March 30, 2012
Our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is going to reach the 20,000-mile landmark this weekend. We took a slightly different approach to mileage accumulation on the Fusion than we do most long-term vehicles.
The typical goal is 20,000 miles in 12 months under variable driving conditions. If we doubled the length of the test, we thought, and restricted the Ford to mostly city driving, it would give a better representation of its hybrid fuel economy. We tried it out...
According to the EPA our Fusion Hybrid should return mpg of 36 highway/41 city/39 combined. After 20,000 miles of mostly city driving we've averaged 32 mpg, well below EPA estimations. Our best single tank was 38 mpg, which showed the city figure was attainable, however, these estimations account for typical situations.
The EPA projections do not simulate what is considered normal city driving in the traffic congested streets of West Los Angeles. Under conditions similar to the Fusion, our 2004 Toyota Prius averaged 42 mpg overall. This, too, fell below its 50 highway/61 city EPA figures. Again, our best single tank of 59 mpg confirmed that these benchmarks were attainable in a predictable environment. But traffic is unpredictable. At the end of the day our overall fuel economy still came up short.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 19,991 miles
January 18, 2012
Good news for green-minded buyers who have the hots for the Ford Fusion: The standard Fusion hybrid gets a redesign for 2013, and a plug-in hybrid will join the lineup.
In addition to snazzy new sheet metal that calls to mind something British and expensive (now where have we seen that grille before?), the Fusion hybrid gets a fresh powertrain that pairs a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder with an electric motor powered by a new lithium-ion battery pack. The model is expected to get EPA numbers of 47 city and 44 highway mpg, placing it well ahead of the current model's 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
The plug-in hybrid will be called the Energi, and it's expected to deliver more than 100 MPGe. This figure places it ahead of the Chevy Volt, which is rated at 92 MPGe.
Any Fusion Hybrid shoppers out there? Are these changes enticing enough to make you want to hold out for the 2013 model?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
April 28, 2011
Bi-fuel vehicles that run on both CNG and gas are big in Italy and other parts of Europe, as well as in emerging markets like Brazil, India and Argentina. These vehicles allow you to toggle between both types of fuel when you're at the pump. You can take advantage of CNG's clean-burning nature when it's convenient, but if you're not near a CNG filling station and need to fuel up, you won't be left stranded -- your car will rise to the occasion by throwing back some good old-fashioned gasoline.
I had an exchange recently with someone who was wondering why these bi-fuel vehicles aren't available here on the retail market -- he'd just gotten back from time spent in Brazil, where bi-fuel cars, trucks, wagons, vans and buses are a common sight. His feeling is that bi-fuel vehicles make a lot more sense than hybrids.
CNG never caught on here -- factors like lack of consumer interest, lack of government support and lack of adequate fuel-station infrastructure all played a part in that. But it seems like bi-fuel capability adds some measure of convenience and makes the whole undertaking a more reasonable proposition.
What are your thoughts as to why gas/CNG bi-fuel vehicles haven't taken off here? Do you think they make more or less sense than hybrids like our Fusion?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
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
April 06, 2011
We recently published an article that looks at break-even times for various hybrids. Hybrids are often more expensive than their gas-only equivalents and the break-even time is the length of time it takes for you to earn back this extra investment via fuel savings.
According to our calculations, it'll take a buyer 6.6 years to earn back the Fusion Hybrid's price premium relative to the equivalent, gas-only Fusion. Is break-even time something you consider, if you're a hybrid shopper?
The hands-down winner (or loser) when it comes to loooooong break-even times is the Lexus LS 600h. In that case, you're looking at a whopping 121 years.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
March 29, 2011
Ford recently released some figures that revealed something kinda interesting: In the case of its Lincoln MKZ -- available as both a hybrid and a gasoline model -- the take rate on the hybrid model has tracked at more than 20 percent since January 2011.
Meanwhile, the MKZ's less tony but mechanically similar relation, the Fusion Hybrid, had a take rate of just 6 percent last month.
March 21, 2011
I was all ready to write some deliciously snarky Dan Neil-like post about this car today. About how sanctimonious it is, what with its little sprouting-leaves display. About how unexciting it is to drive. About its bland exterior.
Then I tuned in to this morning's news: Oil prices rose $2 a barrel today. The average price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 7 cents over the past two weeks, and the national average price is now $3.57. And I had to ask myself: If I were buying a car right now, how would the Fusion look to me?
