2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review
Pros & Cons
- Impressive fuel economy
- advanced technology and safety features
- quiet cabin
- eye-catching styling.
- Infotainment interfaces are less intuitive to use than some rival systems.
Edmunds' Expert Review
With its impressive refinement, high fuel economy, well-rounded performance and high-tech features, the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a top choice if you're shopping for a midsize sedan.
Though fuel-efficient hybrid systems were once been limited to small hatchbacks or compacts in the past, that technology has gone mainstream and hybrids are everywhere. You'll find plenty of these fuel-efficient vehicles in the midsize sedan segment, and the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid is an excellent example of the breed.
There's a lot to like about the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid, including its modern styling, sleek interior and advanced safety features. You could say all that about the standard gasoline-only Ford Fusion, too, but this hybrid version returns an EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined. Basically, the Fusion Hybrid integrates all the positive attributes of the standard Fusion into a more fuel-efficient package. Aside from the mileage, there is still a smooth ride quality on the highway and plenty of space for four passengers. There is a little less trunk space than in the standard model (the battery takes up some of that real estate) but the Fusion Hybrid is on par for cargo space with its hybrid sedan competitors.
On the technology front, the Fusion Hybrid offers several high-tech safety options, including a forward-collision avoidance system, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Amidst these modern touches, some drivers may be let down by the MyFord Touch touchscreen electronics interface, which governs most audio, navigation and phone functions. Ford has improved this interface over the years, but the system can still be frustratingly slow to respond to touch inputs at times. Luckily, the Sync voice command system is much more responsive and provides an alternative means of handling basic tasks.
The 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid has many laudable virtues, but there are rivals worth considering, too. The Honda Accord Hybrid gets a superior EPA estimate of 47 mpg combined and has a comfortable interior on par with the Ford's. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is also worth considering thanks to its well-rounded nature and respectable mpg numbers (41 combined). Regardless of which hybrid sedan you choose, we recommend you test-drive the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid, as it's one of our favorites.
2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid models
The 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid is available in three trim levels: S, SE and Titanium. The Fusion Energi, the plug-in, extended-range version of the Fusion Hybrid, is reviewed separately, as is the regular, gasoline-engine Fusion.
The base S trim comes well-equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, a rearview camera, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, audio and phone voice commands (Sync), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, smartphone app integration and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB port/iPod interface.
The SE adds heated mirrors, exterior keypad entry, rear air vents, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a six-way power passenger seat, a rear seat center armrest and an upgraded audio system with 10 speakers and satellite radio.
A few option packages are available for the SE. The Appearance package (Equipment Group 501A) adds a rear spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and contrasting interior stitching. The Luxury package (Equipment Group 502A) includes foglights, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver memory settings. Opting for the SE Technology package equips the SE with rear parking sensors, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (with 8-inch touchscreen and two configurable gauge cluster displays), an upgraded version of Sync and a 110-volt power outlet.
Springing for the top-of-the-line Titanium effectively gets you the SE's optional features listed above as standard, as well as keyless ignition and entry, remote start, sport front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the passenger seat and an upgraded Sony 12-speaker audio system with HD radio.
The SE (with the Technology package selected) and Titanium can also be equipped with a navigation system, an automated parallel-parking system, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system. The SE and Titanium also offer the available Driver Assist package, which includes rain-sensing wipers, automatic high-beam control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning and lane keeping assist. A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium, and the Titanium can be had with ventilated front seats. All trim levels can be equipped with inflatable rear seatbelts.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that works in concert with an electric motor that's powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, they can generate as much as 188 horsepower to drive the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Fusion Hybrid is rated by the EPA at 42 mpg combined (44 city/41 highway). While that's impressive by conventional standards, the Honda Accord Hybrid holds the top spot with an EPA estimate of 47 mpg combined. The Fusion Hybrid also has a much shorter EPA-estimated range of 567 miles. The Accord Hybrid and Camry Hybrid have larger fuel tanks and check in at 743 miles and 697 miles, respectively.
In Edmunds track testing, the Fusion Hybrid posted an 8.5-second time from zero to 60 mph, which is a bit slower than average for the class. The Camry Hybrid and Accord Hybrid will sprint to 60 mph about a second quicker than the Ford.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags. The standard Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash notification feature that pairs to a compatible cell phone and automatically dials 911 when you've been in an accident. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for secondary drivers such as teens or valets.
Optional equipment includes parking sensors, inflatable seatbelts in the rear seat and a variety of electronic driver-assist systems. The latter include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver drowsiness detection, lane-departure warning and lane keeping assist (it automatically helps the driver keep the car in its lane). There is also a frontal collision warning system with brake priming.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Ford Fusion Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, about average for its class.
The government gave the Fusion Hybrid five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the non-hybrid but otherwise similar Fusion the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Fusion earned a second-best rating of "Acceptable." Its head restraints and seatbelts earned a "Good" rating for their whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides adequate acceleration for most driving situations. As with most hybrids, it will take you some time to get used to the slightly artificial feel of the regenerative brakes, but they aren't overly intrusive.
Other than when accelerating hard, the Fusion Hybrid has low levels of engine noise. Wind and road noise levels are also low, and highway cruising is hushed and serene to a point few competitors can approach. We also like the way the Fusion Hybrid drives around turns: Its steering is sharp and direct, and the car feels confident thanks to minimal body sway. Rivals like the Accord Hybrid and Camry Hybrid ride more softly, but the Fusion Hybrid feels more connected to the road without sacrificing comfort or smoothness.
Ford's interior designers got all the basics right in the Fusion Hybrid, with a driver seat that's easy to adjust into a just-right position and good sight lines out the front and sides. It's harder to see through the sloping rear window, so it's helpful that a rearview camera comes standard.
Sharp angles and a sleek look throughout help the 2016 Ford Fusion's interior echo the handsome styling of the exterior. The emphasis is on having large, nicely textured surfaces and removing extraneous clutter, and it mostly works. There's a cool and urbane style to the seats and dash, a tone set largely by the high-quality finishes.
Without MyFord Touch, the base radio with Ford's standard Sync system is somewhat complicated to use and not very aesthetically pleasing. You get a much sleeker look with MyFord Touch thanks to its 8-inch touchscreen. Backed by many redundant voice commands, it can be a powerful tool for configuring and controlling the car and your smartphone. But depending on your comfort level with technology, the learning curve can be steep, even for basic functions. And although the system works significantly better than when it debuted, it can still be sluggish to process touch inputs.
Compared with the standard Fusion, the Hybrid's trunk space takes a hit due to the packaging of the battery pack. As such, the Hybrid's checks in at 12 cubic feet, or 4 fewer cubes than the non-hybrid Fusion. Still, that's on par with the trunks of other midsize hybrid sedans. And as a bonus compared to its chief rival, the Accord Hybrid, the Ford offers a 60/40-split folding rear seat, which gives it greater versatility.