Editor’s note: AutoTrader is spending 100 days living with a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford Fusion. The vehicle’s main driver is our managing editor: a young, working mother of two. Our goal is to see if the Ford Fusion Energi is easy for an average family to use on an everyday basis. If you’re looking for information on a newer Ford Fusion Energi, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Review.
Hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. Even well-known, mainstream cars from Ford, Honda and Toyota are available with some form of alternative energy source. Anyone shopping for a new or used sedan or hatchback is likely going to come across such cars as the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, Ford Focus Electric, Toyota Camry Hybrid or Ford Fusion Energi.
Do these cars really live up to their promise of offering great fuel economy and real-world usefulness? To find out, we’re spending 100 days with a Ford Fusion Energi. The primary driver will be our managing editor, Tara, a full-time-working mother of two young children. If anyone is in a position to assess the Fusion Energi’s real-world practicality, it’s her.
The Energi label on our Fusion means this is a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. The car can function like a traditional hybrid, running on a combination of gasoline and electricity in order to maximize fuel economy, or it can run solely on electricity for a period of time through its small battery pack. There’s a more detailed explanation of these cars in our What Is a Plug-in Hybrid? article. See the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi models for sale near you
Good-Looking but Pricey
We chose the Ford Fusion hybrid for a few reasons. First, we’ve long been fans of the way the recently updated Fusion looks. It’s attractive inside and out, and it offers compelling features such as Ford’s SYNC information and entertainment system. Second, we chose the Fusion because it’s a decent-sized sedan, something we think will work well for our working mom.
If you’re looking at a new Ford Fusion Energi, it costs between $35,000 and $37,000 depending on which version you choose. Our test car is the Fusion Energi Titanium, which includes features such as push-button start, rear parking sensors, remote start, 10-way power front seats and customizable interior lighting. The less expensive Fusion Energi SE does not include these features as standard.
The price may be a barrier for some, as the non-hybrid Fusion starts at about $23,000 and already gets decent fuel economy.
Mpg and Mpge
Of course, the plug-in hybrid version of the Fusion gets better-than-decent fuel economy; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the Energi to get 95 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.
Mpge is an estimate (that’s the "e") of miles per gallon in cars where no gas is used. Since the Fusion Energi can run on electricity only, it gets an mpge rating of 88, meaning that in combined city and highway driving, it can get the equivalent of 88 mpg.
One of the factors we’ll be closely examining is the Fusion Energi’s electric range. It can operate as a purely electric vehicle for up to 19 miles depending on the conditions.
In some ways, our 100 Days With a Plug-in Hybrid is an experiment. Plug-in hybrids are expensive, but does the savings in fuel and the convenience of not having to buy gas every week make up for the initial price tag? Can average commuters really get to work and back on just electricity? And finally, will the car be functional enough to make sense for a young family? Check back every week for updates on our 2014 Ford Fusion Energi. Find a Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid for sale
For the purposes of evaluation, the manufacturer provided a car to AutoTrader free of charge.