2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid returns 47 miles per
gallon in the city, 47 mpg highway.
a general rule, gas-electric hybrid cars and trucks are
not fun; their very nature precludes it. Hybrids are
made to maximize conservation at the expense of
stimulation. The thrill of driving one is seeing the mpg
indicator creep higher, rather than the speedometer.
that’s true of the Toyota Prius, which loudly
proclaims its mission without any endearing aesthetic
quality. But a fuel-sipper doesn’t have to look ugly
to be efficient; you could opt for the 2014 Ford Fusion
Take a good look. I’ll wait.
what I mean? It’s so beautiful, you’d never guess
that it’s a hybrid.
last year, the Fusion’s face wears a grille that bears
more than a passing resemblance to the one used by Aston
Martin. It fronts a sleek, athletic body that’s a bit
more unique. Taken together, the car is about as
fetching as you can expect a mainstream midsize sedan to
its most beautiful feature is its EPA rating: 47 mpg
city, 47 mpg highway. My 310-mile test drive yielded a
very respectable 43 mpg, which is better than most
conventional compact cars.
you may know, a gas-electric hybrid pairs a gas engine
with one or more electric motors. By having electricity
do some of the chores, the car or truck burns less gas.
As a concept, it’s more than 100 years old. As a
realistic transportation solution, it’s about 15 years
old. And it works seamlessly in the Fusion Hybrid.
combines a 141-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
with a 118-horsepower electric motor and funnels the
power through a continuously variable automatic
transmission to the front wheels. Horsepower is rated at
188. That’s not enough to make the Fusion a speed
demon, but the car proves lively enough to slug it out
in the worst suburban street warfare.
said, you’ll notice a hum from the gas engine when it
comes on; it’s just enough to let you know what’s
happening under the hood. And, as with other Ford hybrid
models, you’ll be coached into driving conservatively.
A screen to the right of the speedometer displays a
diagram of a plant. The more leaves appear, the more
efficiently you’re driving.
efficiency has not changed the Fusion’s impressive
agility. The Hybrid’s handling is every bit as good as
the standard Fusion. The car has a solid feel, and the
steering seems perfectly weighted. Body roll is kept to
a minimum when tackling corners, and braking isn’t as
grabby as on other hybrids. It is a very willing dance
partner, even for car enthusiasts.
dancing, you’ll find the cabin’s decor is starkly
modern, with a quality feel that will satisfy most
shoppers. Offered in S, SE and Titanium trim levels, the
Fusion’s interior is fairly roomy, with good room up
front and adequate room in the rear. But the car’s
arched roof line, which does much for its sporty looks,
compromises rear seat headroom. It also requires care
when entering or exiting the rear or else you’ll knock
for the Hybrid also means living with an oddly shaped
trunk that’s noticeably smaller than that of the
standard Fusion. Much of the missing space is taken up
by the hybrid battery pack.
none of this is enough to rob the car of its basic
little doubt that the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the perfect,
um, fusion of fuel economy, enjoyable handling and
makes saving fuel easy on the eyes as well as the
wallet. Conserving fuel rarely looks this beautiful.
FORD FUSION HYBRID:
DOHC 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Permanent magnet AC synchronous
space: 12 cubic feet
rating (city/highway): 47/47 mpg
consumption: 43 mpg
safety rating: Five stars
price, base model: $26,270
price, test model: $27,200
tested, including destination charge: $35,855