The Ford Fusion Hybrid has been redesigned for the 2017 model year, but retains the qualities that have made previous models so popular, like innovative yet practical tech, and excellent value for money. The exterior tweaks?including a slightly wider front grille, new headlights, and LED taillights?are subtle, but highlight the vehicle's already sharp looks. Inside, the car gets a new rotary gear selector that takes up less space than the former shift lever, and adds more storage and driver elbow room. The top two trim levels also get an 8-inch touch screen and Ford's Sync 3 system, while a top-of-the-line Platinum trim has been added that further sets the Fusion Hybrid apart from its competitors. All that adds up to one of the best non-luxury hybrid sedans you can buy, and our Editors' Choice.
Pricing and Design
The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid$38,290.00 at TrueCar comes in four trim levels, all with a 2.0 liter, 141 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and a 118hp electric motor. A 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric motor and is recharged by an engine-driven generator and regenerative braking. Power is transferred to the wheels via an electronic CVT automatic transmission.
The Fusion Hybrid S trim starts at $25,295 and comes with 17-inch painted nickel wheels, body color exterior power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, body color front and rear bumpers and rocker molding, a chrome grille, automatic halogen headlights, configurable daytime running lamps, LED taillamps, and solar tinted glass on the outside. Inside there's a six-way manual driver seat and four-way manual passenger seat, a split 60/40 rear seatback, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, active noise control, cruise control, and hill start assist. Tech includes a rearview camera, Ford's MyKey parental control feature, dual 4.2-inch configurable LCD instrument cluster displays, and a nine-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system with Sync and USB and auxiliary inputs.
The SE trim starts at $26,100 and adds a compass, an exterior temperature indicator, rear AC and heater vents, a rear center armrest, SecuriCode keyless entry, a 10-way power driver seat and six-way power passenger seat, and satellite radio.
The Titanium trim starts at $30,630. It adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, chrome accented door handles, LED headlights and fog lamps, a rear deck spoiler, remote start, rear parking sensors, driver seat memory, a 10-way power passenger seat, sport seats with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, aluminum sport pedals, a 110V outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum scuff plates, a 12-speaker Sony sound system with HD Radio, and an 8-inch in-dash touch screen with Sync 3.
The Platinum trim we tested has a base price of $37,020 and adds a premium grille, power and heated exterior mirrors with approach lamps and turn signal indicators, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel, premium leather seating surfaces and armrests, cooled front seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, a heated steering wheel, and a power moon roof. It also includes navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, automated parking, adaptive cruise control with full stop and go, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, front collision warning with pedestrian detection, and auto high beams. The only option on our test car was $395 Burgundy Velvet paint. With an $875 destination and delivery charge, the total sticker price came to $38,290.
Even though the basic exterior design of the Fusion hasn't changed much since the last major redesign four years ago, the car's sheet metal still stands out as one of the best-looking non-luxury sedans on the road. The interior of the Platinum trim features premium leather upholstery covering the seats and most surfaces, with a tasteful quilted pattern on the seats and doors.
One downside of the Ford Fusion Hybrid compared with its gasoline twin: Trunk space is severely constricted (12 cubic feet compared with 16) due to the bulkiness of the hybrid battery.
Infotainment Interface and Connectivity
The sharp graphics and large icons of the Ford Fusion Hybrid's Sync 3 infotainment system is simple to operate while driving and makes onscreen information easy to discern. Sync 3's new capacitive touch screen is also much more responsive than the resistive technology used with previous MyFord Touch, and the system reacts faster to input.
Like previous iterations of Sync, all connectivity comes via your smartphone. This means there's no subscription for cloud-connected features, although these are limited to only five apps for iOS devices and four for Android: iHeartRadio, MLB.com, Pandora, Spotify, and Glympse and (for iOS only).
Sync 3 also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which provide connected local search, something the system has been sorely lacking. The 2017 Fusion Hybrid also includes Sync Connect with embedded 4G LTE connectivity for the SOS Post-Crash Alert Systems as well remote access to the vehicle. SiriusXM Travel Link provides subscription-based connectivity for traffic, fuel, weather, movie, and other info.
The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid has several special features to help drivers save fuel. These include the typical power flow guide that allows you to keep tabs on where power is coming from and where it's being expended, and different driving modes, including an EV electric-only mode.
The car also has cool fuel-saving features that carry over from the previous model, such as the SmartGauge with EcoGuide that's part of the configurable 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster displays. A MyView screen allows you to show features such as a Brake Coach and Regen Display on the right, that help maximize regenerative braking efficiency and show virtual leaves and vines that "grow" the more the car sips gas.
The left screen has an Engage mode with separate gauges that show engine power, battery power, and when the vehicle is operating on battery power only. An Empower mode adds info such as feedback on the amount of power being used based on accelerator pressure. The five-way steering wheel-mounted controls make it easy to access this information.
Performance and Conclusions
The Ford Fusion Hybrid's 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine and electric motor combined supply up to 188 total horsepower. Ford says the Fusion can run on electric-only power at speeds up to 85mph, but the gasoline engine kicks in during normal acceleration unless you're an experienced hyper-miler. Highway and combined EPA fuel economy figures are the same as the outgoing model?42mpg?but the city number falls 1mpg short to 43. With everyday driving, we achieved an average of 38mpg.
While the electric motor adds a bit of torque from a dead stop and the powertrain is adequate for city driving, the car feels a bit poky when passing or when more giddy-up is needed. Even under hard acceleration, the engine is well-mannered and never sounds strained, while active noise cancellation reduces tire and wind sound.
Buying a hybrid used to involve a trade-off in styling, comfort, and convenience features for better fuel economy, but the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid proves this is no longer the case. While you'll want to check out alternatives in segment like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is the best of the bunch overall?and our Editors' Choice among full-size non-luxury hybrid sedans.
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