Rapid Review: 2014 Ford Fusion Energi

With gas prices up and down all the time, many people are turning to hybrids to save money and for some people, this is an excellent strategy. Some people go all the way to plug-in electric hybrids like the Fusion Energi I am driving this week.

I have been high on the Fusion since the big change in 2013, and I’m not the only one. Sales are through the roof this year. This is my first exchange with the Energi. I’ve helped a good number of people get the Energi, especially on the West Coast shows, and people really seem to love the car and the fuel economy in this front-wheel drive, Aston Martin-looking family sedan.

If you haven’t driven a plug-in electric like Prius, Volt, or now Honda Accord, it is pretty simple. Plug your Fusion Energi into a regular 110V outlet overnight, and 7 hours later you have a fully charged all-electric car. If you want to install a 240V outlet, charging time drops to 2 ½ hours. Once charged, you can go 21 miles without burning a drop of gas. In mild temperatures, that number can go as high as 25.

If you run out of battery power, the Energi seamlessly shifts to hybrid mode and it operates like any hybrid, alternating between gas and battery depending on the speed you are driving. The system when running on gas has 141-horses VIA a 2.0-litre 4- cylinder and a CVT transmission. The results are exceptional. When running on the electric engine, you get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon. When operating as a hybrid, you get 43 combined city and highway.

The car itself is exceptional no matter which powertrain you get. For those with short commutes every day, you can go months without buying any gas. Estimates for the additional cost of charging the car is about $1 per day. SmartGauge helps the driver maximize fuel economy. In hybrid mode, the regenerative brakes capture energy to help recharge the batteries.

My tester is the SE version, and it comes fully equipped with leather heated seats, all power equipment, keyless entry, climate-controlled air, keyless entry, aluminum wheels, and a lot more.

Options on this particular car includes active park assist, which will parallel park for you, adaptive cruise control, navigation system, rear inflatable seat belts, lane minding system, reverse sensing and rearview camera, and blind spot monitoring. Optional equipment adds up to $5125.

Fusion Energi has an awesome interior and the Ford Sync system works great and is much simpler than I remember. Some reviewers think the battery pack makes the car drive heavy, but I didn’t notice that at all. Interior room is good, you do lose some trunk space due to the battery pack, but it’s still ample.

The decision is whether to get the regular hybrid Fusion or the plug-in Energi. The regular Fusion hybrid runs $11,500 less. For me, the Energi model math would work for people who have a 10 miles or less drive to work or school, one way. With the Energi version, unlike some electric cars, you can take this car cross-country if you wish. It has a total range of 620 miles on one tank of gas.

Fusion Energi is not right for everyone, but for some, this is an outstanding vehicle.

What I liked most: Driving dynamics and of course, fuel economy.

What I would change: I would like to see the Energi price closer to regular hybrid price.

MSRP: Base price $38,700, as equipped $44,620.

Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 43 City/Highway combined.

Weight: 3913 pounds

2014 Fusion Energi in a few words: Great car for certain drivers.

Warranty: 3 year/36000 bumper-to-bumper, 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain with roadside assistance, 8 year/100,000 mile on hybrid components.

Dealers: If you want any kind of Ford, we have dealers in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Lubbock, Austin, San Antonio, Cleveland, and Phoenix.

Manufacturers website: http://www.ford.com/cars/fusion/trim/seenergi/

Photo Credit: Ford

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