Hybrid sedans have been around for a number of years now and while most choose them for their high fuel efficiency, the latest generation of hybrids now offer the performance and convenience of conventionally powered alternatives too. The Ford Fusion is just such an offering, having received a comprehensive update in 2017, only a few minor changes have been carried out for the new model year.
The Fusion Hybrid does not shout about its eco credentials with its exterior styling and the same applies to the interior. The cabin features the same materials and finishes as the rest of the Fusion range and the front row seats are comfortable and offer a wide range of adjustments. The recently updated transmission selector and infotainment system add a touch of modernity to the dashboard and center console, and while there is a fair amount of plastic trim, material quality is of a high standard.
The rear is spacious too although the angled rear window can impede headroom for taller occupants. The trunk is generously proportioned although slightly smaller in capacity due to the hybrid drivetrain components.
The driving experience is similar to the conventional gasoline powered sedans and the Fusion Hybrid is very competent around corners with well-weighed steering and a confidence inspiring chassis. It may not be accused of being a sport sedan but compared to its hybrid rivals, the Fusion is one of the more accomplished handlers. The ride is firm but comfortable, rough roads do not upset this sedan’s composure and the cabin is quiet and isolated from tire and road noise thanks in part to the standard active noise control.
Power comes from a 141 horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a 118 hp electric motor that work together to send 188 hp to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission. All-electric driving is possible when driving extremely sedately, the plug-in Fusion Energi offers a larger battery pack and extended electric range bit this model’s battery pack is recharged by the gasoline engine.
Performance feels strong at city speeds thanks to the additional torque of the electric motor, all-out acceleration is not as impressive with 0-60 mph taking around 9-seconds, but the Fusion Hybrid is capable enough in most situations. Where it does score highly is in fuel economy ratings where its 43/41 city/highway mpg rating makes it far more fuel efficient than an equivalent gasoline powered Fusion. Compared to other hybrid offerings these numbers place it in the middle of the pack.
The Fusion Hybrid is available in S, SE, titanium and Platinum trims. The base S Trim features 17-inch alloy wheels, 6-way manual driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, split-folding rear seats, 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster, 9-speaker audio system with Bluetooth integration, active noise control, hill start assist, front center console with fixed armrest, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rear air-conditioning vents, LED taillamps and safety items include electric-assist parking brake and a rearview camera.
SE Trim adds 10-way powered driver’s seat, 6-way powered passenger seat, LED signature lighting and brake assist. Titanium Trim adds 18-inch alloys, Sync 3 infotainment system, 12-speaker audio system, 10-way power front passenger seat with memory settings for the driver’s seat and heating for both, leather interior. A reverse sensing system and LED headlamps are also included.
Platinum Trim includes all of the above and adds a premium leather interior, cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, voice-activated navigation system, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot assist with cross-traffic alert and lane-keep assist. Further safety systems include adaptive cruise control and enhanced park assist.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a competitive package that offers competent handling dynamics, a smooth ride and a lot of available convenience and luxury items. It sacrifices a small amount of trunk space and performance relative to the gasoline powered Fusion but the gains in fuel economy and excellent refinement levels will quite likely sway many shoppers.