As Chris Walton and Caroline Pardilla wrote recently, our Fusion Hybrid is averaging 31.7 mpg and is tied with the Mazda 2 in our fleet for fuel economy. If the leafy current-average mpg display can be trusted, I've been doing quite a bit better than that -- up in the 36-39 mpg range in drives over the weekend and this morning.
Funny how those leaves suddenly didn't look sanctimonious, but downright sage (maybe those ARE sage leaves, come to think of it). I saw the car less as boring than as sensible. And so I'm putting away my bon mots and hereby give the Fusion Hybrid the respect it's due.
But I still think it's about as visually appealing as dollop of tapioca.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 12,648 mile
March 10, 2011
So this happened... (in Venice, CA anyway).
Last time we saw prices spike like this, small cars became the next big thing and hybrids (especially those with HOV-lane stickers) began selling above sticker in Los Angeles and elsewhere. As our Green Car Advisor, Scott Doggett just reminded us, Toyota surpassed the 3-million mark on hybrid sales.
Are you now considering a hybrid like our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid (averaging 31.7 mpg), or something more traditional like our 2011 Mazda2 (averaging 31.2 mpg), or are you simply going to keep driving (more efficiently) what you have because it's paid for?
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 11,534 miles
December 29, 2010
Total Miles Driven: 11,084 miles
Best Recorded Mileage: 37.7 mpg
Worst Recorded Mileage: 24.4 mpg
Average Recorded Mileage: 31.3 mpg
Furthest traveled on one tank: 509.6 Miles
Most gallons taken during a fill up: 14.819 gallons
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
November 16, 2010
Our Fusion Hybrid is really something else. Not only does the dash display sprout leaves in response to your eco-foot, but it also, apparently, grows these underneath the seats:
November 12, 2010
Sure, the average MPG figure on our long-term 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid's display is impressive at over 34 miles-per-gallon (though not as impressive as Mr. Frio's).
However, even more compelling to my mind is the "miles to E" number. It's almost 450 miles, and that's after driving the car close to 100 miles since the last fill-up. You can see the fuel gauge is down to nearly three-quarters, which confirms the total range on a full tank of gas in the Fusion Hybrid is over 500 miles.
Cutting down on fuel consumption is fine, but cutting down on fuel station visits -- from a time-saving standpoint if nothing else -- really resonates with me. My old standard for total range on a full tank used to be 275 miles. Any car that couldn't go at least that far would have me stopping between Denver and Grand Junction while growing up, and during winter months you don't want to stop in-between those cities if you don't have to.
But between modern diesels and hybrids my standards have gone up. Now I want at least 400 miles on a tank of gas, and anything over 500 is pure nirvana.
What's the range you demand in a car full of gas.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large @ 10,120 miles
November 11, 2010
Point-one mile from averaging 38 mpg. So close. The Fusion recently turned 10,000 miles. I put an additional 200 miles on it over the last two days, nearly all of them traversing the clogged and crooked death slab known as the San Diego Freeway. The 405.
The Fyu-Hi indicates we're averaging nearly 38 mpg. My performance over the last 203 miles suggests this is pretty much dead on.
The car swilled 8.3 gallons on its last fill-up, but that includes an additional 111 miles from the previous driver. All told, the Fyu-Hi traveled 315 miles and returned 37.9 mpg after its last fill-up.
That's the best consumption rate we've achieved to date, according to our fuel logs.
About two-thirds of my 200+ miles were at highway speeds. The rest were bumper-to-bumper creepin' and a couple of ATM and Lotto runs for seasoning. The EPA rates the Fusion Hybrid at 41 city/36 highway miles per gallon. Dig that: we're more efficient than D.C. technocrats. I smell a Tea Party talking point in here somewhere...
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
November 10, 2010
Our long-term 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid just crossed the 10,000-mile barrier. That's 10K miles of happy-hybrid motoring from one of the better hybrids on the market, IMHO.
The car still feels new. It still gets an easy 35 mpg. And I'd still rather drive it than a Prius.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large at 10,000 miles.
November 05, 2010
But I was surprised at how quickly it grows and wilts in a short period of time. The Fusion's bush isn't a long-term representation like our Honda Insight's Nintendo forest. It's highly dependent on how you're driving right now. You'll note that our bush was fuller with a lower fuel economy number (above) than it was the night before with a better fuel economy number (after the jump). I guess I was driving more economically when I pulled into work this morning than when I pulled into my garage last night. At the same time ...
