By on September 19, 2012

All credit goes to the rest of the auto blogs who endlessly race to “get it first” with regurgitating the OEM press release. They actually made me want a hybrid car for the first time ever.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid will apparently get 47 mpg in both city and highway driving. Good highway fuel economy can be accomplished with aerodynamic and driveline tweaks, but good city mileage is more elusive. Around town, hybrids have an undeniable advantage, but they’re about as desirable as a mayonnaise flavored Popsicle.

But the Fusion is different. It doesn’t have the same connotations as the Prius, and it’s not a total bore to look at like the Camry Hybrid. Since I live in the city, I’m not going to be able to enjoy the fruits of the Ecoboost engines anyways. Why not take advantage of the astounding fuel economy? It’s possible to pick up a well equipped example for under $30,000, and I’d be hard pressed to think of a better new commuter car for someone in my situation. Feel free to rant about the supremacy of diesels or why I should buy a 1987 CRX HF in the comments.

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69 Comments on “QOTD: Is This The First Hybrid That’s Desirable...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    If they can actually deliver 47 MPG city/highway for a car that size, I’m impressed. I do like diesels and have owned several TDIs, but every little bit helps when it comes to fuel economy. It definitely is not putting me to sleep looking at it. Not sure I love the front end, but it’s different. I will be interested to see what these show on Fuelly after a while on the market.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    “about as desirable as a mayonnaise flavored Popsicle”
    Thanks for the bad taste in my mouth. Anyway..
    I for one hope this isnt another hype session. Ford for some reason is notorious for advertising one thing and getting real world mileage that’s significant worse. I like Fords and this still pisses me off. I know alot of my buds as well as some autosites (including this one) that own the new VW Passat that are getting 50+ on the highway. Maybe VW should advertise that.
    Here is a prediction for you (actually two)
    The Fusion gets 43 real world and calls it a day.
    And number two THE FIRST FIVE PASSENGER CAR TO GET 42+ MILES TO THE GALLON ON THE HWY WITHOUT A HYBRID OR DIESEL POWER-TRAIN WILL RUN THE CATEGORY.
    Here is to hoping the Mazda 6 places the first ever in USA diesel/hybrid in car and gets 60+ I will be waiting in line.

  • avatar
    Feds

    Nope. Sedan = not desirable. Still waiting for my Voltec Orlando.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Great title this one may be worth a look… is Ford still licensing technology from Toyota?

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Ok dude that train left along time ago. Stop listing to rumors.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      “is Ford still licensing technology from Toyota?”

      I’m no Ford humper, but we need to get this idea corrected.

      Highly condensed version: Toyota and Ford were on similar developmental tracks, and decided to cross link patents rather than get into a nasty dispute.

      Or, to put it another way, is Toyota still licensing technologies from Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        spw

        What Ford hybrid patents Toyota licensed? I can help you – none.
        However Ford did license Toyota hybrid patents and they also purchased hybrid components from Toyota companies up to this new hybrids in 2012 (battery packs from Panasonic, transmission from Aisin).

        I bet even this new system uses a lot of Toyota suppliers, if not for the transmission then for other parts of the system.

      • 0 avatar
        LBJs Love Child

        This is reply to spw: To avoid patent lawsuits, Ford and Toyota each EXCHANGED patent licenses… in both Hybrid technologies and Diesel technologies.

      • 0 avatar

        If I’m not mistaken, the licensing agreement clearly states that Ford developed their system independently of Toyota. Of course both of them have to pay licensing fees to Paice, the company that holds the basic patents on electronically controlling a combustion/electric hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Initially Ford wasn’t licensing any technology from toyota, nor was toyota licensing any technology from Ford. Remember the crazy government program that paid for the big 2 and 1/3 to develop 100mpg cars, Ford’s design was essentially similar to toyota’s (except for using deisel and because of batteries at time, more on the mechanical vs. the electric side.,) vs. GM and Chryco going whatever way they went. Ford also bought volvo which had invested significant amounts of $ (and generated alot of patents) into hybrids using a turbine generator, along with small enigne to help get around the battery limitations of the time. So in the end run at the time of the first Ford Hybrids, when toyota got ready to sue, they realized that the patent split was about 55/45, so they would win, Ford would have to pay toyota for each hybrid sale and toyota would have to pay ford for each hybrid sale. Now compare toyota hybrid sales to ford hybrid over period of time and I’m sure ford probably wishes toyota had sued. This led to cross license on all current hybrid patents at certain point in time.

      If our government had made a more realistic MPG goal (say 40mpg vs. 100mpg) Ford would probably be the hybrid leader right now. Thier system was very similar to that in the prius, but having to build a car out of carbon aluminum and using silver nitrite batteries (what combat subs use b/c lithium tech wasn’t usable at the time) and a small super high compression deisel to make 100 mpg, probably would have put the car alittle past the cost of the volt.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    It is certainly more sexy than the C-Max. However, the Fusion Hybrid has less than half the trunk capacity of the C-Max. A hybrid version of the estate or hatchback Mondeo/Fusion, or S-Max, would have me putting a deposit down.

