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The Ford Fusion Energi Is a Great Used Car Value

Plug-in hybrid and electric cars are some of the fastest-depreciating cars on the market. These alternative fuel vehicles are still relatively new to the market, which is part of the reason why they lose so much of their value so quickly. The early adopters are eager to buy or lease these cars when they’re new — but once they have a few miles and a few years on them, they’re just not worth nearly as much on the used market.

This can be a huge plus if you’re in the market for one of these cars and you’re on a budget — and one of the best values out there right now is the Ford Fusion Energi. “Energi” is the name that Ford gives to plug-in hybrid vehicles. This is not to be confused with the Fusion Hybrid, which has a conventional hybrid powertrain, kind of like a Toyota Prius.

Being a plug-in hybrid, the Ford Fusion Energi runs on electricity and has a gasoline engine that kicks on when you run out of electric juice. It only has about 20 miles of all-electric range, which really isn’t that great — but it’s all you need if your commute is shorter than that, or if you do most of your driving around town. And even when the battery does run out, you get an EPA-estimated 38 combined miles per gallon, which is pretty strong.

What’s great about the Fusion Energi is that it gives you the advantages of a plug-in hybrid in a normal-looking car. A lot of green cars are very showy about being green — like the BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf. But the Fusion blends right in. And while the second-generation Fusion isn’t as competitive as it used to be, it initially marked a return to the top of the mid-size sedan game for Ford, thanks to an attractive exterior, a nice, roomy interior and some generous available tech.

Sure, the Fusion Energi isn’t the greenest, nor is it the most exciting in the world of electrified cars — but I still think it’s a great value. These cars can be had on the used market for less than $20,000, even with the 2017 facelift. Everyone you drive past will think it’s just a regular Fusion — but if you want to keep your environmental friendliness subtle, a gently used Fusion Energi is a great way to do it.

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  1. Unless you need the slightly larger size of the Fusion, a Chevy Volt is much more usable in electric mode. Not only does it have 100-150% more range (depending on Gen1 vs Gen2), but when a Chevy Volt is charged, you can do everything electric, including floor it and stay in electric mode. From what I read at C&D, the Ford will kick in the gas motor if you floor it regardless of charge state. A review of a 2017 Fusion Energi shows that you only have access to a 15.8 second 0-60 on electric only mode, while the Volt gives you access to 8.8/7.1 (gen1/2) 0-60 at all times regardless of battery charge. 

    So even if you have a short commute, you may be firing up the motor on the Fusion for brief periods all the time, never allowing the motor to get fully warmed up, potentially causing maintenance issues down the road. While you can similarly drive 42 miles on a 41 mile charge in a Volt and run the motor for only a minute, it’s going to happen less frequently (due to the vastly greater ev range), and with the use of “hold charge” mode in the Volt, it’s easy to force the gas motor to run during the last few minutes of your commute to get up to temperature. 
    I have over 48,000 miles in my Gen 1 2014 volt, and have a lifetime mpg of over 75Mpg. Honestly 75Mpg is pretty terrible for a Chevy Volt, I simply drive mine long distances for recreational travel frequently, as the Wife and I don’t have kids, so we get out quite a bit to neighboring states for weekend trips, etc. If you’re a normal individual who only takes trips 2-4 times a year, and has access to charging at home, and your commute is under 50 miles round trip, you’ll likely average over 100Mpg. 
  2. I have 51,000 miles on my Fusion Energi and have averaged just over 50 mpg since new. The car is boring to drive but the subtleties of having a plug-in in a normal exterior are cool. 

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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