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2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2017

The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is an excellent mainstream midsize sedan that also happens to be great on gas. The Fusion in general has fine dynamics for its class, from which the Hybrid also benefits. And 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 in combined driving. There's no downside other than reduced trunk space (blame the battery pack).

What's New for 2017?

The whole Fusion lineup has been restyled for this year. The temperamental MyFord Touch infotainment setup has now been replaced by a more user-friendly SYNC 3 system. A rotary transmission selector is a newcomer to the cabin. A push-button start is now standard throughout. The lower S and SE trims now have a 9-speaker audio system (up from a 6-speaker system). And a new Platinum trim level comes in at the top of the range.

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?

$26,550-$37,895

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 hwy/42 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is available in S, SE, Titanium and Platinum trim levels.

The Hybrid S ($26,550) starts with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, dual LCD EcoGuide displays, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a height-adjustable manual driver's seat, a 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.

The Hybrid SE ($27,355) adds SecuriCode keypad access, an 8-way power driver's seat, a 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, a 110-volt outlet, rear parking sensors and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a second USB port, an 8-in touchscreen and 11 speakers.

The Hybrid Titanium ($31,885) has those options as standard, plus 18-in wheels, keyless entry/start, sport front seats, an 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 Platinum ($37,895) 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, which can be fitted to any version.

A rather crudely installed lithium-ion battery pack reduces cargo capacity compared to the regular Fusion. But in fairness, trunk space of 12 cu ft. isn't bad by hybrid standards.

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). Crash-mitigating inflatable rear seat belts are optional.

Available electronic driving aids include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping 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 and 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 front crash 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 offers 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

2017 Toyota CamryHybrid -- Can't match the Fusion Hybrid's fuel economy (38 mpg combined), but still a solid fuel-efficient choice.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid -- Starts out pricier, but the quality is undeniable. Returns 48 mpg.

2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid -- Well-priced, well-equipped, well-made and achieves 40 mpg combined. There's a plug-in hybrid variant as well.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid -- Essentially the same as the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but EPA-rated at 42 mpg combined.

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

Autotrader's Advice

Look at an SE with the options bundle that brings the SYNC 3 system. That should be a good, well-equipped starting point. Then go lower or higher according to budget.

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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.
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid: New Car Review - Autotrader