Ford completely redesigned its popular Fusion mid-size sedan in 2013, and introduced the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. It is offered as an even "greener" alternative to the Fusion Hybrid.
The Fusion Energi makes use of the same 2.0L Atkinson inline-4 gasoline engine found in the Fusion Hybrid. The engine is paired with a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor, and together the system produces 188 hp. The engine drives the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. This combination allows the EPA to rate the Fusion Energi at a combined 100 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).
The plug-in feature is what sets the Energi apart from a typical hybrid. The Fusion Energi can be plugged in to any standard 120-volt outlet, and on a full charge, the electric motor can power the car for up to 15 miles. This means that for most short trips, no gasoline needs to be consumed at all.
The Fusion Energi comes in two trim levels: Luxury and Titanium. Both include loads of standard features, such as fog lamps and automatic headlights, heated power mirrors, heated power front seats, a pass-through rear bench seat, multi-zone air conditioning, leather steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, an AM/FM CD stereo system and SYNC with MyFord Touch.
The Titanium trim adds rear parking assistance, polished alloy wheels, 12-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio, keyless and remote start, a rear back-up camera and a 10-way power driver's seat and 2-way power passenger's seat with power adjustable headrests.
Options include a power moonroof, navigation, universal garage door opener, rain-sensing wipers, a lane-departure warning system, blind spot indicator and more.
Let's get straight to the point: I really like the 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Energi. It's a handsome sedan that's efficient to boot. The dashboard tech is good but not great, but the available driver aid tech -- including automatic parallel parking -- is quite good for the price.
However, the Energi raises more questions about your personal driving habits than answers and hard numbers when compared to its non-plug-in counterpart. That's because though your mileage may have always varied, it's likely never been so dependent on not just how you drive, but also when and where.
A large part of what's likeable about the Fusion Energi can be found beneath its hood. The hybrid sedan is powered by a combination of 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and an 88 kW permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor. The gasoline engine is good for 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, and the electric motor supplies 118 horsepower and 117 pound-feet of torque. However, because they make peak power in different ways, total system output adds up to only 188 horsepower.
The Good Fully charged, the 2015 Ford Fusion Energi can go about 20 miles in its EV mode before switching seamlessly to a traditional hybrid operation. The Ford balances performance and efficiency nicely. The suite of driver aid technology is highlighted by a simple, impressive parallel park assist feature.
The Bad Portions of the MyFord Touch system are laggy. You still can't get Sync AppLink on MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles.
The Bottom Line The 2015 Ford Fusion Energi is a handsome and efficent hybrid sedan, but the benefit that the plug adds depends on how you utilize its 20 miles of EV range.
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