Ah, who gives a crap. A bush in the gauges? Really? What's next, a bush glued to the dash?
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,678 miles
(Yes, the Fusion is back. STRANDED! update coming later)
July 06, 2010
Heading out in the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for a 4th of July weekend one of our co-workers yelled: "Hippie! Go ahead and take your nice little blue hybrid to the mountains!" I should have told him that I could have gotten 38 mpg in my 2007 Honda Fit on a little four-cylinder engine. Instead, I took this hybrid and got 36 mpg over 475 miles. The difference was that the Fusion Hybrid was roomier (despite a half-sized trunk), quieter and more comfortable.
June 29, 2010
I admit I have a black thumb. I can't grow anything. I try and try but nothing will grow for me. Lemon trees commit suicide. Oregano chooses herbicide.
Last summer I watered fake plants for about three months before I realized they were fake. That was the longest I ever kept anything alive. Or so I thought.
Into my life comes the Ford Fusion Hybrid. See this previous post.
I mean, come on. I'm down to the stems?
Is 31.8 mpg really that bad? I'm insulted.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
June 14, 2010
We'd been offered an opportunity to drive the new BMW Alpina B7 up in the Bay Area over the same weekend as the Sonoma Historic Motor Races at Infineon Raceway, so I took the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for the ride (you wouldn't call it driving, really) up there on Interstate 5. Why not, it's a car, isn't it?
And when I met up with Alpina's Andreas Bovensiepen, the son of Alpina's founder who now leads the company and a former BMW engineer of serious credentials, he asked me what kind of mileage I'd gotten while driving the 480 miles from Los Angeles.
Which is exactly the wrong question to ask about a hybrid.
It's the question everybody asks when they hear you're driving a hybrid, whether it's someone in Los Angeles who already owns a Prius or a German engineer (and part-time racer of some accomplishment) who is brand new to the whole hybrid concept. They ask, what's the highway mileage? That's because they're used to cars that do better while cruising than while driving short hops.
It's the wrong question to ask about a hybrid because the thing that boosts a hybrid's fuel economy is its ability to switch off the gasoline engine at stoplights and in stop-and-go traffic. When the engine is working full time during freeway cruising, a hybrid is just like any other car. The surprise comes not from its performance during cruising but instead from city driving. It's a reminder that a hybrid is a whole different thing, and it's not well understood by many, no matter that "hybrid" is a term in everyone's vocabulary.
Once we got past the fuel economy question, Bovensiepen loved the Fusion Hybrid. He loved the way the instrument display grew graphic leaves in response to a fuel-efficient driving style. ("Will they grow out of the dashboard once I get even better?" he asked.) He compared the quickness and smoothness of the engine start-up and engagement at stoplights to the new stop/start systems that now are featured on many small cars in Europe (only cars with manual transmissions, though). He was surprised to learn just how difficult it is to engineer a smooth transition between regenerative braking and mechanical braking. And we trundled around the paddock to discover just how fast the Fusion Hybrid would go on pure electric power before the engine kicked in (about 22 mph for us), and whether the car would climb a fairly steep incline under pure electric power (it would, though not very far).
Most of all, it was interesting to see that the challenge of driving a hybrid engaged even Bovensiepen, who has won overall at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. He recalled that as a young BMW engineer he had participated in the Michelin Bibendum Challenge with a BMW 3 Series, coaxing the most fuel economy he could from his turbo diesel and cheating like crazy by switching off the engine and coasting on downhills (and then wrestling with the suddenly unassisted steering). His reaction to the Fusion Hybrid demonstrated again that a hybrid appeals to its own kind of enthusiasts just like a BMW Alpina B7 appeals to its audience of enthusiasts.
Bovensiepen and I also agreed that the measure of a good hybrid is the refinement and efficiency with which it blends the transition between its two natures, the conventional car powered by a gasoline engine and the fuel-saving transportation module controlled (if not powered) by electronics. And I told him that the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the best of these that I've driven so far.
In case you're wondering, the Fusion Hybrid got 36 mpg on the Interstate on the way up to Sears Point and 38 mpg on the way back (it's downhill). It's a great car on the open highway in the Ford way, lively and agile without abusing you, very much in the character of the chassis setup that former Ford development engineer Richard Parry-Jones passed down to all his acolytes (much to our benefit). The sound ergonomics of the driving position overcome any compromises in sheer space within this stretched version of the last-generation Mazda 6. And even now there's still some green left in the pastures beside Interstate 5 and the cool morning air of late spring lets you see clear across the San Joaquin Valley to glimpse the snow-capped peaks that remain in the southern stretches of the Sierra Nevada.
