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2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2018

The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a great way to be in a superb mainstream sedan -- with plenty of tech, driving fun, comfort and space -- and still save money on gasoline. Although the regular Fusion can achieve 37 miles per gallon on the highway (which is pretty good), this hybrid version tops that with 42 mpg combined. There's no downside, other than reduced trunk space (blame the battery pack) and all-wheel drive is not available.

What's New for 2018?

The Fusion Hybrid comes into this model year unchanged.

What We Like

Great looks; smart handling; high energy efficiency; serious technology; family sedan convenience

What We Don't

Narrow front seats; compromised trunk capacity due to battery pack

How Much?

$26,265-$38,245

Fuel Economy

The Fusion Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Total system output is rated at 188 hp. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT) and front-wheel drive is the only configuration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts fuel economy at 43 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid is available in S, SE, Titanium and Platinum trim levels.

The Hybrid S ($26,265) starts with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, dual LCD EcoGuide displays, tilt-telescopic steering wheel with auxiliary controls, height-adjustable manual driver's seat, trip computer, MyKey parental control capability, Bluetooth, Sync voice command with MyFord mobile app support, a rearview camera and a 9-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input and USB port.

Hybrid SE ($27,215) adds SecuriCode keypad access, 8-way power driver's seat, 6-way power front passenger seat and satellite radio. It's also eligible for some options that don't apply to the S, such as LED lighting, remote start, self-dimming mirrors, heated exterior mirrors with puddle lamps, leather upholstery, heated front seats with driver's-side memory function, 110-volt outlet, rear parking sensors, the Sync 3 infotainment system with a second USB port, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, an 8-in touchscreen and 11 speakers.

Hybrid Titanium ($31,745) has those options as standard, plus 18-in wheels, keyless entry/start, sport front seats, 8-way power front passenger seat, HD radio, and an exclusive 12-speaker Sony audio system.

Other options include navigation, automated parallel parking, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, a sunroof (SE and Titanium) and ventilated front seats (Titanium). The SE and Titanium are also eligible for a self-dimming rearview mirror, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection, forward-collision mitigation, lane-keep assist and an automated parking feature for parallel and perpendicular spaces.

Platinum ($38,245) has everything listed so far as standard, plus a power-adjustable steering column and nicer leather.

The only other extras are inflatable seat belts for the outer rear seats, and they can be fitted to any version.

A rather crudely installed lithium-ion battery pack reduces cargo capacity compared with the regular Fusion. But in fairness, trunk space of 12 cu ft. isn't bad by hybrid standards, and at least the rear seats can fold down.

Safety

The Fusion Hybrid comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and eight airbags (front, front side, front knee and full-length side curtain). Inflatable rear seat belts are optional.

Available electronic driving aids include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist and radar-based adaptive cruise control with forward-collision mitigation.

In government crash testing, the Fusion Hybrid received five stars out of five overall; five stars for front impacts, four stars for side impacts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the regular Fusion its top score of Good in all categories, except for the small-overlap frontal-offset test, where the car still achieved the second-best Acceptable rating.

Behind the Wheel

This is a tech-rich car right down to its cabin. The dashboard and controls have an impressive sleekness. Slimmer types will enjoy the narrow, supportive front seats, but those of a broader build might find them a tad confining.

Rear passengers are well looked after. There's just enough headroom for 6-footers despite the fastback roofline, and legroom is fairly generous as well.

Although the gasoline engine can be noisy at full throttle, the hybrid drivetrain is quite brisk, thanks to instant torque from the electric motor. And the CVT is surprisingly responsive, which makes a welcome change from most units of this kind.

The European-influenced sporty character of the regular Fusion makes its way into the Hybrid. Corners are taken with confidence, while the steering is precise and direct. The ride around town is slightly firm, but not harsh.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid -- All-new for 2018 and capable of 52 mpg combined. Clever packaging means trunk space is unaffected, so there's 15.1 cu ft. to use.

2018 Honda Accord Hybrid -- Also brand-new for 2018. Achieves 50 mpg combined and comes with 17 cu ft. of trunk space.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid -- Well-priced, well-equipped, well-made and achieves 42 mpg combined. There's a plug-in hybrid variant as well. Updated for 2018.

2018 Kia Optima Hybrid -- Essentially the same as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Neither model beats the Fusion Hybrid on trunk space.

Used Lexus ES 300h -- Essentially a luxurious version of the previous-generation Camry Hybrid, the ES 300h can be acquired at a considerable discount via the Lexus certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Autotrader's Advice

The SE version is only marginally more expensive than the base S, but brings more equipment and greater eligibility for options. So that would be our choice, adding some options to taste. But if your budget allows you to aim higher, go right ahead.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid: New Car Review - Autotrader