Mileage Loop: Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford says the Fusion Hybrid “gets the best fuel efficiency of any mid-size sedan on the road.” Nice claim, but in fact, the Toyota Prius is officially a mid-size sedan. The interior measurements pretty much stack up the same:

 
2010
Ford Fusion Hybrid
2010
Toyota Prius
Headroom (Front)
38.7
38.3
Headroom (Row 2)
37.8
37.6
Hiproom (Front)
54.0
52.7
Hiproom (Row 2)
53.3
51.2
Legroom (Front)
42.3
42.5
Legroom (Row 2)
36.0
36.7
Shoulder Room (Front)
57.4
56.1
Shoulder Room (Row
2)
56.5
53.1

The MSRP for a Ford Fusion Hybrid and a fully loaded Toyota Prius are identical: $27,270. So, the contest between the two comes down to mileage. Official numbers for Ford Fusion are 41 in the city and 36 on the highway—while the Prius delivers 51 in the city and 48 on the highway. We’re not saying that the Fusion Hybrid isn’t a great car—it is—but facts are facts.

We recently took out the Fusion Hybrid to test its real-world mileage on our usual twice-around 112-mile driving loop from Havre de Grace, Maryland to Towson, Maryland to Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and back to historic Havre de Grace. Roads were mixed, comprised of everything from Interstate 95 to stop-and-go city driving to open country roads. The first run was with a light foot and a very conservative driving style, while the second was more ambitious and spirited.

As a saint behind the wheel, we managed a solid 47.4 miles per gallon in the Ford Fusion Hybrid. On several occasions, we were able to keep the vehicle in all-electric mode all the way up to 40 miles per hour. Even when using the EV button on the 2010 Prius, all-electric driving promptly cuts out at 26 mph.

On our second, more assertive spin, the Fusion Hybrid got 32.7 miles per gallon. While that’s a fairly steep drop, our run with a heavy foot showed that the Fusion Hybrids has quite a bit of power. You don’t need to use it, but it’s there. The gas-electric combination gives the Fusion Hybrid a noticeable boost on the highway. The Fusion Hybrid pairs a 155-horsepower 2.5-liter Atkinson four-cylinder engine with a 106-horsepower electric motor. Combined output is 191 horses—compared to the Prius’s 134 horsepower. The Fusion puts its power to good use, offering quick capable turns and good responsiveness.

The cabin of the Fusion Hybrid is spacious for four, and suitable for five. It’s comfortable and well equipped. Safety comes from six standard airbags, ABS, electronic stability control, and an available Blind Spot Information System. For a plusher ride, the hybrid offers optional heated leather seats, moonroof, navigation, and a rear-view camera. The trunk is larger then that of most mid-size sedans.

In the End, It’s How You Drive

Ford’s SmartGauge on the instrumental panel gives feedback on driving habits to help achieve higher fuel economy. Unfortunately, this feature feels like a novelty, and a bit overdone. Ford designers apparently do not subscribe to the theory that good fuel economy, ultimately, comes down to common sense and basic driving instincts.

The dashboard SmartGauge rewards drivers with an animation that grows green leaves when the car is operated in an efficient manner. It’s the equivalent of getting smiley face stickers back in grade school when you did something right. And when you’re driving inefficiently (or being bad), leaves are taken away. It’s like a video game on wheels. On our first drive, we grew 20 leaves for most of the trip. On our second mileage loop, the leaves fell faster than a late fall day in New England. We couldn’t help but feel that an “instantaneous miles-per-gallon” readout and a power-flow graphic would be quite sufficient.

Petty complaints notwithstanding, our mileage loop proved that the Ford Fusion Hybrid—if driven with a light foot—can achieve mileage in the mid-40s. That makes the Fusion Hybrid the first American hybrid sedan to hit the mpg big leagues. And earns Ford a spot on any hybrid buyer’s consideration list.


  • Jon L

    Here in nortwestern Vermont there are plenty of Prius owners and what I would consider as many inconsiderate Prius drivers. I’ll take a few more ponies and six airbags any day in the Fusion so I could be safe and stay out of their way. Automobile Magazine’s only beef with the Fusion was a tad squishiness in the brakes and that was in a hybrid focused issue. Let’s face it. Toyota has some competition now against it’s aging design.

  • Todd1964

    Facts are Facts: The Prius is pretty hideous, the Fusion Hybrid is pretty stylish.

  • James_P

    The first paragraph is incorrect, because the Prius is a hatchback, not a sedan. If you compare the Fusion Hybrid to similar cars, like the Camry Hybrid or Altima Hybrid, you get a better idea of just how good the fuel economy is. The Prius does get better fuel economy, but it’s nonetheless a completely different style of vehicle with much different driving characteristics that not everyone likes.

