We had two back-to-back test drives with two “green” version of Ford Fusion: The 2.0 liter gas-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
Fusion, Ford’s midsize sedan is a sucess story in a hugely competitive market dominated by Japanese like Camry, Accord and Altima. It was the best-selling car in its class in Canada in four of the past six years, and a close second in the other two. Reliability data with the much-respected Consumer Reports is also good.
For 2017 model year, Ford Fusion comes with some updates. The optical changes are not immediately recognizable. On the exterior, The “Aston Martinish” front grill is now wider giving a lower look. The taillights are now dressed up with a chrome line. New front led-lights are standard in Platinum model we tested. In the interior, the most important change is a new rotary shift dial that saves some space in the centre console newly configured and bigger cup holders. The new design also enables a deep slot for phone storage.
The new infotainment system, Synch 3 has an 8-inch screen and vastly superior to the old model.
The 2.0L iCVT, Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder hybrid-electric engine delivers a net 188 horsepower Gas -engine torque is 129 lb-ft. The total power includes the 88kW electric motor. It is mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT). Ford reports impressive average consumption values of 5.5/5.7 liter (highway/city). The average consumption I reached was 6 liters and was surprisingly close to the theoretical values.
I also tested the maximum eV only speed of 135 km/h and came very close to it.
The green leaf-plant graphic in the instrument cluster screen may make you a bit obsessive to save fuel. The switch between gasoline and electric power is seamless. The regenerative braking charges the battery. A softer touch on the brake pedal improves your performance and at the end of your trip, you may read a congratulations message in your dashboard. The switch between gasoline and electric motor is seamless, and the operation is very quiet.
The placement of the battery remains as a disappointment. It reduces the trunk space from 453 to 340 liters and reveals the fact that the current Fusion is not designed with a hybrid or plug in version in mind. If you change to Energi (plug-in hybrid), you have to live with a further reduction to 232 liters.
Ford should be planning this for the next and entirely new generation of Fusion approximately three years from now.
Slightly more expensive than the Hybrid, the Energi (with the same engine combination), offers and EV only range of 34 km. Depending on the location and range of your daily commute, you can enjoy the electric-only mode without visiting the gas station for a long time. Our average consumption with the Energi was 4.7 liter, thus remarkably better than the Hybrid.
Our first test vehicle, Fusion Hybrid Titanium, with the second highest trim level. The base price is $34,988. With options totalling to $7,500 and the destination charge of $1,650, the MSRP for the test vehicle reaches $44,138
The second vehicle of the series, Fusion Energi Platinum, in the top trim level. The base price is $45,0988. With significantly less options (since this was already the Platinum version) totalling to only $850 and the destination charge of $1,650, the MSRP for the test vehicle reaches $47,588
Ford is working hard on the electric front by offering all types of powertrains (pure-electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid) and gathering millions of kilometers of customer experience. These powerplant options spread across several models and you can expect that those combinations will get a better share of the market as we distance from purely fossil-fuel driven cars.
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media
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