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2018 Ford Fusion Energi

$33,400 - $41,400
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford Fusion Energi

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Review: Environment Vs. Family

by Jay Traugott

The Ford Fusion Energi is a hybridized plug-in mid-size sedan and is much like the bona fide Ford Fusion Hybrid, with a luxurious cabin outfitted with up-to-the-minute tech and safety features, as well as all the comfort and conveniences one could want in a daily family commuter. Except, unlike the Hybrid, the Energi has been attuned to deliver an all-electric range of 21 miles, traveling up to 85 mph. The front wheels of the Energi are powered by outputs of 188 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque, which are generated by a 2.0-liter inline-four hybridized engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The electrified components of the powertrain can temporarily boost hp figures to 195 hp. The Fusion Energi is an appealingly contemporary vehicle and is one that is easy to live with on an everyday basis. But it has incurred many notable drawbacks especially in practicality and price relative to the Fusion Sedan on which it is based, and only for its menial all-electric capabilities. And with the proficient Chevrolet Volt as a class-leading rival, the future may not be that bright for the rather humdrum plug-in hybrid.

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 Fusion Energi?

The Ford Fusion Energi received no alterations or enhancements for the new model year, likely to keep costs down on a low sales-volume product; it is kept in production only to adhere to the demand for electrified variants of anything and everything from manufacturers for the sake of perceived green intentions.

Pros and Cons

  • Feature-rich trim options
  • Exceptional ride quality
  • High-quality cabin materials
  • Ample in-cabin passenger room
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Lackluster highway acceleration
  • Subpar all-electric range
  • Battery pack severely limits trunk capacity

Fusion Energi Exterior

The front of the Fusion Energi is discernible by its signature Ford styling and grille, featured in black high-gloss mesh on the SE and Titanium, and in premium Magnetic-painted sport-style on the Platinum. The elongated LED headlights stretch straight out from either side of the grille and along the stretched hood and upper front fenders. It is underscored by a straight-line crease and followed by LED fog lights in the lower fender on the Titanium and Platinum. The entire lineup comes fitted with all-LED exterior lighting and 17-inch premium luster nickel-painted aluminum wheels.

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Front View
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Rear View
2018 Ford Fusion Energi In Motion
See All 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Compared to the Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Fusion Energi is a rather large mid-size sedan. It stretches 191.8 inches in length - 11.4 inches longer than the Volt. It's also wider by four inches at 75.2 inches in width, and 1.6 inches taller, standing 58 inches overall. The Volt benefits from a tighter wheelbase, however, and is 6.1 inches shorter than the Energi's 112.2 inches. The Energi is also a lot heavier, with a curb weight of 3,986 lbs.

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Exterior Colors

  • Burgundy Velvet Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Blue Metallic
  • Shadow Black
  • White Gold Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Lightning Blue Metallic
  • Ingot Silver Metallic
  • Oxford White

Fusion Energi Performance

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Front View
2018 Ford Fusion Energi In Motion
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Charging

Engine and Transmission

The hybridized 2.0-liter inline-four engine, when operated in auto hybrid/EV mode, performs most suitably; switched to forced EV-only mode, however, renders it lackluster and excruciatingly slow. The outputs of 188 hp and 129 lb-ft are more than ample for getting the hefty Energi on the move. The powertrain in default mode accelerates the sedan from 0-60 mph in an average 7.8 seconds, but almost double that at 15 seconds in forced EV-only mode. That's not to say that one should avoid the EV-only mode, as the instantaneous torque provided from the electric motor still makes for adequate driving responses around town, and holding speed on the highway is also no issue, in either mode. The CVT performs favorably too - it's nothing special, but it manages power with no tangible interference.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Energi's array of added hardware accord it with a hefty curb weight that is just inescapable, yet performance is unhindered as the engine manages the weight just fine. But, it's the Energi's handling dynamics that take a notable toll. Though the Energi exhibits composure around corners and always feels well-planted to the asphalt, its steering feels overly boosted which along with the Energi's soft damping have it feel far less agile than its purely gasoline-powered variants. There's not much feedback from the steering either, so it's difficult to tell how hard the front tires are working, and its weighting effort is always light too. The brakes are also difficult to modulate, and the pedal feels mostly spongey; Ford has failed to imperceptibly merge the Energi's regenerative braking with its mechanical braking. Some may find that the Energi's ride quality feels overly buoyant and floaty, but otherwise, it rides quite comfortable and smooth. The standard suspension absorbs road imperfections impressively well, and undulations are handled with unhindered composure.

