The 2013 model year is shaping up to be a big one in the midsize car class, with four of the top-selling cars in the class – the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion – coming to the market with significant redesigns. The best-selling car in the class, the Toyota Camry, was redesigned last year. The Ford Fusion Hybrid just threw down the gauntlet, however, achieving an EPA-estimated 47 miles per gallon.

the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid (photo courtesy of Ford)

The Fusion Hybrid, which Ford calls "America’s most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable sedan," is one of five powertrains that Ford will offer on the 2013 Fusion. In addition to the Fusion Hybrid, buyers can choose from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, the hybrid, and the Ford Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid.

The Fusion Hybrid's fuel economy numbers beat the fuel economy of most other midsize sedans. The Toyota Camry Hybrid gets 43/39 mpg city/highway and starts at $25,990. The Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at $27,200. Jalopnik writes, "Sure, the Fusion is a couple grand more than these other options, but it's clearly worth the small price difference." While Jalopnik likes the Fusion Hybrid because they think it's more stylish than the Camry and drives better, determining if the Fusion Hybrid is worth the price difference on a purely economic basis is a little more complex. Based on the current national average price of regular gas (according to AAA) and each car's EPA-estimated combined fuel economy, each mile driven in the Camry Hybrid costs one cent more than a mile driven in the Fusion Hybrid. With a base price difference of $1,210, you'd have to drive 121,000 miles to save enough on gas to break even on the Fusion Hybrid. While the Fusion Hybrid does get better gas mileage than the Camry Hybrid, if your main concern is saving money, the Camry Hybrid is the better deal.

The 2013 Ford Fusion is a critical car for Ford, reports The Associated Press "The Fusion has become Ford's best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it's one of the top sellers in the country. But Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy and features like automatic parallel parking on the new Fusion will help it trounce the perennial leader, the Toyota Camry."

According to data from Automotive News (subscription required), more than 2.5 million midsize cars have been sold in the U.S. so far this year. That's over half of all car sales in the U.S. in 2012. The Fusion is currently outselling the Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, but trailing the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. In fact, so far in 2012, over 100,000 more Toyota Camry than Ford Fusion models have been sold.

The 2012 Fusion is already the top-ranked car in the U.S. News midsize car rankings. The Fusion Hybrid shares the number-two spot with the 2012 Honda Accord and Toyota Prius. The top-selling Camry ranks at number five and the Nissan Altima is number 10. As more reviewers have a chance to cover the 2013 models of the Altima, Malibu, Fusion and Accord, we'll update the rankings so you can see how this midsized melee turns out.

Shopping for a midsize car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.