It's hard to be a card-carrying, foreign-car-driving, alt-weekly-newspaper-working, Cheez Whiz-loving liberal these days. The conservatives say President Obama's corporate bailouts amount to socialism, and who knows if they're right, because they kind of lost me at the first trillion. So that's why I say all us liberals should go buy a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Sure, that sounds like one of those endorsements hidden within pithy dialogue on 30 Rock. And yes, I'll admit the Fusion looks more like a half-decent rental car than something that will make liberals ditch their Priuses. But after driving a media test car last week, I'm prepared to say that the 2009 Ford Fusion Hybrid will single-handedly save the American auto industry.
OK, yes, that also sounded like an endorsement, and it's also completely exaggerated, considering Chrysler and GM might both file for bankruptcy. What I can say about the Fusion Hybrid, however, is that it represents a company that has decided not to take the government's bailout money. Instead, Ford's building half-decent-rental-car-looking vehicles that get like 37.9 miles per gallon.
I drove the Fusion test vehicle over to the Floridian restaurant on Las Olas to see what the tourists thought of the car they could've rented. Their reaction surprised me.
OK, again, no, I totally exaggerated, because their reactions were all pretty much what I expected, summarized, by this look: "Is that a late '90s Honda Prelude?"
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Then I approached a couple vacationing from the Northeast. He just bought a Ford Fusion for his son like a week ago, a fact that made the P.R. person from Ford that I was traveling with very happy. The dude, however, explained that he drives an Escalade and that "hybrids don't make sense in most kinds of driving." That did not make the P.R. person from Ford very happy.
Besides, anti-hybrid Escalade dude missed something crucial here. This car, this one single rental-car-looking Fusion, represents something that every company needs to do to make it out of this recession. It represents a company turning down a taxpayer bailout and instead making an innovative product, a car that single-handedly beats every other hybrid made by anybody.
In every category except looks, of course.
But still, if this card-carrying, alt-weekly-working liberal buys a new car this year, he'll be looking at this Fusion. I hope they let me park it at the gay-marriage/pro-abortion action meetings.