Alternative Energi: The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Earlier this week, our Publisher and Executive Editor wrote a highly favorable review of the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi, which is a plug-in hybrid.  Plug-in hybrids have their advantages, namely greater pure electric range before switching over to the standard gasoline/electric hybrid mode, but they also have drawbacks.

For those of us who are apartment dwellers, a plug-in is less practical.  We are unlikely to have 240-volt chargers in our garage---or a garage, for that matter.  Running an extension cord from your apartment is likely to get you evicted, or at the very least, your extension cord stolen. And that's why Ford makes a non-plug-in version as well, which is what we drove.

Badging for 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid badging.
The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is as simple as it comes.  Put gasoline in the tank when the fuel gauge indicates it is low.  The electric part takes care of itself, thanks to regeneration from braking and other sources inside the car itself.

Regenerative braking gauge in 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid regenerative braking gauge.
The Fusion Hybrid not only regenerates energy through braking, but a handy gauge reports back to you on how efficiently you brake, coaching you on your technique to maximize the amount of energy that is put back into the hybrid batteries.

It may not have the extended pure electric range of the Energi, but once that's gone, the Fusion Hybrid and the Energi return the exact same EPA-estimated 43 miles per gallon in the city and 41 on the highway.

Instrument panel for 2017 Ford Fusion hybrid
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid instrument panel.
There are four trim levels for the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.  S is the base, SE next, followed by Titanium and the top-of-the-line Platinum.

Our test vehicle was the SE.  Base price $26,840, with automatic halogen headlamps, intermittent wipers, power front seats, dual-zone electronic climate control, active noise cancellation, hill start assist, remote keyless entry, push-button start, a rear view camera, 17-inch wheels and a nine-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio all standard.

That is an extremely reasonable price for a very well-equipped car, but as usual, our test vehicle had options:

  • The SE Hybrid Luxury Package:  Memory driver's 10-way power seat, leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, bright exterior window and door trim moldings, body-colored door handles with chrome inserts, intelligent access with remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED fog lamps with chrome bezel, LED headlamps and taillamps, upgraded heated sideview mirrors, with memory, turn indicators, auto-dimming on the driver's side and security approach lamps and warm interior accents.  $2,995.
  • Burgundy Velvet paint.  $395.
  • Upgraded 17-inch premium wheels, bundled with a reverse sensing system and the SYNC 3 infotainment suite.  $995.
  • Enhanced active park assist.  $995.
  • Adaptive cruise with stop and go. $1,190.
  • Driver assist package with lane keeping system, blind spot information system and cross-traffic alert. $1,575.
All that brought the total, with $875 destination and delivery charges, to an even $35,500.  But Ford has an immediate $490 Sync and Sound discount and another $500 SE Tech discount, which resulted in an as-tested price of $34,510.

If you are looking for a family sedan with tremendous fuel economy, it is hard to do better than the Fusion Hybrid.