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One of the most popular hybrid vehicles on the market--after the Toyota Prius, that is--is Ford's Fusion Hybrid sedan.
The Fusion Hybrid has the typical hybrid performance characteristics, at least on paper. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder, running on an Atkinson cycle (which means delivering a little less fuel than optimal for combustion, or "running lean") is hooked into an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) to turn in power figures similar to those available from a V-6 engine--but with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder.
True to its promise, the Fusion Hybrid is nearly as quick as the automaker's V-6 Fusion, while it earns an EPA-rated 41/36 mpg.
The Fusion Hybrid also can be driven up to 47 mph on its battery power alone, and has a driving range of about 700 miles on a single tank of gas if only city driving is on your agenda.
The Fusion Hybrid is one of our favorite gas-electric vehicles to drive. The basic Fusion body is crisply styled and well-finished inside; the Hybrid's performance is zippy in town and quiet on the highway, with the most seamless transition between electric and hybrid modes this side of the Chevrolet Volt.
Better yet, Ford's innovative graphics and gauges egg drivers on to greener driving behavior. An LCD vine grows virtual leaves as the driver learns to use less fuel.
The Fusion Hybrid gets its own 17-inch wheels, a standard 110-volt power outlet and recycled-material seats. This year, HD Radio is a new option.
For an in-depth review of this green sedan and its kin, see TheCarConnection's Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid page.