2017 Ford Fusion Energi Reviews
Cars.com Expert Reviews
The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi is an efficient and comfortable plug-in hybrid commuter sedan, but its cramped trunk limits its utility.
Versus the competition
There aren’t many plug-in-hybrid mid-size sedans (Hyundai makes the only other one), but the Fusion Energi is bigger and more comfortable than compact plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt, Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Nero.
The biggest problem with turning an existing hybrid into a plug-in hybrid is where to put the extra batteries. In normal hybrids, batteries usually fit under the seats, but when you increase the size of them severalfold, they have to be placed somewhere else. That usually means eating up space in the trunk, and that’s the case in the Energi. While the regular Fusion Hybrid has a 12.0-cubic-foot trunk, that drops to just 8.2 cubic feet in the Fusion Energi. By contrast, the Fusion Energi’s main competitor (the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid) maintains the trunk room of its regular hybrid sibling, offering 13.3 cubic feet of cargo room.
The Ford Fusion Energi has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the conventionally powered 2017 Fusion a Top Safety Pick Plus, representing top crashworthiness performance, but according to the IIHS, the ratings for the gas-powered Fusion do not carry over to the plug-in-hybrid Energi. See IIHS’ ratings for the 2017 Fusion here and for all mid-size cars here.
Ford has been on the forefront of modern electronic safety features, and the Fusion Energi offers just about all of them — if you’re willing to pony up some cash. My test car came with the optional Driver Assistance Package, which includes lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, blind spot warning and cross-traffic alert. A backup camera is standard, and if you want to add things like distance-keeping cruise control with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, all it takes is additional money.
Value in Its Class
Hybrids are always a little more expensive than their conventional counterparts and the Fusion is no exception. A base Energi plug-in hybrid starts at $33,995 for an SE trim, which includes things like LED headlights and foglights, dual-zone electronic climate control, leather seats and a premium sound system. It’s pricey, but it’s very well-equipped. Add some extras, such as more electronic safety systems and navigation, and you’ll come to my car’s as-tested price of $36,110, before Ford’s own “Energi Discount” of $2,000 brings that back down to $34,110.
The only direct competitor to the Fusion Energi is the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, which is the other mid-size plug-in hybrid sedan on the market. There are smaller plug-in hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius Prime and the new Chevrolet Volt, but these are hatchbacks with open cargo areas, not enclosed trunks. And despite Chevrolet’s inclusion of a fifth seat belt in back, the Volt is really only usable for four people. The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid performs in very similar fashion to the Fusion Energi but is able to go farther on a full charge than the Fusion; it can travel almost as far as a first-generation Volt if you drive it calmly and carefully. It’s priced a little higher than the Fusion, starting at $35,435 including destination, but it’s also a bit more powerful and has more standard equipment. Compare the Fusion Energi with its competitors here.