2018 Ford Fusion Energi: An Eco-Friendly Farewell to the Fusion

    Posted by Shane Kalicharan about 3 months ago

    Trucks, SUV’s and Crossovers seem to dominate Canadian roads. So much so that many of Ford’s smaller choices are being axed in favour of their better selling larger counterparts in favour of SUV’s and trucks in North America. That’s expected to happen by 2020, but until then, there’s still a lot of inventory to be moved, including the new Fusion Energi. Ford does offer a Fusion Hybrid alongside the Fusion Energi. What’s the difference? There are a couple, but the most significant is that the Energi is a plug-in hybrid, allowing you to charge the car when not in use…provided you have a power outlet available.

    Under the hood of the Energi is a 2.0L 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine. Without getting too technical, the Atkinson-cycle increases an engine’s efficiency at the cost of power. Helping it pick up the slack is a 7.6 kWh lithiuim-ion battery, giving the car a total power output of 188 horsepower. It’s no Mustang GT, but you shouldn’t expect it to be. Helping drive the power is a CVT transmission – the only choice on the Energi. It’s not the most exciting or engaging combination. But despite the almost anemic acceleration, the Energi is certainly capable of getting up to highway speed. But when you’re driving through the city or other low speed areas, the Energi packs a punch, running solely on its electric motors. The instant torque and the quiet are both calming and addicting. You’d be forgiven for launching forward at every green light. But not too hard, because once more power is needed, the gasoline engine kicks in with a jarring drone. Braking is adequate, but we expected more aggressive regenerative braking to help recoup lost power to the battery.

    Aside from the apparent environmental impact, arguably the biggest reason for buying a hybrid is fuel economy. So how does the Fusion Energi rank? Ford claims efficiency readings as good as 2.4 Le/100km, when taking into account electric driving combined with gas, with a mix of city and highway. On gas alone, that figure goes to 5.6 L/100km. Our daily driving, combined with a road trip to the Ottawa area from Toronto yielded an average readout of 6.1 L/100km. It’s also worth noting our hotel would not accommodate us charging the car, so for an entire weekend, the car ran strictly on gas. But even without the electric motor, efficiency was still strong in the vehicle.

    The Fusion Energi doesn’t just shine in fuel economy though. It’s actually quite luxurious – when you pay for the Platinum trim level. Our tester featured a sharp looking two tone interior complete with diamond quilt pattern on the heated and ventilated seats. Ford’s SYNC infotainment system is straightforward, easy to use and capable. The Energi comes wit the latest version of the touchscreen software. As pretty as the interior is though, there is a notable drawback that could make or break one’s purchasing decision. The Fusion has a nice looking rear end, but don’t expect much junk in that trunk. Because of the hybrid system’s presence, the Fusion Energi ends up losing half of its available trunk space over the gas model. This is a common issue in vehicles that weren’t designed from the ground up to be a hybrid.

    Starting at $29,588, the Fusion Energi is an affordable way to get into green motoring. But once you start ticking options, be aware of the cost as it can add up faster than you might think. A Fusion Energi, decked out like our tester was, could set you back nearly $45,000 before any applicable provincial rebates. Even though the Fusion seems like it could be on the chopping block, it’s still a very good option for anyone needing an efficient, roomy, comfortable hybrid that doesn’t look like a spaceship – so long as you don’t need a big trunk and sporty performance chops to go with it.

    Tags:
    Ford, Fusion, Ford Fusion Energi, Hybrid Vehicle, PLug in Hybrid, Green Vehicle, 

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