  • Greenleaf

    I like the design of this car. It looks nice. The best part is that it is a hybrid car, can save more fuel. :)

  • Subjective Taste

    style is personal taste. Improving on an ageging design is not all bad, that`s toyota`s game. I like hatchback, it is more flexible.

  • Jon L

    If Ford dropped a battery pack in a Flex that would make one nice rice ride for the wagon/hatch market.Tons of room and style.

  • Anonymous

    So it has the same amount of passenger room as the Prius but it doesn’t offer the versatility and cargo capacity of the Prius hatchback design. If there is any design that is aging, its the entire concept of the the small sedan. With the rise of comparably sized and price hatchbacks, the small sedan is obsolete. I don’t really understand the attraction to sedans. It’s the least practical body style out there. People who are downsizing from small SUVs and large station wagons are looking for something that is fuel efficient still has good cargo capacity. If you want a small fuel efficient car that can still haul your stuff around, get a hatchback.

  • NevynPA

    What did the Prius get on the 2nd run, under “heavy foot” driving?

  • Nelson Lu

    I had been pondering about the claims that the Prius had more cargo space than the Fusion Hybrid. Yesterday, as I walked by a Prius, I looked hard and hard at the hatch, and I think I figured out the issue with the claims: if you actually use all of the claimed cargo space, you’ll end up with a very obstructed rear view. That wouldn’t happen with a Fusion (or any sedan).

  • Personal Taste

    Prius’ rear view is like all hatchback, not the best with or w/o full cargo but adequate. But if compared to same loading config as sedan, the blockage is min. The full blockage may only occur when it is loaded to the roof, no different than loading passenger seats in a sedan to the roof line.

    The only other minor advantage of a sedan IMHO is some ability to seperate smelly cargo.

  • Anonymous

    Clearly, Anonymous, hatchbacks are perfect for you. However, your supposition that hatchbacks are right for everyone is absurd. It’s rather like arguing that all homes should have an open floor plan!

    My wife and I own both a Camry Hybrid and Prius, so I’m acutely aware of the differences.

    Advantages of the sedan:

    Sedans’ segregated trunk allows one to store a laptop, purchases, or other valuables out of view (Advantage: Security)
    * This vastly lowers the risk of theft: no temptation or expectation of goodies back there
    * It also protects these items from thermal and solar damage, a very important advantage in the south!

    Sedans have much less glass surface area, making them far cooler and quieter inside. (Advantage: driving environment)

    Trunks allow one to store all items out of view, allowing for a squeaky-clean, clutter- and projectile-free interior. (Advantage: Safety)

    The trunk also allows one to store odoriferous items like mulch, lawn care products like organic fertilizers , and gasoline cans where they will not offend. (Advantage: Smell)

    Each vehicle type has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For me, the advantages in security, driving environment, safety, and smell make the sedan an easy choice.

  • Tim F

    I bought a Fusion Hybrid. It’s a wonderful car. It drives like a really nice sedan and doesn’t have that tin boxy feel you get in the Prius. Ford has hit one out of the park.

  • jps

    I don’t have the actual stats in front of me, but I am pretty sure that even though they are both considered “mid size” the fusion has significantly more space for actual people, while the Prius, with it’s hatchback format, has equivalent cubic volume, just not in places people actually use (hip, shoulder, etc).

  • DJB

    The more vehicles that can break 40 MPG the better. Personally, if I wanted a car I’d probably choose a Prius over this one for the fuel economy, but others may value the power or the design and choose the Fusion.

    Whatever. No single product will solve our environmental and national security challenges. It will take a variety of products and behaviors to get us where we need to be.

    Remember: you get the best fuel economy when you walk :)

  • Anonymous

    jps did u even read the article? all the spec u mentioned are in there and compared side by side

  • Anonymous

    ur description of advantage safety & security are the same just different way to see the issue. If u really own a prius u’d know that’s what the screen cover is for, just like most hatchbacks & even some suvs

  • Steve M

    I’ve had my Fusion Hybrid a little over a month. I’m averaging 41 mpg overall, with by best single trip average so far at 69.3 over about 15 miles (mostly downhill). It is a wonderful car and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a new hybrid. If you are looking for pure fuel efficiency, go with the Prius. But if you want car that drives great, looks great, has plenty of power when you need it, and gets great gas mileage, Fusion is the way to go!

  • Nelson Lu

    The screen cover does not provide the same kind of separate as a trunk cover. In any case, even if it did, it would basically negate any supposed cargo space advantage that the Prius has.

  • Nelson Lu

    And I’ll say this — the third generation Prius is probably now justifiably considered midsize. The second generation Prius is only “midsize” based on EPA’s definition of “midsize.”

