Roadshow Video Reviews
2014 Ford Fusion Energi TitaniumIs this highly electrified member of the Fusion family worth it? Brian Cooley takes it for a spin and checks the tech.
[MUSIC] The bad news say energy and that denotes a fusion hybrid with a much bigger battery. It's a plug in hybrid. Is it worth the cost though? Is it worth the cord? Let's drive this 2014 Fusion Energy Titanium Trim level. And check the [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC] Now, a Fusion Energy doesn't look a whole lot different than other Fusions. This is a titanium trim, so it's a nice looking car. Spot one easily by the big old badges they got planted all around it, and of course, dead give away here is the charge port door. Two and a half hours for a full charge on 220. About seven or eight hours on a standard household outlet. Beyond that, the dead giveaway is in the trunk. Much bigger battery on a plugin, much less trunk space as a result. Now every Fusion Energy is gonna have the My Ford Touch LCD touch screen interface. It does not necessarily have Nav as we're going to find out maybe that's an ala cart option but it's not very expensive. We've seen this before so I'm not going to dwell on it, a couple of differences though when you're on the Energy. If you do have this Energy screen it's going to show you in rather complex ways where the energy is flowing and what is taking parasitic loss off the electrical system. You've also got a settings screen here that's unique to this car, which si what they cal My Go, it lets you setup some programming for how and when the car is going to charge. You can set this thing to charge when it's convenient to you, or you can also set it to charge. At the value time, when the rates are ideal. By the way, this navigation system's also tuned up differently in the energy. It's got the ability to run in an eco mode, where it'll detect when you're going on a trip you've done before, one that it knows. And then, it will run in electric only mode a little bit more if it can, because it knows what's coming. Something the car can't do when it's a trip that it's not seen before. And sort of going along with that is an eco cruise. So when you're in cruise control, which is either standard or adaptive, the car will also change the way that it does its modulation on the road again, to save energy, to conserve electricity. This vehicle does have automatic self park assist. It's the basic version where you do all the pedals, it handles the wheel. Now you know me. I'm not real big on some of these touch sensitive panels that are too fiddly for driving. This one is done well. Ford's improved the touch response a lot. Past versions were a nightmare. Luckily volume remains an actual knob, thank you for that, as is power and disk eject. But things like source and track forward and back are these little non moving touch sensitive deals. You may like these, you may not, I find at least they don't have a lot of false responses anymore. Now aside from head unit electronics, you've got the usual set of LCD displays on the sides of an analog s. The one that I think is most interesting is their brake coach and instantaneous fuel economy. You can configure it a lot of ways, but I want to see how I'm doing on instantaneous and then when I come to a stop I want to see if I recaptured as much energy as possible. Combined, those are kind of a defacto momentum coach which is really key. Your drive controls in this car are pretty simple. No paddles. We have CVT transmission, which doesn't really reward those anyway. A very basic PRNDL shift gate. The L is more of a high regent position than a, literally a low gear. Over here is your EV button. This will tell it run in EV mode more than you naturally would. Most folks are just gonna leave this in automatic, though. And then, here is your park assist button to tell it start looking for a parking space, using its sonar over to the right. Now, under the hood of course is where some big differences happen, between this, a standard Fusion, or even a Fusion hybrid. The Fusion Energy, being a plugin hybrid, has just more battery. To give it more ability to run electric only. Under here is a two liter Atkinson cycle [UNKNOWN] four. It's a lean burn kind of an uninteresting inline four. No turbos, no direct injection. It's just kind of a motor. But that keeps the power going in combination with the 7.6 kilowatt hour battery pack to an electric motor. This is the kind of thing that lets you run EV more than a standard hybrid. In combination, that means you can run this thing up to 21 miles on battery only, under the right conditions, which are fairly flexible. It's not like a hybrid, where it runs EV-only in little burps and blips. This guy's kind of an electric car part of the time. Now Energis are only available in front wheel drive. Other Fusions can be had in all wheel drive, but not this guy. Go to FYI for those of you that live in crappy weather. The horsepower is the odd math of a hybrid. That is, 141 horse out of the engine, 118 out of the electric motor. That adds up to 195 total system power. You don't just sum them together. Now zero to 60 happens at a fairly leisurely 8.6 seconds, largely because of the vehicle's weight, over 3900 pounds. That is almost 500 pounds more than a two and a half liter gas engine Fusion. It all pays off of course in the efficiency. 