    I’m taking delivery of a C-Max in early October, but we may need a larger vehicle eventually.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Throw in a luxury package, a sunroof, and an ashtray and your looking at 32k. Your total may differ when you play around with the build your own on the Ford website. Will Ford throw in a bazillion incentives to move this; to include the you’re left handed and part your hair on the right discount I always use? Will the Chevy dealer discount Volts to match this? Will people cross shop this against a Prius V? There’s some serious dislike on TTAC for hybrids, but they make sense as a commuter car.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      You have to get the ashtray option just for the irony.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They are going to lease the Fusion Hybrid, which is new. I’m sure they will throw in some incentives. People may cross shop the Prius or Prius V, but that is what the C-Max is for.

    • 0 avatar
      love2drive

      Actually, that depends on the type of commute. I’ve always thought of hybrids as great city cars more than commuter cars – I do 100 miles per day in commuting, almost all highway, and in a hybrid I’d never get to really leverage the technology, I’d always be on the gas engine side. I’m better off buying a really gas efficient car than a hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I can’t speak to the Fusion hybrid, but with the Prius, they started with a really light and efficient car. So, it gets fantastic mileage on the highway. Even if you aren’t using the hybrid system to its full potential, 50MPG is 50MPG.

        (You’ll get 45MPG out of a Prius if it’s cold and you’re flogging it.)

        Also, the hybrid system in the Prius only runs the engine in power/efficiency sweet spots, so it actually does use the battery a bit if you’re going at a speed that doesn’t happen to correspond to a sweet spot.

        Presumably, the Fusion uses some of the same approach. Since the hybrid and the platform were designed together, they probably made an effort to get the weight and the aerodynamics right — which surely helped to improve the MPGs of the conventionally-powered Fusions too.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I don’t see why this is more desirable than a Prius. A Prius at least offers the advantage of a hatchback. “It doesn’t have the same connotations as the Prius” – Come on, you owned a Miata, so you’re obviously man enough to own a car with superior engineering despite some “connotations” to it.

    On the other hand, if you want a fuel efficient performance car then there is no good low cost hybrid option yet (sorry CR-Z). If you want fuel economy and performance you should get an FR-S.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      This does have better styling than a Prius, but the first lower cost hybrid with good styling award goes to the Kia Optima.

      • 0 avatar
        01 ZX3

        The problem being that both Sonata and Optima hybrids are awful.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Styling is in the eye of the beholder. As a young dad, when I see a sedan, I see “useless”.

        I didn’t always think this way — when I was in high school, I thought having a trunk was a sign of adulthood, because the only hatchbacks that were available at the time were discount cars. But, now that I travel with a pack-n-play and a stroller, the space sacrificed for fashion on a sedan strikes me as wasted.

        Ford will probably be quite happy to sell me a C-Max after I walk past this car, so it looks like they have a good product-lineup. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Luke 42 a Fusion has more than enough room to carry that pack-n-play and a basic stroller safely enclosed w/o other stuff in the trunk. The hatchback means that if you get into a wreck that that stuff could end up in the passenger area on you kid’s head. So yeah take a look at that Fusion carefully before you walk on past it to the Cmax. Same rated MPG and similarly equipped same price as the new Fusion Hybrid. I recently priced both they way I would want them and there was $100 difference.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    FYI DK, I “got it first” and it wasn’t because of an OEM press release.

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/2013-ford-fusion-gets-epa-ratings-1-6-ecoboost-scores-2537/

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    More than likely, this car will over promise and under deliver. Ford has a habit of doing that. Just look at the ecoboost 3.5 and its V8 fuel economy

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      It just wouldn’t be a TTAC Ford story without one of your snarks. Keep consistent bro.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        But I think he has a point. I would expect this will get a combined real world figure of low 40′s so Ford will be high-balling it 10% or so. Still very good, but padding none the less. This is something Hyundai does even more egregiously. I look forward to seeing Edmunds real world data and the fuelly data.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Well, I guess, if you consider the truth “snarky”.

        But let’s be honest. Ford always over prmises and under delivers. Heck, the last Fusion got nowhere near what it should have.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      One thing to keep in mind is how it is driven does affect the MPG. If you have a vehicle where it is satisfing to mash the loud pedal to the floor every chance you get and do so, then yes you will not get numbers that match those derived from an EPA compliant test that has exactly precribed acceration rates ect. That is a big factor in the average Joe’s experience with the EcoBoost trucks. Don’t know how much that factors into the Fusion Hybrid though.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    if this Fusion hbrid comes close to what Ford claims as to fuel economy, it’s a winner.