  • Detroit Guy

    This is just the start. I’m pretty excited. Desperate times are gonna produce some great cars. I’ll take the American Auto any time. I currently own a Fusion (not hybrid). It’s a great car, gets good gas mileage, and looks good doin’ it. What does a Prius even look like?

  • Peter

    I have a Fusion Hybrid. Most fun car I’ve driven in a long while. Do not like the hybrid look of the Insight and Prius and hate the centered dash of the Prius. When the Fusion came along, I jumped at it, price premium and all. 45 mpg over 1300 miles of driving. I avoid 4 lane highways and crave back roads where the Fusion shines. Awesome instrumentation, versatile Sync system, safety features galore including blind spot warning system, back-up camera, side traffic alert, many air bags. Most comfortable seats I’ve enjoyed in a long time, even a power passenger seat. 12 speaker Sony system shines Sirius songs and Nav system displays sports scores, gas prices, places to eat, etc. Nav system reverses colors at night to reduce glare, instant choice of ambient lighting colors. My first new American car in over 40 years, driven by my desire to reduce carbon footprint and support an American company. I’m betting the Fusion Hybrid’s resale value on Ford’s finally seeing the light. Rating: 98 out of 100. Drive one!

  • Detroit Guy

    I developed all the interior textures on the Fusion. I use to deveope textures for all Auto companies. The Fusion is one of the best interiors out there. When you sit in one, you feel it. With everything Peter just said, I think Ford put it all together on this one.

  • Charles

    One more time. The Prius is not a sedan. I do not care what size it is, or that Consumer Reports lists the Prius as a sedan. It is a hatchback (at least Gen 2 and 3).

    I prefer a station wagon. If forced I would buy the hatchback Prius over a Fusion sedan. If forced to buy a sedan, it would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

  • Anonymous

    @ nelson: of course the screen cover is not exactly the same separation as sedan. The comment was addressing perceived security difference. Functionaly there is minor difference in security. If someone breach the interior, neither car will secure trunk contents. The point is hatchback has option of connecting spaces to make it flexible (eg carry a bike or 2). Sedan does not. I have a sedan now, there’re much more limitations in cargo due to the fixed separation even if there is fold down seats

  • Nelson Lu

    Anonymous write:

    “The point is hatchback has option of connecting spaces to make it flexible (eg carry a bike or 2). Sedan does not.”

    Most sedans do these days, via folding backseat. (The Fusion Hybrid does not, however, although the convention Fusion does.) A convention Fusion will clearly have more cargo-carrying capacity *if needed* than a Prius, although when configured in such a manner, it would be able to seat only two or three, depending on whether the back seat is folded down 40%, 60%, or 100%. (Both the conventional and the hybrid Fusion can also fold down the front passenger seat, although I don’t think that really adds to cargo capacity.)

  • Brandon

    I have had the fusion for two months (1100 miles) and it is a superb car. In regards to the SmartGuage, it is true that the leaves are a bit gimicky. There is another gauge setting though (I do not know why its not a default guage) which lets the driver see how much power can be given to the fusion before the car will switch to gas. This is a very useful tool that allows me to cruise at 40+ mph in EV mode. By watching this guage, I can get 50+ mpg in a trip. Forget about the midsize arguement. The Prius has better MPG and the Fusion has more power. They are both great cars.

  • russ

    fuel economy is important to me but getting out of the way of inconsiderate drivers who are intent on running over anyone in their way takes precedence. I’ll take the horses in the fusion and the look of the sedan is a plus. I’m not going to dis the prius it has been a catalyst for the hybrid market and i respect toyota’s contribution.

  • Anonymous

    Russ, u are inrefering prius drivers are inconsiderate and run others off the road. I find that comical since people often complain the opposite – they drive too slow (ie only within the speed limit). Furthermore there are probably much more other drivers who do that, Bmw & Acura drivers come to mind base on my experience as a pedestrian & driver. There are bad drivers in any make. I dont see how more HP will make it less likely to run others off the road. One can easily say by choosing lower MPG car u are being inconsiderate. There is nothing wrong with liking Fusion over Prius. But dont bash the other with false statements to justify your reason, even when your post claimed that u are not going to do.

  • Anonymous

    @nelson: so are we comparing hybrid to non-hybrid versions? That seems difficult because chances are no one car is going to beat spec of multiple vehicles. Carrying 2 bikes is just an example, & i’m still skeptical that a reg Fusion can do that with folding seats unless they are kids bikes?

    Another example, try to haul a long cylinder object such as a water heater (say 40 gal or so), the fixed separation will make it impossible unless its on the roof. Another example, matress has better chance of fitting into hatchback.

    The key is most hatchback has a clear advantage of verticle clearance over a comparable sedan.

