2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

today we’re taking a look at the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan now there are really only four entries in this midsize sedan hybrid market right now and those would be this particular vehicle the Toyota Camry Hybrid the Kia Optima Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and that’s because Nissan no longer makes a midsize sedan hybrid they were licensing

Toyotas hybrid system from them for a
while and of course the Honda Accord Hybrid is going to be a 2014 model year vehicle so it’s not out yet upfront we get Ford’s new corporate grille which is very Aston Martin desk and it works really well with the fusion especially with these nice aggressive headlamps it helps make the fusion probably the most attractive vehicle in this segment and again in this segment is pretty small although I do like the way the Kia
Optima Hybrid looks I think that the

Sonata won’t age too well with its will
be flowing lines and really the Toyota Camry is just a little bit boring if I’m honest it doesn’t look that much different than the regular Camry and the Camry is kind of designed to be blend well this is trying to be a lot flashy looking the back of the fusion isn’t quite as exciting as the front but I still think it’ll aged fairly well helping tell the world that you’re saving the environment there’s this little hybrid logo there and of course only one tailpipe in the hybrid model one thing to keep in mind in terms of repair costs in the future especially if you’re gonna have this car for a while and you’re worried about bumper dings and that sort of thing is that the trunk hatch here is fairly flush with this rear bumper so if you get into an accident if you’re rear-ended by someone
it’s probably gonna ding up that trunk

catch pretty badly too under the hood

you’ll find Ford’s newest hybrid drivetrain over here we have a 2 liter atkinson cycle engine now this is slightly smaller than their previous Fusion Hybrid which had a two and a half liter engine and then over here you’ll find all the electronic parts as well as that hybrid transaxle nestled under here the atkinson cycle engine and the electric motors together are good for a hundred and eighty eight system horsepower it’s kind of a misconception that Ford uses a Toyota hybrid drivetrain that’s really not true they just so happened to use very similar working principles you see the whole system was really devised by TR W in the 1960s and then you know sometime around last century both Ford and Toyota started working on this hybrid drivetrain simultaneously and a part at one point they realized their designs conflicted with one another so course lawsuits flew back and forth and then

they decided to just go ahead and cross license technology so the nut in a nutshell version of this story is that the systems operate essentially the same in Toyotas products and Ford’s products however the systems are not the same you won’t find any Ford parts under the hood of a toda hybrid and you won’t find any toyota parts under the hood of a Ford hybrid now Ford and tow does hybrid systems work very similarly but the others in this market segment are quite different honda and kia took a different tactic and they have an engine and a regular six-speed automatic transmission and they sandwich a clutch pack and a motor where the torque converter would normally be that means that they tend to drive more like a regular car with discernible shifts between one gear and another of course that transmission still has to shift whether it’s driving electric only or not now the Honda Accord although it hasn’t been released yet we’ve already been told exactly how it works and it essentially has an engine and a motor

and then another motor and then the
drive wheels and so it really operates like an extended battery evey not like the Volt however because the Volt is actually more closely related to this technology than the technology that you’d find in something like a Fisker Karma so in reality the Fisker Karma and the Honda Accord shared more themes than the Volt or these Ford hybrids Ford has really been improving the quality of their parts been lately and the fusion benefits from that of course this is fairly closely related to the European Ford Mondeo as well we have fairly believable wood trim we have a soft touch squishy – up here we do have hard plastic bits here in the lower – like that glovebox door all of the center console is full of soft touch plastics as well and it really doesn’t get hard as you can feel all the way back until this lower panel here where your knees aren’t touching we of course have Ford’s 8-inch MyFord Touch infotainment system here in the dash with their touch button bank for HVAC and radio controls in fact the only real buttons here are this tune button and the power button for the

MyFord Touch system of course we have
two real knobs as well here in the dash now this is easier to clean than physical buttons would be but honestly they’re a little bit more difficult to use because they don’t always respond especially if you have dry fingers like I do in terms of style my only real complaint is that this interior is very black heavy this is very Germanic of course and this does have European roots and everybody else is doing this black heavy interior especially Volkswagen and BMW but I do think that it looks a little bit small and confining especially when you compare it to something like you know the Nissan center of the Nissan Altima front seat comfort proved very good even on long car trips now our particular model does have the optional power driver seat with two-way power lumbar support the course have a standard four-way headrest which is a nice touch and a tilt telescoping steering wheel which had a decent range of motion now like many vehicles the passenger seat doesn’t have quite the same range of motion as the driver’s seat but on the plus side in the fusion all they really excluded was the two-way lumbar support so the pastor seat just has the fixed lumbar support because of the fusions sexy side profile there are a few penalties to pay and they’re paid back here in the rear passenger compartment first you’ll notice the way that this door opening is shaped there’s this large beam right here right where your head would be so not only is

