West Los Angeles is a brutal driving environment. Streets are crowded with lots of people in lots of cars, and everyone is in a big, fat, self-important hurry to get somewhere. On the unusually gray and dreary day during which I am briefly evaluating a new 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, I’m riding shotgun while the driver is trying to see how far it will take us on electricity before the gasoline engine fires up and starts consuming unleaded. As a result, we’re in no hurry at all.
Chaos surrounds the Ice Storm Metallic Fusion Energi as we slowly and silently glide along crumbling city streets, ensconced on standard leather-wrapped and heated front seats. Conversation is easy in the quiet cabin, and the ride quality is sublime. If only I could raise the front passenger’s seat off of the floor for greater comfort and a better view out. Perhaps the Fusion Energi’s roomy back seat would have been a better choice.
In any case, thanks to heavy traffic, I’ve got plenty of time to contemplate the details Ford shared about the new Fusion Energi prior to our departure on the short, purely urban test-drive route. This midsize family sedan is equipped with a sophisticated plug-in hybrid powertrain and remarkably refined driving dynamics, with few compromises required in exchange for its 100 MPGe combined fuel efficiency rating.