2018 Ford Fusion Energi

2018 Ford Fusion Energi Review

The Fusion Energi is roomier than other plug-ins, but its short electric-only range disappoints.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Plug-in hybrids are perfect for buyers who like the idea of a fully electric car but don't want to worry about their typically limited driving range. A well-known example is the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi. Ford's been selling the Energi since 2013, and consumer reviews on Edmunds seem to indicate that most owners are happy. The Energi pairs a bigger lithium-ion battery pack with the regular Fusion Hybrid's gasoline-electric powertrain. This allows the Energi to drive up to 21 miles on pure electric power before the gas engine kicks on and delivers fuel economy comparable to the Fusion Hybrid.

As much as we like the Fusion, though, it's difficult to wholeheartedly recommend the Energi. It commands a hefty price premium over a comparable Hybrid, one that might take a considerable amount of time to recoup based on driving habits and electricity costs. The beefier battery pack takes a significant chunk out of usable trunk space, making it difficult to fit large pieces of luggage. The Energi's 21-mile range is also less than what you get from other plug-in sedans and downright paltry compared to the Chevrolet Volt's 53 miles.

Overall, we think the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is worth a look, but make sure to consider your options first.



what's new

The Ford Fusion Energi is unchanged for 2018.


we recommend

Considering the Fusion Energi's high price tag compared to a Fusion Hybrid, we recommend sticking with the base SE Luxury. It comes loaded with features such as a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, power front seats, leather upholstery, the Sync 3 infotainment system and more. You might also consider upgrading to the Titanium since the price differential is low and you might enjoy the configurable ambient lighting, sport seats and Sony audio system. Both trims offer the same optional suite of advanced driver aids if you want it.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is one of the only midsize plug-in hybrid sedans on the market and can be ordered in three trims: SE Luxury, Titanium and Platinum. The SE Luxury is equipped with pretty much everything you'd want in a vehicle in this price class, including leather upholstery, heated front seats and the Sync 3 infotainment system. The Titanium is slightly more expensive and adds an upgraded audio system and sport seats, among other upgrades. The Platinum is considerably more expensive — it includes the Titanium's features, nearly all of its options and upgraded leather upholstery.

Every Ford Fusion Energi is driven by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack (188 total system horsepower, but can be temporarily boosted to 195 hp). This front-wheel-drive sedan can travel up to 21 miles on electric power alone, at speeds up to 85 mph.

Standard features on the Energi's base SE Luxury trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED headlights and taillights, heated mirrors, remote ignition, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, driver-seat memory settings and leather upholstery.

Standard tech features include voice controls, the Sync 3 interface (with an 8-inch touchscreen and twin 4.2-inch configurable screens in the instrument cluster), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and two USB ports.

The Titanium trim adds LED foglights, an auto-dimming driver mirror, a rear spoiler, ambient interior lighting, front sport seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, and an upgraded Sony audio system with 12 speakers and HD radio.

Optional on the SE Luxury and Titanium is the Driver Assist package, which bundles automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, and a heated steering wheel. On the SE Luxury, this package also adds the auto-dimming exterior mirror.

Selecting the Driver Assist package allows you to add adaptive cruise control (includes forward collision warning and mitigation). Also available are an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature (includes front and side parking sensors), a sunroof and a navigation system. On the Titanium, you can also get ventilated front seats.

The Platinum includes all above features, in addition to upgraded leather upholstery, additional leather trim and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

All trims can be equipped with 18-inch wheels and inflatable rear seat belts.



Every Ford Fusion Energi is driven by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack (188 total system horsepower, but can be temporarily boosted to 195 hp). This front-wheel-drive sedan can travel up to 21 miles on electric power alone, at speeds up to 85 mph.

Standard features on the Energi's base SE Luxury trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED headlights and taillights, heated mirrors, remote ignition, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, driver-seat memory settings and leather upholstery.

Standard tech features include voice controls, the Sync 3 interface (with an 8-inch touchscreen and twin 4.2-inch configurable screens in the instrument cluster), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and two USB ports.

The Titanium trim adds LED foglights, an auto-dimming driver mirror, a rear spoiler, ambient interior lighting, front sport seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, and an upgraded Sony audio system with 12 speakers and HD radio.

Optional on the SE Luxury and Titanium is the Driver Assist package, which bundles automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, and a heated steering wheel. On the SE Luxury, this package also adds the auto-dimming exterior mirror.

Selecting the Driver Assist package allows you to add adaptive cruise control (includes forward collision warning and mitigation). Also available are an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature (includes front and side parking sensors), a sunroof and a navigation system. On the Titanium, you can also get ventilated front seats.

