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2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.6

Many reviewers say the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid offers the best driving experience available in a hybrid sedan. Its acceleration is on par with that of many gas-only midsize cars, and the transition between power sources is nearly undetectable. Some report that its handling, while perhaps not as engaging as that of its gas-powered sibling, is comfortable and even enjoyable.

  • "The Fusion Hybrid is also notable in that its driving dyanmics are pretty much vice-free; it drives pretty much just like a regular Fusion." -- Edmunds
  • "High mpg is a hybrid must, but the Fusion interpretation adds a modicum of fun-to-drive, thanks to precise steering." -- Car and Driver
  • "Yeah, sure, there's some of that artificialness in steering and braking responses that afflicts all hybrids, but it's quite benign, and the car really does go down the road quite well. Anyone who's shopping the Toyota Prius needs to check out this car also." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid isn’t sports-car fast, but power doesn’t take a back seat to fuel economy. Reviewers agree that the Fusion Hybrid has an impressive amount of power and is relatively fast for a hybrid car.

The Fusion Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Together, they make 191 horsepower. In comparison, the gas-only Fusion with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 175 horsepower, which is 16 less than the hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid’s CVT transmission gets dinged by reviewers for being slow and hesitant at times. The EPA says the Ford Fusion Hybrid should get 41/36 mpg city/highway, which is good fuel economy among hybrid sedans.

  • "Power delivery is impressive." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Hybrid's gas/electric powertrain is very well integrated; the transitions between electric and gas-engine power are only slightly perceptible. It delivers better-than-expected go, but the occasionally lethargic CVT transmission is hesitant to ‘kick down’ for maximum power." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The result is acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill in 8.7 seconds, which is reasonably quick for a hybrid." -- Edmunds
  • "Niceties like a more seamless transition between gas and electric make the Fusion Hybrid's driving experience feel more ‘normal.'" -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

Some reviewers don’t like the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid’s handling. They say the added weight of the batteries and a comfort-tuned suspension lead to body roll and understeer, which makes it less agile. Other auto writers, however, think its handling is competent and controlled. The Fusion Hybrid’s regenerative brakes receive mixed reviews. One test driver likes them because they’re not grabby like other hybrids, but another says you have to really push the brake pedal to get them to kick in.

  • "The Hybrid is a step less nimble overall than other Fusions, and its regenerative brakes require firm pressure and more pedal travel than conventional versions." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Even with the Hybrid model, body control through corners is impressive, yet the ride remains comfortable and hushed." -- Edmunds
  • "The Fusion's regenerative brakes do not suffer from the grabbiness found in most other hybrids." -- MSN
  • "On the other hand, the Fusion Hybrid's handling is nothing to write home about. The combination of lugging around hefty batteries and electronics, a suspension tuned for comfort, and low rolling resistance tires results in gratuitous amounts of body roll and understeer." -- CNET

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