2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

The rental car I had for my recent trip to Texas was a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.   Like with my recent Challenger rental, I had the opportunity to choose any car in a certain section.   Unlike the last choice, the choices were not nearly as appetizing.

I had only rented an intermediate class car, so most of what was available was particularly unpleasant looking ‘crossovers’.    These were immediately ruled out.   That left me with either the choice of two different pickup trucks, or a Chevy Malibu or the Fusion Hybrid.   I might have been in Texas, the spiritual home of the pickup, but I had no need for such a vehicle.   Pickps are lousy to drive unless you need to haul a bunch of stuff in the back.  That ruled out the pickups.    I rented the Malibu recently, so the least worst option was the fusion.

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Like many modern cars, the Fusion has extremely raked windscreens.   Visibility is not great until you put the seat down to its lowest setting.      After that, the visibility was pretty good.     It would want to be as the reversing camera has this tiny little baby screen.     The infotainment system was a real let down in this car.   I could plug in my iPhone and it would detect it, after a while.   The system was really sluggish and you would need to wait a bit after the car was turned on before it would recognize the phone.     Sometimes getting it to do so would require the media button to be pressed a few times to clear the error messages about no phone connected via bluetooth.     Randomly, the whole unit would lock up and the phone had to be removed and plugged back in to reset it.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid comes equipped with a 2.0l Duratec 4 cylinder motor.   It sounds rather gruff when pushed, but is adequate to power the car.   It is also equipped with an electric motor for the hybrid system.   I didn’t find the electric motor much use though.   Even feathering the throttle on takeoff caused the petrol engine to kick in.   I could only get the car to say on electric either when coasting at a constant speed below 45mph, or on trailing throttle.

Being a hybrid, it got better fuel consumption figures around town than on the highway.   The hybrid system works better in constant stop/go traffic where the regenerative braking comes into play.   I suspect it actually causes the car to be less efficient at motorway speeds as it just adds weight to the vehicle.     Overall, I experienced 36mpg out of the car.    One of the trip meters still had a few thousand miles since reset and over that time the car was getting 37mpg.   I wonder how much the hybrid system really adds to this in the real world.   The official figure is 47mpg, which seems laughable.

The car prompts you to try and embrace the hybrid lifestyle.  You can change the contents of the display screens either side of the speedometer.   These can show things like acceleration and brake coaches to try and improve mileage.    The strangest thing though was a feature called efficiency leaves.   As far as I could tell, by driving the way the car liked, you could earn more leaves and by driving in a way the car disapproves you would lose them.    It was like Jack had a feral beanstalk.    No longer is an axe required, just a Ford Fusion Hybrid driven like a granny.    Feral beanstalks aside, the most annoying part was the message thanking you for driving a hybrid after you powered down the car.    This has to be up there with some of the particularly annoying greetings some cars provide.

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Boot space is reasonable, but a very odd shape.   Not sure if this is the case for all Fusions, or if this is to do with the Hybrid batteries or drivetrain.   Interior comfort is fairly average, back seat room was ok with the front seat set for a tall drive, but not great.    The best feature was the side mirrors.   they had a little section in the corner with curved glass to help show you what is in the blind spots.   Once you got used to them the worked really well.   if only all cars have this.

The ride was choppy and the car bounced all over the place on a somewhat rough road.   I suspect that has something to do with the trend of fitting bigger and bigger wheels to cars.   No give in the tyres anymore.   This is a family sedan, not a 911.

Overall the Ford Fusion Hybrid is reasonably competent, but the fuel mileage is not as good as it should be in the real world.   It is generally uninspiring to drive.    It is certainly much better than that EcoSport I drove last year.     The 2019 Fusion will be the last regular car in Ford’s line up as they move to an all SUV/Truck strategy (Mustang excluded).   Apparently the name may be re-used for something else.   Seems a shame for it to all end on something rather boring.

Score:  2.5/5

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>