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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 FORD FUSION HYBRID REVIEW


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser Parrish
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel


INTRO TO THE FUSION HYBRID VEHICLE
The Fusion Hybrid is a stylish hybrid alternative if you’re seeking a more sedan-minded shape. You also get a spirited 2-liter four-cylinder gas engine that works with a powerful electric motor for 188 horsepower at the ready.

I drove a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid with the 188-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Available in four trim grades – the base S, SE, Titanium and Platinum – my Titanium trim came with the following standard features: leather upholstery; sport seats; ten-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; upgraded Sony audio system; Sync 3 with eight-inch touchscreen display; Bluetooth; smart charging station for phone; Ford MyKey; upgraded twelve-speaker Sony audio system; reverse sensing system; rearview camera; aluminum sport pedals; fog lamps; seventeen-inch wheels; chrome exhaust tips; keyless keypad entry; and push-button start. Price as described without options came to $30,630.

The Fusion Hybrid receives updated exterior styling and a has replaced the MyFord Touch system with the more user-friendly Sync 3. Main competitors include a round-up of other green-minded sedans like the Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Toyota Avalon Hybrid. There is also the extend-range trim, the Ford Fusion Energi, that competes with the Chevrolet Volt, Prius Plug-in and all-electric Nissan Leaf.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: A spacious interior is likely what you will sacrifice if you go with an odd-shaped alternative like the Leaf or Prius – the Fusion’s cabin is vast and accommodating on all levels, from seats to the new Sync 3 system that uses a row of touchscreen command buttons to easily navigate, with an excellent attention to detail and finish. Standards under the Titanium trim will keep you satisfied, but Ford dangles a lot of options in front of you that can steadily increase the price like my test drive’s $995 enhanced Active Park Assist feature, $1,575 Driver Assist Package (heated steering wheel, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning) and $1,190 navigation system with adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a Top Safety Pick with ratings of “Good” in all areas omitting a “Marginal” for ease of use with child seats anchors (LATCH) with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet rated the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Cost Issues: At a starting price of $22,120 for the Fusion Hybrid is very reasonable – but keep in mind the SE with a few packages is needed to keep your technology lifestyle satisfied. Options to my Ford Fusion Titanium trim brought the total price to $35,155 with destination and delivery.

Activity & Performance Ability: Major performance trademarks for the Fusion Energy include more sufficient highway power, a quite cabin environment, and improved road. Rear visibly can be an impediment so I would recommend selecting a trim that offers more safety technology than just the rearview camera. The Energi does have better cadence when inching the vehicle in and out of parking spaces at low speeds. If you opt for the Energi trim, charging requires just a simple connector cord plugged into vehicle’s side charge port and takes as little as two-and-a-half hours using a common household 240-volt outlet for a full recharge.

The Green Concern: The Fusion Hybrid retains 43 miles-per-gallon city and 41-highway for a combined 42 – it’s pretty nice for a commuter to gas up just a couple times a month.  

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The high-tech interior feel and bold power will persuade you to go with the stylish and spacious 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan – yet consumers should prep themselves for the cost hike where optional packages are concerned and there are many to entice you.

©2017 Katrina Ramser Parrish

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