Fusion Energi Gas Mileage

For a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Energi's gas mileage estimates and all-electric range are rather uncompetitive. Light-footed drivers should manage to get 104/91/97 MPGe from the Energi on the EPA drive cycles, or 43/41/42 mpg on gasoline only. Its 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, when fully charged, gives the Energi an all-electric range of 21 miles, almost half the range of most of its rivals, whereas the Volt offers 53 miles on electric power only. With its 14-gallon gas tank full the Energi holds a max range of around 588 miles before needing a top-up. To charge the Energi fully takes around seven hours on a 110-volt household outlet, and only two and a half hours on a 220-volt outlet.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.0 Gallons
* 2018 Ford Fusion Energi SE

Fusion Energi Interior

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Dashboard
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Driver Seat
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Interior Overview
See All 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

A total of five occupants can suitably occupy the Energi; both the standard and sport front seats are comfortable and supportive enough for the long haul, and even the seats in the base trim feature ample adjustability for easy positioning. Visibility is clear all-round, the rear window is easy to see out of regardless of the sloping roofline, and the small rear quarter windows reveal the rearward blind-spots nicely. Cabin room is ample throughout, though the rearward sloping roofline does somewhat impede on headroom in the rear.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Fusion Energi Trunk and Cargo Space

Another major drawback of the added electrical components, especially the large battery pack, is the Energi's significantly reduced trunk capacity. From 16 cubic feet offered in the gasoline-powered Fusion to only 12 cubic feet in the Fusion Hybrid, and 8.2 cubic feet in the Fusion Energi. While that's just enough space for your weekly groceries, the battery pack protrudes into the trunk so much that the load floor is impractically shaped, severely hampering cargo versatility. As for storage within the cabin, solutions come down to a reasonably sized passenger-side glovebox, four appreciably thick door side pockets that do not hold bottles, a small center armrest console, and dual cupholders in the front and back.

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Rear Seats
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Rear View
2018 Ford Fusion Energi Right Side View
  • Trunk Volume
    8.2 ft³

Fusion Energi Infotainment and Features

Features

Standard features are plentiful even in the base SE Luxury trim; the starting consignment includes remote keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and driver-seat memory settings. A rearview camera and reverse parking system are also standard. The Titanium takes things up a notch with a ten-way power-adjustable passenger seat, ambient interior lighting, aluminum cabin trim, and sport front seats. The Platinum gets a heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column, heated and ventilated front seats, blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, enhanced park assist with parallel parking, as well as forward and side sensing systems, lane-keeping assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Infotainment

Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system is known for being one of the more user-friendly systems available, and every Energi trim comes standard with it. It includes functionality in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 911 Assist, AppLink, and SiriusXM radio. The system is operated via an eight-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen mounted in the center stack and in the SE Luxury trim, it is paired to an 11-speaker audio system. An upgraded 12-speaker Sony AM/FM/MP3 capable stereo/single CD-player audio system is included in the Titanium and Platinum. A voice-activated navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capability and integrated SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link is standard in the Platinum only. There are two smart-charging USB ports in all three trims, one located in the front center dash and the other within the center armrest console.

Fusion Energi Problems and Reliability

There have been no recalls commissioned for the 2018 year model of the Fusion Energi, though there have been numerous driver complaints pertaining to a variety of issues pertaining to the powertrain. However, J.D. Power accorded the 2018 Energi with a predicted reliability rating of three and a half out of five, an above-average rating for the segment. Ford covers the Energi with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile electrical components warranty.

Fusion Energi Safety

The 2018 Fusion Energi received some reasonably competitive crash-test safety ratings from the relevant authorities. The NHTSA has not fully evaluated the Ford Fusion Energi for 2018 but did award it four out of five stars for rollover test results. Similarly, the IIHS has not individually tested the plug-in hybrid variant of the 2018 Ford Fusion, but the gas-variant on which it is based received top scores of Good for six of the authorities specific evaluations, and was chosen as a Top Safety Pick in 2017. All trims come standard with a rearview camera and reverse parking system, but if you're looking for blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, enhanced park assist with parallel parking, as well as forward and side sensing systems, lane-keeping assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers, the Platinum is the way to go.

Verdict: Is 2018 Ford Fusion Energi a good car?

