October 18, 2011
The Lexus ES350 gets slammed for being the mechanical twin of the Toyota Camry, yet the Lincoln MKZ (twins with our long-term 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid) doesn't attract the same derision -- perhaps because many people don't care? Lincoln is advertising the daylights out of the MKZ, and they go one better than Lexus by offering a hybrid version of the MKZ. Lexus doesn't offer a hybrid version of the ES -- yet.
Anyway, I drove the MKZ Hybrid for a few days and liked it, a lot more than I thought I would. And not surprisingly, it was very similar to our Fusion Hybird with great steering, a firm brake pedal, and OK handling. They're both EPA rated at 41 city/36 highway, although we got only 33 mpg for the MKZ from just one tank.
I like the exterior styling of the MKZ a lot more than the plain-Jane Fusion, although the MKZ's interior is not true luxury to me. And the $7K price difference, $39,270 vs. $32,370, would make me think twice about getting the MKZ over the Fusion.
Hmmm. Which would you get? More pics on the jump.
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer
June 01, 2011
I visited my mom in Denver over Memorial Day weekend. She has a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid that's pretty much identical to our long-termer, and I ended up driving it around quite a bit. No surprises here -- the Fusion Hybrid is just a great car. It handles securely, the interior is quiet and comfortable, it'll go more than 500 miles between fill-ups and, yes, the fuel economy is quite good.
April 06, 2011
554 miles to empty displayed thanks to a 17.5 gallon fuel tank.
And that's not assuming the displayed MPG average of 32.7 mpg. With that math we'd go 572.25 before sputtering out of fuel.
And with my final MPG reading of 37.8, we're at 661.8 miles before I have to stop again. I hate the gas station. Not the price, but the annoyance (one reason I really dig this plug in thing -- just click it when you go home for the night and you're good) is something I just can't tolerate. Whenever I've got a car with more than 500 miles of range, I'm a happy guy.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor Edmunds.com @ 12,462 miles
December 06, 2010
I really like our Long-Term 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, mostly because it retains the regular Fusion's FTD factor while getting impressive fuel mileage. I am, however, surprised at the lack of regenerative braking that occurs when driving it (the symbol for which is shown above).
Basically, if you are on the brakes you get regenerative braking like any other hybrid. Yet unlike just about any other hybrid I've driven, the Fusion Hybrid doesn't activate regerative braking/charging when the car is coasting. This is basically the opposite of the Mini E, (or the Nissan Leaf, if you drive it in "Eco" mode), where every throttle lift is accompanied by noticeable regenerative braking forces. Yeah, those are pure electric vehicles, but the Prius and Volt also engage regenerative braking while coasting.
I'm going to defer to the experts in Ford's engineering department. Maybe their calculations show that the loss of forward momentum from regenerative braking (when coasting) more than negates the increase in stored battery energy (except when the driver is intentionally slowing down by applying the brakes).
But that thinking does seem in conflict with most hybrids, which will absolutely engage charging mode when I cost down a long hill.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large
November 29, 2010
I had our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid this holiday weekend and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, in terms with having to contend with its hybrid-ness. In fact, if it weren't for its quietude and odd hybrid ice blue color, I'd almost forget that I was driving the hybrid version of the Fusion. OK, that may be going too far. In any case, it definitely has impressive pick-up for a hybrid.
To make sure I wasn't losing my mind, I checked the 0-60 numbers of its competitors, as generated by Edmunds' comparison tool: Honda Insight, Nissan Altima Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota Prius. I also threw in the Chevy Malibu Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid just for the heck of it.
Guess which one was the fastest?
Here are the 0-60-mph numbers from quickest to slowest, including their base MSRP.
2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid, $26,780 -- 7.6
2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid, $26,575 -- 8.3
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, $28,240 -- 8.9
2010 Toyota Prius, $21,650 -- 10.1
2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, $25,555 -- 10.3
2010 Honda Insight, $19,800 -- 10.9
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, $23,950 -- 13.5
Did you guess right? At least I did about our Fusion hybrid. Although I should have already known that as I was slaloming Priuses all weekend. Ha!
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 10,433 miles
November 17, 2010
If the Devil's in the details, then our Fusion Hybrid is a doomed eco-demon. Other automakers have incorporated similar touches, but the Fusion pulls them all together into a single "of course" moment.
June 04, 2010
Full disclosure: I'd never driven the Ford Fusion Hybrid for any length of time until last night, but I've logged a lot of miles in Priuses, Insights and RX 400/450hs over the years. And, you know, wow. I didn't realize hybrids could drive this way.
To start, there's the Fusion Hybrid's ride. It's comfortable yet controlled with barely a hint of float. Strapped into the driver seat on the freeway, I have the distinct sensation that I am driving a car, rather than sailing a large, water-logged recliner. I guess this is what happens when you start with a really good chassis; the shared genetics with our Mazda 6 are quite apparent.
I also like way the car accelerates. It's louder than I'd like in the cabin, but even on the Atkinson cycle, the Mazda-engineered 2.5-liter engine gets the Fusion Hybrid moving down the freeway with some authority (yeah, and the battery-driven electric motor helps, too). I may not get to rule Interstate 10, but I will not be a serf over in the right lane.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,443 miles
April 13, 2010
After my first extended stint in our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, I'm voting this Ford as one of the most livable of hybrid choices. My previous fave, the zippy, but limited-availability Nissan Altima Hybrid is slightly more adept at hiding its electrical heft when the roads get twisty, but in terms of a daily driving, the Fusion Hybrid asks almost nothing of its driver and provides real thrift (we're apes, and are still averaging over 31 mpg).
