2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid's versatile options structure makes it easy to find the perfect model.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Most mainstream automakers now offer hybrid versions of their midsize sedans. That means there's plenty of choices, but it can also make it hard to figure out which hybrid is going to be best for you. Ford might just have what you're looking for with its 2018 Fusion Hybrid. We like the standard Fusion for its sharp looks, surprisingly adept handling, spacious trunk and excellent Sync 3 infotainment system. These positive traits carry over to the hybrid version as well (yep, even the handling and cargo capacity) to give it an edge over some rivals.

A well-sorted chassis and suspension setup prevent the Fusion from rolling around too much when the road gets twisty. But even if mountain roads aren't part of your normal commute, you'll still appreciate the Fusion's space-efficient interior and trunk. As with other hybrid sedans, the Fusion's battery pack occupies a good deal of the trunk's real estate. However, its low profile means you can still lower the rear seats and access the trunk, increasing usable storage space. This is a rare feature in this class.

Interior materials are also consistently high across the trim levels. In the range-topping Fusion Platinum version, the quilted leather upholstery might make you think you're riding in a luxury car. There are compromises, of course. The Fusion Hybrid isn't the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class — it gets 42 mpg combined, compared to 48 mpg in the Accord Hybrid — and it isn't the quickest. But overall we think the Fusion's practicality and comfortable and well-trimmed cabin far outweigh its performance deficiencies.



what's new

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is unchanged for 2018.

we recommend

The base S is well-equipped. But if you're going to buy a 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid, we recommend skipping over this one and going immediately for the SE. The SE carries a negligibly higher MSRP for its added features, the most notable being LED exterior accent lighting, power-adjustable front seats and satellite radio. More importantly, the SE allows you to equip the Fusion Hybrid with option packages. We recommend equipping it with the Technology package, which is especially impressive considering its meager cost and transformative Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid midsize sedan is available in four trims. Its base S trim includes basic creature comforts like dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a rearview camera. We recommend starting with the next-level SE; the price bump is justified by the added features and expanded list of optional features. Keep piling options onto the SE, and you might actually find it economical to upgrade to the Titanium, as it includes several of the SE's option packages. If you want the absolute best, the Platinum includes nearly every feature the Fusion Hybrid offers.

Like every Ford Fusion Hybrid, the base S trim is front-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine matched to an electric motor (188 total system horsepower). Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, remote locking and unlocking, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, 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 and a USB port.

Stepping up to the SE adds exterior LED accent lights, exterior keypad entry, a digital compass, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), 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 LED headlights, upgraded taillights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated mirrors, chrome exterior trim, keyless entry and ignition, remote engine start, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver-seat memory settings. Opting for the SE Technology package equips the SE with rear parking sensors, the Sync 3 infotainment interface, an 8-inch touchscreen, enhanced voice controls, an 11-speaker audio system, a 110-volt power outlet, a second USB port, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Titanium gets you the SE's optional features listed above as standard, as well as LED foglights, sport front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the passenger seat, ambient lighting and an upgraded Sony 12-speaker audio system with HD radio.

The SE (with Technology and Luxury packages selected) and Titanium offer the available Luxury Driver Assist package, which includes automatic wipers, automatic high-beam control, an auto-dimming driver mirror, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning and intervention. With the Driver's Assist package selected, the SE and Titanium can also be equipped with adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection, a collision mitigation system and an automated parallel- and perpendicular-parking system.

A sunroof and a navigation system are 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, upgraded leather upholstery and extended leather coverings.

All trim levels can be equipped with 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 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Platinum (2.0L inline-4 hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Fusion hasn't received significant revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's model.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.0 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering2.5 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0
Climate control4.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position4.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility3.5 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.5 / 5.0
Cargo space4.5 / 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
As expected, the Fusion Hybrid isn't speedy. But unlike other hybrids, the car feels admirably coordinated and willing when the road starts to turn and twist. It could be even better, but lifeless steering feel brings down our rating.

acceleration

edmunds rating
Typical of many hybrid family sedans, the Fusion feels timid. You'll likely be pressing the gas pedal more than expected when getting up to passing speed on the highway or climbing a grade. In our acceleration test, it went from zero to 60 mph time in 9 seconds, which is average for the segment.

braking

edmunds rating
The brakes don't have much initial bite, which makes it hard to consistently apply the correct amount of pedal pressure to stop smoothly. But the switchover between regenerative braking and mechanical braking is smooth. Our panic-stop test from 60 mph took 123 feet, just slightly longer than average.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering effort is quite light, whether you're circulating through a parking lot or cruising at highway speeds. And there isn't much feel or feedback, so it's never clear how hard the tires are working. We found ourselves making frequent tiny corrections to maintain our desired path.

