2018 Ford Fusion Energi Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.5

The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is a solid everyday car. It has good acceleration from a standstill for a plug-in hybrid, but it struggles to accelerate to highway speeds. It's made for comfort, and you'll float over dips and bumps in the pavement. However, you won't get an exciting drive out of this plug-in.

  • The Ford Fusion Energi steers, brakes and handles with the same poise and confidence of the standard Fusion. Except, of course, for the 20-ish all-electric miles it offers. Forced EV-only mode is painfully slow; use the Auto Hybrid/EV mode instead." -- Edmunds
  • Driven sensibly, the Energi is pleasant, and the silent electric-mode operation and smooth ride are totally in character with the Platinum version's luxury pretensions." -- Car and Driver (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Ford Fusion Energi comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make a combined 188 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard.

There's no issue with acceleration in the city, and you'll be fine with the Fusion Energi in around-town driving, as much of it is accomplished with the electric motor as the primary power source. However, the Energi struggles when getting up to highway and passing speeds. Transitions from electric to gas are good, though you may notice a slight lurch when the gas engine fires to life.

The 2018 Fusion Energi gets an estimated 42 mpg combined city/highway with the gas engine running. This is about average for a midsize hybrid. It gets 97 mpg-equivalent combined city/highway in electric-only mode and has an all-electric driving range of 21 miles, which is less than that of many other plug-in hybrids.

The Fusion Energi comes standard with a 120-volt charging cord, which allows you to fully charge the battery in about seven hours.

  • The Fusion Energi pulls away smoothly from a stop, with zero shift sensation whether in EV-only or hybrid mode. But if the gas engine is being used, the Energi lurches forward when the gas engine kicks on." -- Edmunds
  • Around town, electric operation is pretty punchy and swift thanks to the characteristics of electric motors, which provide maximum torque right off the line. That smooth, rapid acceleration peters out, however, once you get above roughly 40 mph, making highway on-ramps an exercise in patiently planning your actions well in advance. The Energi is an extremely quiet car even with the gasoline engine in operation, making for a serene cruising experience at just about any speed." -- Cars.com (2017)
  • "The hybrid drivetrain makes both cars feel quicker than they are thanks to its always-available electric torque. The CVT is surprisingly responsive. The gasoline engine is rather noisy, though, especially at full throttle. With the Energi, of course, this may never be an issue if the commute is short enough. It's cool to be whisked along in silence by the Energi's motor. And the all-electric acceleration is satisfying in its own right." -- Autotrader (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Fusion Energi comes standard with front-wheel drive. It soaks up road imperfections with ease, delivering a cushioned ride. However, the Fusion Energi is not sporty. It has body roll in corners and steering is light, with minimal feedback from the road.

  • The steering is pleasant. Steering effort is quite light, whether you're circulating through a parking lot or cruising at highway speeds. But there isn't much feel or feedback, so it's never clear how hard the tires are working." -- Edmunds
  • "Steering feel is reasonably good, but handling is not the Fusion Energi's strongest attribute: The car's 3,900-pound-plus curb weight is portly – 300 pounds more than the standard Fusion Hybrid and nearly 500 pounds more than a gas-only Fusion SE with front-wheel drive. It leans through corners with considerably more body roll than its siblings, and its tires are better suited for fuel economy than spirited grip." -- Cars.com (2017)
  • The low-rolling-resistance tires prioritize fuel economy over grip, so sharp maneuvers prompt a fair bit of squeal followed by urgent intervention from the stability-control system. Driven more calmly, both the steering and the brakes offer wonderfully natural feel. Hybrids as a breed have come a long way since their early days of shudders, jerks, and unnatural transitions between power sources." -- Car and Driver (2017)

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