Ford gives its midsize sedan a big update for the 2013 model year, and offers it with a variety of drivetrains. The styling is particularly nice, helping the Fusion stand out in a crowd.
The Fusion Hybrid uses a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor through a continuously variable transmission, with total system output of 188 horsepower. Although EPA estimates put the average fuel economy at 47 mpg, we found it fell closer to 40 mpg.
Recent Ford cars have been heavily influenced by its European development arm. The Fusion shows this influence through a stiff, competent suspension, which aids handling.
The trunk space measures 12 cubic feet, smaller than the standard Fusion's trunk due to space taken up by the lithium ion battery pack.
Despite being the lower-trim SE model, this Fusion Hybrid came with power-adjustable leather seats.
The rear seat of the Fusion Hybrid feels reasonably spacious for a midsize sedan.
The Fusion Hybrid comes standard with Ford's SmartGauge to the left of the speedometer, which shows useful information about how the hybrid system is working.
Equipped with adaptive cruise control, the Fusion Hybrid has a steering-wheel button for setting the following distance from traffic ahead.
The directional buttons on the right spoke control the right-hand MyFord display on the instrument cluster, showing information about the phone, stereo, and navigation systems.
The home screen for MyFord Touch shows navigation, phone, stereo, and climate in quadrants.
The navigation system software lives on an SD card plugged into the car. The maps render a little more slowly than we would expect from a modern navigation system.
Sirius Travel Link comes as part of the MyFord Touch system, showing fuel prices for nearby gas stations and other useful information delivered from the Sirius Satellite Radio network.
Sync services come standard in the Fusion Hybrid, offering emergency crash assistance and vehicle maintenance information.
Voice command does an excellent job of controlling the Bluetooth hands-free phone system, but the touch screen also offers a dial pad and contact list lookup.
The MyFord Touch system displays music library information very well. Along with accessing a connected iOS device's library, it will also parse the music files on a USB drive, showing a similar library interface.
Music playback from digital sources includes album art, when available, courtesy of a built-in Gracenote database.