2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid ‘1.21 Gigawatts of Love!’ by Nathan Adlen


Editor's Note: It is our great pleasure to introduce automotive journalist Nathan Adlen to TFLcar.com. Nathan has traveled the world's highways and byways in all sorts of cars but now-a-days he makes his living by driving, testing, and evaluating cars in Colorado. Look for many his interesting and informative photos and reviews right here in the weeks to come.

Ford got this one right.

This is the best all-around mid-sized
hybrid in the states. I may not have a ton of love for hybrids (clean
diesels perform better) but I do respect the idea of high mileage in
vehicles that have no business being so efficient. I especially like
hybrid vehicles that not feel or SCREAM ‘hybrid’ when driven.

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid drives like a good ol’ car.

satisfied with what most would consider good driving performance; I
openly wondered what would happen to a Ford Fusion Hybrid if stricken
with a bolt of lightning. The batteries which are situated in the rear
bulkhead behind the rear seats would probably melt if surge protecting
safety devices failed. I was rather hoping for a sudden explosion of

you recall the thunderstorms we had last week – I nearly had my
curiosity quenched as I drove through a few nasty storms. I drove
through a few nasty thunderstorms on a few testing loops. I gained a
fair understanding of how the Ford Fusion Hybrid performed in inclement
weather. It drove exactly like a competent “regular” car.

On the
back roads near Franktown the well balanced Ford Fusion Hybrid handled
easily, just like a regular car. On I-70 and C470 the Ford Fusion
Hybrid coasted along, well controlled and comfortable like a regular
car. Zooming around Morrison, Denver, Aurora, DTC and Hyland’s Ranch’s
streets – it drove like a car.

What was un-regular-car-like was my overall fuel usage of 33 mpg.

flogged this machine and utterly refused to drive economically and it
still returned damn good mileage. The electronically controlled
continuously variable transmission (CVT) kept the RPMs high when I was
abusive, yet the electric motor was capable of running up to 47 mph
without any help from the gas unit (provided the driver is a light
touch with the accelerator).

0 to 60 times were about 8.7 seconds
and 60 to 0 stopping distances were excellent at about 126 feet. These
regenerative brakes (which cycle lots energy from braking back to the
batteries for later use) were strong and a tad grabby. If you work the
brakes too much, fad is very noticeable. All the same, in regular
driving, fade was not an issue. Nonetheless, these numbers were very
competitive with regular cars and bested many hybrid sedans in its

If you’re a green-loving driver, in love you shall fall
with the customizable digital display. In normal mode, there is a mpg
gage, battery gage, fuel gage, speedometer along with a nifty ivy-like
plant that grows greener as you drive conservatively. The easier you
are on the gas and brakes (coasting to a halt and easing on the
accelerator to depart) along with coasting at proper times – leaves
grow and thrive on your digital plant.

attempted to drive like such a Neanderthal that all vegetation would
disappear. It worked and I was able to keep most of my driving as
narrow-minded as a reality stars’. Finally, I began to interface with
the digital equipment and began paying attention to unhelpful driving
habits. Aside from greening-up my dark side, I had genuine fun finding
the right combination of driving to yield the best mpg results. This is
a very clever system as it can inspire a fool like me to drive

At 3,720 lbs I half expected the Ford Fusion Hybrid to
handle like a pig. I was pleasantly disappointed as cornering feel
(despite the electric power steering) felt good and the loud-ish CVT
did a great job of pulling the Fusion out of corners and allowed plenty
of ‘go’ for freeway passing. It never felt as timid as smaller hybrids
and gave a robust feel to ‘power’ driving, superior to other hybrid
sedans in its bracket.


There are three modes to these
interactive gage displays that give you as much information as you
desire. Even with the full mode showing you exactly what the
consumption is, I never felt like my attention was pulled away from
safe driving. 

Sure, I still slammed the accelerator to the
ground and squealed the 17 inch tires around a corner or two – but I
was able to calm down and drive properly a few minutes later. The 156
horsepower (which makes 136 lbs feet of torque) 2.5-liter four-cylinder
gasoline engine can bump up to 191 horsepower (166 lbs feet of torque)
when the electric motor kicks in. This combination gives the Ford
Fusion Hybrid damn good oomph. 

The new Ford Fusion design with
sharper corners and a big three bar grill is beginning to grow on me.
It looks a damn sight better than the Camry and is reminiscent of
Ford’s outstanding European designed vehicles. I like its less than
conspicuous design as it does everything other than scream ‘hybrid.’

is a comfortable machine with plenty of space up front. Even with
Ford’s “Earth-friendly seating fabric in the Fusion Hybrid is made from
85 percent post-industrial materials — polyester fibers that would
otherwise have ended up in landfills.” Seating was comfortable. The
back seats are adequate; however, you will lose the utility of folding
rear seats as the batteries now take that space. Still, there is a good
sized trunk and a spare tire under a hatch.

This is a
technologically advanced vehicle that doesn’t wear it on its sleeve
(thank god). There IS a price for this high level of technology as the
base price is about 27K and my mid-level tester with excellent stereo
and sunroof came in around $30,000. That’s quite a bit more than a very
well equipped, normal Ford Fusion.

Look at it this way, if you
want to be green and not annoy the living hell out of your friends and
neighbors, this Ford Fusion Hybrid is more than worth the price. In the
end all these gizmos and wiz-bangs make for a regular feeling machine
that’s easy to live with.

Well done Ford.

Nathan Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car
sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out
of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.