complete package, something for everyone, etc etc).

Ironic coming from a Dodge Fan no? Some of us don't chug as much of the corporate kool-aid as others. ;)

The Camry sucks to drive, the Accord has no hybrid option, the Malibu, Camry, and Altima hybrids gets worse mpg.

The Insight feels like what it is: a cheap car. It may be the cheapest hybrid, but then the stripper Versa is the cheapest car in the US, that doesn't make either of them desirable. Honda's own disappointing sales number showed its not the hot $h! they thought it was going to be.

Even CR, the Honda lovers they are thought “The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time”

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Even Consumer Reports laughed at the insight. I think they gave the Ford props, that should say something.

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Would concur with you on the insight vs. Civic vs. Prius, to an extent.

Off topic rabbit trail but...

The Civic seems to feel really tight and well built, as does the Accord. Insight just feels cheaper.

And I'm not knocking Hondas current lineup when I say that they don't have anything for me. They build an awesome quality product. And as I've said before, I've had really good luck buying used GM and Chryco cars from Buckeye Honda. They are a great dealership. Wish that a modern Honda did appeal to me, as I would love to reward the good guys there with a new car purchase. But the closest thing to love for me in the Honda lineup is the Civic SI and for me it's just not "love" compared to the GTI and the Cooper S.

Just saying this because I'm not about bashing Honda mindlessly on the interweb.

Maybe they'll bring out another CRX or S2000 type of car and it will be love again. Who knows?

Chris

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Well sure, it's a more expensive car in a higher segment. So is the Accord.

Affordable and practical high MPG hybrid. Whether you like the car or not, it does something important for the automotive world by bringing the price of hybrids (including its competition) down, while retaining everyday functionality of an ordinary car.

Civic-H 40 / 45

Insight 40 / 43

Civic-H 110 @ 6000 RPM

Insight 98 @ 5800 RPM

Civic-H $23,800

Insight $19,800

The Insight handles like crap compared to even the crappy handling Prius. The Civic is it's good, mild mannered self.

If you're really looking to save money by buying a stripped out Insight, you're better off buying a Cobalt XFE and saving $5,000 MSRP (likely more after rebates).

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Hey you sound like a Ford spokesman. Hitting on all the Fusion highlights with such fervor. What you described can be found in the Camry, Altima, and even the last generation Accord. Other than being an all-around solid vehicle, the Fusion does nothing exemplary or special. The Insight, on the other hand, is the first sub-$20k hybrid. Scoff at that all you will. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I think an affordable and practical hybrid is more reward-worthy than another cookie-cutter mid-sizer that is finally on par with the imports.

Everyone here blasted the Civic for winning in '06. And I may have even argued a similar point as you're trying to argue right now (complete package, something for everyone, etc etc).

yeah... well... not really

The Camry doesn't have the sportiness

The Altima's interior is right there with the G6

An affordable practical hybrid that doesn't do anything well except get descent fuel economy isn't COTY worthy. If Ford had released a Focus hatchback hybrid and it won COTY we'd all be rolling our eyes.

The Fusion has the sportiness, the frugality, the looks, the moves, the quality and the practicality.

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Would concur with you on the insight vs. Civic vs. Prius, to an extent.

Off topic rabbit trail but...

The Civic seems to feel really tight and well built, as does the Accord. Insight just feels cheaper.

And I'm not knocking Hondas current lineup when I say that they don't have anything for me. They build an awesome quality product. And as I've said before, I've had really good luck buying used GM and Chryco cars from Buckeye Honda. They are a great dealership. Wish that a modern Honda did appeal to me, as I would love to reward the good guys there with a new car purchase. But the closest thing to love for me in the Honda lineup is the Civic SI and for me it's just not "love" compared to the GTI and the Cooper S.

Just saying this because I'm not about bashing Honda mindlessly on the interweb.

Maybe they'll bring out another CRX or S2000 type of car and it will be love again. Who knows?