rearward visibility a little bit lower
than you’d like if you’re an adult in this vehicle it also makes getting in and out of the car a little bit more difficult as many of our passengers ended up banging their heads right here on this door frame the other problem is Headroom I’m 6 feet tall and if I actually sit back in this seat you know with my head somewhere near the headrest not necessarily touching the headrest then my hair is brushing the ceiling middlee my head isn’t touching it but my hair is definitely touching it there’s also not as much leg room as you find in the Toyota Camry or honestly the new Honda Accord and that’s even giving the fact that the seat back is very thin I know don’t know if you can see that in this video but if you look at the acetic Sport has really done a nice job of making a very comfortable front seat but making it very thin now I still do have a few inches of legroom left here in the back but there’s not a whole lot of foot room if I move to the middle seat the middle seat is fairly comfortable in the Ford Fusion and there really isn’t any hump here in the middle so that makes get actually getting a passenger here in the middle fairly easy although the Headroom becomes a little bit more of an issue because this seat bottom cushion is a little bit higher we of course get a center armrest with cupholders and of course these rear seat backs do fold down and they fold almost completely flat with the hybrid load floor and that’s important to note because the regular Ford Fusion sedans load floor is a little bit lower than this so you can
see here in the trunk the batteries

occupy this sort of large area of the
trunk they’re giving you a trunk that’s kind of funny shaped actually so we have this sort of well here where you can stick luggage so you see that’s the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight however on the bright side Ford has preserved the trunk pass-through as you can see there now that’s quite different than the Toyota Camry Hybrid which doesn’t have a trunk pass-through really any more yeah instead in the Camry what they’ve done is on this side over here there’s really just sort of a hole that you can Jam skis through and it’s in kind of an odd position because it’s not in the centre in the camera like you would assume it should be it’s over there on the right side of the trunk meaning that you can’t stick long items in the vehicle because they’d hit that front passenger seat that means that it’s now time for our exclusive trunk comfort index and in order to find out what that will be in this vehicle we’re gonna have to do some rearranging so we have to put that bag over there and you can leave your roller bags on top of that battery cell fortunately there’s enough room that you can fit the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight back there leaving a decently sized but definitely smaller than the average midsize sedan cargo area for it fortunately does give you a nice handle here so you can help close the trunk and in terms of hybrid vehicles I’d give this vehicle about a 7 out of 10 and that’s because even though Ford has covered the hinge areas in this trunk with fabric they do still occupy a decent amount of trunk space so if

they’ve use sort of a hidden hinge

arrangement you get a lot more trunk
space and that is a little bit unfortunate it’s not unusual however especially when you compare it to the Kia Optima and the Toyota Camry let’s take a quick look at my Ford touch if you’re not currently watching this video in 1080p then go ahead and click that button on your YouTube title bar now the system is basically divided into four quadrants for the four primary functions of the system we have phon navigation if you choose that options about seven hundred ninety five dollars extra we have our climate control and then of course we have our info in here as well now down below most myford touch systems have touch buttons down here although there are a few models of Ford products that have real physical buttons down there the phone screen is your pretty typical car phone interface we of course get quick dial phonebook we can look at our history and with this particular system depending on the phone you have paired in I have an iPhone 5 paired with the system you can also send canned text messages to people saying like I’ll call you back later I’m a little busy at this moment that kind of thing over here on the navigation screen you can see we have a fairly high resolution screen interface here the mapping interface is a little bit slower than in the Toyota and Kia products as you can see it’s a little bit slower to redraw and response times on this touchscreen in general seem to be a little bit slower than some of the newer systems on the market over here on climate we get a duplicate of the buttons below as well as some additional buttons so if you want to change where the air is coming out of this particular system you have to go in this particular screen all you can change things like temperature from these touch buttons below over here on the infotainment tab you can see that our particular system has Sirius satellite radio enabled that’s standard on the myford touch systems but this one actually hasn’t activated we course get bluetooth we get

an SD card for audio video input there

files on the card we also get a standard AV input in the center console as well as two different USB ports the system works very well but compared to some of the more modern systems around the system is getting a little bit sluggish most notably the new Chevy MyLink system is much speedier than this particular system and it doesn’t crash now the Toyota Entune systems are very fully featured but they don’t offer quite the number of voice command features and abilities in this might touch system although their systems are again you know more reliable than my Ford touch this particular system hasn’t crashed on us this week however we have had major issues with my Ford touch system’s crashing regularly in other Ford vehicles now you do have full access to your iDevice or USB device via this system or via the voice commands but as you can see the loading of the screens in this particular system is a little bit slower than it is in some of those newer systems again like Toyota and Chevrolet’s systems because the fusion and the camry hybrid share very similar technology in their hybrid system you’d expect them to drive very similarly on the road and indeed they do in terms of hybrid system performance in the way that the hybrid system feels when you’re out on the road they’re very similar although the forward system has a level of polish honestly that you don’t find in the toda products so the transitions between electric only operation gasoline operation etc as well as regenerative

