Plug-in hybrid technology is relatively new, and as is often the case with many young technologies its limitations and costs are high. The Ford Fusion Energi fights the same battles as other plug-in hybrids with its relatively high price and limited electric-only range. But it stands proud as one of the best-styled, roomiest and most comfortable choices in the category.
The Ford Fusion Energi goes a step further than the regular Ford Fusion Hybrid with its ability to propel itself under pure electric power for about 21 miles before switching over to normal hybrid operation. That's a fairly generous electric-only range, as some plug-in rivals only have an 11-13-mile range. But the significant price difference between the Energi and the standard Fusion Hybrid is difficult to justify for most commuters, especially given that once its all-electric range is exhausted, the Energi gets inferior fuel economy.
That said, if your commute or lifestyle line up with a plug-in hybrid, this one is easy to recommend. Like its otherwise identical Fusion siblings, the Fusion Energi goes about its business in a refined fashion and stands out as a stylish, well-equipped midsize sedan.
Current Ford Fusion Energi
The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi is a midsize, extended-range (plug-in) hybrid sedan that comes in two trim levels: SE Luxury and Titanium.
The Ford Fusion Energi has the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Fusion Hybrid, meaning the combined efforts of the gas and electric power sources provide 188 horsepower and fairly swift acceleration. The Energi's much larger and powerful battery pack allows an electric-only range of about 21 miles, but decreases trunk space considerably. Once the car runs out of battery juice and switches over to normal hybrid operation, it performs the same as the Fusion Hybrid but curiously rates 43 mpg combined, rather than the Fusion Hybrid's even more impressive 47 mpg combined figure. Truth be told, however, this represents a negligible difference in gasoline burned.
Standard equipment highlights for the SE Luxury trim include leather upholstery, heated front seats, keypad entry, dual-zone climate control, Sync voice-activated audio, the MyFord Touch electronic interface and a six-speaker stereo system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface. The Titanium's added perks include a rear spoiler, rear parking sensors, front sport seats and an upgraded 12-speaker audio system. Options include a sunroof, a rearview camera, automated parallel parking, adaptive cruise control, remote ignition and a variety of driver warning systems (blind spot, lane departure and rear cross-traffic).
In reviews, the Ford Fusion Energi performs similar to a standard Fusion, which is to say quite well. Handling is sharp and confident, while the ride is supple and quiet over pockmarked city streets and smooth, wide-open highways alike. The Energi's regenerative braking system can take some getting used to, but is better than most other hybrids. Compared to the Fusion Hybrid, the Energi's all-electric range should prove beneficial for those with a short commute and some place to plug in at night. The substantial available tax rebates are another benefit that bridges the price difference considerably.
Used Ford Fusion Energi Models
The Ford Fusion Energi was introduced for 2013. These Fusion Energis are identical to the latest version with a few minor exceptions. Specifically they lack the availability of a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and inflatable (airbag) rear seatbelts.