The Bottom Line
Meet the long-awaited hybrid version of Ford's mid-size Fusion sedan. Designed to compete with the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Nissan Altima Hybrid, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is built around a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine and Ford-designed hybrid system which Ford claims gets better fuel economy than its rivals. Does the Fusion Hybrid live up to Ford's claims -- and is it a car you'd want to live with? Read on.
- Powerful, fuel-efficient hybrid system
- Roomy back seat
- Nifty user-configurable dashboard
- Coarse engine
- Sub-par seat fabric
- Hybrid version of Ford's freshened-for-2010 Fusion sedan
- Price range (including options): $27,995 - $32,295
- Powertrain: 2.5 liter 4-cylinder + electric motor/191 hp; continuously-variable automatic transmission; front-wheel-drive
- EPA MPG estimates: 41 MPG city, 36 MPG highway
- Observed fuel economy: 37 MPG
- Best rivals: Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, Volkswagen Jetta TDI
- The vehicle for this test drive was provided by Ford.
Guide Review - 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Forget about all the things the regular Fusion does well -- how roomy it is, how good it is to drive, and how good it looks since its 2010 redesign. What matters here is fuel economy -- and the Fusion Hybrid scored 37 MPG during my week-long test drive. Outstanding.
Before you bring up the 50 MPG Toyota Prius, remember that the Fusion hybrid isn't designed to be a no-holds-barred fuel-sipper. It's a compromise between a conventional car and a purpose-built hybrid, just like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Nissan Altima Hybrid, except the Fusion gets better gas mileage: Compare its EPA estimates of 41 MPG city/36 highway to the Camry (33/34) and Altima (35/33). And I prefer Ford's hybrid drive to the Toyota-sourced system in the Camry and the Altima -- the Ford's engine isn't as refined, but it's more aggressive about running on battery power at low speeds. Other nifty bits include the SYNC system, which allows voice control of your iPod and cell phone, and twin LCD screens on the instrument panel with four user-selectable displays. (Have a look: Ford calls them Inform, Enlighten, Engage and Empower.) Quite a contrast to the cheesy LCD display in the new Prius.
Complaints? The back seats don't fold down, so you can't expand the trunk; the backup camera in the rear-view mirror is uselessly small; and the eco-friendly seat fabric is a distant relative of burlap.
The Fusion Hybrid's starting price ($27,995) is $850 more than the Altima Hybrid and $1,250 more than the Camry Hybrid, but if you add in features like leather and navigation, the Ford is cheaper, topping out at $32,295. On the whole, I love the Fusion Hybrid. It looks great, drives well, has plenty of power, and gets fantastic fuel economy. This is hands-down the best mid-size hybrid sedan on the market, and it's nice to see an American car in the lead. Well done, Ford. -- Aaron Gold