handling

edmunds rating
The Fusion Hybrid feels composed and stable, and it doesn't roll much in corners. And despite lackluster steering feedback, it responds eagerly to steering inputs. Fuel-saving tires don't offer a ton of grip, but there's still enough to maintain a steady pace on your favorite winding road.

drivability

edmunds rating
The Fusion Hybrid is easy to drive around town, although the gas and brake pedals don't feel especially responsive. It leaves from stops under smooth EV power but lurches forward when the gas engine kicks on a moment later. Adaptive cruise is great at keeping a set speed, even on steep downgrades.

comfort

edmunds rating
We could spend all day in a Fusion Hybrid. It has a supple ride, and the seats, particularly the cloth ones, are supportive and comfy. The hybrid powertrain is admirably smooth and quiet, though it does get loud when you floor it. Comes standard with an effective automatic climate control system.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The standard cloth seats are nicely padded and offer a great balance of support and comfort that lasts for hours. But we found it harder to be comfortable in the optional leather seats, which are taut and stiffer. The front headrests are adjustable; outboard rear seats are set at a pleasant angle.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Fusion Hybrid's suspension is perhaps a little too softly tuned, and it can feel a little floaty when you drive over certain dips in the road. Otherwise, the suspension soaks up road bumps with ease and does a good job of isolating passengers from most harsh impacts.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The Fusion's double-pane side windows do an excellent job of minimizing tire and wind noise at high speeds. There's barely a whisper of each. Hybrid powertrain is silent at idle and in EV mode. Gas engine is admirably quiet when cruising but can sound coarse and raspy under maximum acceleration.

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
Almost everyone should find the Fusion's interior pleasant and accommodating. It's easy to get in and out of, the driving position is highly adjustable, and the cabin offers a generous amount of space. Tall passengers might take issue with the sloping rear roofline when getting into the backseat.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The Hybrid's rotary transmission shifter 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
Most occupants will find it easy to climb in and out of the Fusion thanks to wide-opening doors, generous door openings, and seats that are set at an inviting height. The only exception is the sloping rear roofline, which might prompt those over 6 feet tall to duck as they slide into the backseat.

driving position

edmunds rating
The tilt-and-telescoping wheel and the driver's seat have a generous adjustment range. Both the cloth and leather seats offer height adjustments, but we've found that the power mechanism for the leather seats doesn't power down as low as in cloth-upholstered seats.

roominess

edmunds rating
The Fusion feels spacious, and its front and rear seats provide above-average levels of head-, leg- and hiproom. Rear headroom is limited by the sloping rear roofline, but only those over 6 feet tall should notice. The optional sunroof takes a bite out of headroom.

visibility

edmunds rating
Outward visibility is good despite fairly thick windshield pillars. The rear blind spot is larger than average due to a broad rear roof pillar and smaller than average rear quarter window. A rearview camera is standard, and parking sensors are optional, which is typical of this segment.

quality

edmunds rating
With quilted leather seat upholstery, leather dashboard coverings and a sea of stitching throughout, the Fusion Hybrid Platinum's interior is jaw-dropping and nearly perfect. Rivals pale in comparison. The only flaw in our tester was a loose trim piece that buzzed with heavy bass from the speakers.

utility

edmunds rating
Unique among hybrid sedans, the Fusion Hybrid has its trunk-mounted battery pack mounted low enough that a folding backseat and trunk pass-through are possible, which makes up for its modest nominal trunk volume. Lots of nice-size storage compartments and thoughtful nooks inside the cabin.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Storage spaces include a large bin under the front armrest and a spacious tray under the center console. Both front and rear center armrests have two cupholders, and there's one in each of the wide door pockets. None will hold anything larger than an average-size water bottle or coffee cup.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The Fusion Hybrid offers 12 cubic feet of trunk space, which is sufficient but less than some hybrid competitors. But the Fusion does have rear seats that can be folded down to increase cargo capacity. Most other hybrid sedans don't have this feature.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Each of the outboard rear seats is flanked by a pair of LATCH hooks. But they are set deep into the gap between the cushion and backrest, and the stiffness of our car's leather seats made them hard to access. A seat can be mounted in the center because the rear shelf has three anchors.

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 Hybrid can be equipped with the latest active safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and front/rear parking sensors. The best thing: You don't have to order the expensive Titanium or Platinum trim to get these features. They are optional on the midlevel SE.

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.