When you hear the term hybrid or plug-in hybrid, one doesn't think of luxury or great styling; most just want to know what kind of fuel economy it offers. The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi not only delivers great mileage, but it's a comfortable driving experience wrapped in a stylish exterior that won't make you embarrassed to drive it around the streets of Beverly Hills.
Having driven the Ford C-Max hybrid and the Toyota Prius, I was eager to compare it to the Ford Fusion Energi. Although I was only able to drive the Fusion Energi for a short thirty minutes at Ford's First Drive program, it's easy to see the C-Max and Fusion have the same DNA. With its new styling and great fuel economy, the Ford Fusion Energi can't help but turn heads as it drives along the road. Its quiet interior and array of technological features have been drawing in customers looking for a more eco-friendly vehicle that offers a great drive. When stacked against the Toyota Prius, not only does the Fusion Energi get better fuel economy, it's an all-around better drive.
Model and PriceWe drove the base model, the Fusion Energi SE, with a starting price of $38,700. Standard features include SiriusXM Satellite Radio, leather seats with heated front seats, SYNC with MyFord Touch, and dual zone temperature control. The SE Luxury Driver Assist package is available for an additional $1,140 and included Lane-Keeping System, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), rain-sensing wipers, auto high-beams, and a 110-volt outlet
Standard safety features included AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control, SOS post-crash alert, perimeter alarm, and more. Other optional features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Park Assist with Forward Sensing System, and a Reverse Sensing System.
Safety and Key FeaturesThe 2013 Ford Fusion Energi comes loaded with safety features to keep all passengers safe. Although there are no safety ratings on the Energi, the non-hybrid Fusion has earned a Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, 1st- and 2nd-row side air curtains, LATCH points, child safety locks on the rear doors, and SOS post-crash alert. During our drive around Beverly Hills, we were lucky enough to not have to put any of these features to the test.
Family Friendliness and UtilityManeuverability in and out of the Ford Fusion Energi is easy, as its wide swinging doors can accommodate those of any age. Both driver and passenger have plenty of room to get comfortable, whether for a short ride to the office, or a longer drive on the weekends. The back seat has plenty of legroom, with seats that have been designed for comfort on longer trips, but headroom is tight thanks to the sloping rear window cuts into the trunk. The seats fold 60/40, enabling you to make room as necessary for almost any type of cargo you need to carry.
Comfort and QualityWith its standard leather interior and heated front seats, the drive in the drizzly weather of Beverly Hills was no problem. Both the driver and passenger seats are comfortable and supportive, making long drives easier to manage. There are many areas with soft-touch materials that give the interior a more luxurious feel. Taller passengers should have no problem with legroom in either the front or back seat, although head clearance may be hard to accommodate for someone around six feet tall. The dash had a nice touchscreen layout, with only a center knob, giving it a much cleaner look than other Ford models.
SummaryIs the Ford Fusion Energi worth the price? Yes. Considering the tax credits and other incentives placed around vehicles of this kind, you don't have to fork out the almost $40,000, but instead somewhere in the ballpark of $30,000. With a better drive and mileage than other hybrids in its class, there's something about the Ford Fusion Energi that grabs your attention. When shopping for a hybrid that can out-perform the Toyota Prius and have a comfortable drive, the Fusion Energi better be on your list.
How it DrivesThe 2013 Ford Fusion Energi is equipped with a 2.0-liter, DOHC inline four-cylinder engine, and produces 188 horsepower. The Fusion Energi has a range of 620 miles on a full battery charge and tank of gas while in the regular driving mode, but in all-electric mode, the car can reach up to 21 miles. Although we never reached highway speeds, the Fusion Energi was nimble and responsive when needing to make sharp turns and avoid road construction obstacles. It had no issues making its way through the city, and the quietness of the cabin made the ride that much more enjoyable.
Spec BoxPrice-as-tested: $39,495
EPA City: 108
EPA Highway: 92
EPA Combined: 100
Estimated Combined Range: 620 miles (manufacturer's rating)
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Excellent