Energi From Multiple Sources: The 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi
The 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi.
I said it about eight years ago on this very eight-and-a-half-year-old website:  The market for alternative power (hybrids, plug-ins) is not in little boxes that get great fuel economy with a gasoline engine.  It's with larger cars that experience a big jump in mileage when you apply the tech.

Case in point: The 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi.

Home charging a 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi
2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi.
The Ford Fusion is a family sedan, doing battle with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat and Subaru Legacy.  In its more basic trim levels, the Fusion is an economical choice, the SE the Phoenix Bureau tested two years ago ringing in at $27,890 and getting an EPA-estimated 25 city/37 highway from its 175 horsepower 2.5-liter four.

Those are some impressive numbers in this car's size class.  The only way to improve on them in a Fusion are the Fusion Hybrid (which the Phoenix Bureau will be reviewing in a few days) or the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid.

The advantage to the plug-in?  A bigger battery pack than the Fusion Hybrid, allowing for 22 miles of range on pure electric power before the hybrid gas/electric powerplant kicks in. If you drive less than 22 miles a day, and plug it in every night, you can go a long time before touching a drop of the fuel in your tank.  And, unlike a pure electric, it won't leave you stranded as long as you remember to actually buy gas when the needle heads for "E".

Also nifty:  A charge from your home wall socket only takes about five hours.  Two and a half if you have 240-volt capability.  And that's because you're charging for 22 miles of range, not 100 as in some pure electrics that need 14 to 16 hours to charge.

The EPA gives the Fusion Energi two estimates:  97 MPG combined city/highway electric equivalent, and, for those of you who get lazy and don't always plug in, a straight 42 MPG when the battery pack is at zero and you're driving it as a normal hybrid (that's the same EPA estimate the Fusion Hybrid gets).

Interior view of 2017 Ford Fusion Energi
2017 Ford Fusion Energi interior.
For 2017, all Fusions get an exterior and interior freshening that give the car a more premium feel while reducing its dependence on its Aston Martin-influenced styling.  It works.  As does the Fusion Energi in daily driving.  My office is 24 miles from my home, so I dipped into the fuel tank two miles before arriving at work and drove home in hybrid mode during the week I had our tester.  And while driving, the Energi is gimmick-free, unless you're watching the eco-related gauges.  It feels and drives like a smooth, comfortable family sedan.

The Fusion Platinum Energi has a base price of $41,120.  That's because the Platinum trim level brings with it some very nice standard equipment, including dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, a power moonroof and a suite of safety features including blind spot information, enhanced active park assist, lane keeping and pre-collision assist.

And that's where the tab stops, save for $875 in destination and delivery charges...making the bottom line $41,995.  But that's before the Fusion Energi Discount right there on the window sticker, so the real bottom line comes to $39,995.  A reasonable price for what you get.  And if your daily commute is less than 22 miles, the gasoline savings could be considerable.