Flirty 2013 Fusion kicks up heels in hybrid sector
Who says that fuel-thrifty gasoline-electric hybrid cars have to be snub-nosed, rounded and ho-hum to look at?
Not designers at Ford Motor Co., whose 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is arguably the prettiest hybrid car in the market.
Most people won't recognize this new, curvaceous model as a relative of last year's Ford Fusion. Some sports car enthusiasts thought the test 2013 Fusion Hybrid had styling cues from an Aston Martin luxury sedan.
Better yet, the extensively-revised-for-2013 Fusion Hybrid is quiet inside and larger than its predecessor, has European handling and is rated at 47 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving by the federal government.
This rating makes the five-seat, 2013 Fusion Hybrid second only to the long-running, mid-size, five-seat Toyota Prius hatchback in fuel efficiency. The 2012 Prius is rated at a combined 50 mpg by the U.S. government. No 2013 Prius rating is posted yet.
Just as notable is the 2013 Fusion Hybrid's starting retail price of $27,995. This includes the latest technology lithium-ion battery that stores electricity that's generated while the car travels.
The price for the new car is $1,575 less than the starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $29,570 for last year's Fusion Hybrid with last year's styling and older, nickel-metal hydride battery.
And, not to be missed, Ford offers a slew of standard and optional safety equipment on the new Fusion Hybrid.
There are eight standard air bags, including two knee air bags for the two front-seat passengers to keep them from “submarining” from their seats during a frontal crash. Optional safety items include a new warning system to alert a driver that an impending frontal collision is possible and attention needs to be directed to a vehicle ahead.
Say a truck just ahead slows, but the Fusion Hybrid driver's foot remains on the gas pedal without change of pressure. The warning system flashes bright red lights onto the driver-side windshield and makes an audible warning sound.
Competitors to the new Fusion Hybrid obviously include the Prius, which has been the top-selling hybrid in the United States. The 2012 Prius has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $24,795. No 2013 Prius pricing has been released.
Toyota's Camry Hybrid has a retail starting price of $26,785 as a 2012 model. This is $1,210 less than the stylish 2013 Fusion Hybrid. The five-seat, mid-size Camry Hybrid is rated at a combined 41 mpg.
Meantime, another stylish gas-electric hybrid — the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid — starts at $26,626, or $1,370 less than the new Fusion Hybrid.
The 2013 Fusion Hybrid is one of three Fusion offerings.
One is a plug-in model that's due later this model year, and the other is a gasoline model that provides a choice of three, four-cylinder engines: A naturally aspirated four cylinder and two turbocharged four cylinders. For 2013, there is no V-6.
All the new Fusions have a new front-wheel drive platform that's a reworked platform from the European Ford Mondeo sedan.
The test car won high marks for its looks, and people didn't stop with compliments about the exterior.
The interior, too, seemed upscale, with a high-quality look to the plastics and tester's comfortable seats that felt neither too firm nor cushy.
Note the dashboard sits higher than those in a Camry or Honda Accord, though.
The Fusion Hybrid's electronic aids take some getting used to, and yes, the new hybrid can be had with the often-criticized MyFord Touch system that puts audio, ventilation and navigation controls on a display in the middle of the dashboard.
But the buttons there don't provide any tactile feedback, so drivers also can use some steering wheel buttons that are redundant for the radio or use voice control, if they learn the proper commands.
The Fusion Hybrid is an easy traveler, with decent spirit in most driving situations. The combined engine-electric system delivers 188 horsepower but it feels like more.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers claim former Cowboys cornerback Webb
- Secret judicial ruling blocks release of sexually explicit emails
- Saturday’s scouting report: Reds at Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Lambo called up to replace ailing Snider
- NFL notebook: Niners’ Smith gets 9-game suspension
- S&P races to August milestone
- Missing Northview Heights girl found safe in school
- Penn State notebook: NCAA rebuts report of eased PSU sanctions
- Butler County coroner identifies man found in Lake Arthur
- Opponents of McCandless Wal-Mart take fight to court
- McDonnell case heads for jurors