2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Platinum – The Nicest, Most Efficient Ford Fusion Yet
When people think of hybrid cars, they almost always think of the Toyota Prius. While hatchbacks are convenient, the Prius has actually been getting uglier and uglier throughout the years. Now, there’s an element of the hybrid-driving public that wants people to notice how odd their car looks, so everyone knows how environmentally conscious they are being. But in 2008, Ford introduced the Fusion Hybrid, allowing people to save the planet in anonymity – an everyday sedan, with out-of-this-world mileage.
Now, the Ford Fusion is one of those cars that’s easy to mix up with a rental car. It’s a very good car, but especially in the base models, it’s just basic transportation. When the Fusion Hybrid first came out, it beat several key competitors to market in the segment. And once those other sedans did arrive, they couldn’t match the efficiency that Ford boasted. For 2013, it was completely redesigned, and improved in every way. For 2017, you can now get the top Platinum model. Why should you have to suffer to save the environment?
This car gives you all the luxury, technology and safety that you could ever want. The seats are clad in a glove-soft leather, and the rest of the materials are just as nice. This leather is stitched into a diamond pattern on the seats and door panels, and smoothly adorns the dashboard as well. These are touches normally saved for high-end European luxury sedans. There are a few cheaper-feeling buttons that are shared with the base Fusion, but overall this is a great place to spend any amount of time.
The 19” wheels contribute to a very sharp and direct handling feel, something else that’s very nice to have along with such incredible mileage. So, what is the mileage, you ask? How about 43mpg-City, 41mpg-Highway? That highway figure is particularly impressive, considering that hybrids normally work best in stop-and-go traffic where the battery can recharge regularly. Ford has worked to deliver good mileage at steady speed as well.
How does the hybrid system work on this Fusion? It has a 141-hp 2.0-Liter Atkinson Cycle Gasoline engine along with a 118-hp electric motor. There is a supposed 19-mile range in EV-only mode (with the plug-in model), and if you’re gentle enough with the throttle you can get up to 85mph on just electrons. It’s the power of the gasoline engine that gives the Fusion its stellar-highway performance. An often overlooked avenue for efficiency in a hybrid car is the gasoline engine – I feel like some companies just figure that having a motor and batteries are enough. Ford has gone a step further to make the total package as efficient as possible.
The Sync-3 system with the 8” LCD is the best version of the system yet; much more user friendly – albeit not the best-looking interface in the marketplace. The safety features are numerous, with forward-collision alert, automatic braking, radar-cruise control, blind-spot monitor, etc. Almost all fully-loaded vehicles these days have these features, so it’s more of a problem if they aren’t available. And the relative performance of these systems becomes important when comparing cars. In our limited time with the Fusion, the systems worked well – not too intrusive, while still providing serious protection.
In the styling department, this Fusion has the same Aston-Martin inspired grill and handsome proportions of all the various models, but the Platinum adds lots more chrome and more luxurious touches. The overall look is somewhat basic, but it’s a very good-looking sedan. When you add in the technology and amazing efficiency, it makes for a very compelling package. You can now feel good about what you’re doing for the environment – and also feel good about what you’re driving. Go ahead, live a little!
Special thanks to Ford Motor Company for providing the 2017 Ford
Fusion Hybrid Platinum for review.