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid blends the personalities of car and fuel miser about as well as it can be done at this point. Why struggle with an electric car that has a limited, one-dimensional personality and forces you to own another car for serious travel when a hybrid can go everywhere and do everything?
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 6,028 miles.
April 19, 2010
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Well, my Dad would say I'm a lead foot. But I'm really not.
I noticed whenever I drive the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, at the end of my trip I see the display leaves and stems disappear one by one. It's like I'm some kind of plant killer. I'm driving around with a weed wacker attached to my tires.
When I drive the Honda Insight hybrid, I get the green glow on the speedometer a lot. It's not like I'm speeding around in the blue. So, I want it on record that I am not a hybrid abuser.
Fusion, what does it take to please thee?
The leaves, they are fading:
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 19, 2010
So I come out of Costco the other night and there's this very attractive women in her mid-twenties circling our long-term Ford Fusion Hybrid. I pop the trunk and start unloading my 789 rolls of toilet paper when she starts in on the questions.
I tell her how well it drives. How very comfortable I find the seats. What kind of mileage we've been getting. How it has been very reliable since we bought it just a couple of months ago.
But suddenly her questions stop and she starts looking around the car again. After two full laps around its flanks she says, "Okay, I give up."
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"Where do you plug it in?'
"It's a hybrid isn't it?" She shoots back.
"Well, where do you plug it in."
You should have seen her face when I told her it runs on good old gasoline.
"You mean it's not electric?"
"Nope. It's like a Prius," I say. "You gas it up at the gas station."
"You mean the Prius isn't electric either? The salesman at the Toyota dealer told me it was electric. You sure. I'm starting to think you don't know what you're talking about."
I'd had enough. I grabbed my vat of yellow mustard and got the heck out of there.
Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief
January 29, 2010
At the end of my evening commute, the Ford Fusion Hybrid gave me a review of my trip.
I traveled 20.3 miles averaging 40.7 mpg. That beats our team average of 33.5 mpg.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 26, 2010
I drove our long-term 2010 Ford Fusion for the first time last night. It's an great commuter car with good space and excellent fuel economy, of course, and it's as utterly boring as the similar Camry Hybrid.
The center stack on our Fusion has a very good HMI (Human Machine Interface) with good, quality-feeling switch (and knobs) operation.
And the appearance is... well, a bit dated, but not too bad. That's because we popped for the Navi, which has a different center stack than non-Navi.
If you don't get the Navi, you end up with this...
January 15, 2010
In the 80's we used to roll our eyes at cars with so-called video game dashboards, a code phrase for that era's crude digital gauges. Of course Pong was the hot game and electronic digital displays were only just appearing in clock-radios and wristwatches.
But our 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid features a very sharp, crisp and desirable update to the video game dashboard concept. If anything, this development is overdue in the era of the PS3, XBox 360, Modern Warfare 2 and Gran Turismo 5. (Scratch that last one. Bad example. It'll NEVER be released.)
Except for the central floating speedo, the entire dash is one big TFT display, not unlike the one found on the laptop you might be using to read this. And because it's basically a computer screen, the customization and display possibilities are endless.
In the Ford Fusion hybrid application, that apparently opened the door wide open for the PR and marketing departments and let them crawl inside the cockpit and hit us over the head with their Big Green Hammer. The leaves you see to the right of the virtual fuel and fuel economy gauges are Exhibit A. I get it, the Ford Fusion hybrid is "good for the environment". Thanks for sharing.
You have to earn those leaves, you see, by driving "green", or, as some might say, slow. This dashboard doesn't just look like a video game in the graphical sense, it PLAYS like a video game.
I'm OK with creating incentives, or at least effective feedback, that helps those who want to reduce our nation's dependence on imported oil, spend less money, emit less CO2 or simply go farther on a tank of gas. After all, just about everyone falls into one or more of the above categories.
But LEAVES? Does it have to be in green intertwined leaves? Leaves that grow or fall off to reflect your lightness of foot? Leaves that curl up behind the whole of the dash if you are an expert hypermiler?
No, it does not. The customization made possible by the TFT dash means you can make them go away ...