The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid carries over all its features from the previous model year. That’s no bad thing, however, as the Fusion Hybrid comes well-equipped for anywhere between $27,555 and around $40,000. Higher trims pack LED lights all around, an angular grille and some chrome garnishes. Interior upgrades on the Platinum trim level I tested include a restyled center console, including a rotary-type gear selector for the Continuously Variable Transmission. Ford also repositioned the cupholders, leaving more space for a longer armrest and improved open storage area access in the lower dash. Ford’s upgraded Sync 3 infotainment system with navigation comes as standard fare.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid lineup breaks down into four trim levels: S, SE, Titanium and the top-spec Platinum. Buyers who choose the more expensive Platinum Hybrid model get Medium Soft Ceramic-toned leather seats with contrast piping and matte-finish wood trim.
Visually, the five passenger Ford Fusion Hybrid is considerably more attractive and appealing than some of its competition. It projects a sleek, aerodynamic profile, with the upward sloping hood flowing into the sharply raked windshield. That theme continues over the gracefully-curved cabin into the flowing rear window. The aerodynamic design culminates in the short decklid and integrated spoiler lip.
The front-wheel drive power source of the Ford Fusion remains the same. An electric motor working in conjunction with a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine puts out a total of 188 horsepower.
The Fusion can travel at speeds up to 85 mph on electricity alone. The EV mode allows the driver to limit the gas engine’s operation to only extreme power demands, such as passing situations or in negotiating steep grades. When the gasoline engine kicks in, it is a seamless transition. A 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides energy for the electric motor, drawing its charge while underway from a generator driven by the engine and the regenerative braking system.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides a pleasantly smooth and quiet ride quality in its electric mode. However, tipping the scale at nearly two tons does hamper the car’s out-and-out performance. The combined 188 horsepower output is not dragster-like by any means, and it’s even slower in it’s pure electric mode. That said, this car’s focus lies on comfort and ease of use over out-and-out speed.
The Fusion Hybrid has low-rolling-resistance tires, further placing emphasis on fuel economy rather than grip. Spirited maneuvers are likely to trigger chirps or squalls. If you really push it, the stability control system will step in. Braking seems on the sensitive side of the equation at slower speeds, and takes some getting used to.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid costs less than its Fusion Energi plug-in electric sibling. Not only that, but EV incentives are available to significantly reduce the price tag even more. With incentives, the cost comes more into line with non-hybrid Fusion models.
Bottom line, the 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid turns out to be an attractive, practical and acceptably efficient mode of transportation at an affordable price. Ford’s SmartGauge allows drivers to keep an eye on how efficiently they’re driving. Heated and cooled seats and Ford’s updated Sync 3 system adds a fair amount of connectivity, in addition to all the safety features you’d expect in a modern hybrid sedan.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid
|Price as Tested:
|Engine:||2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle I-4 w/ 88 kW Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous electric motor and 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Transversely mounted front engine, front-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||Engine: 141 hp @ 6,000 rpm
|Torque:||Engine: 129 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm|
|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|
|Tires:||Michelin Energy Saver A/S 235/45 R18 94V|
|Fuel capacity:||14.0 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||43 City / 41 Highway / 42 Combined mpg|
|Width:||72.9 inches (excl. mirrors)|
|Turning Circle:||37.3 feet|
|Curb Weight:||3,899 pounds|