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View Full Version : So I bought a Ford...



hobbie2k
02-10-2009, 04:20 PM
...but it's really a Mazda, so I think I'm okay...

A 2008 Fusion SEL 2.3 Manual. Pics to come someday.

Cliff Notes: Good car, decent quality with a few small warts, impressive features, especially SYNC, good drive/handling, smooth engine, though feels a little underpowered, one of the better looking mid-sizers.

It had been sitting on a local lot for quite a while so the dealer just wanted it gone. Got it for $16,500 with a $9000 trade on my 2-door Cobalt.

What this means is that my wife no longer has to bend over to put the child in the backseat, we were able to eliminate some of the negative equity we had to take on the Cobalt, and we get a MUCH nicer car. Payments are $10 more a month, but insurance is $10 less a month.

It's nearly fully loaded, everything except leather and nav. Interior quality is a huge step up over the Cobalt, better than the Malibu Maxx I used to own, but not quite up to the '06 Jetta. Materials feel good for the most part, though there are some panels that don't quite line up. Also, the soft dash covering contrasts against the hard plastic covers (which are similar, but not exact in texture) for the "Nav-hole" cubby and pass airbag.

In the recent past, I have found Ford instrument Panels to be small and difficult to read, and it did take some getting used to in the Fusion as well. I think the "raised" tach and speedo looks a little awkward, kind of like a fake air-vent that's just glued on top of the body. I was also worried that the green back-lighting would look cheap and hollow at night, but was pleasantly surprised. The IP definitely looks better at night.

The HVAC controls are clear and simple to use, if a little hard to adjust while driving due to their low placement on the console. The stereo has a nice sound up front, though my wife has noted that it seems difficult to hear in the back. I'll have to look into that and see if something is wrong. What isn't so good about the stereo (in this case a six-disc changer with MP3 capability) is a control layout that can isn't exactly intuitive combined with a very limited (though easy to see and read) display. I personally like GM's dot-matrix display stereos better. I find them easier to read, more informative, more flexible (with multi-function buttons underneath), and more intuitive (ie, I never once had to open the user manual of my Cobalt to figure out what should be a simple adjustment). What I find odd is that the Fusion's Odometer screen uses a similar dot-matrix style (in green) to GM, why they couldn't have put a wider, taller version in the stereo is beyond me.

On the plus side, this car features SYNC. Now, I've never been a fan of Microsoft, but I have to hand it to them, when a voice recognition system will recognize "Yasushi Ishii" and "Asakusa Jinta" then that means you are on to something. Being able to play music from and control my iPod (or Zune, or Phone player, or USB jump drive, or just about anything else) via USB, while charging, without having to take my eyes off the road or my hands off the wheel is a massive help. You can also play music via Bluetooth, or connect your Bluetooth phone, allowing you to say the name of an individual in your phonebook and send and recieve call, text messages, etc. All without picking up, or even looking, at your handset. While it still doesn't solve the issue of a distracting conversation, it does remove the distraction of a keypad and screen. All isn't perfect with SYNC, though. My wife has a somewhat difficult time with it. I don't know if it's because of her accent, or because she hasn't figured out how to speak clearly, but it works fine for me. Another issue is that the system seems to forget our previous play settings every time we turn off the car. For instance, we will have the car playing everything on the iPod with shuffle on. Then, when we turn off the car and start it again, it will continue playing where we left off in the track, however, it will put that track on repeat. I don't know if this is a SYNC issue, or a problem with my wife's iPod (which was left under the Cobalt's seat for three month and was covered with frozen coffee when I found it, it seems like the battery and click-wheel are ruined, but the memory still works). I plan on hooking up a good iPod one of these days to see if it work correctly.

On, a side note. My computer just crashed and if it weren't for Firefox's "Restore" feature, I would have lost everything I have just typed. Thank you, Firefox.

Interior space is very good. Doing the "sit behind yourself" test, I found rear seat space to be very similar to my Crown Vic, but with a more comfortable seat and a flat floor, which makes it easier to find a comfortable place to put your feet. The front offers a wide range of adjustment options with a tilt and telescoping wheel, however, I find my hair brushes against the ceiling. This is with a sunroof, and the seat as low as possible. I'm only 5'10" but I do tend to sit very upright. I also noticed on a 4 hour drive yesterday that my back was beginning to ache. However, I have yet to drive a car that won't cause back-ache after four hours, and many that will start it much sooner.