    Me? I absolutely hate the Ford fish-maws that has become common across their offerings. C’mon Ford, you can do better than that. At least the Fusion looks better than a Focus or Fiesta. Perhaps better than a Taurus, too.

    I hope they come in colors other than blue…I hate blue…and black.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    The main reason I’d get a CRX HF over this is the Fusion’s going to be a big car if you’re driving around in the city and aren’t running a taxi service.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “Is this the first hybrids that’s desireable?”

    Considering that a couple of million people have already found the Prius desireable enought to purchase one, I’d say the answer is “no.”

    Questions not asked:
    “Is this a nice-looking car?” Yes.
    “Is 47mpg pretty good for something like this?” Yes.
    “I just bought a Prius. If this had been available, would I have paid an extra $3K for it?” No. But if you like the way it looks and are willing to spend the extra $3K, I’d understand. Priorities differ.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Derek’s two-for-two on the new Fusion sales pitch, claiming that the unveiling of the conventional Fusion at the 2013 North American Auto Show was a “game changer,” and now nearly committing to buying this Fusion Hybrid, despite NOT YET HAVING driven either.

    Derek, drive one.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      To be fair to Derek though you can tell if you like the look of the vehicle, you can assume it will get somewhere in the 40′s for fuel economy (better than any other midsize hybrid sedan) and you can assume it will drive at least as well as the competition. I would agree it is best to wait to drive it and Derek didn`t suggest going out and buying it before you do that.

      When do reviews come out since it seems the Fusion has been talked about (and configurable on the Ford website) for a very long time.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’m just taking a light hearted jab at Derek, despite the fact that the new Fusion looks like a Merkur Scorpio, but with catfish mouth syndrome (CMS).

        It had better be the cat’s ass, though, because it’s being hyped as much as the FR-S/BRZ Toybarus, and yet it’s going to be allocated at a far more significant number than 25,000 cars per year.

        That Taurus really set the sedan world on fire…

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        DeadWeight, in my memory, Ford almost never hypes something so strongly unless it really is the cats-ass. The division does a very good job of listening to its customers rather than its board of directors/shareholders. The Taurus in 1986 was the shiznit in comparison to the competition and kept Ford in style til 1996. The Explorer, the ‘jellybean’ F150, the ’05 Mustang all marketed heavily but were well worth an honest look. Ford also earns high props from me for listening to its customer base in 1992 when plans were made to kill the Stang for the more-to-date Probe in order to make the shareholders happy. Fortunately Ford saw the light and rejuvenated the Stang back to its Pony Car roots with the SN-95.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        More recently, they invented new mediums to enable their hype blanket-bombing for the completely indifferent Fiesta.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Fair points all around (including that the Fiesta is borderline rubbish, CJ).

        After my original post, Michael Karesh stated he had a chance to drive the Fusion in all of its variations today, was impressed, and a review is forthcoming.

        Derek’s presumptions may yet be somewhat vindicated.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Derek, I’m right there with you bud. This is THE car I’m looking at replacing my almost 15 year old Honda with. I’ve looked at the Sonata and Camry hybrid and they both left me wanting. Not a fan of the Altima either and new Accord hybrid is hideous. The Prius is waaay not fun to drive and it’s oppressive on back seat passengers. VeeDub reliability and refusal to negotiate anything on a TDI keeps me away of oil burners. Standard gasoline only ICE’s don’t get substantially better MPG’s than my current vehicle that was designed when the Clinton administration was in power.

    I’ve driven the 2012 Fusion hybrid and was very impressed. My mind is 99% made up but I just want to drive one first before spending 30 large.

    Oh, and the Fusion is large compared to what? Have you been in a Camry or Accord lately? Altima? The Fusion is right sized compared to the whales that it competes with.

  • avatar
    redliner

    The real news here is that the MKZ Hybrid will likely get an identical rating. 47 mpg in an entry-lux car is quite impressive.

    However, I agree with the general sentiment of other posters about Fords (especially hybrids) getting slightly worse than advertised mpg in the real world. Toyota hybrids seem to achieve their ratings more consistently.

