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CT6 plug-in, ELR, Tesla Model X, Ford Fusion Energi
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Discussion Starter #1
I had the pleasure today of test driving my first Ford Fusion Energi. The only difference between the 2016 model year and the 2015 is the center console (the 2015 has a touch-sensitive pad while the 2016 has actual buttons in a slightly different layout).

Since we don't have all the information about the 2016 ELR that will hit dealerships this fall (according to Cadillac's website), I'll have to compare the Fusion Energi to the 2014 ELR.

While the 2014 ELR is a gorgeous PHEV car with many of the accoutrements expected in a luxury car, it also has a plethora of minor shortcomings that, taken collectively, result in a frustrating driving experience for me (but not necessarily for other owners). My configuration had an MSRP of $79k, and I leased close to that number. But today you can buy a similarly-optioned 2014 ELR for less than $53k if you search hard enough.

Comparing the ELR to the Fusion Energi Titanium is not quite apples to apples because the ELR is a coupe, has EV-only range of 30-40 miles, and doesn't require the gas engine to accelerate confidently at higher speeds. The ELR also looks like a car Batman might drive, whereas the Ford is more conservative with its design.

However, since I'm thinking of replacing my ELR with a fully-loaded Fusion Energi Titanium, I'll do the comparison anyway!

1) Acceleration: The ELR wins handily in this category. Driving the Fusion Energi in EV-only mode was anemic above 35 mph. I floored the Energi at 60 merging onto the highway up a gentle ramp and the car stayed at 60. Flooring the ELR under the same conditions, it easily speeds up purposefully. The ELR isn't a Tesla, but it has confident, reliable acceleration. The Energi, on the other hand, doesn't feel safe to drive in some situations without the gas engine assisting. However, once at highway speed, the Energi moves effortlessly with traffic in EV-only mode for the most part, but passing is not always possible, especially if the other driver is rude and trying to prevent it. The driving experience in the Fusion is markedly better with the engine assisting in EV Auto mode, but then you're forced to use gas and the engine vibration is a bit strong (but not nearly as obnoxious as the Volt's). The ELR handles better than both the Fusion and Volt and has very little engine vibration/noise intruding into the cabin.

2) EV Range: I've gotten as high as 50 miles to a charge under ideal conditions with my ELR. But my test drives of the Fusion Energi Titanium with A/C running (including cooled seats) only achieved about 16 EV-only miles. Granted, it was a test drive so I was much more aggressive than normal to put the car through its paces, but it's still a bit disappointing. But since my daily commute is 16 miles and I can charge at work, that won't be much of an issue. But there's no way I'll be able to make longer drives from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica without using gas like I can now. In my 2012 Volt, the range was even longer than my ELR.

3) Audio: I'm a professional musician, so I can tell the difference between the ELR's Bose system and Energi Titanium's Sony system. But if I didn't make a living listening to the nuances and subtle timbres of sound, I might not be able to tell them apart. For me, the ELR's system is superior, but not by much. Neither holds a candle to the Mark Levinson system found in the Lexus LS460, but both systems are robust and a pleasure to listen to.

4) Infotainment: While Cadillac C.U.E. looks much sexier than MyFord Touch and has some detailed vehicle settings that the Fusion doesn't, C.U.E. can be very frustrating to use. There are so many problems with the interface, engineering, and responsiveness in C.U.E. that even the minor quibbles I had with MyFord Touch didn't bother me nearly as much. If one orders a CD drive with the ELR, it gets stuck in the glove compartment way over in front of the front passenger, whereas it's right in the middle of the Fusion's center console where it should be. Interoperability with Android and iOS is an inconsistent nightmare in C.U.E. However, neither C.U.E. nor MyFord Touch can browse media via Bluetooth (except for skipping ahead or back one track), which is a real shame. I don't remember if the Volt has full Bluetooth control of media devices, but my wife's 2012 Toyota Rav4 EV has full interoperability via Bluetooth and handles audio devices with aplomb.

5) Seats: Despite having an MSRP north of $76k, the 2014 ELR doesn't offer cooled front seats. The Fusion does. The ELR's rear bucket seats are nearly unusable unless your passengers are shorter than 5'6" and not claustrophobic. The Fusion has spacious, comfortable rear seating for two adults and a large child (or thin adult). The Fusion's seats are more comfortable than the ELR's, but I like the ELR's headrests better. Both cars offer many individual adjustments and memory positions (although the Fusion has 3 memory slots, whereas the ELR only has 2). Both have auto-exit position settings.

6) Trunk: Both cars have a small trunk, but the Energi's is ridiculous. Ford should have sacrificed an inch of legroom in both passenger rows for two inches of additional trunk space.

7) Software Updates: Cadillac only issues TSB (technical service bulletin) updates that must be performed at the dealership. While Cadillac had initially promised to continually update C.U.E. in existing models to keep it current, that language was removed from its website last year and no C.U.E. feature update has happened since March 2013. Compare that to the Fusion Energi which can connect to your home's wireless network and download regular MyFord Touch software improvements. Ford easily wins this one!