  • Nelson Lu

    Anonymous — I wasn’t claiming that the Fusion Hybrid had more cargo capacity than the Prius (3d Gen.); what I was responding to was your comment that hatchbacks *in general* are more versatile with their cargo-carrying capacity than sedans *in general*, which is not correct given the sedans’ ability to fold the backseat. (Again, that’s not true of the Fusion Hybrid, and I was not claiming that it is true of the Fusion Hybrid.)

    In your water heater example, I think that a conventional Fusion should be able to handle it with the backseat folded, given that it has a fairly tall trunk. Certainly I think my old Lincoln LS could have done it (with the backseat folded), and that sedan had a much smaller trunk than the Fusion.

  • Max Reid

    Its time for Ford also to come with a Hybrid Hatchback.

    Hatchback’s offer more space because of their design.

    However compared to Camry hybrid, Fusion hybrid is far superior.

    Its time for Americans to realize this and buy their superior local product instead of blindly believing that Foreign is better.

  • hybrid car owner

    since I use my first ford. hybrid version I always wait for the new model and technology used. I think ford should produce a small hybrid car that is comfortable to the mothers, who need practical vehicle to shop, take the school and others.

    My hybrid car site

  • simon@syd

    Good point about smell. That is a disadvantage of hatches. I guess this ford is more like a camry hybrid? how does it compare there?

  • Nelson Lu

    Simon — we’ll have to wait to see how the reliability goes. It’s otherwise got a (slightly) more powerful engine and significantly better gas mileage than the Camry Hybrid. I also feel the ride is better than the Camry Hybrid. Price-wise, the very basic Fusion Hybrid has a slightly higher price than the very basic Camry Hybrid, but as equivalently equipped (to the extent possible) the Camry Hybrid is more expensive. (However, that also depends on incentives, of course; in our local area the Toyota dealers are offering $2,000 rebate or 0% for 36 months on the 2009 Camry Hybrids right now, presumably to make room for the 2010.)

  • Charles

    I just got back from two back to back trips that covered almost 4000 miles. I had two bikes inside the vehicle along with luggage for two, a cooler and some camera and computer equipment. A Gen 2 Prius (which was an option) would not hold all of this stuff. A Fusion also would not. A 2004 Focus station wagon did. The Focus got 35.5 MPG for trip including the in town driving. If we had put the bikes on top of a Fusion Hybrid it would have gotten worse mileage. If the bikes were on top of the Prius the mileage would have been a bit better, but the security of the bikes would have been much less and visibility would have been much worse.

    What is my point? The Fusion Hybrid and Prius are both great vehicles, but not always the best option. We need more options for high mileage vehicles. A Ford C-Max/Mazda 5 hybrid would be great options.

  • Nelson Lu

    Charles, I understand your point about the Focus, but it really sounded like what you needed was an Escape Hybrid…

  • Blue

    Not a local product. Made in Mexico, If I’m going to buy foreign I’m buying Toyota or Honda.

  • Nelson Lu

    Given the existence of the North American Free Trade Zone, what is good for the Mexican economy is good for the American economy. You improve the lives of people in Sonora, and the whole North American economy gets better.

    Further, the Fusion was developed in the United States, even if built in Mexico. The Prius and the Honda hybrids are developed and built in Japan. (The Camry Hybrid, however, is built in the United States.)

  • Blue

    Thanks for info. about Camry-Hybrid. It will be my next car.
    Car VIN number must start with 1 or 4 to make sure it’s built in U.S.A.

  • fred smilek

    I been thinking very seriously that this camry hybrid will be my next car…anyways toyota is so reliable that I know this will be a great car for me and my family.

  • Charles

    Dear Fred,

    Here is a bit of data from Consumer Reports on the myth of Toyota reliability.

    Here is a list of the sedans that have a “New Predicted reliability” rating of “Much better than average”:
    Kia Optima both 4 and 6 cylinder, Ford Fusion both 4 and 6 cylinder and the Mercury Milan both 4 and 6 cylinder.

    No Toyota there.

    The sedans that meet the “Better than average” standard:
    for more information.
    Honda Accord both 4 and 6 cylinder, Hyundai Sonata both 4 and 6 cylinder and the Chevrolet Malibu both 4 and 6 cylinder.

    No Toyota there.

    The sedans that only meet the “Average” standard:
    Nissan Altima the hybrid, 4 and 6 cylinder versions, the Toyota Camry the hybrid, 4 and 6 cylinder versions, Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 and the Saturn Aura XR V6.

    There are the Toyotas, in the average rating.

    I left off cars that were not recommended, which can be because the model is too new (Fusion Hybrid), scores too low on performance tests (Pontiac G6 4-cyl) or is not at least average in reliability (Dodge Avenger).

