Head Held High: The 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi

Front 3/4 view of the 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi
The 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi.
The Ford Fusion will probably be the last conventional four-door sedan the Ford Motor Company builds.  By now you've likely heard the news that over the next two years, Ford will end production of most of its passenger cars. The Fiesta, Focus and Fusion are goners.  Market forces at work. The trend is sharply away from three-box (hood, passenger compartment, trunk) cars.

The Ford portfolio in North America will consist of the F-150 and larger (F-250, F-350, etc.) pickups, the Expedition SUV, crossovers, a crossover variant of the Focus called the Focus Active, and the Mustang.

Word is the Fusion will outlast the Fiesta and Focus by a few months, making it the last one out the door.  But it will go with head held high.  This generation Fusion is the best, and I'll go so far as to say the best sedan Ford has ever built.

Interior view of 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi interior.
From sleek exterior styling to a roomy, comfort-filled, nicely appointed interior, Ford's last shot at the American sedan is the one that finally hit the bulls-eye.  I just happened to be spending a week in the 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi when the news of the product realignment came, making it all the more clear that, for the shrinking number of us who appreciate a truly good sedan, Ford's making one right now.

Energi is the plug-in hybrid model, giving you 20 miles of pure electric range on a full charge before switching to hybrid gas/electric mode.   If you drive less than 20 miles in a day and always charge it, you could go months before an unexpected trip causes you to use a single drop of gasoline.  With a 50-mile roundtrip commute and no charging station at my office, that's not me...but still, the Energi took gasoline out of the equation for 40 percent of the daily drive, and delivered stellar fuel economy (EPA estimate 42 mpg) in hybrid mode.  The combined MPGe, factoring in both electric and hybrid operation, is 97.

Fusion Energis can be had for as little as $31,400 in SE trim, but our tester was the top-of-the line Platinum, which begins at $41,305.  For that extra almost ten grand, you get a lot of luxury-level niceties, including:

  • Configurable daytime running lamps.
  • Auto-dimming driver's side mirror.
  • Bright exhaust tips.
  • LED fog lamps.
  • Automatic high beams.
  • LED headlamps.
  • Heated, manually-folding dual power mirrors with memory and turn signal indicators.
  • Power moonroof.
  • Security approach lamps.
  • LED taillamps.
  • Rain-sensing wipers.
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
  • Aluminium sport pedals.
  • Dual-zone electronic automatic climate control.
  • Heated/cooled 10-way power adjustable front seats with memory for the driver.
  • Rotary gear shift dial.
  • Premium leather seats.
  • Two smart-chargins USB ports.
  • Premium leather-wrapped heated steering wheel.
  • One-touch power windows.
  • A 12-speaker Sony audio system.
  • Blind spot information.
  • Enhanced active park assist.
  • Intelligent access with pushbutton start.
  • Lane-keeping system.
  • Rearview camera.
  • Remote start.
  • Reverse sensing system.
  • Smartgauge with EcoGuide.
  • Eight-inch touchscreen.
  • SYNC with Apple CarPlay.
  • Universal garage door opener.
  • Voice-activated navigation.
  • With that much content in the standard equipment column, the available options are few---our tested had 18-inch machined-aluminum pocket wheels ($695) and rear inflatable safety belts ($225).
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi trunk with battery pack
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi.
The only downside to the Energi?  The trunk space eaten by the battery pack.  Which might make it a  no-go for a lot of families still interested in a sedan.

With $875 destination and delivery, the bottom line would have been $43,100, but Ford factors in a "Fusion Energi" discount of $2,000, which makes the final price of $41,100 come out $205 less than the base price.

Whatever.  The car itself is terrific.  If Ford's 110-plus-year run of sedans is going to end, it's going out on a high note.