The knock on most hybrids is that you're always aware you're driving one. Save for the Fusion's silent boot-up, it's one of the most normal cars with an alternative drivetrain. Control-pedal responses are similar enough to a normal car that you're not constantly reminded that weird throttle and brake reactions are just part of the quirky joys of owning a hybrid. In the Fusion, the gas pedal instills a swift and peppy response, and the brakes feel much like a solid, hydraulic-only setup.
There are scenarios where the hybrid drivetrain can still catch you out. For the last inches of parking adjustments, the brakes can be a little touchy. In stop and go traffic, when you prod the car to step off quickly to grab a hole, the electric boost can still be surging while you're already back on the binders. You'll need to be aware the first time you angle for a very finite slot in traffic. Once things get moving, this e-boost is a boon, and the Fusion scoots from 50 to 70 mph in a torquey surge that belies it four-cylinder mill.
Unless you're trying to make serious tracks on twisty roads, most folk will never be aware of the added weight of the hybrid system. It actually seems to pay dividends on the freeway, as ride chop is reduced, and the Fusion happily floats along eating miles. If you do head energetically into the tight stuff, it takes a pretty committed pace before the Fusion starts to feel big-hipped, and the high-efficiency tires are already protesting at that rate.
Like the Altima (9 cubic feet), the Fusion's trunk space (11.8) is reduced by the alt drivetrain, but unlike the Altima (which loses 6 cubic feet to the Fusion's 4.7 cube reduction), the space remains more usable, to the point that most folk might not even notice the smaller trunk. The Ford Escape Hybrid that I wrangled just before the Fusion has more function in this regard, but overall the Escape feels nowhere near as polished. It's this livable sheen that gives the Fusion Hybrid such daily appeal. If you've been hybrid shy because of all the quirks, be sure to take a Fusion Hybrid for a spin.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 4081 miles
February 22, 2010
I've been accused of being anti-hybrid. I'm not. But I am anti-bad-driving-experience. And the Ford Fusion Hybrid is my evidence. I love it.
Loyal readers of Edmunds.com will also remember how much I liked our long-term Accord Hybrid back in 2005.
Like the Honda, the Fusion Hybrid delivers a good driving experience, not just better mileage. Ford, like Honda, has taken an excellent car and then made it a hybrid. This is how to do it in my book.
Why? Because dedicated hybrids like the Prius, Insight and the new Lexus HS 250h force sacrifices on their drivers. But the Fusion does not. It has no funky seating position. No Star Trek ergonomics. No deafening road noise. No odd sythetic feeling in its steering or brakes.
Basically it doesn't make me feel like I've traded my car for a pod. Plus, it isn't pathetically slow. Okay, so its trunk is on the small side, but nobody ever said 40 mpg was free.
How anybody drives a Fusion Hybrid and then goes out and buys a Prius or an Insight is something I'll never understand. They either really want a hatchback (Go buy a Honda Fit.) or they really want a billboard telling the world they are Green.
I just want a good driving car. I don't care what my neighbors think.
If I were in that market right now, my money would be spent on a Fusion Hybrid. In my book, it's the best hybrid sedan out there.
Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief
February 04, 2010
Like all of Edmunds.com's long term test cars, the fuel economy-minded 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid was initiated to the group at our testing facility within a few weeks of joining our fleet. Greenery be damned.
Follow the jump for full performance results and a bonus video!
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front wheel drive
Transmission Type: CVT
Engine Type: Atkinson-cycle Inline-4 and permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric moto
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,488/152
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 156 @ 6500 (engine) / 106 @ 6500 (motor) / 191 @ 6500 net combined
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 136 @ 2250 (engine) / 166 @3,000 (motor)
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated disc with integrated regenerative braking
Brake Type (rear): 11.0-inch solid disc with integrated regenerative braking
Steering System: Speed-proportional electric-assist rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, Double Wishbones, Coil Springs, and Stabilizer Bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, Multi-Link, Coil Springs, and Stabilizer Bar
Tire Size (front): P225/50R17 93V M+S
Tire Size (rear): P225/50R17 93V M+S
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Energy MxV4 S8
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 18 x 7.5
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,787
0 - 30 (sec): 3.6
0 - 45 (sec): 5.9
0 - 60 (sec): 8.9
0 - 75 (sec): 12.7
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 16.6 @ 87.3
0 - 60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.6
30 - 0 (ft): 30
60 - 0 (ft): 122
Braking Rating: Good
Slalom (mph): 60.5
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): .79
Handling Rating: Average
Db @ Idle: 38.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 74.2
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 63.1
Acceleration Comments: Really lethargic off the line no matter what I try...then droning, linear acceleration thereafter. D and L net same results at wide open throttle. Zero torque steer. (Battery indicator showed "full" before start of each run.)
Braking Comments: Consistent, straight (and noisy) stops. A slight wiggle in the rear on one, however. Pedal effort is medium to high. Mild fade by 5th stop. Strange odor (not typical brake smell.)
Handling Comments: Skid pad: ESP closes throttle to keep speed down. Steering is springy and feels electric. Slalom: Zero steering feel followed by "delay-gain" once it bites. Otherwise the car feels more capable than the ESP will allow. Good balance, and neither under nor over-steers. Used L to hold gear.
And as promised, here's a video! After testing I grabbed the keys and my camera, sat at the end of the track and stood on the throttle until I got bored. (read: ran out of space.) Disregard the 13.1 mpg we averaged while testing and the phone call I get (but don't answer) from Dan Edmunds right around the 14-second mark.
February 03, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I drove a 2010 Ford Fusion equipped with a four-cylinder gasoline engine. Even with 175 horsepower at its command, it felt sluggish and made struggling noises. No surprise for a car of this size with a small engine.
This was before I had a chance to drive our new hybrid Fusion. The hybrid feels better to me. Of course, it's much quieter. But it also has more power with a gasoline engine/electric motor that combines for a maximum of 191 horsepower.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor