Checking All The Boxes: The 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid
The 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid.
In my past life as a radio disc jockey (a long time ago), I often wondered why certain records weren't bigger hits.  Singles or albums that seemed to have everything going for them that just didn't crack the top ten (or in some cases, the top 100). 

Same with cars.  And a great example is the 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid
2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid.
The gasoline-electric hybrid moment (decade and a half, really) appears to be passing.  Battery technologies are improving, advances in range and charging times make cars like the Tesla Models S, X and 3 as well as the Chevy Bolt not only possible, but practical.  The smart money is on pure electrics overtaking hybrids soon.

But during that time when hybrids were hot (at least in certain parts of the country, not least of all here in Northern California), why not the Ford Fusion Hybrid?  During the years when the Toyota Prius seemed to be the new millennium Model T, why wasn't the Fusion, with its more conventional yet very attractive styling, and larger capacity for people and their things, the best-seller?

Instrument panel of 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid
2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid instrument panel.
That was the question constantly on my mind during a recent week in the 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid.  It just seems to check all the boxes.  Here's a car that, even in uplevel Titanium trim, starts with a base price of only $31,010, bringing with it a 2.0-liter gasoline four combined with an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission working toward...and actually achieving...an EPA-estimated 43 miles per gallon city and 41 highway. 

Fog lamps, solar-tinted glass, LED headlamps, power heated mirrors with memory and turn signal indiators, aluminum sport pedals, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone electronic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, heated and with 10-way power adjustments for the driver and front passenger, three 12-volt power outlets, two smart charging USB ports, a 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD Radio, remote keyless entry, remote start, reverse sensing and a backup camera, all of it standard.

And even with options (ours had a $995 enhanced active parking assist package, $1,190 for adaptive cruise with stop and go and $1,575 for the Driver Assist Package with lane-keeping assist and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert), the total price, after $875 destination and delivery and a $490 "Sync and Sound" discount, was just $35,155.  Which is within walking distance of a loaded Prius. 

Yes, there's a 10 MPG gap between the Fusion's EPA estimates and the Prius', but that gap was smaller when the hybrid market was hot.   And even though there's been some cooling, a hybrid is the more practical choice for a lot of families still.   If you're among them, you should absolutely consider the Fusion.