The Platinum includes all above features, in addition to upgraded leather upholstery, additional leather trim and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

All trims can be equipped with 18-inch wheels and inflatable rear seat belts.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi SE (2.0L inline-4 plug-in hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Fusion Energi has received various revisions, including additional standard and optional features throughout the years, updated exterior and interior styling in 2017 and the replacement of the MyFord Touch infotainment interface with the superior Sync 3 system (also in 2017). Still, our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Fusion Energi.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering3.5 / 5.0
Handling3.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.5 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.5 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Roominess3.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Technology

4.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.5 / 5.0
Smartphone integration5.0 / 5.0
Driver aids4.5 / 5.0
Voice control5.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Ford Fusion Energi steers, brakes and handles with the same poise and confidence of the standard Fusion. Except, of course, for the 20-ish all-electric miles it offers. Forced EV-only mode is painfully slow; use the Auto Hybrid/EV mode instead.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The Energi is decently quick in Auto Hybrid/EV mode, but it is much slower in the forced pure-electric mode. We're talking zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds versus 15 seconds. That's not a typo.

braking

edmunds rating
The brakes don't have much initial bite, which makes it hard to consistently apply the correct amount of pedal pressure needed to stop smoothly. But the switchover between regenerative braking and mechanical braking is smooth.

steering

edmunds rating
The steering is pleasant. Steering effort is quite light, whether you're circulating through a parking lot or cruising at highway speeds. But there isn't much feel or feedback, so it's never clear how hard the tires are working.

handling

edmunds rating
Ultimate cornering grip is sufficient for a family sedan such as this, especially considering the fuel efficiency-minded tires. The Fusion Energi exhibits balance and composure when corners come back to back. No quirks or surprises here.

drivability

edmunds rating
The Fusion Energi pulls away smoothly from a stop, with zero shift sensation whether in EV-only or hybrid mode. But if the gas engine is being used, the Energi lurches forward when the gas engine kicks on.

comfort

edmunds rating
The Ford Fusion Energi has a sophisticated ride that absorbs and damps out rough road impacts without making you feel as if you're floating down the road. Comfortable seats and good noise isolation are icing on the cake. It's a good environment for long road trips.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The well-shaped front seats provide good support and comfort over the long haul. Even these non-sport seats offer a generous range of adjustment. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allows you to set the seat where your legs want it.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Impact damping is admirably good on rough, broken asphalt. The car feels smooth, though some drivers might find the ride quality to be overly buoyant and floaty.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The Energi is surprisingly good at suppressing outside noises, even in the silent EV mode. The on-again, off-again engine is quiet but does rev at odd times, which is typical of hybrids.

climate control

edmunds rating
Standard dual-zone climate control works well and keeps the cabin cool despite hot summer temps outside. Backseat passengers have air vents of their own. The Platinum comes with a heated steering wheel and front seat ventilation, though the latter doesn't feel particularly effective.

interior

edmunds rating
Good interior space and visibility, but the touch-sensitive controls and touchscreen are an annoyance. The Fusion Energi's battery leaves behind a small, oddly shaped trunk that's impractical for long trips, airport runs or shopping.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The rotary transmission shifter that takes getting used to. But most other cabin controls are nicely grouped and easy to operate at a glance. Steering wheel buttons make it easy to sort through the comprehensive dashboard data screen.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Doors are generously sized. Entry and exit are easy, but the sloping rear roofline makes it difficult for taller folks to get into the backseat.

roominess

edmunds rating
There's plenty of legroom and shoulder room all around. There's lots of front headroom, but the sloping roof is somewhat low for tall folks and those with big hair.

visibility

edmunds rating
The driver enjoys a good view all around. Small quarter windows behind the rear doors are in just the right place, and the rear window offers a better view than the swoopy styling suggests.

quality

edmunds rating
Build quality stands pat at the basic Fusion level. It's nice, though the significant extra cost of the Energi is mostly in the plug-in hybrid system. You won't see extra worth in the materials or fit and finish.

utility

edmunds rating
The Energi's large battery pack takes a toll on trunk space, reducing the cargo area from 16 cubic feet in the standard sedan (and 12 cubic feet in the Hybrid) to just 8.2 cubes. It doesn't help that the giant shelf it creates makes the cargo area oddly shaped. It proves too small for most shopping.

technology

edmunds rating
With the new Sync 3 infotainment system and the advent of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Ford Fusion is one of the more approachable, tech-friendly vehicles on the market. The Fusion offers many safety-related driver aids, and you don't have to buy the most expensive trim level to get them.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Sync 3 and its onboard navigation are much better than the old MyFord Touch system. Like a smartphone, Sync 3 has big virtual buttons and the ability to swipe through menus. The satellite radio signal often dropped, though, likely due to a weak antenna, and max-volume audio quality isn't great.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
All Fusions with Sync 3 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and a second USB port. If you don't utilize these systems, you can still pair your phone the old-fashioned way via Bluetooth, which is a nice option to have.

driver aids

edmunds rating
The Fusion Energi can be equipped with the latest active safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors.

voice control

edmunds rating
As always, Ford's voice controls, now via Sync 3, are excellent. Natural language and simple commands do wonders to play music, change radio stations, input navigation destinations or place calls. And you have the option to hold the voice button longer to access Siri on your paired smartphone.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.