2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

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by Edmunds
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

When you consider buying a hybrid vehicle, the first car that likely comes to mind is the ubiquitous Toyota Prius. And for good reason: It pioneered the segment and still sits atop the fuel-efficiency charts for the best mpg. The Prius' green cred aside, though, it's not for everyone, especially in the wake of the polarizing styling change it received last year. If you want a more conventional sedan with a spacious cabin and a bit more pep in its step, we wholeheartedly recommend the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

On the outside, the Fusion Hybrid's sleek sheetmetal is among the most stylish of the midsize sedan class. Attentive Fusion fans will see that Ford has restyled front end for 2017 with a new look for the grille, lower fascia and headlights. The interior continues to impress with its upscale look and available technology. In particular, the newly available Sync 3 infotainment system (which replaces MyFord Touch) is excellent, with fast response times and an attractive, user-friendly interface.

There are a few competitors you might also want to check out this year. Honda's Accord Hybrid has consistently led the midsize sedan hybrid segment for fuel economy, while the Toyota Camry Hybrid boasts an expansive backseat and slightly quicker acceleration than the Fusion. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and related Kia Optima Hybrid, though less well known than the Fusion, Accord and Camry, have been recently improved and match them in just about every regard. And if you don't mind owning a hatchback, the Toyota Prius still wins the day with its unbeatable fuel economy. Overall, though, this year's updated Fusion is a great choice for a hybrid family sedan.

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, and lane-departure warning and intervention (it automatically helps the driver keep the car in its lane). There is also a frontal collision warning system with pedestrian detection and 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.



What's new for 2017

The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid receives a variety of updates. It's most easily distinguished from last year's model by its restyled front end and headlights. Inside, Ford has replaced the previous MyFord Touch system with a new Sync 3 system infotainment interface, which is easier to use. A new rotary transmission selector and push-button engine start are standard on all Fusion Hybrids, while S and SE models get a nine-speaker audio system. On the upper end of the spectrum, a new Platinum trim level includes almost all options available for the Fusion Hybrid as standard.



Trim levels & features

The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is available in four trim levels: S, SE, Titanium and Platinum. 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 height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, two configurable driver information displays, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, audio and phone voice commands (Sync), Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.2-inch central display screen, smartphone app integration and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

The SE adds exterior LED accent lights, 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 satellite radio.

A few option packages are available for the SE. The Appearance package (Equipment Group 601A) adds 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and contrasting interior stitching. The Luxury package (Equipment Group 602A) includes full LED exterior lighting (headlights, taillights and foglights), auto-dimming mirrors, heated mirrors, chrome exterior trim, keyless entry and ignition, remote engine start, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver memory settings.

Opting for the SE Technology package equips the SE with rear parking sensors, the Sync 3 electronics interface, an 8-inch touchscreen, enhanced voice controls, an 11-speaker audio system, a 110-volt power outlet and a second USB port.

The Titanium gets you the SE's optional features listed above as standard, as well as 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, adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection, a collision mitigation system and an automated parallel- and perpendicular-parking system. The SE and Titanium also offer the available Driver Assist package, which includes automatic wipers, automatic high-beam headlight control, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning and intervention. A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium, and the Titanium can be had with ventilated front seats.

Springing for the top-of-the-line Platinum gets you everything listed above as standard, along with a power-adjustable steering wheel, premium floor mats and upgraded leather upholstery.

All trim levels can be equipped with inflatable rear seatbelts.

The One To Buy

Fuel economy is the same no matter which Fusion Hybrid trim you pick, so it's more about getting the right mix of desired features. For value, go with a midgrade Fusion Hybrid SE. The SE will give you a solid set of standard features plus plenty of available option upgrades if you want them. The Technology package, in particular, is worth getting for its upgraded Sync 3 touchscreen interface.

The 2017 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).

Although official EPA figures were not available as of this writing, we expect the Fusion Hybrid to stick close to last year's fuel economy estimates, which stood at 42 mpg combined (44 city/41 highway).

In Edmunds track testing, the Fusion Hybrid posted an 8.5-second time from zero to 60 mph, which is average for the class. If speed is a factor, the Camry Hybrid will sprint to 60 mph about a second quicker than the Fusion.



Driving

The 2017 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 you'll feel confident and secure when going around turns. Rivals like the Sonata Hybrid and Camry Hybrid ride more softly, but the Fusion Hybrid feels more connected to the road without sacrificing comfort or smoothness.

Interior

Ford's interior designers got 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. Rear visibility is impeded by the sloping rear window, so it's helpful that a rearview camera comes standard.

Sharp angles and a sleek look throughout help the 2017 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 Sync 3, the base radio with Ford's standard Sync system is somewhat complicated to use and the display screen is small and not very aesthetically pleasing. We recommend upgrading to Sync 3 if possible, as its slick 8-inch touchscreen is more intuitive and gives the center console a more modern look. If you were wary about buying a Fusion with the outgoing MyFord Touch system, rest assured that Sync 3 is much improved. A horizontal row of large virtual buttons allows the user to move among various screens with ease, and the optional navigation system incorporates pinch-to-zoom and swiping motions.

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 the 60/40-split rear seat can be dropped for those who need more cargo space.

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.