As for driving, the ride is reasonably smooth without being wallowy, steering is heavier and not as numb as the Cobalt's and the chassis feels very solid over all but the most dramatic pot holes. It definitely feels sportier than the Cobalt, Malibu, and even the Jetta. However, it also feels heavier than the others, especially when accelerating. While the 2.3L four-pot is smooth and rev-happy, it doesn't pull like the Cobalt's 2.2, which I attribute to the Fusion's weight penalty. I also found the 2.3's noise to be somewhat intrusive at speed (70mph). The clutch is heavy and lacking in feel and the shifter is somewhat rubbery, though I've seen bushing kits online that claim to fix that.

Finally, after this weekend's trip to Minneapolis for my wife's immigration residency interview (more on that in another thread), I averaged 28.4mpg with some city driving, highway speeds anywhere from 60-80 mph, and a fair bit of idling.

All up, I have to say that the domestic automakers can build good cars, now they just have to get people to buy them (preferably for MSRP).

liplip
02-10-2009, 07:54 PM
You traded in a Chevy for a Ford. That's almost the same isn't it?

Simonhla
02-11-2009, 05:12 AM
This was the longest post I have seen on here and frankly I didn't really bother reading it. That said when I read the title "So I bought a Ford" the first thing that came into my mind was "Well that was stupid". But then I am not a fan of American cars at all. Classic muscle cars sure but production vehicles? Garbage.

Hopefully this car will serve you well though. Ignore my facetious attitude. Best of luck mate.

Slider
02-11-2009, 07:56 AM
Newer Fords are pretty nice, they surprised me.

Murgatroy
02-11-2009, 07:59 AM
Domestic automakers have really picked it up over the last handful of years. I just hope it isn't too late.

I am glad you are happy in your purchase.

MaroonST
02-11-2009, 08:10 AM
a fusion huh.... well anything is better then a cobalt, those are one of the lowest grade production cars out there...

ive only sat in a fusion once, that was when i was driving it into the shop for some new tires... it was a hybrid one and the owner complained that the tires they install from the factory suck....

btw, I am GM biased... I do own a mazda 3 and the build quality is great!

mr2trd3
02-11-2009, 03:07 PM
Not much of a domestic fan myself, but Ford has really been improving. Of the BIG 3, Ford is definitely doing better and has some impressive products. If only the USDM got the EDM Ford Focus RS.

hobbie2k
02-11-2009, 04:57 PM
5-10 years ago I would never have even considered buying a new domestic, but that was back when I had a thing called disposable income, was single and childless, and all domestics sucked. But now, price and capability are greater considerations than style and quality, and not all domestic cars suck anymore (though many still do, like the Cobalt). The Fusion really did surprise me. I've always liked its "chisled" styling, and the rest of the car isn't bad, either.

In the case of the Cobalt, I was in a financial situation following a sudden and unexpected layoff where I couldn't afford two car payments anymore. Since both my cars (an 05 Malibu Maxx and an 06 Jetta 2.0T) were still worth more than $13k I was having a hard time selling one myself, and I just had to trade them both in on the cheapest new car with the highest rebates I could find, that happened to be a Cobalt.

Though I will argue that the Cobalt isn't the worst car available (and the Cobalt SS is downright brilliant if you can live with the low-rent interior). There's still the Caliber, Avenger, Sebring, Aveo, and the "new" Focus is pretty ugly. Not only that, but by getting rid of the hatchback variants, Ford eliminated the only real advantage the Focus had, in my view.

Anyhow, the Ford is decent, my wife likes it and she drives it most of the time. And since it's really a Mazda6 underneath, I can still (sort-of) claim that it's really an import...sort-of...

T-spoon
02-11-2009, 05:07 PM
Personally I'd have taken a hard look at the new Hyundai offerings if looking to trade in right now, but honestly, surprisingly, I think that was a good trade. Cobalt -> Fusion.... not bad.

