When it comes to purchasing a midsize hybrid car, opting to go with the Toyota Prius is no longer a no-brainer. These days, there is plenty of stiff competition within the ever-growing hybrid market. For 2012, one of the Prius' top contenders is the Ford Fusion. Keep reading to compare the pros and cons of the 2012 Toyota Prius and the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Styling: 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid vs. 2012 Toyota Prius
With its high rear-end and quiet demeanor, the Toyota Prius has become a distinguished and recognizable vehicle over the years. However, some still malign the hybrid's aerodynamic, and not altogether athletic appearance. If this sounds like something you've said in the past, then the much more traditionally styled Ford Fusion Hybrid may prove a better option for you. Thanks to a more aggressive front end and customary sedan design, the Ford certainly offers a different appeal.
Inside, the Fusion Hybrid also earns points for a solid fit and finish and long list of high-tech amenities. Of course, these features come with a price, meaning the Prius is a better bargain if you don't mind missing out on things like heated seats and Ford SYNC technology. Both models offer good comfort in the front and rear passenger areas. However, if cargo space is important to you, then the Prius may win you over. Max cargo capacity for the Toyota is listed at 21.6 cubic feet. In comparison, the Fusion Hybrid offers 11.8 cubic feet.
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Performance: 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid vs. 2012 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius comes equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that mates to two electric motors. Combined, this power plant delivers 134 horsepower. This is considerably less than the Fusion's combined 191 horsepower (courtesy of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and single electric motor).
However, the result of more power is a reduction in fuel efficiency. As such, the Prius comes out the clear champion in the category of gas mileage. EPA figures of 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway (50 mpg combined) make the Prius the most fuel-efficient hybrid for the year. The 2012 Fusion Hybrid, while certainly no slouch, falls a little short in comparison. At its best, the Ford model promises 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway (39 mpg combined).
Review full 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid specifications
Review full 2012 Toyota Prius specifications
Safety: 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid vs. 2012 Toyota Prius
Both the Prius and the Fusion Hybrid come standard with a good list of safety features. The Prius offers antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. The Fusion Hybrid deletes the driver's knee airbag, but adds Ford MyKey technology that allows parents to set maximum limits for speed and stereo volume. Optional equipment for the Prius includes a lane-departure warning system and pre-collision warning system.
In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), both models earned a top rating of "Good" in frontal, side and roof strength tests.
Pricing and Features: 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid vs. 2012 Toyota Prius
A base price around $23,000 makes the Toyota Prius one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles for the year. For that price, you'll get a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, auto-off headlights, keyless entry, keyless ignition, steering wheel controls, stereo with CD player and more.
In comparison, the base Fusion Hybrid offers quite a few additional amenities, and starts at $28,775. Base features include 17-inch wheels, security passcode entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery, power driver's seat lumbar support and more. Most of these features are available as upgrades on the Toyota Prius. If you choose to add these features, pricing ends up fairly close to that of the base Fusion MSRP.
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