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Aside from the Toyota Prius, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of the most popular gas-electric cars on the market. It's nearing the end of its current lifespan, but the Fusion Hybrid still is one of our favorite hybrids to drive, thanks to a fairly flawless integration of its drivetrain components.
The basics that distinguish the Hybrid from gas-only Fusions include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on a lean fuel mix for better economy, and a set of batteries and motors, some of which act as an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT). The net is power output that's close to the mid-range Fusion V-6, but with much higher fuel economy. The EPA rates the Fusion Hybrid at 41/36 mpg.
Ford's also enabled the Fusion Hybrid to drive on battery power alone up to 47 mph. If you're careful with your throttle foot, and drive only in the city, the Fusion Hybrid can in theory deliver up to 700 miles on a single tank of gas.
With the technological tour de force going on all around the driver, it's truly impressive that the Fusion Hybrid drives as seamlessly as it does. It's one of the best hybrids in that regard, as good as the transition from battery to gas power in the Chevrolet Volt. It's zippy in town and quiet on the highway, and even features an innovative graphic instrument cluster that uses the visual metaphor of a growing vine to encourage drivers to be more frugal.
In other respects, the Fusion Hybrid is nearly identical to the standard Fusion, outfitted in SEL trim. The body is crisply styled, and still looks good though the initial design was introduced back in 2006. The interior is well-finished, with even better textures and finishes introduced in a 2010 revamp.
Among its most important features are top safety scores from the IIHS, backed up by a rearview camera and Bluetooth; satellite radio, a USB port and Ford's SYNC voice-command controller; and available navigation and blind-spot monitors.
For an in-depth review of this green sedan and its kin, see TheCarConnection's Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid page.