VikingJZ
02-13-2009, 04:50 PM
Glad you like it!

They're pretty cool looking; didn't know they came in a stick either.

I don't know if I'll even consider getting anything newer than a mid-90's Toyota or other reliable import until I absolutely have to. At that point, it will be a used car.

My girlfriend's mom just got a 2009 Corolla back in August with power windows, locks, mirrors, and several other nice options. She paid right around $16,000.

But you had two nice cars to trade in, where as Colleen had a rusty, dirty 2000 Dodge Caravan that she had sell privately.

I just hope the Corolla stays nice.

VikingJZ
02-13-2009, 04:56 PM
Personally I'd have taken a hard look at the new Hyundai offerings if looking to trade in right now, but honestly, surprisingly, I think that was a good trade. Cobalt -> Fusion.... not bad.

Hyundai is getting there in my book.

I'm still not pleased with some of the things I've heard about their warranty claims work.

Friend of mine bought a brand new 2003 Tiburon GTV6 six speed. This guy never even floored it, and I swear to God was an old man in teen skin. Anyway, he was headed to go see his grandparents in Nebraska when the tranny blew out.

Dealer told him this time its on them, but next time they'll consider it his fault and it will be his tab.

So, he finished the trip limping it just to be safe, and when he got home, woke up the next morning and went to Toyota and traded it in on a Matrix XRS

hobbie2k
02-13-2009, 06:23 PM
Just got some pics!

These are from a phone camera and the weather wasn't exactly nice so the quality isn't great. Also, please excuse how dirty the car is, it's my wife's DD now.

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/F.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/RF.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/RS.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/R.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/LR.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/Int1_564099.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/Int2_478368.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/Int3_677769.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/Trunk.jpg

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/1/2/4/Engine.jpg

My91GTS
02-13-2009, 09:39 PM
wow nice for a ford well.. mazda what ever its still nice.

celicaGT90_05
02-13-2009, 11:26 PM
This was the longest post I have seen on here and frankly I didn't really bother reading it. That said when I read the title "So I bought a Ford" the first thing that came into my mind was "Well that was stupid". But then I am not a fan of American cars at all. Classic muscle cars sure but production vehicles? Garbage.

Hopefully this car will serve you well though. Ignore my facetious attitude. Best of luck mate.

If you want we can take this outside...

lol anyway that looks nice, a 5 speed? Kick ass. Newer Fords actually are really nice, they just need to keep that up...

wizzards581
02-14-2009, 01:17 AM
nice.. especially manual.. how would this compare to the camry SE? j/w..

TNT
02-14-2009, 02:37 AM
Hyundai is getting there in my book.

I'm still not pleased with some of the things I've heard about their warranty claims work.

Friend of mine bought a brand new 2003 Tiburon GTV6 six speed. This guy never even floored it, and I swear to God was an old man in teen skin. Anyway, he was headed to go see his grandparents in Nebraska when the tranny blew out.

Dealer told him this time its on them, but next time they'll consider it his fault and it will be his tab.

So, he finished the trip limping it just to be safe, and when he got home, woke up the next morning and went to Toyota and traded it in on a Matrix XRS

Yeah, it's the biggest issue the car has. And it only applies to the 2003 models which were fitted with the faulty dual mass flywheel that...flys apart. I beat the living shit out of my 6-speed and my flywheel finally broke at 48k, but I could still drive it. My mom's 02 santa fe with the 2.7L tiburon motor has gone through a MAF sensor which was partially my fault at like 60k. That's it. It just turned 100k miles last week. We've put oil in it and put brakes on it. I finally got the other fluids done over the last couple months. Oh yeah, it needs struts in the worst kind of way, but mechanically (powertrain/drivetrain) it is sound. Just thought I'd give the reliability guru's here some testimonial on the dependability of the "new" hyundai. Hyundai is here, man and earning praise from reputable and meticulous critics worldwide. Plus, on the whole, they are twice as easy to work on than a Toyota...the only real PITA on the V6 tib is installing headers...but when is installing headers on a FWD V6 usually easy? The valve covers are held on with 10mm bolts rather than philips head screws like my Nissan.

