2011 Ford Fusion

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Discreet but efficient

It seems «à la mode» to talk about hybrids. It’s a part of most politically correct conversation. But after a little more than 10 years the hybrids still only represent 2% of the market. Why is that? Would you ask? It seems that for the most part, impressive fuel economy in a hybrid has been equated with uninspired driving dynamics and yawn-inducing interior design. And while « tree huggers» may argue that hybrid drivers might not care about fun; it is a crucial factor in any car. Luckily for them, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has come to the rescue.

Fun and economy in the same car

The recipe starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine good for 156 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque paired with an electric motor that raises those numbers to 191 hp and 166 lb-ft, respectively. Its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), though great for fuel economy, was a little rattly and slow to respond to more aggressive driving. Ford claims that the Fusion Hybrid can run solely on electric power up to 67 km/h even with the air-conditioning on, and actually we did, but you have to be very gentle on the accelerator and the battery needs to be 50% full. After a normal week in the car and no special treatment, we were able to average around 6.2 liters per 100 kilometers. Considering the size and the practicality, it is outstanding.

Form follows function

The biggest buzz in the new Fusion hybrid is the innovative illuminated 3D like dashboard. The Smart gauge, as Ford call it, is an interactive gauge system that offers detailed fuel economy information and also coaches the driver to maximize fuel-efficiency. You select from four different levels of information (named "Inform," "Enlighten," "Engage" and "Empower") depending on how much data you want on display. Personally, I was hooked on the "Efficiency Leaves," an eye-catching and user-friendly graphic of a plant with elegantly curving branches that grow as you drive. If you really tread lightly, you can "earn" more leaves and branches on your plant. Stomp the gas or the brakes too hard and fast, and your hard-earned leaves and branches start to disappear. It's a brilliant way of changing the way you drive a car, but a little distraction, I admit.

If you want fuel economy without sacrificing a pleasant drive and without digging too deep in your wallet, Fusion is the best hybrid on the market right now.

Spec sheet

Engine

  L4 2,5 l Atkinson cycle DACT + electric motor, 156 hp à 6000 tr/min

    (total HP 191)

    torque 136 lb-pi à 2250 tr/min

    Transmission CVT

    0-100 km/h 9,3 s

    Max speed 170 km/h

Fuel economy : 5,0 l/100 km

MAIN COMPONENTS

Active securityL  ABS brakes, brake assistance, stability control

    Suspension front/rear independent

    Brakes : front/rear discs

    Rack and pinion steering

Tires  P225/50R17

•    DIMENSIONS

    Wheelbase : 2728 mm

Length 4841 mm

Width 1834 mm

Height 1445 mm

Curb Weight: 1687 kg

Turning radius 11,4 m

Trunk 334 l

Fuel capacity 66 l 

Price

Ford Fusion hybrid :  34 499$

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