There are two hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion – a standard, non plug-in electric Ford Fusion Hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in electric hybrid. There are also non-hybrid Fusions available. For a number of years, the Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid has been rated as one of the best plug-in hybrids available. That ranking could well become a thing of the past, as more and more manufacturers are producing entries in both the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid arena.
My 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid came in Titanium trim. The base sticker was set at $31,010 while the final tally rose to $35,165. after factoring in the Destination and Delivery charge and discounts. The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi is higher priced than the non-plug-in Ford Fusion hybrid, but local, regional and national EV incentives can significantly reduce the sticker price, bringing the cost more in line with non-hybrid stablemates.
For the 2017 model year, Ford has refreshed both Hybrid versions with an exterior facelift as well as some significant interior upgrades, and the addition of a Titanium model for the non-plug-in Hybrid catering to consumers who happen to be ecologically minded, but who also want to be pampered with luxurious features.
There are new LED headlamps and taillamps, the front fascia is new, and features a wider, more angular grille, chrome garnishes and LED fog lamps. The rear fascia and lower decklid are also new, and the 17-inch wheels have been redesigned.
The Hybrid’s front-wheel power source remains the same with a 118-hp electric motor working in conjunction with a 141-hp 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine that puts out a total of 188 horsepower. The Fusion Energi can be propelled at speeds up to 85 mph on electricity alone. The Energi’s EV mode allows the driver to limit the gas engine’s operation to only extreme power demands, as passing scenarios or in ascending steep hills.
A 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides the energy for the electric motive force, drawing its charge while underway from a second motor/generator driven by the engine and from the regenerative braking system. An external electrical source handles recharging duty when plugged in to a charger. The Energi provides a larger battery pack (7.6-kWh), over the conventional non-plug-in Fusion hybrid. EPA ratings for the 2017 Fusion Energi when using both gasoline and electric power are 95 MPGe city, 81 MPGe highway, and 88 MPGe combined. For drivers who are able plug in often and who commute only short distances in a reserved fashion can enjoy incredibly impressive fuel economy. If never plugging in, the Energi simply becomes a 42-mpg hybrid, that’s no more efficient than its standard and lighter weight hybrid sibling that offers the same EPA combined rating. The Fusion Energi is able to travel 22 miles exclusively on electricity, unlike the regular hybrid.
When driven in a responsible and sensible manner, both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi Plug-in Hybrid provide a pleasantly smooth and quiet ride quality in their electric mode. Tipping the scale at almost two tons, the combined 188 horsepower in its hybrid mode the Fusion Hybrid is not a dragster, and, it’s even slower in the pure electric mode. But hurtling through the atmosphere at break-neck speed isn’t what either hybrid version is all about.
When the gasoline engine kicks in, it is a seamless transition. Tires are the low-rolling-resistance variety and place the emphasis on fuel economy rather than grip, so race track maneuvers are likely to trigger chirps or squalls, and possibly an intervention from the stability-control system. Braking seems on the sensitive side of the equation at slower speeds, but familiarity takes care of the issue. Another approach is to press the Low Gear button atop the shift dial.
TFLCAR’s TAKE: The Fusion Hybrid lineup isn’t necessarily the most efficient, nor do the models offer the most cargo space, but they do look good (actually better than many) and they drive well, while providing the latest in safety features, infotainment and technology.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium
- Base Price: $31,010, as Tested: $35,155
- Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter –DOHC, 16-valve Atkinson Cycle inline 4-cylinder Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with ECVT auto Trans powersplit.
- Horsepower (bhp): 141@6,000 rpm
- Torque (ft./ lbs.): 129@4,000 rpm
- Electric Motor: 88kW Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor, 1.4 kWh Lithium-Ion battery with 35 kW Battery Peak Power. Total combined system horsepower=188 (195 in VCharge-Depletion Mode)
- Transmission: Hybrid E-CVT
- Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive
- Suspension: Front-Four-wheel, independent MacPherson strut Short/Long arm design with stabilizer bar. Rear – Independent Multi-link with twin-tube, gas-pressurized shocks.
- Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, Advance Trac with ESC
- Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S 225/50 R17 V mounted on alloy wheels
- Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
- Length Overall: 191.8 inches
- Width: 72.9 inches – w/o mirrors
- Height: 58.0 inches
- Curb Weight: 3,668 lbs.
- Turning Circle: 18 feet, 8 inches
- Fuel Capacity: 14.0 gallons
- EPA Mileage Estimates: 43 mpg city / 41 mpg highway 104 city / 91 highway MPGe /
- EV Range = 21 miles
- Total Range = 610