    See: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/sedans/ratings-reliability/ratings-overview.htm

  • WS

    The Prius has a narrow wheelbase and its rear window is almost horizontal. It’s also lighter than the Fusion which gives it better gas mileage. If your looking for a well made car with the best gas mileage go for the Prius. If your looking for a good looking car with with some heft and power and a back window you can see out of go for the Fusion.

  • Jon L

    Let’s just drop the Fusion hybrid power train in a new Mustang body and it will be a 64 1/2 revolution all over again. Ford, are you listening? Electrify a commuter Cobra.

  • Blue

    I looked up Camry-Hybrid at Consumerreports.org.
    The Hybrid Camry is recommended.

  • SweepTheLeg

    Right now I’m trying to figure out if a hybrid is financially worth it. Or course the hybrid will be worth the extra cost if gas goes up to 4 or 5 bucks a gallon but will that happen? Can a hybrid save me money if gas is 3 bucks a gallon and for how long will I have to own my hybrid for it to be financially worth the extra money I’m spending. I’m just playing tug of war with should I buy a hybrid now or wait until my next car to get one.

    Does anyone know if they will ever make a manual hybrid? I think I’m the only guy in the New York Area who hates automatics.

    P.S. Nelson, do you work for Ford?

  • blue_myriddn

    The big difference I see is curb weight:

    Prius: 3042 lbs.
    Fusion: 3720 lbs.

    That extra 700lb has gotta be making an impact on the MPG, so it doesn’t suprise me that hte Fusion can’t compete with the Prius mathematically. I wonder if the curb weight is a criteria in vehicle class

  • RC55

    Here, Here! Great points….additionally, as I’m sure you are aware of, is the acceleration difference of the Camry and the Ford hybrid vs. the slooooow Prius. I personally don’t mind sacrificing a few mpg if it means I can merge into traffic or pass if needed! Since you own a Camry, have you compared it against the Ford yet? I’ve heard Camry’s trunk was downsized for the battery pack. I am going to make a purchase soon of the ford or camry hybrid and am seeking info and comments.

  • European Prius owner

    Hatchback or sedan, both cars have different weights and also very important, the Fussion has double HP than the Prius. That’s against the mileage of the Ford and against the acceleration of the Toyota.

    Next time, compare the Fusion against somo hybrid Lexus. They are more expensive, but also have more power.

  • drvc

    Ok, have had my 2010 fusion hybrid for a month now and I LOVE it! Comfortable, stylish, fun to drive, and yes you get to feel a little bit better about your gas usage. I see so many people doing a double-take when they first see it and one person who got inside said “this is a ford, really??”. You can change the display on the dash and replace the leaves with a less prosiac graph so that’s a petty complaint and should be entirely dismissed. For me I like the look of it over the the other hybrids available. Period. If you’re condsidering any new vehicle the cost of gas at the pump while a factor is not the only thing to consider. The cost of our fuel consumption both in terms of security and safety, the cost to our environment etc. I personally feel it’s about more than just how much you end up shelling out at either the dealership or the pump. I’ve had hatchbacks in the past and while I know some people love them I do not. I have a question for those so concerned about it’s hauling capacity…just exactly how many times over the course of owning any vehicle do you actually need to use it to haul a water heater? Or anythng of that size? Why would you buy a car based on something you might have to do once every 10 or 15 years as opposed to your daily driving needs? You can always have things like that delivered or rent a truck. And by the way, two days ago I brought home a room sized rug in my Fusion, without obstructing my view or my comfort. And yeah, I get the concept of needing a bigger car for hauling kids and sports equipment etc but the vast majority of the time that I see the really big SUV’s on the road they are typically occupied by a single person and that’s just inexcusable. But back to the point, if you’re considering buying the Fusion hybrid, just research it. Check it out on Edmunds.com, CNET, and so on, then go drive one, and make up your own mind!

  • Max Reid

    May-2009 Hybrid sales,
    Ford – 3,906
    Honda – 4,857
    Toyota – 14,846
    GM – 1,739

    Total – 25,348

    I guess its the highest in this year. Probably Hybrids captured 2.8 % share.

    For Ford, this is the record, seems Fusion/Milan Hybrids have sold very well. Also Ford retained #2 share in US market
    pushing Toyota to #3 place. Whether Fusion Hybrid has overtaken Camry Hybrid remains to be seen.

    For Toyota, Prius was launched only on May-18 and so its only a partial month, expect more stronger sales in June.

    Honda sold 2,780 Insights, not as much as expected, although in Japan, they are selling well. As the gas prices increase, its sales may increase.

    Nissan’s hybrid sales are yet to be published.