braking to friction braking are much

smoother in the Ford hybrid than they are in any of the current toda products that includes the new brand new Lexus ES 300h as well in terms of outright performance the fusion scooted to 60 in seven point three seconds which is a little bit faster than the Toyota Camry Hybrid but a little bit slower than the Kia and the Honda the fusions suspension is better designed to handle winding roads like this than the Toyota Camry which does feel awfully floaty bode and very isolated from the road now the Kia and the Honda products are a little bit better but this Ford Fusion I would still rate higher in terms of handling and as well as Road feel on winding roads like this now unlike the c-max we were able to get 47 to 49 miles per gallon on a long car trip so about 35 miles on highway 101 in moderate to heavy traffic and that really is the key there that was a traffic that was going between 15 and 65 miles an hour or so regular stop and go kind of a situation and that’s the situation where a hybrid system like this really helps because you can drive in evey mode for a longer period of time and a vehicle like this this Ford system here really allows you to go in easy mode much higher speeds than Toyota’s current system or the system used by Honda and Kia and that really does help out that stop and go traffic you know but if you’re driving like I do which is mostly suburban traffic and plenty of highway travel at you know 65 to 70 miles an hour then you’re really not going to get 47 miles per gallon you’re going to get right around that 40 to 41 mile per gallon average mark well that is a little bit disappointing perhaps because of course it’s rated for 47 miles per gallon it’s not vastly different from the Kia Optima or the Toyota Camry and in real world driving in our tests we averaged higher miles per gallon in this Ford Fusion Hybrid than we did in the Camry where the Kia Optima we went over a few of the electronic goodies in our infotainment overview but there are a few other gadgets that we should mention and these are driving based gadgets this car has Driver Alert monitoring blind spot information pre collision warning and radar cruise control of
course now going over them one by one

blind spot information monitors your
blind spot has radar sensors in the side of the car and it will tell you via a little light in the side view mirror if there’s someone in your blind spot it’s that way you can you know take extra care when you’re changing lanes although you should always still look over your shoulder this car also has lane departure warning and lane departure prevention so the system has a camera system mounted up here right behind the rear-view mirror and it’s constantly looking out at the road at the lane lines on the road and if you veer out of your lane line this system will actually steer you back in so if I let go of the steering wheel if I head over to that white line over there let go the steering wheel you can see the car has actually steered itself back in my lane and it’s returned to center and the cars also told me to keep my hands on the steering wheel because the system knows it’s not getting any input from me as to keep us in the lane line now this is very different from the other systems that are currently out on the market because this system will actually steer you back in your lane and all the other systems currently on the market just brake brakes on one side of the vehicle to sort of torque vector or crab you back in your lane they’re not quite as effective as the system at keeping you in your lane because this can apply an awful lot more force of course that means in this particular system you have to use your turn signal or the car will really fight to keep you in that lane this car also has radar adaptive cruise
control which keeps you a preset

distance between you and the car in
front of you has a little radar detector in the front that can tell what the vehicle in front of you is doing and this system operates very similarly to Volvo’s recent product line not their current product line but their one right before their current generation because this particular system stops at around 15 miles an hour or so so if you’re in stop-and-go traffic and the traffic slows down to 15 miles an hour this system will give up and return control to the driver part of the radar cruise control package is what you just saw there and that’s the pre collision warning in this particular vehicle it’s very much like Volvo system and it uses that same little LED arrangement in the dash that look kind of like brake lights so they’re bright red the system beeps it also mutes your telephone call or your infotainment options here in the center so that it really draws your attention to the fact that danger is looming now the system is much more noticeable honestly than any of the other competitors in this segment so if you take a look at the systems by Chrysler by General Motors etc they typically will warn you by a little icon in the gauge cluster which is way down here and if you’re actually paying attention to driving your eyes are up here the system also has a much more annoying beep and that light is very bright so if you’re looking off to the side you know either side you’ll notice that when an awful lot more than any of the other systems really works an awful lot better for its intended purpose which is to keep you out of an accident of course the fusion also gets for its active Park Assist which is activated by a little button down there in the center console now forward system is currently the best parallel parking system on the market and we’ll post a little link sort of down around here to our video and review on the Ford parking system all by itself the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at

twenty-seven thousand two hundred
dollars if you check all those little option boxes up you can get this baby up to just about thirty eight thousand dollars or so now thirty-eight thousand dollars is a little bit more expensive than some of the competitors but remember that this vehicle does come with a number features you can’t find in the competition like radar cruise control the active link keeping assist the self parking etc we’re back at that dramatic camera angle because honestly the Ford Fusion is the best looking vehicle in this very small segment now the looks the performance the handling and the electronics that are available in the Ford Fusion Hybrid are really my reason to prefer this over the other entries in this particular segment you really need to keep that rear passenger area in mind however when you’re shopping out there because the Toyota Camry does have a bigger backseat and if you have teenagers or adult children that are with you frequently then that is going to be a consideration for you

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