    I have spent time in both the last gen Fusion Hybrid and Camry Hybrid. Over 200 miles, the Camry got 36 mpg, 3 better than the combined rating. Over the same distance, the fusion hybrid achieved 37, 2 less than the combined mpg. Still better than the Camry, but not as big of a win as it would seem.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      I’m not so sure that Ford’s always under-deliver on MPG’s. My old vulcan Taurus over delivered consistently. Easily got 30+ MPG’s on the highway. City was 23, never wavering. The rental Fusions I’ve had also have done about what they advertise ~ 33 MPG on the highway. But like any vehicle, if you flog it the MPG’s may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I’ve never bought a car with gas mileage being my number one priority. Within reason, I don’t care about MPG, never have, never will. I won’t be illogical and drive a V-10 truck to work nor will I wear pocket protector and whip the slide rule out bragging about my gas mileage. I drive my vehicle well, to enjoy driving it.
      I’d buy a hybrid so I could ironically say: “Dude, I buy milk more often than I buy gas”. That sort of cheapness appeals to my inner hillbilly.
      Just waiting for a Fusion with the biggest/most powerful engine vs Fusion Hybrid TCO chart to be published.
      So one car gets 28mpg and it’s competitor 26mpg? Not a deal breaker for me.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Same ol’ question: what is the fuel efficiency payoff period of this hybrid when compared to the similarly-equipped non-hybrid? What $$$ premium is being paid to upgrade to the hybrid model?

    • 0 avatar
      alex_rashev

      It’s been established a while ago that both short-term and long-term payoff for hybrids (using Prius as an example) is rather immediate. Short-term, you win on solid resale value; long-term, on reduced maintenance costs and downtime. Prius is the modern SDL, in other words. I keep repeating it to people: fuel economy of Toyota-style hybrids is just a nice bonus compared to the real deal – a simple, robust drivetrain that will get you places without any fuss.

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Could you provide a link? I have a hard time believing that incremental reductions in short-term depreciation, fuel cost and long-term reduced maintenance costs (including a new battery) would be less than the thousands of dollars spent on upgrading to a hybrid within a given model line.

  • avatar
    mcs

    The plug-in version of the Fusion will be going up against the Volt. I wonder what sort of impact it will have on Volt sales.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Careful Derek, Buick6 is going to upset if he read this and your Toyota commentary. Walking around the TTAC hallways mumbling about Toyota…

    ;-)

    I actually think the 2012 Camry is a big improvement from the huge step backwards the 2008 – 2011 was. But the Fusion does say “hey I’m not completely dead yet,” when compared to many of its other midsize family hauler competition.

    47/47 wrapped in a Ford Fusion package – admittedly very attractive – but is it completely neutered or is it slightly fun to drive when pressed?

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      You’ve been waiting all day for an editor to say the word “Toyota” so you could make that comment, haven’t you?

      I hope you’re not putting to much butter on that popcorn. It’s not good for your arteries…or your waist line.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Awwww, have you become my own personal online stalker – how sweet. You have to wait, about 90 minutes at TTAC to write something about Toyota. Gee what a shock, they’re only the largest car company on the planet. It takes them about 91 minutes to write something about GM, being the second largest car maker on the planet again I must say, SHOCKED! If anything the VW fans have every right to scream about the lack of love they get around here.

        What, Dereck gave the FR-S a middling review, just insulted the Camry – I figured your feathers must be quite ruffled by this. I was looking out for you – WHY DON’T YOU APPRECIATE ALL THE THINGS I DO FOR YOU! I COOK, I CLEAN, I KEEP UP A HOME, AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET!!!

  • avatar
    Viquitor

    Maybe it’s the wine talking, but the new Fusion is one of the best-looking affordable sedans I’ve ever seen. And with the hybrid doing this kind of mileage… Count me in.

    Too bad it’ll msrp in Brazil for BMW 3-Series money.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      Please, it looks like a cheap chinese knockoff. Imitating a Aston Martin no better than this imitates an F-150:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/fake-in-china-an-f150-by-another-name/

      What a complete lack of design imagination. Ford’s most competant designer is a Xerox machine.

  • avatar
    b787

    Granted it is in a different price range, but Lexus GS450h is definitely a desirable car

  • avatar

    Drove all powertrains today, review likely tomorrow.

    For now, let’s just say that Ford’s now insane to be tooling up two plants in North America and at least three more elsewhere (Belgium, Russia, China).

  • avatar

    Perhaps I should fix that typo…

    Drove all powertrains today, review likely tomorrow.

    For now, let’s just say that Ford’s noT insane to be tooling up two plants in North America and at least three more elsewhere (Belgium, Russia, China).

    (Double posted, couldn’t then edit / delete first comment.)

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      My detective skills are on par with Sherlock Holmes, and I have analyzed your statement & concluded that you feel that said Fords are very competent in the driving dynamics department.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Michael – how is it that your review may well come out before the official reviews? I had assumed, maybe incorrectly, that Ford would do a media event like the Dart, ATS and Accord had, where all publications would publish after the embargo period.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    The proof is in the pudding. You should wait for a real life road test first to see if the Ford really achieves the advertised gas mileage. The Toyota Prius does achieve its advertised gas mileage in real life.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    Is Ford going to build enough to supply Arizona? People in Chengdu will be making copies in their garages before we get the real ones.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Nah, it’s a nice technology package, but that front end is not going to age gracefully, it’s already starting to look bad IMO.

    Also, the new hybrid technology on the accord seems to be the most advanced so far.


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