$18,029 - $25,492

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

"Hybrid car" and "fun to drive" are not two phrases that are frequently found together, yet the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid manages to be both. Its hybrid powertrain delivers ample power for darting through traffic, and its suspension keeps the car flat and composed when going around corners. The Fusion Hybrid is more fuel-efficient than most midsize sedans, including many midsize hybrids.

  • "The Fusion Hybrid's combined fuel economy rating of 42 mpg isn't the best in the segment, but it's still very good. More importantly, though, you don't sacrifice performance to get it: Acceleration is respectably quick and handling is reassuring around turns." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Its smooth ride and quiet-running drivetrain brought a sense of calm to a commute that often inspires frenetic hurling of epithets." -- The Wall Street Journal (2013)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the Fusion Hybrid is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor that together make 188 horsepower. The Fusion Hybrid's combined system output is typical for a midsize hybrid car, though you will get more power from the Toyota Camry Hybrid or Kia Optima Hybrid. A continuously variable transmission (which functions like an automatic) is standard. The Fusion Hybrid will get up to 43 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. That's excellent for a midsize car. Even compared to other hybrids, it's reasonably good, although the Chevy Malibu Hybrid is significantly more fuel-efficient. 

The Fusion Hybrid's powertrain isn't going to win you many races, but it should be plenty powerful for most drivers. It feels especially at home when driving around town, with the electric motor delivering instantaneous power from a stop to help you dart through traffic. When driving at high speeds, many hybrids are unpleasantly loud, but the Fusion Hybrid stays relatively quiet even when you put your foot down hard. Transitions from electric to gas power are smooth and nearly unnoticeable.

  • "The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides adequate acceleration for most driving situations." -- Edmunds
  • "While the Fusion hybrid is not quick, its electric motor adds a nice dose of torque to initial takeoff from a stop, so it doesn't feel poky in city driving. Even under hard acceleration, the four-cylinder's noise is well muffled and never sounds strained." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2017 Fusion Hybrid now has a more efficient motor to go along with its 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and the drivetrain smoothly transitions from low-speed electric takeoff to the startup and engagement of the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine, thanks in part to the hybrid-specific continuously variable transmission." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

For a midsize hybrid car, the front-wheel drive Fusion Hybrid feels fairly nimble. Rivals like the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid have more cushioned rides, but they also feel looser when making turns. The Fusion Hybrid, on the other hand, has decent ride comfort but also stays stable when going around corners. Still, its heavy battery pack and hybrid components make it feel less athletic than the gas-only Fusion. The power steering system is nicely weighted, though it doesn't give you much feel of the tires meeting the road.

As is typical with most hybrid cars, the Fusion Hybrid's regenerative brakes will feel unusual to drivers who have never driven a hybrid before. Regenerative brakes capture the energy usually lost during braking and use that energy to recharge the battery. When harder brake force is needed, they switch to traditional brakes. When that transition happens, it can feel like the brakes are grabbing too hard. Fortunately, most drivers get used to the brakes after some time at the wheel.

  • The Fusion's ride is comfortable, even with the larger 18-inch wheels. The steering is nicely weighted and accurate but doesn't offer much feedback. Brake-pedal feel is good while blending the transition between regenerative and friction modes, but the switchover can still be felt as a change in grabbiness that takes a bit of getting used to." -- Car and Driver
  • "We also like the way the Fusion Hybrid drives around turns: Its steering is sharp and direct, and you'll feel confident and secure when going around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Both the Hybrid and the Energi weigh more than other Fusions and that weight can be felt. The steering is heavier and the suspension is less responsive. It's better than in previous Ford hybrids, but still a real, leaden thing." -- Autoblog

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