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Ford Fusion Hybrid Electric Vehicle

auto, GEAR By September 17, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Ford Fusion Hybrid TestThe boys are getting used to our ‘borrowed cars’ and they even humour me by describing what they like as we drive.  The big hit will always be the ‘tracking device’ (GPS) but with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, they added another item to their top 10.  The sleek lines of the Fusion made us think that the car would sound like a souped-up sports car when the ignition was engaged.  But no.  Silence.  The only sound was from the back seat.  “Mommy, is it going?  We’re not going to make it to school!  The car doesn’t work!”  Like something Q would have designed for James Bond, we could sneak up on the least suspecting person. He he.

Ford Fusion HybridTrunk-wise there was plenty of room for our masses of sporting equipment and groceries, though I still argue that I need a larger vehicle to house it all.  My epiphany came when we filled the car before returning it.  I drove all week.  And I have never saved so much money on gas.  In the course of a year I estimate that I could save enough to purchase about 91 pairs of shoes.  Now that’s speaking my language.
MPG stats for the Fusion Hybrid:
City: 71

Hwy: 69
What we liked: 

1.  The grate in front is formed like a hexagon and made the car look super-sporty.
2.  The ambient lighting inside kept the kids happy without turning on extra lights.
3.  The rear-view camera provided lines for guidance
4.  The ecoboost engine was perky and environmentally friendly
5.  The standard cloth seats in the Fusion Hybrid feature a fabric made with REPREVE— a fibre using 100% recycled materials that could potentially have otherwise ended up in landfills.
6.  Regenerative braking recovers more than 90 percent lost energy and sends it back to the battery pack to be stored for later use. It was fun testing my braking ‘score’ every time I stopped.
7.  The lane departure warning helped me stay on track.
8.  Forward collision warning let us know if there was a vehicle too close in front of my Fusion.
9.  Active Park Assist: You can activate available active park assist and it looks for an available parking spot. Ultrasonic sensors measure the distance to the curb and between parked cars. Once a spot that’s big enough is identified, you’re signalled to stop and accept the system’s assistance. All you do is control the shifting, accelerating and braking. A bit freaky at first but very luxurious when you get used to it!
10.  Loved the Sync voice-activated technology.  The console was easy to navigate and very intuitive.
11.  In the electric vehicle (EV), your power is monitored by lights on four quadrants that charge with a plug.

While in Detroit I was again given the opportunity to drive the Fusion Hybrid but as an Electric Vehicle this time (albeit with much more technical knowledge and information about the true environmental benefits of the car.)  My partner Andy Lutzky (@rockatalic) from Hardware Geeks and I raced the track and while maneuvering pylons, here’s a video of our thoughts on the car.


Test Drive of the BMW X5

auto, GEAR By May 18, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

BMW X5This car positively purrs and it a fantastic ‘mom-mobile’.  The BMW X5 is roomy and offers a ton of family-friendly features that make it a great option if your bank account can handle the hefty price tag.

Kid’s Perspective: They LOVED the extra-large panoramic moonroof

– The bluetooth and phonebook sync with both our Blackberry and iPhone was exceptional and worked with the wisp of a touch.
– The forward-to-reverse on the gear shift is a bit counter-intuitive but it’s a BMW thing and you get used to it.
– Lots of room between 2 carseats
– Adaptive headlights follow the direction of the wheels for extreme safety
– Ambient lighting when it’s dark outside
– Sun-reflective seats so even when it’s burning hot outside, the seats stay cool.

Trunk: Clamshell-style and the lower part is quite high so hard to get stroller in if you’re short.  There’s a ton of room for groceries and a big stroller.

The Glitz: Carry the key in your purse and doors are unlocked just by touching the door handle.  I must for a mom carrying groceries, a toddler and a diaper bag.

The Glamour: You can get into the car in stilettos, drive fast and look sexy.

Would it Make a Good Push Present? Absolutely.

BMW Canada