2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Doesn't Drive Like a Hybrid
The freshman 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid may be the new kid in school, but it's already proven more popular than most of the hybrid upper classmen. Complete with stellar fuel efficiency, functional mid-size cabin space and upscale features, the Fusion Hybrid surprises many green car loyalists with its overall value and, let's face it, American-made heritage. However, of all the reasons to invest in a Ford Fusion Hybrid, the most substantial is the fact that it doesn't drive like a hybrid at all.
Hybrid technology may be great for the environment, but it also tends to lead to some compromises in other vehicle factors. Of these, the biggest compromise tends to come in vehicle performance. The use of smaller, gas-sipping engines and lag-times caused by power switches from the gas engine to electric engines tend to diminish things like acceleration and horsepower. For the first time, Ford transcends these stereotypes.
The 2010 Fusion Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is matched to a single electric engine. These engines work in tandem to provide a total of 191 horsepower. Step on the accelerator, and you'll find that the Fusion Hybrid is just as swift as most four-cylinder sedans available for the year.
Ford quotes a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 8.7 seconds. In comparison, the current king of hybrid technology - the 2010 Toyota Prius - climbs from zero to 60 mph in around 10.1 seconds.
And it's not just acceleration that makes the Fusion Hybrid an able-bodied performer. While a comparison between a traditional Ford Fusion and a hybrid model may indicate a slight downgrade in dexterity, the handling and cornering of the hybrid is eons beyond what other affordable gas-electrics achieve.
Despite the Fusion Hybrid's sprightly performance, it also manages to post some of the highest fuel-efficiency numbers for the year. In fact, with an estimated 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the Ford hybrid is bested by only the Toyota Prius in the mid-size vehicle class.
Naturally, anyone interested in a hybrid will likely be looking into a Prius. Certainly, this best-selling green machine has plenty to offer. However, those wanting a more traditional body style and fun-to-drive performance would do well to test-drive a Fusion.
Beyond performance, the Ford Fusion also over-delivers on interior comfort and available high-tech features. Unlike other affordable hybrid models, cheap, hard plastics are few and far between inside the Fusion's cabin. As a result, fit and finish of the vehicle exudes a high-class feel that helps make the Ford hybrid an affordable alternative to many luxury hybrid sedans.
Throw in Ford-only features such as SYNC voice-activated technology and a SmartGauge that helps owners learn how to drive more efficiently, and the 2010 Fusion Hybrid finds a niche within the hybrid class that makes it an attractive option for a wide variety of eco-conscious drivers.
When comparing the Fusion to the Toyota Prius, shoppers will note that the Prius wins in the categories of fuel economy and price. However, while the Fusion Hybrid is approximately $5,000 more (base MSRP is $27,950), the payoff results in is a hybrid car that compromises far less than the Toyota in pursuit of fuel efficiency.
If you're in the market for a traditionally styled hybrid, then you may also be interested in the Toyota Camry Hybrid or Nissan Altima Hybrid. However, be aware that these mid-size hybrids earn considerably fewer miles per gallon.
For different feature packages and exterior styling, you might also consider looking into the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid. This corporate cousin of the Ford Fusion Hybrid boasts identical engine technology and vehicle architecture.