The Ford Fusion has been one of the most popular mid-size sedans available for the last several years. Ford has offered a Hybrid edition for most of those years and last year added the plugin hybrid version known as the Energi. The addition of the plugin hybrid Energi brings Ford into a more competitive position among the eco- friendly consumer.
The Fusion is available in models ranging from the base S, to the top of the line Platinum with the hybrid offered on all trim levels and the Energi available on the SE and above. We had the opportunity to drive both the Energi and the Hybrid editions back to back for a week each.
Our first test car was the top of the line Energi Platinum with all of the available options and a sticker price of just over $39,000 including delivery fees. You can get into an Energi for as little as $31,305 and at that price it comes fairly well equipped. At the base level you get 10 way power seats, Sync 3 without navigation, a smart key system and dual zone automatic air. Bump up to the Titanium model to add
heated leather seating and a few other trim enhancements. Finally, the Platinum comes fully loaded with blind spot monitors, cross traffic alert, enhanced parking assist, active cruise control, navigation with traffic alerts and much more that we have come to expect on high end personal cars.
Great fuel economy
Anyone in the market for a mid-size sedan should take a look at the Fusion. Whether you are looking for an economical vehicle with a low entry price of just over $22,000 or a eco conscious car that will average well over 40 miles per gallon, the Fusion has a specific model to address your need.
Our week long, 400 mile road test didn’t even burn a tank of gas. On a full charge the battery power can take you about 20 miles and up to 85 miles per hour and earn a rating of 104 mpge for city driving. Other plugins have a bit more range, but the overall comfort and driving experience of the Fusion makes that a small sacrifice. While in hybrid mode the Energi averaged 41.2 mpg for us. There are few, if any true 5 passenger cars that can do that! The availability of the plugin range may make the Energi a viable option if you drive a lot of inner city or have short commutes. A unique feature of the Energi is the ability to choose when to use your stored electric power. A console mounted switch allows you to select EV Now, Automatic, or EV Later. If your trip begins with low speed driving, or will be short you can select to use your electric power from the start. If you are headed downtown and will be doing errands requiring short runs you can pick to use your EV power later. Most of the time you can allow the vehicle to automatically decide the best use of the stored power in the Auto selection.
Charge time for the battery is about 7 hours on a standard 110 volt outlet and about half that with Ford’s 220 volt optional charging system.
The driving experience of the Fusion Hybrid Energi was excellent. The only shortfall was the poor acceleration while in EV mode. Gasoline power will kick in, even if you have selected to use EV only, if you push the throttle all the way. In hybrid mode the car has decent, if not exciting power. The ride is very smooth, isolating most of the road harshness effectively, Cornering is flat with no understeer.
Following the Energi we had the Fusion Hybrid Titanium for another week. The Titanium lacked the voice activated navigation system, had leather seating areas instead of the premium leather seats of the Platinum Energi, and of course, lacked the ability to run on electric power only. Apart from the differences of trim level there is little to separate the driving experience of the Energi and Hybrid models. Each provides an excellent experience behind the wheel inspiring confidence.
The hybrid models all come with a 2 liter Atkinson-Cycle engine and the hybrid motor. Other models are powered by a 2.5 liter Duratec 4 cylinder, a 1.5 and a 2.0 liter EcoBoost 4 cylinder or the 2.7 liter V6 Ecoboost in the Sport models. All but the hybrids come with a 6 speed automatic transmission and the hybrids use an E-CVT. All come with a console mounted rotary knob to select your gear position. For all of the engine and trans specifications you can go the Ford spec page.
Lots of standard equipment and options
All Fusion models offer a great selection of popular accessories and much of what we may want on a new car comes as standard equipment. All come with a Sync system, traction control, automatic transmission, air conditioning, back up camera and a smart key system. Ford offers its Ford Pass software that allows remote access to your car.
Available options include blind spot monitors, cross traffic alerts, lane keeping mitigation, parking assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go ability and intelligent all wheel drive.
For those looking for a mid sized sedan that offers the latest tech as well as an excellent ride and good economy the Ford Fusion may be the answer.
Reviewed on air August 11, 2017 Listen here