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2018 Ford Fusion Energi Overview
Plug-in hybrids are a good compromise for those who like the idea of an electric vehicle but worry about not having a large enough driving range for their needs. Additionally, most of these models sport unconventional designs in an effort to stand out—which for some is a huge turn-off. For those who like idea of a hybrid vehicle don’t want to flaunt it, the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is a perfect option.
The plug-in hybrid variant of the Fusion doesn’t look much different from the regular model, with its sloping roofline and a front end that’s been compared to the likes of an Aston Martin. Along with the rest of the Fusion lineup, the Energi underwent a refresh last year that included a revised front end with a new grille and headlights and a new rear end treatment. The only clues that the Energi isn’t your average Fusion are “Energi” badges on the front doors and a charging port on the driver’s side front fender.
Inside, the Fusion Energi looks and feels like a standard Fusion. It features a stylish design and high-quality materials that make it seem like a much more expensive vehicle. Those sitting up front will find that the seats offer the perfect amount of comfort and support for long trips, and the power-adjustable driver’s seat comes with additional lumbar support. The back seat is less comfortable for tall passengers, as the sloping roofline does eat into the available headspace. The biggest space limitation, however, is the trunk—with a large battery taking up a fair amount of room, cargo space drops from 16 to 8.2 cubic feet.
All Fusion Energi trims come with the latest version of the Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Compared to the previous MyFordTouch system, Sync 3 is a breeze to use. The revised interface features large touch buttons and will respond to smartphone gestures like pinch-to-zoom or swipe. Energi-specific infotainment features include charging-station location services and information on power usage.
Power for the Fusion Energi comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at either 188 or 195 hp, depending on whether the charge-depletion mode is activated, and power goes to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Around town, the Energi accelerates at a decent rate. It’s a different story on the highway, however, as the powertrain struggles to get up to speed. EPA fuel-economy figures stand at 104 MPGe city, 91 highway, and 97 combined in electric-only mode and 43 mpg, 41, and 42 when the gas engine is running. The Energi has an all-electric range of 21 miles, which is lower than 27-mile range of the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.
In terms of safety, the Fusion Energi comes equipped with a full set of airbags, traction and stability control, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, automatic emergency notifications when the vehicle is paired with a compatible phone, and Ford’s MyKey, which allows the driver to set specific parameters such as maximum speed or volume for secondary drivers. Optional equipment includes blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, inflatable rear seat belts, lane-keep assist, frontal-collision warning with automatic braking, front parking sensors, and parking assist. While the updated Energi has not yet been crash tested, the regular 2017 Fusion received Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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