2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

Ford's green midsize sedan delivers more than the average hybrid.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: January 23rd, 2014

The Ford Fusion is a fine midsize sedan, and has effectively shown that Detroit can still compete with the Japanese when they put their minds to it. So it makes sense that the Fusion would be hybridized to give the Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrids a partially electric-powered run for their money.

  • On the Road

    Like the non-hybrid version, the Fusion is a more than capable sedan - a stylish alternative to the Accord/Camry blandness that, while not besting its Japanese competitors, is certainly a worthy adversary.
    One of the things Ford got right with the Fusion hybrid is the attention to comfort - something that's usually sacrificed in alt-fuel vehicles. Some of the SE's features, like adaptive cruise control and lane departure sensors, are usually only seen in luxury models.
    Among the top-level features is Ford's active park assist, which, as we learned, doesn't function so well in extreme weather conditions. We drove the Fusion during one of the worst snow storms in recent history and while the system - which takes control of your car and parallel parks it for you - parked well enough during the early hours of the storm, it shut itself down once the snow got too deep.
    It's an impressive system, but a far-from-optimal one, even notwithstanding its inability to park in several inches of snow. The park assist uses ultrasonic-based sensors to detect sufficiently large parking spaces. Once the park assist has found a spot, all the car asks is that you put the transmission into reverse and it spins the steering wheel and works the accelerator for you. During our tests, the system tended to park us more haphazardly than we would have done ourselves: the front end of the car was angled slightly away from the curb and the car was placed dead center between two cars, despite the fact that the space we occupied was big enough for two cars. A more intelligent system would put you closer to one vehicle or the other in order to avoid what people who live in densely populated areas have come to know as "parking like a dick syndrome."
    In all other regards, the Fusion Hybrid performs admirably, with just enough power to do what it needs to, but not enough to have serious fun.

  • Exterior

    The Fusion was given a makeover for 2013, and it's one of the best designs Ford has produced in a while. Given the aesthetic blandness of the competition, that may not seem like much of an achievement, but the Focus shows that midsize sedans needn't be generic car forms that seem to have been designed by robot.

  • Interior

    The Fusion's extremely well-designed interior that has a sport-luxury look that matches the exterior. Ford does a lot with cheap materials -- this interior has the look of a more expensive car, but on closer inspection, it's all cheap plastic. But if Ford had to sacrifice something to keep the price reasonable (which they did), less-than-luxury materials is an extremely small price to pay.
    The pass-through compartment behind the shifter is a nice use of space and even the haptic controls on the infotainment system - which we usually can't stand -- performed surprisingly well.

  • Conclusion

    With a total cost of $35,160, the Fusion isn't cheap, but given the impressive list of high tech safety features it's not at all unreasonable. Add to that the money you'll save enjoying the near-Prius-like mileage (47 mpg), and you begin to see that the Fusion Hybrid is a very good deal after all.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: 2.0-liter Atkison-cycle inline four and electric motor

    Transmission: eCVT automatic

    Power Output: 188 horsepower / 129 ft-lbs.

    Fuel Economy: 47 city / 47 hwy

    Price: $35,160 (as tested)

    Features: Rear view video camera, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, hill start assist, six speaker sound system with satellite radio, three power points, Sync.

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