Exceptional refinement and fuel economy
In the world of popular mid-size sedans, the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid claims to be the current fuel-efficiency champ. Whether that claim is sustained or not (and it won’t, when the 2012 Camry Hybrid will arrive), the Fusion Hybrid is tremendously pleasing to drive and remarkably quiet, yet it’s up against some pretty fierce competition such as the Toyota Camry, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata to name but a few.
Advanced hybrid technology
Hybrid technology has advanced remarkably well over the last decade. The early versions were somewhat crude in operation and didn’t achieve anywhere near the efficiency of today’s setups. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid is a good example of where this technology has gone as of late.
The Fusion’s full-hybrid system enables the vehicle to operate exclusively on electric power more frequently and for longer durations. And the system functions far more seamlessly than before, enabling near-invisible transitions between power sources.
The advancements are no better illustrated than in the Fusion’s ability to crest 75 km/h using only electric power, and to maintain that speed – albeit on flat roads – for much greater distances than previously attainable in hybrid vehicles. Thanks to the liberal use of electrical propulsion, the Fusion Hybrid can squeeze 1,125 km of city-based driving out of a single tank of regular fuel – this according to Ford.
Ford’s economy figures for the 2011 Fusion Hybrid shake out this way: 4.6 L/100km for city driving and 5.4 L/100km when highway cruising. My combination of city and highway meandering netted me an average return that ranged between 5.5 to 6.1 L/100km.
Although slightly greater than the posted data, I was impressed with this “real world” result. I’m not anal about maximizing economy like some hybrid zealots, so for me the numbers were pleasing indeed, especially given the comfort that this mid-size sedan brings to its occupants.
For those that like small inducements to encourage economical driving habits, the Fusion Hybrid is equipped with a tutorial mode built into the instrument panel, the basis of which is an LCD screen that depicts the growth of green leaves on simulated plants. Drive frugally and the leaves propagate while wasteful driving habits claim them.
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