by Tony West and Jamar Lee
Ford is pulling out all the stops with new high performance and hybrid models. The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid stands to make huge sales for Ford and I’m geeked about it. Why? Because after testing out the Fusion Hybrid I’m spoiled, asking myself, “why can’t all cars just be hybrids?”
The 2013 Ford Fusion is a mid-sized hybrid with a lot of useful flair, much of which enhances efficiency. Like the slotted grille and lower air vents. Behind it, the air conditioning compressor cools the cabin with energy from the battery simultaneously regulating engine shut off. The sloped body style adds to aerodynamics. That along with 17-inch wheels makes the Ford Fusion a head-turner. And the interior is spacious and tech advanced unlike some of the plug in counterparts.
Hybrid Doesn’t Mean Boring
Don’t be fooled by talk of what a hybrid can’t do. The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid proves most critics of electric powertrain wrong with its efficient 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor. The 2.0 liter Atkinson Cycle engine is believed to be 10% more efficient than other 4-cylinder engines. A cleaner engine with a cool lithium-ion battery saves weight and generates more power. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a masterful rendering of working less to achieve more. With an EPA of 47mpg combined, the Fusion Hybrid is “America’s most fuel efficient mid-sized hybrid sedan.” But unlike some plug-ins or EREVs, the Fusion Hybrid is still exciting to drive with up to 188 horsepower on the gas engine and 118 horsepower on the electric motor. Engine torque for the Fusion tops 129 lb-ft and 117 lb-ft for the electric motor.
Hybrid transmission irrevocably spoiled me. Hybrid transmission allows for the Fusion Hybrid to run solely on electric motor when cruising and regenerate energy to recharge the electric motor when running the gas engine. In addition, regenerative braking preserves power braking depreciates and stores it in the battery during the electric drive.
47 mpg’s means I didn’t have to stop at the gas station for four days after I got the Fusion. Ford has made hybrid technology seamless and fun. Thus, most of my driving needs were met with the Fusion; comfort, efficiency, and a need for speed.
Cool Spacious Interior Leads the Rest
With many hybrids and plug-ins from Toyota, Hyundai, and Lexus on the market, the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid has an edge over the competition with its cool functional, tech-savvy interior. The driver is in control of heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, and the Smart Gauge with Ecoguide. The driver’s dash is a full-color LCD with a customizable display. Driver’s can display vital information like battery power, regeneration, fuel efficiency tips, and vehicle info like tire pressure and oil life. While the center infotainment system has an LCD touchscreen with the infamous MyFordTouch system featuring navigation, Bluetooth, Sirius XM satellite radio, and other entertainment options.
The Fusion Hybrid is also spacious enough for a 6-foot person and their tall crew to ride comfortable with 44.3-inches of legroom in the front and 38.3-inches in the rear.
Safety features for the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid includes a Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System, Advance TRAC, electronic stability control, SOS Post-Crash Alert System, and available Active Park Assist.
Auto Correspondent Jamar Lee was very impressed with the interior. A 6’ 1” avid motorcycle rider, Jamar said he felt comfortable in the more masculine 2013 Fusion Hybrid because while he could still hit the gas and get up quick, he saves on fuel, and has plenty of space for the family. Ditto! Jamar said he’s still reluctant to buy a plug-in but the 2013 Fusion Hybrid is electric done simpler.
Few Minor Drawbacks –Still Ahead of the Pack
One thing I didn’t like about the 2013 Fusion Hybrid was the limited traction control. Chicago was hit with major snowstorms during our review and the Fusion was sliding all over the place-even over salted roads. I took me a while to find the traction control button…on the roof. In addition, the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid trunk is too small. And at times, the navigation was unresponsive or lagging. Lastly the driver’s dash is very useful, but reading efficiency tips and computing battery charge info while in motion can be distracting.
But despite a few minor drawbacks, the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid beats out the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrids because of its EPA, energetic ride, and its very useful and comfy driver-focused interior.