Chris

to me, the cheapness that is evident inside the Fit is what is in the insight as well. and many hondas simply need to enhance their ride comfort, noise, and NVH. Honda does do 'mechanical precision' well, but its not appropriate in an Odyssey. and many of the lesser segments, cars like the fusion, mz6, vws, malibu etc. have shown you can add tuning out of the bad stuff and still give the car good road feel. honda needs to get with the times and tune out the ricer persona from its vehicles....and not continue to make them more korean as well.

fusion got it. pre 010 fusion was not fun to drive. the 010 fusion is a much improved and refined car and that is what the market wants.

one side note.....i would offer up the legacy as a legit and possibly better alternative to the fusion here. two problems, CVT, and no hybrid.

kinda sad camaro didn't get it, but it would not been politically correct.

Edited by regfootball
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yeah... well... not really

The Camry doesn't have the sportiness

The Altima's interior is right there with the G6

An affordable practical hybrid that doesn't do anything well except get descent fuel economy isn't COTY worthy. If Ford had released a Focus hatchback hybrid and it won COTY we'd all be rolling our eyes.

The Fusion has the sportiness, the frugality, the looks, the moves, the quality and the practicality.

I am obvviously very open to the idea of both asian and european cars but...

Ford has a winner in the new Fusion. The older one was slightly feminine, I thought, in its lines...however...

The new Fusion is just kick ass in every way...LOVE what Ford did with the styling. ALMOST as good as the Malibu, IMHO.

Chris

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Some years, I laugh at MT's choice for COTY... not this year. The 2010 Fusion is a great car and it deserves the win.

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The video from the contest with all the contenders:

It is 21 minutes long:

The award presentation:

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It's not that I think the Fusion isn't deserving of the COTY title (it is), it's just that I think this whole contest is largely B.S. and probably depends more on marketing dollars than anything else.

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Ironic coming from a Dodge Fan no? Some of us don't chug as much of the corporate kool-aid as others. ;)

The Camry sucks to drive, the Accord has no hybrid option, the Malibu, Camry, and Altima hybrids gets worse mpg.

The Insight feels like what it is: a cheap car. It may be the cheapest hybrid, but then the stripper Versa is the cheapest car in the US, that doesn't make either of them desirable. Honda's own disappointing sales number showed its not the hot $h! they thought it was going to be.

Even CR, the Honda lovers they are thought “The Insight is the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time”

Ironic that someone with the username Dodgefan likes a Ford and dislikes a Honda? Not ironic. Ironic is you choosing a Ford over a Dodge. And don't try to insinuate that I'm a kool-aid drinker while you are some paragon of impartiality.

You can nit pick at the mid-sizers all you want and point out flaws in each one. They're all the same and the Fusion is just late to the party.

I remember that CR review. Odd but I'm not entirely surprised. I did find the Insight (and Fit) to be cheap feeling on the inside. Liked everything else about them (at least as far as I could like them considering I drive a range-topping A4 that makes them all feel slow and cheap). I think that CR was on crack. Or are they somehow telling the truth now that they've blasted a Honda and it wasn't a domestic make this time?

The Insight handles like crap compared to even the crappy handling Prius. The Civic is it's good, mild mannered self.

If you're really looking to save money by buying a stripped out Insight, you're better off buying a Cobalt XFE and saving $5,000 MSRP (likely more after rebates).

The Insight exceeds the HCH by about 5 mpg in real-world driving, and the Cobalt XFE by about 15 mpg. Yes, it is underrated. Perhaps Honda didn't want it stepping on the HCH's toes. If so, it was a bad decision IMO.

Sure, you can save at least $5,000 with the Cobalt, but it will be down on features and way down on mileage. There is no "stripped out Insight" like there is with the Cobalt. All common comfort features are standard on the base model.

The XFE is manual-only, isn't it?

yeah... well... not really

The Camry doesn't have the sportiness

The Altima's interior is right there with the G6

An affordable practical hybrid that doesn't do anything well except get descent fuel economy isn't COTY worthy. If Ford had released a Focus hatchback hybrid and it won COTY we'd all be rolling our eyes.

The Fusion has the sportiness, the frugality, the looks, the moves, the quality and the practicality.

The Insight doesn't do anything well except get decent fuel economy? The Insight may not be as nice of a car as the Fusion, but you're being a bit hyperbolic.

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