8) Adaptive Cruise Control: The ACC in the ELR is full-range, so it will bring the car to a complete stop and then start moving again when traffic moves. The Ford's system is only effective down to about 12 mph, and it's not quite as refined. Still, for the majority of driving the Fusion's system is adequate. But the ELR's ACC system is better.

9) Automatic Parallel Parking: The ELR doesn't have this at any price, while the the Fusion Energi does have it as an add-on to the Titanium trim level.

10) Reverse Camera: The ELR's is a little better during the daytime, but the Fusion's crystal clear camera image at night or in dark garages wipes the floor with the ELR's muddy, blurry mess of a picture. The difference is literally night and day!
:histeric:

11) Display Screens: Switching to Night Mode in the ELR during the daytime doesn't do anything, whereas switching to Night Mode in the Fusion dims all the screens and makes the brightness adjustable... as if it were nighttime. Go figure. How incredibly logical of Ford! The instrument cluster (DIC) screen in the Ford isn't as pretty or configurable as the ELR, but there's so much more information and control available in the Fusion's DIC screen that the driver might never have to reach over to fuss with center console buttons or the main display screen. Even climate adjustments are available from the steering wheel in the Fusion.

12) Exterior Colors: Ford has more varied and appealing colors than those available for the ELR, at least in my opinion. Bronze Fire, Magnetic, and Guard are especially attractive in person. Red is available on both cars, as is Black. But only Ford has a Blue option.

13) Everything Else: The ELR has a couple of annoying "features," such as the incessant triple-honk that sounds if the driver dares to step out of his/her currently running vehicle with the keyfob. It sounds when the driver's door is closed, the trunk is opened/closed, the passenger door is opened/closed, etc. I found nothing like that in the Ford that even came close to being so infuriatingly unnecessary and intrusive. The visibility in the Ford is much better than in the ELR and Volt. Both cars have rain-sensing wipers available. Both cars have auto high beams available. Both cars have Cross-Traffic Alert available. Both cars have Blind Spot monitoring, but the Fusion implements it better than the ELR. Overall, I didn't feel like I was missing anything ancillary in the Ford. I'm sure I forgot some of the other feature similarities and differences I noticed during the test drive, but I think I've written enough at this point.

So in conclusion, I was very impressed with the Fusion Energi and am very seriously considering replacing my ELR with it. Driving the Fusion Energi on the 405 felt like I was in a Lexus - quiet, comfortable, and smooth. It's a well-made car, and should embarrass the heck outta Cadillac.

I just have to decide if I can get past the disappointing acceleration and limited EV range. Oh yeah - a fully-loaded Fusion Energi ($42k before incentives) is half the price of the full-priced 2014 ELR, $23k less than the 2016's base MSRP ($26k less with Luxury and ACC added to the ELR to make it comparable), and at least $10-15k less than the current fire sale prices at Cadillac dealerships. So maybe half the range and acceleration isn't so bad when the price is taken into consideration!
 

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13 V Coupe Thunder Gray
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Lol

So your saying it's slower than the ELR which was disappointing to you to begin with and if you actually put 2 full size adults and a skinny kid in the back and another passenger in the front seat of that turd how quick is it going to accelerate then ?

What was that thing again about the triple honk ? Haven't heard anyone complain about that one before....


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CT6 plug-in, ELR, Tesla Model X, Ford Fusion Energi
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Discussion Starter #3
I like how you ignorantly label the Fusion Energi a "turd" in comparison to the ELR when the Ford has so many features the top-of-the-line Cadillac doesn't offer at any price point. A $42k car is kicking Cadillac's $79k ass in almost every respect except range and acceleration!

In EV-only mode, the 2015/16 Fusion Energi accelerates 0-30 about the same as the 2015 Volt and 2014 ELR. But 0-60, using the engine to assist, the Fusion gets there in 7.8 seconds (which is faster than the 2015 Volt, beats the 2014 ELR in EV mode, and matches the 2014 ELR in Extended Range mode). Just because EV-only takes more than 12 seconds to get to 60 doesn't mean it's a slow car overall; only if you're hoping to never use any gas at all.

I took another test drive today and only used Auto EV for the entire 20-mile drive on mostly freeways at 70mph, and I used 0.1 gallons of gas total and had 1 kWh left in the battery. I could easily live with that on a daily basis, especially since I was using Adaptive Cruise just like in the ELR, cooled seats (not available in the ELR), a premium sound system (very nearly as good as the ELR's) with audio tracks sorted properly (which the ELR can't do), with the display screens at the proper illumination (too bright in the ELR), controlling the climate from the steering wheel (can't do that in the ELR either), with four adults and one teenager in the car (not possible in the ELR).
 

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ELR
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Since I just bought my ELR, I am very familiar with a lot of comparable vehicles including the Ford Fusion. I want to preface by saying I love Ford. They are my favourite car company, I own a 2010 Harley Davidson F150 and absolutely love it. Now on to the discussion.