  • Nelson Lu

    SweepTheLeg: I do not work for Ford. I work for a local government agency that has no business dealings with Ford and in whose jurisdiction there is no Ford factory, and I am not involved in purchasing or selling — anything that could potentially bring me into negotiating with Ford or a Ford dealer on behalf of the agency. I am just a (so far) very happy customer as far as a Fusion Hybrid is concerned. (My past Ford — well, Lincoln/Mercury — cars have not been as pleasant, although they protected me well and had their own merits — good enough to keep bringing me back.) And I don’t think you’ll ever see a manual hybrid — hybrids (of all manufacturers, except for the GM and Mercedes “mild hybrids”) use CVTs for fuel efficiency reasons, and it would be completely incongruous to try to put a manual transmission on them.

    RC55: I believe that the Camry Hybrid’s trunk is very slightly smaller than the Fusion Hybrid’s — perhaps by half a cubic foot or so. Both of them had a fairly sizable portion of the trunk taken away by the battery pack. I do not remember whether the Camry Hybrid’s backseat folds down or not. The Fusion Hybrid’s definitely does not.

    And just to further clarify: the Camry Hybrid is a nice car, and certainly I’d put it on the recommendation list it for people looking for a hybrid. (I myself came very close to buying one.) But the Fusion Hybrid (at least so far, based on my experience — and I do admit I’m crossing my fingers) is a better one. If you’re going for a midsize hybrid (and no, I still don’t consider the Prius a midsize car — but let me not rehash that), why settle for less MPG for a higher cost? (Remember that the Fusion Hybrid still has a $1,700 tax credit until 10/1/09.)

  • steved28

    Just chiming in here as an owner of an Altima hybrid, which I consider a direct competitor to the Ford. The Altima also has a base 158hp and a strong electric (40hp) motor. I don’t know where the article got 105hp for the Ford electric, then states total HP at 191??? My total net HP is rated at 198. But torque (electric) is close to 200 ft/lbs at zero rpm! That is added to the engine torque. This car can always propel you 20mph faster than your present speed in a few seconds, no matter (it seems) how fast you are going. That’s the biggest performance difference I have noticed over the typical sedan. (and no downshifting with the CVT)

    My point is that you should drive one of these cars, you can hardly believe it’s a 4 banger. So if you are the type that would pay extra for an engine performance upgrade (with NO return ever), just buy the hybrid for the added performance. Seems no one ever questions that decision.

    BTW, if the Fusion was available a year and a half ago when I purchased my car, I would have bought the Ford.

  • Nelson Lu

    Steve — I think your Altima Hybrid’s electric motor is actually more powerful than 40 HP. (According to Nissan’s Altima Hybrid specs (http://www.nissanusa.com/altima/specifications.html), the *battery* oddly enough does read 40 HP (presumably meaning that it can output 40 HP at one time), but the motor itself, with no HP figure given, is rated 199 lb.-ft. of torque. The gas engine is 162 lb.-ft. of torque.

    However, when you calculate the effective power of a hybrid vehicle, you don’t simply add the HP or the torque of the two systems together. There is a limit to how much you can draw from both systems together at the same time. That’s why the Altima Hybrid does not have 361 lb.-ft. of torque.

    I forgot to mention that when I test drove the Altima Hybrid, I found it to be a very quality car as well, but I did not like the Nissan suspension, and at that time, it was nearly impossible to find one with a navigation package.

  • simon@syd

    I reckon if this compares well with the Camry then it must be pretty good – good for Ford!

  • Nelson Lu

    I looked more at the Camry Hybrid’s trunk/back seat folding situation. According to Toyota’s Web site, the trunk is actually even a little smaller than I thought (10.6 cubic feet compared to the Fusion Hybrid’s 11.8), but the back seat folds down, which means that, as noted above, when needed, that will provide some additional room. Of course, I didn’t spend enough time with the Camry Hybrid to figure out whether that actually helps with large objects. (With the Fusion Hybrid, even if the seat actually did fold down, it wouldn’t have helped because the battery is right between the back seat and the rest of the trunk space; I think it might be the same with the Camry Hybrid, too, although there may still be a bit of passthrough space to allow long, but thin, objects to fit.)

  • Blue

    80 miles per day $2.50 per gallon
    Five year loan for car
    Elantra
    30 mpg average
    $13,000 on sale
    $234.00 per month loan
    $202.22 in gas per month
    $436.22 total per month

    Insight
    38 mpg average
    $20,000 purchase price
    $360.00 per month loan
    $159.65 in gas per month
    $519.65 total per month

    For me it would take $7.5 per gallon to make Insight break even with Elantra

    Your millage may very.

  • Nelson Lu

    Blue, I don’t know where are you getting the 38 MPG figure for the Insight. EPA has it as 40 in the city and 43 on the highway, 41 combined. The EPA has the Elantra rated at 25 in the city and 33 on the highway, for 28 combined. The difference is bigger than you postulated above.

