The Fusion Hybrid, Ford's first hybrid passenger car, comes to market with technology designed to help drivers operate the car in a more efficient manner. Competitors include the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.
The gas-only Fusion is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
New for 2011
There are no significant changes.
The Fusion Hybrid is based on the gas-powered Fusion that was redesigned for the 2010 model year. It has a few exterior cues that will tip off onlookers that they aren't looking at a regular Fusion: The hybrid has badges on the front doors and trunklid, plus special 17-inch wheels. Exterior features include:
- New blind spot mirrors for cars not equipped with electronic blind spot warning system
- Optional rain-sensing wipers
The general appearance of the Fusion Hybrid's cabin hews closely to the looks of the regular model, which is more modern than before but still trails competitors like the Honda Accord in terms of materials quality. The seat fabric in the Fusion Hybrid is made from recycled materials; leather seats are optional.
The hybrid has a unique gauge cluster that Ford calls SmartGauge with EcoGuide, designed to help drivers save fuel. Efficiency gauges have been done before, but the Fusion Hybrid's instrument panel takes it to a new level in production cars. It features two LCD screens separated by a traditional speedometer. The screens can be configured to show the driver a limited set of information about the hybrid system or increasingly detailed data. One of the more interesting graphical features available is an animated vine that grows more leaves as the car is driven more efficiently. Interior features include:
- Standard 100-volt household power plug
- Optional navigation system
- Optional backup camera
Under the Hood
The Fusion Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. A continuously variable automatic transmission sends power to the wheels.
This is a fairly conventional setup for a hybrid, but the Fusion Hybrid's system differs from competitors in a key way: While many hybrids are limited to electric-only operation to speeds around 25 mph, Ford says the Fusion Hybrid can travel on electric power alone up to 47 mph.
Standard safety features include:
- All-disc antilock brakes
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Electronic stability system