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June 16, 2009

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

By John Heilig

10FusionHybrid_46[1] You gotta like hybrids, even if you don't like them. They say, "I'm special. Look what I'm doing for the environment." Sure, one-passenger Priuses can go in HOV-2 lanes, but some of us aren't looking for sainthood and expecting "normal car" drivers to bow down to us as we pass.

For example, the first hybrid to hit the U.S. shores was the Honda Insight. This overly aerodynamic two-seater sure looked different. Toyota's Prius is, arguably, the most successful hybrid. But it, too, looks slightly strange. The first "normal" hybrid we encountered was the Ford Escape Hybrid, which got an honest 30 mpg over all kinds of roads (compared to about 20 for the straight gasoline version) and didn't advertise its hybrid-ness all over the place.

What we have now is even better – the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Except for a couple of badges tastefully applied to the exterior, this looks almost normal. Even sitting behind the wheel, it drives like a standard Fusion, yet we averaged - get this - 38.6 mpg over Interstates and suburban roads, with a short stretch into the city.

The instrument panel is almost normal: speedometer, Power/EV gauge, battery information gauge, instantaneous MPG gauge that reaches past 60 mpg. In the middle are "efficiency leaves," the most gimmicky part of the dash. If you have more leaves in the display, you're driving economically; fewer leaves and you're not. When you shut down, this area gives true trip computer data. It tells you miles traveled and mpg’s on the trip, gallons of fuel used, and at the bottom, overall miles per gallon.

The fusion Hybrid had a sticker price of $33,210 with a $27,270 base. The only addition to its factory settings ($5,215) was a package including a voice-activated navigation system: BLIS with cross traffic alert that warns - via a light in the outside rearview mirror - of cars in your blind spot, rear view video camera with excellent color screen readout, power moon roof, Sony sound system, and leather-trimmed heated front seats. The Fusion also comes equipped with Ford's Easyfill capless filler, which is great when filling up.

Check out more Ford model reviews from RTM here.


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