  • Charles

    80 miles per day $2.50 per gallon
    Five year loan for car
    Elantra
    27 EPA mpg average
    $13,000 on sale
    $234.00 per month loan
    $224.69 in gas per month
    $458.69 total per month

    Insight
    41 EPA mpg average
    $20,000 purchase price
    $360.00 per month loan
    $147.97 in gas per month
    $507.97 total per month

    For me it would take $4.11 per gallon to make Insight break even with Elantra. Who thinks that $4.11 average over the next 5 years is not possible?

    Your millage may very.

  • Nelson Lu

    Well, I do think that the Honda Insight is a poorly designed car for a hybrid. It can be right for some people, but certainly I never considered it.

  • steved28

    You have to compare sticker to sticker. I got $4,000 off my sticker plus $2,350 tax credit. (Altima hybrid) YMMV

  • Blue

    Sorry that’s $6.11 per gallon
    which is not to say I’m down on hybrids
    The Prius 2010 is looking pretty sweet.
    As much as I’d like to buy a local product nothing compares.
    but still the break even point compared to an Elantra is $6.11 per gallon if it costs $24,000

    I wonder what mpg a Prius would get without it’s electric side?
    .25 drag coefficient and 1.8 liter four should do well on it’s own.

  • scout233

    Hey guys, I just wanted say that the Fusion being compared to the Prius is not exactly the best comparison… A more appropriate comparison will be the future Focus hybrid and the toyota Prius. The focus will be built in Wayne, MI and should arrive by 2011.

    Having said that, it is a great challenge for the fusion to even be within shouting distance to the prius–considering the fusion is much more car. And I think the fusion is being very successful in making people reconsider what a hybrid car can be! I am very proud of Ford!! Can’t wait to see what they do for act 2 !

  • Bill Cosworth

    Ha ha again

    this site is a Toyota advert. All this site says is Prius is the best all the time. Its so jaded and biased.

    I am so tired of this site. They keep comparing

    Hummers to Yugo.

    First of all the prius is smaller from the number I see.

    Also they left out the trunk room ummmmm I wonder why.

    The Fusion is larger first of all, its a sedan drives much nicer and is safer.

    So what you pay 100 dollars more a year for gas. I easly do that for more room a safer car that does not turn into tinfoil when its hit.

    Facts are Facts the prius might get better millage if that’s your only data point. But why not just drive a bike then.

    All other things said the Fusion is a Much better car.

    Come on this site is a total joke who ever wrote this article is a idiot.

  • cindy sjerket

    Why are they not comparing this car to a Camey hybrid.

    Oh thats because Toyota owns this site undercover lol.

    I bet they will in a few years when Toyota takes apart the ford to copy it and them make there Camey get better millage

    So Toyota. Bash the other guys until you can copy it.

    Toyota is a total joke.

    C

  • Dave Smith

    If hybrids are the future, I hope the Fusion & Escape are the norm, and the Prius & Insight are the exception. Those cars aren’t just ugly, they’re fugly.

  • Tom

    Toyota’s are the most boring vehicles ever made. I would not buy one even if it was a $1000 cheaper. What is there that is Americans like about Toyota? I see a lot of folks driving a Toyota with an American flag decal in the window. What does that mean? I guess it means I am a stupid American the has helped send more money out of the country to a foreign corporation. Buy American before you bore yourself sick and lose your job.

  • john anderson

    I agree totally with you comments

    This article is a total scam. It makes the Ford look worse when its a much safer car and on top of it larger by far.

    They dont even spec the trunk.

    Also I agree that toyota people are the cause of our massive problem but they are denial when they put a flag on there car ?????

    In japan they wont even allow us to sell US cars. I think obama should put massive restrictions on Foreign cars.

  • DaveMc

    Given the lack of forum for the ford fusion in spite of its availability, and the use of the prius instead of comparable designs like the camry and altima hybrids… I am inclined to lean towards the accusations of a scam article.

    Its like they were unwilling to consider a real apples vs apples design comaprison. Its not a good service to the hybrid community.

  • Anonymous

    Compare the Fusion Hybrid with the Camry Hybrid. Your article is meaningless.

  • DJ Martin

    I agree with the “apples to oranges” comparison. It is also easy to show all the individual measurements only. This makes you think that the vehicles are very close in size. However, when you see the total figures you understand why the Fusion should be compared to the Camry. Here are the figures for all three:

    Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) Prius Hybrid-93.70 Fusion Hybrid-99.80 Camry Hybrid-101.40 (autos.msn.com)

    You see that there is over 6 cubic feet difference between the Prius and Fusion. That is the approx. size of a adult male. In fact, the Prius figure is within .03 cu.ft. of the 4dr Ford Focus.