I went to the dealer a couple weeks ago to pick up a PS hose for my auto tib, stumbled upon a new Genesis sedan V8 on the lot with what was described on the sticker to be "premium leather upholstery". I was amazed. It makes brand new Lexus leather look like hardened 10 year old Honda leather. It's buttery smooth and the cabin is very impressive. You probably think I'm crazy, but I'm very picky when it comes to interior quality and fit and finish. I'm an interior guy. I've always been iffy on the quality of Hyundai interiors..even my own...but the new Genesis really delivers.

I just wish Toyota hadn't lost their unbeatable reliability as they have over the last few years. They were so concerned with being able to produce the massive volume being requested from buyers, they gave less consideration to R&D than they did back in the 90's.

ANYWAY....back on topic (had to mention that)....


I like the fusion to an extent. I think they are stylish (not big on the taillights, but niteshade can help with that), the interiors aren't bad (I hate the new 04+ extremely plasticy ford interiors....the "luxurious" 500/Taurus is the lamest joke I've ever seen).

But wait...it seems interior quality is high on your list of priorities that factor into the decision of which car to buy...WHY ARE YOU BUYING AMERICAN????

hobbie2k
02-14-2009, 05:38 AM
But wait...it seems interior quality is high on your list of priorities that factor into the decision of which car to buy...WHY ARE YOU BUYING AMERICAN????

Because it really isn't that bad an interior. Like I said, most of the surfaces are pleasant looking with a good feel (though there are a few exceptions), the seats are comfortable and it (so far) feels well put together. It doesn't have the interior quality of a German built Volkswagen, but it isn't bad.

Anyway, while interior quality was a concern (and a pleasant surprise), it wasn't the main reason I picked this car. The main reason was price. I wouldn't even be able to get a well equipped Matrix for that price (and the Matrix didn't impress me as much as I had hoped), let alone a Camry.

If there were some Camrys around in that price range, I certainly would have considered them, along with Altimas and Accords. However, I can't say that I would not have chosen the Fusion had the imports been a possibility.

You may not like to hear it, but the domestic manufacturers have improved dramatically in the last generation and they have some truly competitive product, though it will take a while to convince the general public.

The Fusion is a good car, not perfect, but still good. And for it's price and capabilities, I think it represented the best option I had at the time.

VikingJZ
02-14-2009, 07:03 AM
Yeah, it's the biggest issue the car has. And it only applies to the 2003 models which were fitted with the faulty dual mass flywheel that...flys apart. I beat the living shit out of my 6-speed and my flywheel finally broke at 48k, but I could still drive it. My mom's 02 santa fe with the 2.7L tiburon motor has gone through a MAF sensor which was partially my fault at like 60k. That's it. It just turned 100k miles last week. We've put oil in it and put brakes on it. I finally got the other fluids done over the last couple months. Oh yeah, it needs struts in the worst kind of way, but mechanically (powertrain/drivetrain) it is sound. Just thought I'd give the reliability guru's here some testimonial on the dependability of the "new" hyundai. Hyundai is here, man and earning praise from reputable and meticulous critics worldwide. Plus, on the whole, they are twice as easy to work on than a Toyota...the only real PITA on the V6 tib is installing headers...but when is installing headers on a FWD V6 usually easy? The valve covers are held on with 10mm bolts rather than philips head screws like my Nissan.

I went to the dealer a couple weeks ago to pick up a PS hose for my auto tib, stumbled upon a new Genesis sedan V8 on the lot with what was described on the sticker to be "premium leather upholstery". I was amazed. It makes brand new Lexus leather look like hardened 10 year old Honda leather. It's buttery smooth and the cabin is very impressive. You probably think I'm crazy, but I'm very picky when it comes to interior quality and fit and finish. I'm an interior guy. I've always been iffy on the quality of Hyundai interiors..even my own...but the new Genesis really delivers.

I just wish Toyota hadn't lost their unbeatable reliability as they have over the last few years. They were so concerned with being able to produce the massive volume being requested from buyers, they gave less consideration to R&D than they did back in the 90's.

ANYWAY....back on topic (had to mention that)....


