Ford continues to redefine the midsize family sedan segment with its 2014 Ford Fusion lineup which includes a hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid electric model called the Energi. Unlike a hybrid car, the Enrgi can run in high speeds. But the gasoline-run Fusions are as satisfying with their impressive fuel economy and engine offerings. Style and gadgets are also admirable for this affordable midsize sedan. Read on and see if it’ll make it to your shopping list.
NEW FOR THE 2014 FUSION
- exterior and interior color choices
- optional heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and inflatable seatbelts
- Fusion Hybrid S
- turbocharged 1.5-liter engine
UNDER THE HOOD
A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque powers the Ford Fusion S and SE models. Front-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission come standard. But the SE model can also get a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It only goes with a 6-speed manual transmission. The new turbocharged 1.5-liter engine with the same power output and 177 pound-feet of torque is also available. This one gets a 6-speed automatic only. It can be had with an automatic start/stop feature.
The Fusion Titanium is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that generates 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters is standard. The Titanium is a front-wheel-drive too but all-wheel drive is also available.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets its power from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a lithium-ion-battery-backed electric motor. This system produces 188 horsepower which a continuously variable transmission or CVT sends to the front wheels.
The same power source produces 195 horsepower for the Ford Fusion Energi. The battery pack is larger here that’s why the Energi can run up to 85 mph or 21 miles on just electric power. Plugging it into a 120-volt outlet recharges it in about 7 hours. A 240-volt power source cuts this charging time to less than 3 hours.
The EPA fuel economy ratings for all 2014 Ford Fusion models are as follows:
|2.5-liter 4-cyl FWD, automatic||22/34/26|
|1.6-liter 4-cyl EcoBoost FWD, manual||25/37/29|
|1.5-liter 4-cyl EcoBoost FWD, automatic||23/36/28|
|1.5-liter 4-cyl EcoBoost FWD, automatic (w/ auto start/stop)||25/37/29|
|2.0-liter 4-cyl EcoBoost FWD, automatic||22/33/26|
|2.0-liter 4-cyl EcoBoost AWD, automatic||22/31/25|
|2.0-liter 4-cyl & electric motor (hybrid)||47/47/47|
|2.0-liter 4-cyl & electric motor (plug-in hybrid)||44/41/43 (108/92/100 MPGe)|
ON THE ROAD
All the engines in this year’s Ford Fusion lineup are efficient and competitive. The base 2.5-liter delivers well enough. The same goes with its turbocharged siblings but they somehow make the Fusion feel quicker. You can’t go wrong with any of the engine in the lineup especially when you look at the fuel economy figures. The Fusion also excels in the ride and handling departments. It provides a comfortable and quiet ride and feels confident around turns. Steering is not just accurate but also communicative.
The hybrid power system gives the Fusion Hybrid enough power for both city and highway driving. But just like with other hybrid cars, you need to be easy on the brake pedal when parking. The additional active noise cancellation effectively silences wind and road noises even if the Fusion Hybrid goes faster. The ride quality and steering performance are comparable to that of its non-hybrid sibling.
The Fusion Energi performs pretty much the same as the Hybrid but it behaves better when parking. It also allows the driver to have more control over an all-electric drive which the standard EV mode facilitates.
INSIDE THE 2014 FUSION
The 2014 Fusion’s dashboard looks modern and neat. But it the interior is standard as all-black which always has the tendency to give a bland, serious and boring feel. Some reviewers also found the layout of the controls on the center stack confusing because the buttons look the same and lack labels. The MyFord Touch which comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display eliminates the problem. But the system is not very intuitive.
Comfort is there, though, thanks to the multi-adjustable front seats. Legroom is plenty at the back but the sloping roofline slightly limits the headroom.
The Fusion’s trunk has a generous 16 cubic feet of space which is above the average in the class. But the hybrid models get smaller cargo spaces because of their battery packs. The Hybrid has 12 cubic feet of space while the Energi gets only 8.2.
The Ford Fusion family consists of 8 models: S, SE, Titanium, Hybrid S, Hybrid SE, Hybrid Titanium, Energi SE and Energi Titanium.
S: hill start assist, auxiliary audio jack, trip computer, multifunction steering wheel with tilt and telescoping column, automatic headlights, capless fuel filler, LED taillights, front safety belt reminder, MyKey, 60/40 fold-down rear seats, cloth upholstery, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, cruise control, SYNC with MyFord (includes voice recognition, 4.2-inch color LCD display in gauge cluster and USB port), 16-inch steel wheels, blind-spot mirrors
SE: 10-way power driver seat with lumbar support, rear center armrest with cup holders, compass, 6-speaker audio system, rear A/C vents, satellite radio
Titanium: 4-way power front-passenger seat, heated leather sport seats with driver memory function, aluminum pedals, ambient lighting, 12-speaker Sony audio system, HD radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access with push-button start, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, MyFord Touch (with audio/video jacks, SD card reader, 2 USB ports and 8-inch LCD touchscreen display), 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust system, fog lights, rear spoiler, rearview camera, reverse sensor, auto-dimming outside mirror (driver side)
Hybrid S: regenerative braking system, eco-friendly cloth seats, active noise cancellation, 6-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, SmartGauge, 17-inch aluminum wheels
Hybrid SE: heated power side mirrors with turn signals, invisible security keypad
Hybrid Titanium: includes most of the Hybrid SE and Fusion Titanium’s standard features
Energi SE: includes some Hybrid SE features plus EV mode, external charge port with LED illumination, fog lights, auto-dimming outside mirror (driver side), MyFord Touch (with audio/video jacks, SD card reader, 2 USB ports and 8-inch LCD touchscreen display), MyFord mobile app, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated leather front seats with driver memory settings
Energi Titanium: includes Energi SE features plus reverse sensors, rearview camera, rear spoiler, remote start, keyless access with push-button start, 12-speaker Sony audio system, ambient lighting, HD radio, aluminum pedals
Select Options: voice-activated navigation system, Driver Assist Package (includes rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, cross-traffic alert and blind spot warning), power sunroof, heated steering wheel, cooled front seats with 10-way power front-passenger seat, adaptive cruise control with collision warning, park assist, inflatable seatbelts
Photo credit: ford.com