With the many compromises the Energi makes for a mere 21 miles of all-electric range, it can only really be labeled as a mediocre car. Many rivals offer more than double the Energi's all-electric range and without as much compromise; the 8.2 cubic feet of trunk capacity in an impractically shaped trunk is also a big blow for an everyday family commuter. Some would also agree that it's tough to justify the Energi's high pricing point over its more affordable Hybrid and gasoline-powered counterparts, with so little benefit offered. It's not all bad, though, the Energi is a very efficient vehicle and will surely look after your pocket in the long run, 21 miles of all-electric range would also significantly benefit those who have frequent short drives. It is also a highly rated vehicle for safety and comes comprehensively equipped with standard safety and advanced driver-assist features at the base level. It's loaded with modern tech, high-quality materials, and all the necessities expected from a semi-luxury vehicle. The Energi is a nice car, but it's a nonsensical one with the Hybrid available at a vastly lower price with all but the menial all-electric capability. The Energi is based on a gasoline-powered sedan platform and thus prevents it from being as apt a plug-in hybrid as its rivals, which have been designed as such from the ground up. There are many better plug-in hybrids out there to consider before opting for the Energi.

What's the Price of the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi?

The price hop from the Fusion Hybrid to the Fusion Energi plug-in is considerably high, around $5,000 between the base models of each lineup. The SE trim starts the Energi lineup off with an MSRP of $33,400, followed by the Titanium at $34,400, and is concluded by the Platinum at $41,400. That's excluding tax, registration, and licensing fees, as well as, Ford's destination charge of $995 and acquisition fee of $645. There may also, depending on what state you're in, be numerous green vehicle incentives that the Energi qualifies for.

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Energi SE
2.0-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$33,400
Energi Titanium
2.0-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$34,400
Energi Platinum
2.0-liter Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$41,400
See All 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Trims and Specs

What Ford Fusion Energi Model Should I Buy?

If you must buy a Fusion Energi, we recommend opting for the mid-tier Titanium trim as its MSRP remains below the $35,000 threshold, and it comes standard with a few favorable features atop the SE Luxury; while the Platinum is outfitted with an even greater selection of appealing features, it jumps straight over the $40,000 mark. Along with the Titanium we suggest including the available Driver Assist Package which comprises some nice comfort and convenience features such as a heated steering wheel and a host of advanced driver assists such as a blind-spot monitoring system, lane-keeping system, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. For some added luxury, there is an optional power-operated moonroof that also comes with a universal garage door opener. The Titanium is also outfitted with a few sportier cosmetic items that the SE Luxury does not get, including a rear-mounted spoiler, sport seats, and aluminum foot pedals.

Check out other Ford Fusion Styles?

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Comparisons

2018 Ford Fusion Energi
2018 Ford Fusion Energi

2018 Ford Fusion Energi vs Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt costs more or less the same price as the Energi; it's equipped with a 1.5-liter inline-four hybridized engine with outputs of a 149 hp and 294 lb-ft - less horsepower, but more torque than the Energi. Acceleration off-the-line is about the same from the Volt, and so is fuel efficiency, but where the Volt gets one up on the Energi is in its all-electric range. Equipped with a much larger 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Volt has an all-electric range of 53 miles, more than double that of the Energi's. Augmenting its practicality over the Energi is its trunk capacity of 10.6 cubic feet in an uncompromised trunk space. The Volt impressively received even better safety ratings overall, having received a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS for 2018. It also comes readily-loaded with safety and driver aids at the base level and features all the contemporary tech expected from a vehicle in this class. It's easy to tell that the Volt is the better all-round plug-in hybrid and offers a far better value for money buy than what the Energi does.

See Chevrolet Volt Review

2018 Ford Fusion Energi vs Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Hybrid is equipped with a smaller 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery which doesn't offer an all-electric drive mode, but does free up an additional four cubic feet of trunk capacity and causes less of an intrusion to the trunk bed. It comes with all the same features and luxuries as the Energi does, only without the all-electric capabilities, and being that's it's around $8,000 more affordable than the Energi, it's certainly the more sensible purchase. The Energi offers only 21 miles of all-electric range at a hefty price hike and at the considerable expense of practicality and handling dynamics. The Hybrid is almost 500 lbs lighter than the Energi, making it easier to maneuver around town and control at higher speeds. The Energi has a long way to go to justify its value as a plug-in hybrid offering an all-electric capability, but at present, the Hybrid is simply a more sensible vehicle relative to the pricey Energi.

See Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

Ford Fusion Energi Popular Comparisons

2018 Ford Fusion Video Review