2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Energi
Luxury and Economy
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – Just as millions hit the road for the long holiday weekend, they are due for a bit of a shock when that gauge on the dash nears “Empty!”
You see for this holiday weekend, gas prices are at their highest level in four years hitting $3 a gallon or more in 17 states and if your trusty steed has a strong preference for premium, don’t be surprised to see that price jump to $4.
Various studies have found most motorists are not terribly concerned about how much comes out of their account as their tank fills.
If you are among those seeking relief allow us to tell you about a gas sipper that also a quiet, comfortable, well-appointed sedan. (For now.)
That would be the Ford Fusion Platinum Energi plug-in that offers the equivalent of 97 MPGe, and 42 mpg when you are just running on the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine. Miles Per Gallon equivalent is a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed.
The test car will go 21 miles on pure electric power with a claimed total range of 610 bladder busting miles on both gas and electric. For the week, I came in at 39 mpg all on regular petrol.
With a full battery charge, owners get a total of 195 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm.
Remember that fuel economy is the name of the game here and not acceleration, with a 0-60 in about 8 seconds. The powertrain has to move a heavy car, at over 4,000 pounds.
The Energi insignia on the test car indicates it has a larger lithium-ion battery than the plain Fusion hybrid, but it also eats up a large portion of trunk space, something to keep in mind if you are heading out on a trip.
On the interstate the Fusion was a pure delight, the Platinum Edition filling the interior with luxury touches including a fine Sony 12-speaker audio system, heated and cooled 10-way adjustable leather clad front seats, and a likeable rotary shift dial.
One the down side, entering the rear seats forces the prospective passenger to duck down due to the sloping roof design. Knee and leg space were tight for a 6’ passenger if a similar sized person sits up front. The 110 volt outlet was a nice touch.
The updated Sync system is light years better than the previous Ford system and it welcomes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For the economy minded driver there were ample report cards available to show just how frugal they are.
The right side cluster display grows leaves and vines for instance so frugal operators get a rapidly growing garden, while flooring the accelerator is like Weed Be Gone.
Other indicators show how close you are to the gasoline engine on/off threshold when in electric mode. A nice touch was the lighted ring around the plug in socket. When the ring is completely lit, you are good to go.
Check the owner’s manual for a lot more. But with the little four humming along there is no need for range nervousness. Noise levels are low, the ride is smooth and handling is neither too hard nor too soft.
One two occasions, the perimeter alarm sounded for no explainable reason.
Then there is a matter of price for all this economy. Remember, the test Fusion was a top-of-the-line Platinum edition with options such as $595 for the White Platinum paint, $695 for the 18” aluminum wheels, and $225 for the rear inflatable seat belts, (a very worthwhile addition.)
Add in $875 for shipping, subtract $2,000 for the Fusion energy discount and you get a total test car price of $41,695. In line with most of the competition but perhaps enough to make some consumers happier with their less frugal current ride.
But there may be a deal to be had here. Remember that Ford will curtail the manufacture of all of its cars with the exception of the Mustang.
So dealers might be looking to quickly rid their lots of the soon to be extinct.