Car and Driver praises the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Posted By on January 7, 2009

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid “won the hearts of the Car and Driver folks,” according to AutoblogGreen. The best of class midsize car bettered even Toyota in the top fuel economy and still performed well when talking performance. The Ford Fusion hybrid goes on sale this spring and is being marketed as  “America’s most fuel efficient mid-size car.” The EPA government mileage rating are 41 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway.

If Ford can manage the “potential” battery shortage, they might just have a winner of a family car on their hands.

Fusion Hybrid gauges Car and Driver:

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford has pulled off a game changer with this 2010 model, creating a high-mpg family hauler that’s fun to drive. That achievement has two components: First, the machinery is unexpectedly refined—call it Toyota slickness expressed with car-guy soul. Second, the electronic instrument cluster involves the driver, invites you into the hybrid game, and gives you the feedback needed to keep increasing your personal-best mpg number.

Or you can say the heck with it and opt for a minimum-distraction display that shows little beyond the speedo.

No matter which you ultimately choose, you’re welcomed to the game with green grass and blue sky, a dashboard notion so corny we would groan if it weren’t so vividly executed. Hybrid enthusiasts will select the expert screen. All eyes sweep to the power grouping that shows the level of battery charge beside two columns of discharge meters, one for power consumed to propel the vehicle, the other a sum of all accessory loads (lights, fans, air conditioning, stereo, etc.).

How far can you go without the engine? That’s the game. Easy on the accessory loads, of course, but whenever you’re moving, the propulsion meter gives you an EV bracket. Keep your propulsion power within the EV bracket by modulating the “gas” and you’ll drive on the battery, up to 47 mph under ideal circumstances. Call it a video game to go.

Under normal driving, the engine starts and stops far more often than in the other hybrids. It comes and goes stealthily. Your wife won’t notice, and you probably won’t, either, unless you’re really into the hybrid game.

Nothing about the leather-lined test car, optioned up from its $27,995 base price to $32,555, seemed economy minded except for the mileage readings. On that score, the Fusion topped the others, turning in a 34-mpg score card for the overall 300-mile test run. It also finished highest in two of the three specialized tests, with a 34.3-mpg mark on the rural loop and 36.9 mpg on the city loop. The official EPA fuel-economy numbers had not been finalized at deadline time, but Ford predicts 39 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 700 city miles between fill-ups. For a four-door with civilized room for five, that’s a standing-O achievement.

Though the Fusion gets out-hustled by the Altima and the Camry—at 3805 pounds, the Ford is the heaviest of the four—we think 8.5 seconds to 60 mph is just fine considering the fuel economy. All of these players were too tightly grouped in braking and roadholding to draw significant distinctions, but for the record, the Fusion did tie with the Altima at 0.80 g for top marks on the skidpad. The suspension feels nicely taut, well planted. The tires communicate more than the Camry’s and speak in tones more refined than the Altima’s.

As in the Altima and the Camry, the power delivery of the Fusion’s CVT is hard to hold steady in cruising conditions. The test logs include many comments about “surging.” Engaging the cruise control deals with it every time.

Ford really hit all the marks with this hybrid Fusion, combining excellent fuel economy with slick manners and an engrossing personality. Fun and fuel economy have finally gotten married in a mid-size sedan.

See Car and Driver for full article.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.