Ford's gasoline/electric midsize sedan remains a leading choice for families who want a practical, all-around sedan with great gas mileage. Like its gasoline-engine counterpart, the Fusion Hybrid is an appealing blend of ambitious styling, refined driving characteristics, and impressive value—augmented by excellent fuel economy.
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2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Overview
What's New for 2017
A new top-end Platinum trim level joins the Fusion Hybrid lineup for 2017. Ford claims that new software boosts the Hybrid’s refinement, and that the electric motor has gained in efficiency. SYNC 3 infotainment, standard in upper trim levels, is said to be more intuitive than previous systems.
Choosing Your Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion is available with three distinct types of powertrain: a traditional gasoline-fueled model, a gasoline/electric Hybrid, and the Energi plug-in hybrid. The gasoline-only Fusion and the Energi are covered in separate articles.
Even since its redesign for 2013, the Fusion Hybrid has intensified its position at the top of the eco-friendly family sedan class. In addition to superb design, fine driving feel, and high materials quality, the Hybrid delivers some seriously impressive fuel economy figures for a car of this size. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 43 mpg in city driving and 41 mpg on the highway. An EcoGuide system provides real-time coaching to boost gas mileage.
The Fusion Hybrid can now be obtained in four trim levels: S, SE, Titanium, and new Platinum. In each trim level, the drivetrain couples an Atkinson-cycle 2-liter four-cylinder gas engine with an 88-kW electric motor. The hybrid powertrain mates with an electronically-controlled continuously-variable transmission (eCVT) that drives the front wheels. Brakes include a regenerative circuit to convert kinetic energy (from the car’s forward motion) into electricity, which is fed back to the onboard lithium-ion storage battery.
Base-priced at $25,185, the “entry-level” Fusion Hybrid is reasonably well-equipped, with a limited number of options available. Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, nine-speaker audio, SYNC infotainment, a front console, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Choosing the SE, at $25,990, makes additional options available. As it stands, though, the SE’s ample equipment list features SiriusXM satellite radio, a 10-way power driver’s seat, six-way power passenger seat, LED lighting, keyless-entry key pad, and rear armrest. Leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, parallel-parking assistance and a Driver Assist package with blind-spot monitors and a lane-departure warning system are among the electronics-focused options.
Starting at $30,520, the Titanium version is abundantly fitted, with heated front seats, leather seat upholstery, SYNC 3 infotainment, 12-speaker Sony audio, reverse sensing, an auto-dimming mirror, ambient lighting, and aluminum pedals. In addition to a Driver Assist Package and adaptive cruise control, voice-activated navigation and cooled front seats are available as options.
Topping the Hybrid lineup, the new Platinum edition provides plenty of features for its $37,020 sticker price. Standard equipment includes such safety technology as pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert, active lane-keeping, and adaptive cruise control. Also standard are heated/cooled front seats, SYNC Connect, a heated steering wheel, power tilt/telescopic steering column, navigation and a moonroof. Active Park Assist also is included.
Unless you’re trying for the lowest possible price, skip the S model. The SE's $805 premium is justified by its extra standard features and available options. Moving all the way up to Platinum adds a considerable sum to the price, but its active-safety features could well be worth the additional cost.
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review
Ford sells two eco-conscious versions of its popular Fusion sedan. While the plug-in Energi allows drivers to travel for miles and miles on electric power, the Hybrid is the more conventional (and more affordable), delivering exceptional efficiency and room for the kids in a surprisingly sophisticated package.
Pricing and Equipment
The Fusion Hybrid starts out in S trim for $26,170, including $875 for destination. Standard features include:
- Keyless ignition
- A rearvew camera
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- A nine-speaker infotainment system with voice controls
The $26,975 SE also comes with power front seats, satellite radio, and LED accent lighting. Next up is the Titanium ($31,505), featuring heated front sport seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, remote start, a 12-speaker Sony sound system, and Ford's new Sync 3 infotainment interface. Both the SE and Titanium offer a Driver Assist Package ($1,575) with safety features like lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring. Adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation with automatic braking can be added to the package for $1,190. All of these features come standard on the new Platinum model ($38,005), which also gets upgraded leather upholstery and a power-adjustable steering wheel.
Every Fusion Hybrid packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and 88-kW electric motor. This setup delivers 188 horsepower to the front wheels. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) features a rotary gear selector.
- The Fusion Hybrid is EPA-rated at 43 miles per gallon in the city, 41 mpg on the highway, and 42 mpg in combined driving. While that kind of fuel economy isn't surprising for a hybrid sedan, it's an enormous improvement over the most efficient gas-powered Fusion, which is rated at 27 mpg combined.
- There's no performance penalty for going hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid scoots from zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, which is actually a tick faster than Fusions equipped with base gasoline engine.
- The Fusion Hybrid tackles curves with confidence and precision. No matter what we threw at it, the Fusion stayed planted firmly on the road.
- As far as hybrid vehicles go, efficiency is no better than average. The similar-sized Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, for example, is rated at 46 mpg combined.
- The Fusion Hybrid is faster than economy hybrids, but it's not as powerful as direct rivals like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
- The brake pedal felt touchy to us, a symptom of the regenerative braking system. Apply a little to much pressure, and the car decelerates abruptly.
- We found the newly available Sync 3 system to be far easier to navigate than the old MyFord Touch unit. The eight-inch touchscreen also looks great and comes with useful virtual buttons.
- The attractive digital displays and abundance of soft trim give a luxurious air to the interior.
- Despite its efficiency, the Fusion Hybrid remains a true family sedan with room for five and a comfortable ride worthy of long trips.
- The dramatic roofline limits rear head room for taller passengers, and does no favors for rearward visibility.
- The battery pack reduces trunk space by four cubic feet, enough of a dent to force a grocery bag onto the rear seat.
- Although it looks slick, the new rotary shifter is too petite to operate without looking down.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The Fusion Hybrid is extremely peaceful inside. Road and wind noise have been all but engineered out, even at highway speeds.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The standard cloth upholstery in the Ford Fusion Hybrid has a synthetic feel that doesn't belong in the otherwise inviting interior.
The Bottom Line
The Ford Fusion Hybrid offers outstanding efficiency for a family sedan, along with the same driving dynamics and refinement we've come to appreciate in its gas-powered sibling.