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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Despite being the lower-trim SE model, this Fusion Hybrid came with power-adjustable leather seats.

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The rear seat of the Fusion Hybrid feels reasonably spacious for a midsize sedan.

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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.

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Equipped with adaptive cruise control, the Fusion Hybrid has a steering-wheel button for setting the following distance from traffic ahead.

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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.

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The home screen for MyFord Touch shows navigation, phone, stereo, and climate in quadrants.

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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.

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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.

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Sync services come standard in the Fusion Hybrid, offering emergency crash assistance and vehicle maintenance information.

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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.

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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.

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Music playback from digital sources includes album art, when available, courtesy of a built-in Gracenote database.

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