Ford Fusion Hybrid
Fuel Economy: 41 / 36 mpg
Base Price (MSRP):$ 27,270
Body Style: Sedan
Ford Fusion Hybrid Review
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a midsize hybrid sedan that seats 5 passengers. The Fusion Hybrid offers an EPA fuel economy rating of 41 in the city, 36 on the highway and a combined average fuel economy of 39.
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The Ford Fusion Hybrid is getting relatively high consumer ratings: 9.5 out of 10 overall. This Car of the Year award winner is one of the best hybrid cars to go with, whether you have or haven't driven a hybrid before. Along with its impressive overhaul for 2010, the Ford Fusion comes with a nice little tax credit for purchasing it, as well as features and options to make even hardcore car geeks happy.
There are pros and cons to this hybrid, though, as with any car, which include brakes and headrest problems, and a small fuel tank capacity (how else are we supposed to get that incredible MPG rating?). Even so, USA Today has said, "The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet.”
A December 2008 Car and Driver Magazine article praised the Ford Fusion Hybrid as having "beaten the Japanese at their own game". It also went on to say that "it wipes the floor with the Toyota Camry hybrid", mentioning its battery pack being able to routinely produce 20 percent more power than the Toyota Camry, as well as its ability to reach 47 miles per hour on electric power alone (most hybrid cars can only pull off 25 MPH or so on electric power).
Car and Driver also praised Ford Fusion Hybrid's "sharp-looking exterior and techy interior", talking of its complete aesthetic overhaul (in particular the replacement of the "weird headlamps" of the original design). Interior-wise, C and D glows about its redesigned seats, stylish trim, and its uniquely intelligent instrument cluster, which Ford has trademarked as SmartGauge with EcoGuide.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is powered by a 2.5L, in-line 4-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a 191-hp, permanent magnet electric motor and a 275V-sealed Ni-MH battery and an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission.
Standard features include:
- AM/FM stereo with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 capabilities
- Cloth seats made from recycled materials
- 8-way power driver seat and a 6-way power passenger front seat
- Driver's side knee-level airbag
- Dual-zone climate control
- Ford SYNC voice-activated 911 assist
- Power side view mirrors
- Dual LCD SmartGauge instrument cluster with EcoGuide
- 15-inch aluminum wheels
- Reverse sensing system that can detect objects behind the car when in reverse
Other Ford Fusion Hybrid mentionables include:
- Eco-friendly seat fabric made from recyclable material
- Optional performance-tuned 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with 263 hp
- Continuously variable automatic transmission
- $1,700 tax credit available
- 108 MPH top speed, 0-60 in 8 seconds
- 5 passenger, 4-door Sedan
- Unique 8-spoke, 17 inch wheels
- Smooth gas to electric transition
- Valve and spark timing control for max. efficiency
- Better steering control than Japanese hybrids
- Sync voice-activated mobile phone and digital entertainment system
- 3-year/36,000-mile warranty + 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid powertrain components have a warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles.
- Roadside assistance for 5 years.
Advertised as "The most fuel-efficient mid-sized sedan in America", the Ford Fusion Hybrid carries with it winning marks not only from the likes of Car and Driver, but the buying public as well. The look of this leading hybrid car is savvy and sleek, the output is fuel and eco-friendly, and it's driver-friendly as well. With its ease of variable transmission, touch screen navigation system (for an extra $1,775), as well as optional goodies like the power moonroof, blind spot warning system, rear view camera, and 12-speaker audio system (all for only $1,595 more), this model is superior to the Ford Escape Hybrid (and most hybrid vehicles on the road) in many ways.
This hybrid vehicle, which Fox News has called "refreshingly sporty", also set the world record for distance during a driving challenge (by celebrity drivers) last year, traveling 1,445 miles on a single tank of gas. So, any talk of its fuel tank capacity (17.5 gallons) must include this little tidbit, which is impressive not just to car geeks, but to anyone. It should also be mentioned that the average MPG during the challenge was a stunning 81.5, though this was achieved by professional drivers well-schooled in mileage control techniques. Still, very impressive.
Ford Fusion Hybrid Problems
With all of its glowing reviews and awards, there are a few minor concerns with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, as there are downsides to every product on the market. First, it's base price is $2,000 higher than the Camry and Altima hybrids. Also, a few reviewers spoke of the instrument cluster, with one calling it "ugly", even though he still said it was useful, and the most impressive aspect of the car's interior.
There has been some talk of a headrest problem, but that was with the '09 Fusion, and perhaps that was also an extremely tall reviewer, as this research has produced very few negatives about the 2010 Ford Fusion, at least. Ford has employed an "anti-whiplash" head restraint system involving the headrests, but can be modified for taller drivers.
Business Week has bemoaned its lack of trunk space, which is squeezed by the large hybrid battery, as well as its absence of an all-wheel-drive option.
It's heavy for a hybrid, too. At 3,805 lbs. (nearly 2 tons), it helps cut down what could be quite stellar overall MPG. But, one can chalk that up to there being a lot of hardware involved in eco-efficiency, gauges, smooth transmission, etc. Ford has improved sketchy brake systems in past models by making them regenerative, meaning that the actual braking action feeds power back to the battery pack. How's that for efficiency?
A Fusion of Power, Intelligence and Eco-Efficiency
Wired Magazine says the Ford Fusion is "a sharp, if not terribly cool, looking sedan. The front end is slightly sportier, less boxy. An undertray improves aerodynamics. Thicker door glass, hood insulation and other mods make it quieter inside". They also say that the Ford hybrids "offer strong evidence that Ford is serious about building fuel-efficient vehicles, and they’re one reason Ford’s future isn’t as bleak as those of General Motors and Chrysler."
Business Week, which assayed the pros and cons of Ford's star player in an August 2009 article, has praised the Fusion's (as well as Detroit's) ability to break the relentless oil addiction, particular especially with SUV's, and with a car which has combined the best qualities of hybrid and standard vehicles.
Whatever they're saying on the street, in Detroit or on Wall Street, this revamped little car has garnered a surprising customer feedback and glowing reviews overall in its newly found aim to please car buyers. There is no doubt that the overhauled 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has met the challenge of delivering a stylish, smart, powerful and eco-friendly car with a great reliability and at a base sticker price that won't induce shock.
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has an MSRP sticker price starting at $27,270.
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