2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review By John Heilig

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2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Auto Page
By John Heilig

There are few cars that I'd be willing to drop everything for and keep in my garage… t 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of those cars.

Model: 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Engine: 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle I4
Horsepower/Torque: 188 total hp: 129 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: CVT
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Length x Width x Height: 191..8 x 72.9 x 58.2 in.
Tires: P235/45R18
Cargo: 12.0 cu.ft. (rear seat backs up)
Economy: 36.8 mpg test
Fuel tank:13.5 gal.
Curb weight: 3,615 lbs.
Sticker: $35,265 (includes $795 destination and delivery, $7,270 in options

Bottom line: As Ford's entry into the mid-size car sweepstakes, the Fusion has a lot to offer - comfort, ride quality, styling, spaciousness, and most importantly, economy. To have everything the Fusion has to offer and to have it in a hybrid powertrain that delivers nearly 37 mpg is a pleasure.

The first you notice about our tester version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid is its color. Ford calls it "Ice Storm," and it's either light blue, green or grey or some combination thereof. It was the discussion item for the family during our test week. We even got some input from a town policeman (more on that later) and he liked the color and thought it was blue.

With the hybrid powertrain, the Ford Fusion achieved 36.8 mpg over a combination of Interstate and local roads. The Fusion reached this number without sacrificing the comfort or performance one would expect from a mid-size sedan. in other words, the Fusion came close to being the almost ideal family car. I only say "almost” because nobody's perfect.

Okay, let's get to the cop. The Fusion is very quiet running, whether just cruising or accelerating. We were driving in an area where the speed limit went from 35 to 45 to 55, then we exited the main road and it dropped to 25 or 35. I know that the town police monitor that section of highway, but I wasn't diligent about my own speed checks. He got me for going 43 in a 25 (maybe 35) zone. After talking about cars for a while, he let me off with a warning and an opinion about the color. The point it, the Fusion made the same noise no matter what speed I was traveling.

Besides handling the Interstate leg with aplomb, the Fusion also behaved well on back roads, some of which were single lane and rife with wildlife. At no time did the Fusion, or the wildlife, misbehave. I was impressed with the ride quality on all roads. The Fusion is a very smooth operator.

There's plenty of power from the inline 2.0-liter four cylinder engine plus the electric motor. Total power for the combination is 188 horsepower. This is the same powerplant used in the C-Max Hybrid, and in both vehicles it performs well.

The Fusion's styling also received many compliments, even from the cop. Several of my fellow journalists joked that the Fusion's look resembles an Aston Martin, especially with the grille. It's a look that you can be comfortable with for many years. An advantage of the big sloping rear window is that it's easy to clear snow from it.

The front seats are roomy and firm, yet offer some side support. The rear seats have very good leg and knee room. The rear seat backs also fold flat to increase cargo capacity. You'll note that the trunk has an intrusion from the rear to accommodate the battery pack. This creates a shelf at the back of the trunk that actually makes it more user-friendly than a pure flat trunk might. There is no spare, just a tire inflation pump. There is, therefore, additional storage under the trunk floor. The "normal" car battery is located behind a panel on the left side of the trunk.

Other storage areas include a deep tray at the base of the center stack that also has a 12-volt outlet. There's a 115-volt AC outlet plug at the rear of the center console. The console itself is useful in its own right, even without the two USB plugs.

The driver faces an instrument panel that is identical to that on the C-Max, not that that is a bad thing. The central speedometer has an "Efficiency Leaves" display on the right and a multi-configurable display on the left. We kept it in "trip odometer" setting.

Besides being a comfortable car to drive and ride in, it's also comfortable to have in the driveway. You use the remote door unlock, enter the car, turn the ignition key and you're ready to go. I still find it disconcerting not to hear the engine turn on right away, but I'm learning.

When you back out of the driveway, you have a backup camera with a dash-mounted display. We also had cross traffic warning, which we thankfully discovered in a supermarket parking lot. And while we never used it in practice, I believe the red lights at the base of the windshield are an accident warning device.

There are few cars that I'd be willing to drop all and keep in my garage instead of returning it to the manufacturer to keep in their garage. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of those cars.

(c) 2013 The Auto Page Syndicate

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