Is the Ford Fusion Really Allergy Free?

Is the Ford Fusion Really Allergy Free?

553009_10151549845763856_1959199152_nIt has been a HORRIBLE spring for allergies.  So when I was approached to test drive the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybird, designed to be hypoallergenic, I said an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Can a car really help you stave off an allergy attack?  I was doubtful at first.  Thus far nothing has really relieved my symptoms and after suffering through a long Chicago winter, I wasn’t about to stay indoors and hide from my pesky enemy: pollen!  Having the chance to test the Ford Fusion Hybrid, a car that allegedly “helps to minimize the pollen and skin irritants because it has more than 100 materials and components that meet stringent standards to minimize potential allergy issues,” seemed like a perfect product for our family to try; we all suffer from one allergy or another.  As a bonus, we were able to drive during the worst week of allergy season thus far: mid-May.

 

The Ford Fusion Hybrid saved me from my allergies!

The Ford Fusion Hybrid saved me from my allergies!

My family actually sensed a difference traveling in the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid in comparison to being our old jalopy!  Whether it was because the car was new or because of the well-spaced cabin air filters, the air around us seemed really “clean.” As an added bonus, I felt more alert and less sleepy behind the wheel than I normally do when I drive my car.

AIr filter or speaker?  Not sure but it worked!

AIr filter or speaker? Not sure but it worked!

 

The best adjective we used describe the experience of being in the Ford Fusion Hybrid is “fresh.”  Almost as soon as Lulu got in the car, she stopped sniffling and sneezing. We felt like we could take deep breaths and were refreshed, not sleepy or stuffed up.  But when we exited the car, the “fresh” feeling dissipated. Maybe the scientists at Ford were onto something?

 

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An added bonus?  Taking advantage of the car’s GPS that coincidently connected to an “Allergy Alertapp alerting the driver (me) of potential allergy triggers. (On a side note, this car handled extremely well, had comfortable seats and plenty of leg room)

 

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when I read the press release stating that this car could aid in protecting your family from airborne allergens while traveling in the car.  But after a week of comfortable driving and no sneezing, I’m convinced; there IS SOMETHING to this CAR!   There were literally no “snotty” tissues to pick up, no complaints of sore throats and plenty of child-parent conversations that didn’t involve someone asking me for a tissue.  

In fact, as we consider our next car options, the Ford Focus Hybrid has been added to the top of our list.  If that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is?

Disclosure: I am not a car person; I don’t review cars for a living.  But I am a mom who is concerned about the safety of her family, is budget conscience and also takes pride in have a cool “mom-mobile. ”  All opinions and views with regard to this car review, the company that loaned it to me and the vehicle manufacturer are entirely mine and were not influenced, edited or even reviewed by the companies prior to posting. 

Tween Approved: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a Go!

Tween Approved: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a Go!

Disclosure: I am not a car person; I don’t review cars for a living.  But I am a mom who is concerned about the safety of her family, is budget conscience and also takes pride in have a cool “mom-mobile. ”  All opinions and views with regard to this car review, the company that loaned it to me and the vehicle manufacturer are entirely mine and were not influenced, edited or even reviewed by the companies prior to posting. 

Last week, I test drove the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE and it couldn’t have come at a better time: Lulu had a day off of school and it was up to me to plan something cool to do that day.  Last year, Lulu’s class had gone on a field trip to the Chicago History Museum and I left feeling like we had been rushed and needed more time to explore the exhibits and gain some appreciation of our home town.  (Coincidently, since I was test driving the car, it would also be a great excuse to drive the car on the highway, in the rain and determine if it was, in fact, “kid friendly.”)  As I only have one child, I decided that I needed to “rent” two more, Lila and Madison, and thus fill the car’s back seat with wiggly, screaming, sometimes singing 10-year-olds.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE

“We Like The Color!”

Armed with their American Girl dolls to keep them company, my test drivers were up to the challenge of evaluating the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.  Of course, the color of the car was their primary concern and these 10-year-olds gave it a thumbs up.  One girl commented that “I’m not sure if there will be enough room for my dolls and us.”  (There was.)  So in they climbed and fortunately there were three headrests and three 5-point seat belts.  This meant that everyone would be secured in the car equally and safely. (Check one for the Mitsubishi Outlander.)  Actually, as the day progressed, this turned out to be a very good feature because the two girls sitting on opposite sides of the car got into a fight and the middle child was able to keep them separated by the mere fact that her seat belt restricted each of the girls from lunging over each other.  (They are a very spirited bunch).  Also, I was a bit concerned about the seemingly lack of cargo space.  But, as the week progressed and I bought groceries, collected sports equipment and other school related items, I found that the cargo space actually met my needs.  Note: Also the front seat warmers were nice to have, but the switches were hidden and my husband had to point them out to me.  

As we pulled out of the driveway, I explained to my pre-teen passengers, that I was testing out this car for the week and I wanted their honest opinions about the car, the ride, the sound system and anything else that came to mind as we drove downtown.  Lila commented that she thought it was fun to watch the reverse mirror on the console while we were backing up and that “it’s a nice feature.  That way you don’t have to worry about getting into an accident.”  Lulu liked the panoramic glass roof but didn’t like the fact that we couldn’t open it and she also thought that the LED lights were a bit “cheesy.”  Personally, I found them to be distracting particularly when the roof was exposed while I was driving at night.  But, while driving home from the museum, all three girls were lulled into silence (and then sleep) while they watched the world go by via the glass roof instead of just looking out the windows.

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As we drove through the driving rain, the car handled well but seemed to lack some pick-up or power.  I actually didn’t feel like I was driving a SUV.   Yes, it was comfortable but I didn’t get the “zippy”  SUV feel that I am used driving my old car.  Also there are a lot of windows in the car, but I felt like the manufacturers could have designed the back windshield better.  It felt a bit small to me.

My passengers (and adopted daughters for the day) didn’t complain about the lack of speed.  They were too enamored with the INTENSE sound system and the huge speakers in the cargo space!   The girls continually ordered me to “crank it up!” but, to be quite honest, I was afraid all that bass would shatter the windows.

Note the giant speakers!

Note the giant speakers!

As a music lover,  I like to listen to a variety of tunes while I drive but I couldn’t figure out how to use and then program the stereo. Somehow the user has to switch between the different sources (GPS, MP3, Sirius, AM/FM etc) which takes some time, and requires the driver to take her eyes off the road (or pull over.)  I didn’t feel that the steering wheel controls improved my ability to drive and manage the music or GPS.    Also finding stations on the built-in Sirius/XM satellite radio system was really a challenge. To load CDs or DVDs, the display faceplate sort of  swings down and detaches itself from the unit. (Very odd looking.)  I originally thought that I had broken the stereo. I also struggled with connecting and then programming the navigation system.  I did, eventually, figure out how to use the GPS but never quite got a handle on the other components of the sound system and user interface.

All in all, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE was a decent and seemingly solid car. But for the MSRP of $23,695 (with basic options), its combined MPG of 26 and general lack of exciting features, I wasn’t overly impressed with the car.   My fellow reviewers enjoyed being in the car and felt that there was PLENTY of space even if Adam was riding in the back seat (i.e. lots of room for tall people.)  From the driver’s seat. I felt that the car handled well (especially in the driving rain.)  All-in-all, I felt that it if you are looking for a solid, reliable ride you can’t go wrong with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE but for a mom who is used to a lot of power and a sun roof that opens, this wasn’t the best choice of car for me.