    It is amazing how many Prius fanatics(owners and reporters) want to knock down any other Brands for building good products. Ford is showing that America can still compete in the world auto market. I’m not trying to wave the flag, but it’s good to see a company, like Ford, roll up it’s sleeves, put the past ideas where they belong(in the past), and begin to work at building vehicles that are good for the customers, country and the world. All this while not taking a “sky-is-falling” attitude about it’s business. Keep up the good work Ford. We are all(at least most of us) rooting for you!

  • Earl

    The Prius maybe a hatch back but has a fraction of the trucnk space when compared to the Ford Fusion.

  • JRD

    I have a FFH [FORD FUSION HYBRID] for a month now and have over a 1000 miles on it.
    I am 66 years of age and 6 foot 4 inches tall and have been a buyer of several new cars over the years and not one foreign brand was in the bunch.
    I am a high performance car lover, my first new car was a 1964 Chevy 409 cubic inch with 340 hp and 4 speed manual transmission, the a 1965 Plymouth 383 ci and 330 hp with automatic, then a 1967 Dodge RT 440 ci and 375 hp with auto and so on.
    I have a 2004 Mercury Marauder with 4.6 liter and 302 hp.
    We traded the wife’s 2004 Monte Carlo for the FFH.
    When I drove the FFH we did not go more than a mile or two when I said this is a great car and proceeded to order one with the navigation package.
    This the first or maybe the second new car I have had where I did not have a complaint in a months time.
    It is quiet, smooth,no wind noise, rides well, drives great and with the nav. package is feature rich.
    Love the white stitching on the leather seats,navigation system, blue tooth system, and the satellite radio plus THE 110 VOLT OUTLET might come in handy for a device that has a small current drain. The backup camera is very nice.
    Not only have I drove all these cars but I have busted a few knuckles working on them so I think I know of what I speak.
    One of the reasons we have the economic problems in this country is because you silly people buy all these foreign cars.
    I know the FFH is made in Mexico and I don’t like that at all but it is still better than a foreign car where most of the profit goes out of this country which does not help the US economy.
    By the way I think GM has good quality cars but they just don’t have the headroom I need with a sunroof which is a must for the wife.

  • Fair and balanced

    I have a Camry Hybrid that just turned over 40,000 miles. I absolutely love the car. It’s less boring than people make it out to be. Don’t look at EPA mpg ratings for these cars, search for actual test numbers. I’m averaging just shy of 39 mpg which is crazy when you fill up with 12 gallons and many times over 500 miles on the trip odometer. I can get over 600 before the light comes on. What I think people should realize is that the Fusion, Prius, and Camry are within 6% of each other in interior volume, all well built, all made in the USA, all have good acceleration (put the petal to the floor). With 4-5 adults in the car, the trunk space is comparable. When I replace my Camry, these three hybrids will be a very tough choice. If you are trying to decide, the Camry and Fusion are very similar and the Prius is uglier (IMHO) but far more efficient and a hatchback. Only YOU can figure out which one works best for YOU. The actual real world mpg on the Fusion and Camry is the same. Go drive all three and check them out real good- you won’t be dissappointed with your decision.

  • RLM

    We happen to own both a Prius and a Ford Fusion Hybrid. We have had the Prius for a year and a half and we are very happy with it. No matter how bad we drive we get at least an avg 45 MPH. Our commute is about 5 miles city/20 miles interstate so not ideal for hybrid, but the Prius does great. Although we have taken it on a few long trips, it is not the most comfortable car on long drives. I am impressed with the head room though.

    A few weeks ago we bought a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. We love this car! I am a gadget guy so it was appealing right away, my wife is a little harder sell but after one test drive she was very excited about getting it. It is like riding on a cloud. Much better ride than the Prius, quieter, and more comfortable. However, the FFH does not get near the gas mileage on the same commuter route we used to take the Prius on. Driving the exact same way and same route it is at least 12 MPG less. My guess is the hybrid logic is different enough to cause the gap. No matter what we do we can’t seem to get the reported 36 MPG on the Interstate.

    One other difference people should know about, we had a large box which was not a problem at all to shove in the Prius hatchback with the seat down. However, we could not get the same box (new car seat) in the Fusion. In the back seat or the trunk. The trunk opening and space is rather small and you can’t lay down the seats because of the battery location.

    Bottom line, the Ford is much nicer to drive and feature full. It also has great safety features like the rear cameral, blind spot indicator, and cross traffic indicators. By the way, the Prius has a backup camera as well but it is much less functional than the Ford and is barely useful because of the wide angle distortion.

    The Prius is much more fuel efficient, has more cargo space, and gets the job done. Once the newness wears off the Fusion we will probably go back to using the Prius for commuting and the Fusion for city and long drives.

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