Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Sedan Exterior

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For the most part, the pickings in the midsize hybrid sedan segment are fairly mundane. One exception is the Ford Fusion Hybrid, a sedan that offers better fuel economy than its main competitors while also being more enjoyable to drive.

Though driving enjoyment typically isn't high on the list of a hybrid buyer's list of priorities, the Fusion Hybrid delivers an unusually lively experience behind the wheel. If you're shopping for a new or used hybrid-powered sedan, the Ford should definitely be near the top of your list. Its unusual combination of solid driving dynamics and superior fuel economy, along with its good looks and accommodating interior, makes it easy to recommend.

Current Ford Fusion Hybrid
Redesigned for 2013, the latest Fusion Hybrid boasts the same handsome styling of the standard Fusion along with similarly improved driving dynamics and a slightly roomier interior.

Available in a single SE trim level, standard feature highlights include keypad entry, dual-zone air-conditioning, a power driver seat, a trip computer, the voice-activated Sync audio and cell phone interface and a four-speaker sound system (with CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and USB/ iPod connectivity). Key available features include adaptive cruise control, automated parking assist, blind-spot detection and the latest generation of MyFord Touch with its customizable touchscreen display.

There's also an all-new hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine working in concert with a new lithium-ion battery pack, the latter being lighter and more powerful than the previous power pack.  Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All told, there's 188 hp on tap along with impressive EPA fuel economy estimates of 47 mpg in all three cycles: city, highway and combined. Those numbers are considerably better than the Fusion Hybrid's Camry and Sonata hybrid rivals.

Underway, this Fusion Hybrid impresses with its athletic handling and communicative steering that provides a more engaging driving experience than you'd expect in a fuel sipper. At the same time, the ride is supple over bumps and ruts. The one dynamic demerit involves very low-speed braking. As with most hybrid cars due to their regenerative braking systems, maneuvering into a parking spot takes a delicate touch on the brake pedal, as the brakes can feel grabby until you acclimate to them.

All told, Ford has managed to take all the attributes of the previous Fusion Hybrid -- notably, excellent fuel economy, sharp styling, sporty handling, a smooth ride and plenty of handy features -- to a higher level, once again making this our top pick for a midsize hybrid sedan.

Used Ford Fusion Hybrid Models
The Ford Fusion Hybrid debuted for the 2010 model year and this first generation ran through 2012. It was a midsize sedan that employed a 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack to produce 191 hp. The power was sent to the front wheels through a CVT. Along with a fuel mileage estimate of 39 mpg in combined driving, this Fusion Hybrid had the ability under low load conditions to propel itself to nearly 50 mph on battery power alone.

The handsome cabin sported quality materials and a wealth of standard features. The latter included 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, the MyKey system (limits top speed and audio volume), a keyless-entry security code pad, automatic headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. There was also the Sync electronics interface (includes voice commands, Bluetooth and iPod control) and a six-speaker sound system with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and steering-wheel controls. Options included a rearview camera, a premium audio system, a sunroof and a navigation system with Sirius Travel Link.

In reviews, we were pleasantly surprised by the Ford Fusion Hybrid's well-sorted chassis. It's not a sport sedan, but it is sportier than you'd expect a hybrid sedan to be. Granted, you'll get even better mileage out of cars like the smaller Honda Insight and ubiquitous Toyota Prius. But when you compare apples to apples, the first-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid is an excellent choice for a used hybrid family sedan.

Read the most recent 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Ford Fusion Hybrid page.


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