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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1999 SVT Contour. Background: the Fusion is the "next generation" of the Contours / Mystiques in a sense. I have a 5 speed and a Duratec V6 and apparently one of my biggest complaints from the Contour days is still true in the Fusion/Milan.

The Fusion is one of a few cars that I would consider buying soon. But it's got one big strike against it.

I see that Ford has still not done anything about the gearing in these cars. In a time when fuel economy is important, it does not make any sense for the TOP gear to be so short in these cars. I feel this way for both the manual and the automatic. 75 miles per hour should be putting the engine around 2500 rpms or so.

They don't even need an extra gear, if they would just move the top one UP. This would not affect performance/acceleration one bit, as 4th gear in the manuals, and 5th in the automatics, would still be there for strong passing power on the highway.

It is ridiculous for a four cylinder manual tranny car to get 31-32 mpg on the highway. A 3.5L with a 4 speed automatic accomplishes that same rating in the Chevy Impala, thanks to a much taller final gear. Bigger engine, bigger/heavier car, less gears, and yet equal fuel economy on the highway. I am not praising GM. But it goes to show you how important the top gear ratio is.

Brian
 

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However, gear alone doesn't equal better fuel economy. The Duratec seems to need more RPM's to be efficent. For example. We got rid of a 2000 Taurus 3.0L Duratec to get our Fusion. It would get better fuel economy driving at 80 MPH than it did at 60 MPH. One vacation we went from Iowa through Minnesota and across south Dakota. All interstate driving, but Iowa was 65MPH, Minnesotta 70 and South Dakota was 75. I stopped and filled at each boarder and found I gained 1-2 MPG each time we went faster. I was quite suprised so I did it on the way home also and found that I lost MPG each time we slowed down for the lower speed limit. I wish Fusion had a way to run 5th instead of 6th to see if our mileage would improve on our 55 MPH driving.

Also don't go by ratings to determine fuel economy since many manufacturers (particularly Toyota) tend to cheat on the test and their real world mileage is lower than other makers rated as the same (or worse) than they are. The Impala highway mileage is true however, but low RPM's do greatly help the old pushrod motors like the Impala uses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gearing is a big part of it.

When I baby my Contour around town and short-shift, I drive around 1800 RPMs cruising steady speed on flat roads, and I can end up with fuel economy only a couple MPG short of what I get on the highway. My "window sticker" in a sense could read 25 city 27 hwy.

Besides the lower RPMs helping with economy, they decrease the noise/vibration/harshness too. It's annoying to listen to 3500 rpms on long highway runs. I realize Ford wants these cars to feel peppy and eager on the highway but this is too much.
 

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The gearing on the 5spd manual is almost like an after-thought.  It seems like it is geared for a 1.6 L low torque engine.  At 70-80mph on the hwy you are riding pretty high into the torque curve of this engine and I would imagine that it could benefit from a 4-600rpm drop in peak rpm when cruising on the hwy.  It seems odd not having to drop a gear when accelerating at 65+ mph.  The 4 cylinder, 5 spd manual seems to have a split personality.  On one hand, you need a low starting gear since this engine developes almost no torque below 1800rpm.  On the other hand, at higher speeds the powerband is undergeared and you end up with a noisy and inefficient gear ratio.  I still say keep the gear ratio as it is, but add a 6th gear for the highway.  You can use 5th gear at 40mph which is good for economy, but that same gear ratio is not so great at higher speeds.  Dammit, it is not like we're driving a 1994 Dodge Neon!  Why is it geared like one? 
         
 

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My hope is that Ford will listen. These gasoline prices are hurting us all. These are from an earlier post.--------------------------


It seems to me that Mazda’s first four automatic transmission ratios would have been a better selection, to get the weight of the automobile, moving quicker.

Mazda Ford
3.62:1 3.50:1 First Gear
1.93:1 1.86:1 Second Gear
1.29:1 1.24:1 Third Gear
0.93:1 0.90:1 Fourth Gear
0.69:1 0.69:1 Fifth Gear

3.86:1 3.86:1 Ring & Pinion Final

2.6634:1 2.6634:1 Overall Final


http://www.fordfusionclub.com/index.php?topic=36631.0
 

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I'd just like someone to explain why I get better milage by going faster! I did about 200miles of highway driving today, the pace was 80-85 and I watched my MPG go UP .2. More RPMs + wind resistance should equal worse mileage. My old Ranger with 4.10s and 31's would get horrible mileage with anything above 70. Even at 65 I was turning over 2500 RPMs!

I also think these cars are geared WAY too high. There's times when I don't even downshift when passing because it pulls so good in 5th. Overdrive/5th gear should be a loafing gear for cruising at a constant speed.
 

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I'm not too sure the MPG readout is such a great and accurate indicator of actual mpg. On a 200 mile trip earlier in the week, I reset my mileage meter at the start of my trip and recorded over 36.2mpg. Coming back 2 hours later, I reset it again and it only read 30mpg over the same 200 miles of road, and I was driving exactly the same speed. There was no appreciable wind to account for the difference. The only difference was about a 10 degree decrease in outside temperature coming back. Maybe that played a part, but I feel that the reading on the way to my destination was abnormally high for some reason.

[quote author=Showtime link=topic=46412.msg718435#msg718435 date=1147484522]
I'd just like someone to explain why I get better milage by going faster! I did about 200miles of highway driving today, the pace was 80-85 and I watched my MPG go UP .2. More RPMs + wind resistance should equal worse mileage. My old Ranger with 4.10s and 31's would get horrible mileage with anything above 70. Even at 65 I was turning over 2500 RPMs!

I also think these cars are geared WAY too high. There's times when I don't even downshift when passing because it pulls so good in 5th. Overdrive/5th gear should be a loafing gear for cruising at a constant speed.


[/quote]
 

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Check the elevation difference between the two locations .. even the slightest of inclines (one that is all but imperceptable) will reduce your milage by signifigant amounts (1-5 mpgs). Always wondered my self when on a flat spot of road my milage was so bad, and I'ld look down at the GPS and find I was slowly climbing, opposite true whem milage is unusually good.
 
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