I like the fusion to an extent. I think they are stylish (not big on the taillights, but niteshade can help with that), the interiors aren't bad (I hate the new 04+ extremely plasticy ford interiors....the "luxurious" 500/Taurus is the lamest joke I've ever seen).

But wait...it seems interior quality is high on your list of priorities that factor into the decision of which car to buy...WHY ARE YOU BUYING AMERICAN????


I still love Toyotas. I think the quality, while obviously not the same as the heyday, is still top notch compared to the vast majority of auto makers. Then again, there are tons more features and options on the cars of today than 20 years ago, so that's something to think about as well.

Owning a Lexus is still owning a Lexus. The Genesis can get every accolade known to man, but I'd take an IS300 over one any day and all day. Hyundai has several years to go before I'd consider owning one. And its a car from a company that generally makes econocrap boxes.

When Lexus first started, any problems owners had with the original LS400 and the entry ES would receive thorough diagnostic repair and replacements at the owners home by Lexus techs. That's impressive. Lexus is prestige, Hyundai is Hyundai.

Its not a big deal that the tranny went out on Brandon's Tib, its the fact of what they told him about his warranty, and now come to find out its supposedly a one year problem, makes it even more pathetic. Don't give out ten year 100k warranties if you won't back it up like every other manufacturer and a standard 3/36k warranty.

It takes me a while to clear the sourness about products. With GM, they screwed us so bad that I pretend they don't exist. Hyundai gets the so-so hand wave right now.

CPincy
02-14-2009, 08:46 AM
It takes me a while to clear the sourness about products. With GM, they screwed us so bad that I pretend they don't exist. Hyundai gets the so-so hand wave right now.

what did GM do to you?

TNT
02-14-2009, 05:14 PM
Yeah, I will mention that Hyundai really does not stand behind their warranty. My auto tiburon actually started mixing oil and coolant (found little driblets of oil in the coolant res). So I took it in, and they said because I did not have one service at 60k miles which included a coolant flush that I was not covered. I'm like, excuse me? Please explain to me how 70,000 mile old coolant causes a HG leak? They're response. I'm sorry sir, but we cannot honor the warranty as your maintenance services have not been completed entirely. Have a nice day.

I called corporate and they said the same thing. I said fine, this will be the last Hyundai I buy. But that was 6 months ago, and I've put 15k miles on the car since....I flushed the coolant and it still looks pretty clean. The oil has never looked milky at all. I guess the HG sealed itself. Take that, 7M. :bigthumbu

I love the new Genesis coupe, but I would rather not do business with Hyundai because their warranty is nothing but fine print. Their bumper to bumper is 5yr/60k miles, but the paint is covered for 1 yr, the radio/electronics are covered for 1 yr. The 03 clutch debacle was just that because the clutch had separate coverage from the 100k mile powertrain warranty (powertrain warranty ONLY covers engine internals, seals, and the tranny itself...that's it, no accessories, no hoses). The clutch was covered for 1 yr/12k miles and they refused to admit that it was a faulty clutch. But they quickly decided to honor a free replacement with a revised clutch after a class action lawsuit was filed against HMA.

Bottom line: IMO, hyundai makes one of the (if not THE) highest quality products for price currently. But if you have any kind of issue whatsoever, bring an attorney, otherwise you are S..O..L. Hyundai could care less about the customer. You bought the car, wham bam thank you mam, now get out our way...the sales reps have to relube the rubber fists.

Hobbie:

I do like the fusion, especially cool little analog clock on the dash, that's a nice touch. I am not a ford fan in the slightest, but of all the fords I've seen, I prefer the fusion to any of them. My first car was a 99 Contour V6. Like the fusion, it's very european and stands out from the rest of the bland ford lineup.

CraigBMM
09-21-2009, 10:45 PM
well i have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Fords. i'll never touch another one till they can prove they can last without many issues. till then i shun them. lets see a newer Ford go 250k 300k miles without many issues. then we'll talk .

my previous Fords have been nightmares. trans go at 130k , electrical issues galore. pff .. would just wait for the next problem to pop up with the Taurus i had.

Cavanagh
09-22-2009, 06:39 PM
You realize this thread was from February, right?