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Ford Fusion Hybrid Named 'Best of 2010' by

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CHICAGO, Jan. 14 -- After driving, debating and tallying the votes,'s editors have named the Ford Fusion Hybrid the Best of 2010 in the sites annual Platinum Awards, which recognize the best cars of the new model year. Other Platinum Award winners include Best New SUV, Chevrolet Equinox; Best New Compact, Mazda3; Best New Hatchback, Kia Soul; Best New Hybrid Hatchback, Toyota Prius; Best New Hybrid Sedan, Ford Fusion Hybrid; and Best New Wagon, Subaru Outback.

To choose the 2010 Platinum Awards,'s expert reviewers drove and tested all of the newly introduced and redesigned models for 2010. From that pool of about 70 cars, they chose their favorites based on features, driving quality, mileage and overall value.

"The Platinum Awards represent the best work by automakers for the 2010 model year. These vehicles excel on all levels," said Patrick Olsen, editor in chief at "The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid outshined all 2010s, earning it the title Best of 2010,'s most prestigious award. We've seen hybrids come into their own over the past few years, but none have been so free of compromise as the Fusion Hybrid. We recommend that shoppers - green or otherwise - take a serious look at this car."

  About the 2010 Platinum Award Winners:

  --  Best of 2010, Ford Fusion Hybrid: The Ford Fusion Hybrid surpassed all
      others to earn's best overall title for 2010. According to editors, the Ford Fusion Hybrid distinguishes itself from
      other hybrids with a more refined ride, smooth brakes, confident
      acceleration, a comfortable interior and helpful features.  Overall,
      what the Fusion Hybrid does best is not act like a hybrid at all,
      while returning mileage of 41/36 mpg city/highway.
  --  Best New SUV, 2010 Chevrolet Equinox: The Chevy Equinox vaults into
      the top tier of small crossovers thanks to its impressive redesign. If
      you're a little concerned that a small crossover like the Equinox
      might not be big enough for your kids, don't be. It offers one of the
      largest, most comfortable backseats in its class, and the seat itself
      can recline and slide rearward for additional legroom. The small
      crossover segment is crowded with competitive entries like the Toyota
      RAV4, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue, but the new Equinox matches
      them in many ways and exceeds them in others. It all adds up to one of
      the most promising new cars of 2010.
  --  Best New Compact, 2010 Mazda3: While there are many small cars out
      there, the Mazda3 is one of the few that's really fun to drive.
      There's good power from either available four-cylinder engine, and in
      a segment where many cars can't handle a parking lot, the Mazda3
      scoots through corners with gusto. It's got the right standard
      features as well as a good mix of options that should let you pick and
      choose among them to get the best price for your budget - so it's
      strong in the "value" category.
  --  Best New Hatchback, 2010 Kia Soul: Kia's foray into the fickle
      compact-hatch segment had us scratching our heads at first. But the
      little runabout proved itself. Agile moves and decent cabin quality
      emerged as strengths early on.  By summer, the Insurance Institute for
      Highway Safety had crash-tested the Soul, and it emerged a Top Safety
      Pick on par with the well-established Scion xB. The Soul is also
      dirt-cheap. Consider this: Well under $14,000 gets you power windows
      and locks, air conditioning, an iPod-compatible stereo and the sort of
      safety features for which you'd pay extra in a lot of midsize family
      sedans just a few years ago. Plus, it has a 10-year powertrain
      warranty and a cargo area that can handle whatever your teenager
      chucks in it. Color us convinced. Kia is one of a few brands whose
      sales are up this year, and cars like the Soul make it easy to see
  --  Best New Hybrid Hatchback, 2010 Toyota Prius: The Toyota Prius closed
      out its second generation with a 2009 model that was America's most
      efficient car and most affordable hybrid. Truth be told, if it had
      continued for a seventh model year, its 48/45 mpg city/highway still
      would have beaten all comers. Instead, the all-new 2010 improves on
      the previous generation in every way - starting with a markedly higher
      EPA-estimated 51/48 mpg. Higher mileage usually doesn't come in
      larger, faster packages, but the 2010 Prius is both, able to do zero
      to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. The base Prius' improvements over
      last year's model would be impressive even if its starting price
      weren't lower - yes, lower - by $1,000. Like we said, it's better in
      every way.
  --  Best New Hybrid Sedan, 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: There's one reason the
      Fusion Hybrid made this year's list: It's a terrific car.  It just
      happens to also be a hybrid with better gas mileage - 39 mpg combined
      - than the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which gets 34 mpg combined. It doesn't
      reach the Toyota Prius' levels of efficiency - that iconic car gets 50
      mpg combined - but the Fusion Hybrid doesn't make the sacrifices that
      the Prius does. The Fusion Hybrid is capable, quiet on the road and
      sports plenty of creature comforts.  Even though the driving
      experience is more seamless than almost any past hybrids we've tested,
      Ford doesn't try to hide its green factor. The Fusion's innovative and
      completely customizable gauge cluster is the best we've seen from any
      automaker in terms of looks and displaying useful information.
  --  Best New Wagon, 2010 Subaru Outback: Redesigned for 2010, Subaru's
      popular wagon is now more like a crossover than a car, and it's grown
      up a bit in terms of interior room. That's not a bad thing as its
      interior quality has improved, the rear legroom is now spacious -
      before it was nearly nonexistent - and there are nifty features like
      self-storing crossbars. The ride is more comfortable, and the driver
      has a higher seating position than before; the Outback remains a car
      that's easy to get the family into and out of. While the Outback can
      tackle off-road chores, on-road it's quieter than ever with less wind
      and road noise, which makes it an infinitely better daily driver. Add
      up the value equation of the car's starting price, past reliability
      and standard all-wheel drive and it's easy to see why the Outback made
      our short list.

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