Gina: Hi! I’m Gina Theodore,
Ryan: And I’m Ryan Lee. You’ve selected AutoTrader’s new car review on the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Gina: Now, right off the bat, this sure doesn’t look like a hybrid.
Ryan: True, it’s hard to distinguish the Hybrid Fusion mid-sized sedan from the gasoline-only Fusion. Only the discrete badging, and unique 17-inch alloy wheels set it apart.
Gina: Now, unlike the hybrid’s subtle badging, this dash is definitely different from one in a typical gas-only car.
Ryan: Right! This is the SmartGauge system. It’s a full LCD instrument cluster geared towards maximizing your fuel economy. Aside from being able to cycle through several different display modes, the “efficiency leaves” feature makes the Fusion Hybrid’s display very unique: The more efficiently you drive, the more the leaves grow - The more aggressively you drive, the more the leaves disappear.
Gina: I suppose if you make a game out of it, you can train yourself to drive more efficiently.
Ryan: Ford hopes the SmartGauge will encourage driving habits that save money at the pump while protecting the environment.
Gina: So, just how efficient is the Fusion Hybrid? Well, the EPA rates the Fusion Hybrid at 41 miles per gallon city, 36 miles per gallon highway, and a combined rating of 39 miles per gallon. The Fusion Hybrid, as with many other hybrids, does well in city driving because the electric motors take over more, using less gas. So, How does that stack up against other mid-size hybrid sedans?
Ryan: The Fusion Hybrid’s combined 39 miles per gallon beats out the Camry Hybrid, with 36 combined, and is only 2 miles per gallon short of the smaller Honda Insight’s 41 combined.
Ryan: Another nice thing about the Fusion Hybrid is its list of standard features. You get SYNC, which is Ford’s voice controlled entertainment and communications system with Bluetooth for a connected phone or iPod, plus a six-disc CD changer, and that’s just a few of the standard features.
Gina: Well, Our AutoTrader test model here includes an upgraded Sony sound system, navigation and Sirius Travel Link. It’s is amazingly quiet, too! I can’t even hear the engine. That’s another neat feature of the Fusion Hybrid. It can run on electric-only at speeds of up to 47 miles per hour.
Gina: But, how does it drive and handle with all that hybrid equipment?
Ryan: The Fusion Hybrid isn’t just about fuel economy. In spite of the weight of the batteries, it handles really well…And just like the standard Fusion, it’s really fun to drive!
Gina: So here it is: a fun-to-drive car with all the room of a family sedan, but with better fuel economy. So, what’s this all going to cost?
Ryan: The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at $28,100. The Camry Hybrid, at $26,400 is a bit cheaper, but doesn’t include all of the Fusion’s standard features. Another competitor is the Nissan Altima Hybrid at $26,780. But the Fusion Hybrid beats it on fuel economy.
Gina: When it comes to hybrids, fuel economy is usually the top priority and the Fusion Hybrid has great fuel economy numbers.
Ryan: Add good performance, a lot of standard features, a roomy cabin and impressive handling and in my opinion, you won’t find a better mix of hybrid efficiency and everyday usability than the Fusion Hybrid.
Gina: There you have it: The 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid: One fuel-efficient, well-made hybrid sedan. For AutoTrader, I’m Gina Theodore
Ryan: And I’m Ryan Lee. Thanks for shopping for your next vehicle right here at AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace.