Not a lot of ride reports in the Budget forum, but perhaps people will be interested in this, or will find it via search.
Rented at MCO, Feb 25-28 on the MUAZ015 promotion (5,000 Delta bonus Skymiles)
Arrived at MCO at 7:15 on a Thursday night with my 15-month old son in tow. Irritated at the Smartecarte - have to press the bar on the handle for it to roll - kinda hard when you have a kid in one hand, a stroller in the other, and luggage piled on the cart! Anyhow, I digress... passed the HUGE lineup at the A side counters (40+ people in line), passed outside to the garage, went to the Fastbreak booth, only one guy in line and he was just asking for directions. Agent was very friendly and told me she'd been keeping this particular car for me all day. When I got in, I could see why.
Was a 2010 Fusion SEL with the Moon & Tunes package including lots of bonuses:
*Leather, heated, power seats
*Sirius Radio (activated - great to pass the time) with Sony Speaker package
*Dual-zone AC (worked great - actually held two temps)
*SYNC system (didn't try)
*3.0L V6 (240 HP, 233 lb-ft)
*6-speed automatic with sport-shift mode
MSRP is around $26,000 USD for this model with these options.
Car was nearly brand-new - had less than 550 miles on the odometer when I picked it up. Returned it with 150 extra miles on it.
I was very impressed with the car's driving characteristics. Acceleration was smooth and comfortable, and was great when you punched the accelerator. My son really liked it when we took off from stops. I'm worried that I'm raising a speed demon! Steering was typical of an American sedan - easy to steer, but had a slightly more sporty feel. Shifting was easy, and the sport-"manual" mode was fun to downshift and really move. The car wasn't too bad on gas - I averaged (according to the computer on the car) 11 l/100 km (computer settings were all in metric - I wonder if they knew I was Canadian) - or 21.5 MPG (US)/25.6 MPG (Imperial) with almost all city driving in Orlando with regular stops for traffic lights.
(I drive a 2008 Avenger SXT with the 2.7 L V6 at home and I average around the same mileage with a far weaker engine with 4-speed slushbox transmission)
Overall a great driving car. Seats were comfortable, adequate power, good MPG given the power of the engine.
Leather seats were nice - but it took a bit of time to adjust to the seat (as I find in all cars - takes a good 20 minutes to find a comfortable position). Had these neat mood lights inside - the heated/cooled cupholders and doorsills had coloured LED tubes to light them up - you could customize the colour to your taste. It was set on a mauve/purple scheme which I liked, so I left it that way. The back seat was quite roomy for a mid-size sedan. My son's car seat (Radian XT for those who care) was a snap to install, though the top tether was a bit hard to get in. I had trouble moving the headrests - even after I followed the instructions in the manual. The armrest could go down with the seat installed, so my son could use it as a cupholder. The cupholders in back are staggered so that you can put in cups with handles (e.g. sippy cups). Windows in back are well-placed and large so back-seat passengers aren't "in-the-dark" in back. My son especially enjoyed it because he could see out the windows well.
One really interesting feature I've never seen before (or noticed) was that there was a small, unobtrusive LED light that was always on when the key was on, in the foot wells of the driver and passenger. Was great when I dropped something - usually at night, if it falls into the footwells, it's gone until the next day. It light the pedals enough that you could see, but was tilted downward so the only way you'd notice is if you actually looked down.
Lots of space in the trunk. We fit two large suitcases, one carry-on size and a stroller without having to shove stuff in. Size is slightly larger than my Avenger at home.
This car won the Motor Trend car of the year for 2010, and I can see why. I quite enjoyed the drive - comfortable, good power, very sharp-looking car. If I hadn't just bought my car two years ago, I'd definitely consider a 2010 Fusion. In fact, I am considering it!
Hope this report was enjoyable!