Here a Ford, there a Ford

Tyler HurstReview2 Comments

I’m not a car guy. I can check my oil, I can change my tires and I can replace the air filter. Anyone beyond that and things get fuzzy.

Imagine my surprise when Ford’s PR team contacted me for a test drive, along with (at least) @austinmiles, @dpatricklewis and @fortyagency, to test out and share my thoughts on the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid.

I have never owned a new car. Hell, I’m not sure I’ve ever driven a new car. I have no idea how they picked me, but apparently being a jackass is an unwritten requirement. Here are the rest:

You must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid drivers license, and have auto insurance (drivers are not insured by Ford for personal liability; if drivers cause an accident, they are going to get sued by the injured party).
Other notes:
– drivers must obey all traffic laws at all times
– you cannot loan the vehicle to anyone else
– smoking is not allowed in the vehicle
– pets are not allowed in the vehicle
– you and any passengers you have must wear seatbelts at all times
– the vehicle cannot enter Canada or Mexico
– drivers are reponsible for any tickets incurred while the car is on loan
– you must return the vehicle reasonably clean and with at least 1/4 tank of fuel

Away I went. I drove it to Gangplank. I drove it to Tempe. I drove it to Scottsdale. I drove it up and down Central Ave with @raillife. Try as I might, I barely made it through a half tank of gas.

The electric part of the car was cool. An LED indicator on the dashboard showed the drain on the engine, allowing me to know when I was running on clean electric power versus the regular gas engine. Problem was, you couldn’t go much over 25 and you had to accelerate so slow I thought about pushing with my leg, ala Flintstones, more than once. Cool idea, just not all that practical.

This thing was loaded. Microsoft’s SYNC worked fantastic, allowing me to talk, play songs and control my iPhone with voice-activated technology. I highly recommend that you get the 2010 model, as the 2009 model that Forty drove didn’t work nearly as well. GPS worked like I suppose it should, even pointing me toward a drive-thru liquor store I didn’t know about. Score.

The Milan Hybrid does have some cool techie things in it.
First of all, it’s a Hybrid so it has the consumption display and what not to play with. But it also also has the 12-speaker Sony sound system, voice-activated navigation system, Sirius Travel Link, and Sync technology with 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report. You can read more about the vehicle here. Sadly, there is no ejection seat.

I wanted to love it. I did. But it felt like a gas-powered car with a battery strapped on. 37mpg is great, but I’m expecting 45+ here. I’m sure the car wasn’t cheap and if the savings in gas can’t be earned back in less than five years, it wouldn’t be worth it to me.

Would love to try out another model (hint, hint, Ford).

Tyler HurstHere a Ford, there a Ford

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