When it launched early in 2009 as a 2010 model, the Ford Fusion Hybrid was a sensation.
It easily outdid that year's Toyota Camry Hybrid in gas mileage, with ratings of 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined overall rating of 39 mpg. (The new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid is rated at 41 mpg combined.) That's not as high as the 50-mpg rating of the Toyota Prius, but the Fusion Hybrid had the advantage for many buyers that it didn't "look like a hybrid" but simply like a regular mid-size sedan.
It was stylish, well equipped, and comfortable, and the user information displays--both in the all-glass instrument cluster and the central display--was simply miles ahead of any other hybrid's presentation.
While many makers have them now, Ford was the first to portray efficient driving with a vine that grows leaves slowly as the driver conserves fuel--only to have them fade away to nothing if the driver floors it and drives inefficiently. And, if you're really irritated by that idea, you can...