Your point form break down seems pretty fair and accurate for the most part, however, I have a few things I would like to say on each point:

1) Acceleration and handling is a huge differentiator in cars and is one of the biggest factors in a cars price. Since these are EV's and I am in pure electric mode for 95% of the time, I only care about 0-60 times while in electric only. Although the ELR is underpowered for its price range, the fusion makes the ELR seem like a Ferrari when in Electric mode. The ELR can easily beat an average car off the line and can easily jump from 60mph to 80mph to pass someone on the freeway all while being completely in EV mode.

2) EV Range. Really, you are okay with 16miles where you might not even make it to work. My work is about the same distance and I can easily go to work and come home with out plugging in at work (that takes a big daily inconvenience out in my books) I wish the ELR had even more range. If you are okay with the idea of using some gas for your regular commute, I don't understand the point of getting an EV. Why not just get a ecoboost fusion and save the money.

3) Audio - We both agree the Bose system is superior

4) infotainment. - Maybe because ford sync is new to you, you are happier with it. I absolutely hate it and I believe its rated the worst infotainment system in the industry. Just look it up. Ford is even scrapping it due to it bringing their scores down.

5) Seats - This is very subjective but my 20 way adjustable seats in the ELR (both driver and passenger) are the best seats I've ever had in a vehicle. The ELR is a coupe, although the back seats are more usable then a lot of cars, if you regularly need more then two seats, you shouldn't be buying any coupe. This to me is the equivalent as saying an SUV is better then the fusion because it can seat 8 people comfortably. If you need it, thats a true statement, if you don't why are you hauling around 7 extra seats for.

6) Trunk - Agree. For a sedan the fusion's trunk is way too small. Not that the ELR's is much bigger. The big thing I hate about the ELR's trunk is its opening, Although the trunk is big enough you can't get a box in there. This car should have been a hatch back

7) Software Update. I agree with you that we should be getting software updates like some manufacturers are now providing but if you think Ford easily wins this one, you will be sadly disappointed. Sure they have fancy wifi to get their updates just like the sales person showed me how I can get my updates. Just register my truck at syncmyride.com hit the update button and it will save a file to a USB stick which I then put in the truck and whala. Guess how many updates I have had in the 5 years that I purchased the truck. You guessed it 0... Did I mention how much I hate Ford SYNC. Do you think they are spending money developing updates for their my ford touch system when they are scrapping it. Do you think you will get an update to the new one that needs faster processors. I think we all know the answer to those. I am still hopeful that Cadillac will see what Tesla is doing and give us a few updates to our ELR's otherwise I will be gone too.

8) Adaptive cruise control is pretty sweet. I was never a big CC person because of all the inconsistent traffic in my area but I am loving ACC and now use it all the time.

9) Automatic Parallel parking. I have this on a company escape we have. Pretty cool if you don't know how to parallel park but I've never used it in a real world situation. Save your money and leave it out unless you parallel park a lot and you don't know how.

10) Reverse Camera - I completely agree... THE ELR HAS THE ABSOLUTE WORSE CAMERA IN THE WORLD!!!! CADILLAC SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED AND FIX THIS PRONTO!!!!

11, 12, 13) Display Screens/colours and stuff - Every car has its little annoyances and you are being naive if you think you won't find them in a fusion after driving it for a while.

One thing which you mentioned which I considered a little disingenuous is your comparison to the pricing of a 2016 ELR. the 2016 ELR will have an even faster 0-60 time, more range, a new CUE system with faster processors, etc....

If you are looking for best value (What you get for the price) and are on a tight budget, the fusion wins, If you are looking for the best Car, the ELR wins hands down. Considering you already have an ELR, I'm guessing by the time you sell your ELR, you may or may not be able to recover enough money for a fusion straight across. so basically you are trading an ELR for a Fusion straight across. I guess it comes down to what you find important in a car. If you are looking for value, don't look at a 300k Lamborghini but that doesn't mean its a crap car. I take a lot of pride in my car and love when people come up to me and say "wow what a nice car, never seen one like that before" or my favourite "That looks like something batman would drive". You won't get that in a Fusion. Unfortunately, there is a stigma to what car you drive and there is a difference when you say you own a Ford Fusion which every tom dick and harry has compared to saying you own a cadillac ELR. The acceleration and range alone dropped the Ford fusion out of the running for my car but again, I wasn't looking for value, I was looking for the best car. To me it wouldn't even be a contest, I wouldn't think twice about taking a 2016 ELR with 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and superior handling over a fusion even for 26k more. But that's me. to each there own. Best wishes...
 

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elr
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You know, we all make our own choices on what to drive. Sometimes we find out later that we should have made another choice. That's life right? The ELR has a presence today that very few cars have. You can view it in the same light as say the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. It is a personal luxury coupe that makes a styling statement. To me, that styling places an intrinsic value on that car. I know styling is subjective, but to me , Ford Fusion, really? I am not knocking the Ford, it is a nice car and pleasing to the eye. But captivating visually- nah. The ELR has faults and for its price I would have liked to have seen cooled seats, heads up display , trunk pulldown assist, and even strut assist for the hood ( prop rod- tacky). I loved the look of that car when I first saw it at the Toronto auto show but the display placard with the anticipated price held me off. Flash ahead to April 2015 and revised downward pricing from dealers- voila , I own one .
 
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