Ford has been making some pretty great cars lately, and the company's new line of hybrids is no exception. Following our recent C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid test, we borrowed a Ford Fusion Hybrid (non-plugin) for a week-long real-world test of Ford's mileage claims, particularly in the wake of a little controversy over at Consumer Reports, which found that the C-MAX Energi and Fusion hybrids were not living up to promised fuel economy of 47 mpg. Read on and check out our gallery of detail shots to get the full scoop on how this new entry to the green market stacks up.
How did it go? We were pleasantly surprised, overall. We have to throw in our vote with CR on the mileage issue, but that’s not so unusual with hybrids driven in real-world conditions. The Fusion Hybrid easily achieved high 30s to low 40s mileage for us, sometimes as high as 43 mpg, with totally normal driving. We were not conservative. We did not stick to city cruising. So, that’s just fine with us.
The Fusion Hybrid tracks your mileage in five-minute increments and then averages your performance over each drive, so you can see at a glance how you’re doing after every trip. We found the all-EV mode pretty seamlessly integrated with the engine, though you do find the typical impotent growling when it kicks in. Despite this less-than-sexy sound, the engine has plenty of power, acceleration is smooth, and the ride is quiet.
We drove pitted back roads, highways, and city streets, and never slipped, never felt like we had to compensate for driving green. Best of all, we never even went below a half tank of gas on our week-long test drive. The Fusion Hybrid doesn’t plug in, so you treat it like a regular gas-engine car when it comes to filling up (all recharging comes from regenerative brakes, etc.), and we found it convenient and easy. No extra planning, no fuss. We would love to see what an all-electric Fusion could do, but that’s our pipe dream for now. The regular hybrid we tested can be had for only $27k to start, making it a very affordable option among hybrids. Just, please. For the love of grandmothers, don’t touch the radio. Check out our photo gallery if you want to know more about the detail that drove us to distraction.