43 mpg, 100 mpge which reflects the fact that it can run in electric mode substantially. Okay, so the energy has good power. Power, but it doesn't come on in a terribly spritely way. As you may have noticed, of all of our controls, none of them go to sport. They all go either neutral or into a more efficient manner. So this is on a driver's car. Fusions can be fun to drive. This is just pleasant to drive. It's got a good comfortable ride. It's got a lot of extra weight as I mentioned, from the battery and the accessory equipment that makes it all work. So. This is a car that floats nicely down the road until you hit a big whomp in the pavement and then it's really bottoms out. That was a little disturbing. Let's talk about the driver assistance technology. The one that's most notable is the lane departure. I've got it set to. So I get two things when I drift off the lane. It starts to pull me back with electric power steering doing its own thing, but it also gives me kind of a, a rotating stick shaker on the wheel. I find the combination of those on the steering rack at once are kind of unnerving. It's it, it works pretty well but it ends up putting me back in the lane, kinda pointed too far the other way and I have to correct manually. The Ford collision technology works well. I think it's well calibrated. When I've got it set to high, I think it catches things early enough. The car does not stop itself no matter what's going on. It just recharges the breaks and cranks up the boost so when you finally get on the stick and hit the brake pedal they really jam on. In my experience, the energy is devoid of a lot of nasty electric car noises, which is not the case with every electrified car. Some of them make all this weird whining sounds. This one doesn't. On the other hand, its 4 cylinder engine makes a bunch of kind of. Weird straining sounds, especially given that it's got a CDT, so it's looping up and down a lot. Not the most pleasant car to listen to, but when windows are up, you don't really hear much. Okay. Pricing the Fusion Energy may make you swallow hard because hang on, there are incentives at the end. But we start off at about 41, 3 base for this guy, delivered. As I mentioned, navigation's ala carte extra, $800. Driver assist for 1140 is a good deal. Blind spot tech, cross traffic alert, active lane departure, automatic high beams and wipers. Adaptive cruise over standard cruise is $1,000, and that includes the forward collision warning and break boost technology. The self parking tech is 900 bucks. A moonroof is a thousand dollars, rear inflatable seat belts are interesting, 200 dollars, that's a Ford thing, All in, we're at about 46 3. For a Fusion? But then come a mountain of incentives. First of all, Ford shaves 4 thousand. Dollars of the top, because they're competing with the Chevy Volt, which recently had a price haircut. If you are in California where I am, there is a 1,500 tax credit, and federal will give you a 3,750 tax credit. Notice that's exactly half of what you get for a full electric. [INAUDIBLE] car. But the bottom line, the real bottom line is, is it worth getting the energy, the plug-in hybrid or should you just get a standard fusion with a gas engine, which is real efficient. So i've done the math up here, lets say you take a fusion EcoBoost, two and a half liter, front-wheel drive with a same trim level, compare it to this energy. You see that you've got, after all the incentives, a fairly close price all in. Now that's because we've got a lot of money on the hood of this car. If you take it further, it's an $833 additional cost for the energy. Work that out across the annual fuel cost savings which is about $900 a year on the. This car, according to those federal ballpark calculations, and you're looking at a payoff of just 11 months. Thanks to all the incentives, though. If those weren't in place, you got a big difference in your payoff. You go from 11 months to 11 years. So with the current incentives in place, and if you've got a state incentive like we have here in California as well, this guy's kind of a no brainer if you're all about efficiency. And if you've got a shortish commute. Let's say 15 miles or so each way and a plug at work, it becomes even more of a slam dunk. [MUSIC]