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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review & Test Drive

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“Highest MPG Sedan On The Road”

The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is America’s most fuel-efficient midsized sedan with a certified 41mpg/city and 36mpg/highway rating, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8mpg/city and 2mpg/highway.  If you drive conservatively you can further stretch those numbers substantially.

2010FordFusionHybridHeadonAction01smallBesides being a good looking, fun and easy to drive midsize sedan that comfortably seats five-adults, you are saving money in the process with the most advanced hybrid propulsion system on the market. The second-generation powertrain system combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver the optimal experience for you in terms of driving performance and fuel economy.

The propulsion system for the 2010 Fusion hybrid transitions between gas and electric power and back efficiently and seamlessly.  The overall system upgrade allows the Fusion hybrid to operate longer at higher speed in electric mode.  It can operation up to 47mph in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors.  The city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.  If you do little or no freeway driving and keep speeds below 50mph, you will use very little gas and stretch that 700 mile expectation substantially.

2010FordFusionHybridEngine01smallThe next-generation hybrid system features a new 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine rated at 156hp at 6,000rpm and 136lb.ft. of torque at just 2,250rpm, running the proven Atkinson cycle designed engine that is mated to an electrically controlled continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) that runs smooth and silently.  The combined power from the gasoline and electric motors equals to 191hp which is plenty of power for highway driving.

The Intake Variable Cam tuning (i-VCT) allows the Fusion hybrid to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and back.  The spark and cam tuning are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.  A new enhanced electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns thus reducing fueling needs on restarts.  A wide-band lambda sensor analyzes the air-fuel ratio and adjusts the lean/rich mixture accordingly to keep the system in balance and to further minimize emissions.  An added voltage converter boosts the voltage to the traction battery to operate the motor and generator for more efficiency.

2010FordFusionHybridBadge01smallA new smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20% more power.  Improved chemistry allows the battery to be run at a higher temperature and it is cooled using cabin air.  A new high-efficiency converter provides 14% increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features.  A new smarter climate control system monitors cabin conditions and only runs the gas engine as needed to warm the cabin.  It also includes an electric air-conditioning compressor to further reduce engine use.  The regenerative brake system captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it.  Nearly 94% energy recovery is achieved by first delivering 2010FordFusionHybridRearActionTwo01smallfull regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving.  A new simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.

It’s all pretty technical but Ford engineers has been doing their work diligently and have come up with the best and most fuel efficient hybrid system on the market.

The Fusion hybrid comes with all of the standard equipment found on the 2010 Inline 4-cylinder SEL gasoline version including 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and 4-way power passenger seat, AM-FM-CD-MP3-Satellite capable with audio input jack and 6-speakers, dual-zone electronic climate control with air filter, eco-friendly 2010FordFusionHybridDashboard01smallcloth seating, self-dimming reaview mirror, leather-wrapped, tilt-telescoping steering wheel with cruise-and audio controls, power windows/door locks with driver-side express up/down, SYNC Voice activated controls, grab handles above each door, storage slots in each door including a large glove box and a flip-up center storage box on the dashboard ledge, a center console with dual cup-holders and storage bin, dual map lamps/sunglass holder, dual, lighted vanity mirrors, thick-cut pile carpeting/floor mats, and a pull-down rear seat armrest with dual cup-holders.  Because of the battery pack placed behind the still the trunk compartment the rear seats do not fold down.  The Fusion also 2010FordFusionHybridFrontSeats01smallmimics the SEL’s exterior and interior dimensions.

Mechanically, the Fusion hybrid comes standard with the I-4 SEL’s fully-independent suspension system that provides a smooth ride with exceptional handling capabilities during cornering.  The Fusion hybrid comes with its own unique low friction, electronically controlled rack & pinion steering system with power assist that always gives you a good feel for the road and is boosted just right for slow speed parking maneuvering and high-speed traveling.  Also, the four-wheel steel disc brakes are unique to Fusion hybrid and feature ABS and Integrated Regenerative Braking along with AdvanceTrac 2010FordFusionHybridPanLeft01smallElectronic Stability Control to keep you on your chosen path on slick surfaces and during severe braking times.

What the Fusion hybrid comes with and the I-4 SEL doesn’t is a 110-volt power point,

17X7in. 15-spoke aluminum wheels wrapped with 225/50R17in. all-season radial tires, a hybrid badge, an SOS post-crash alert system, four-wheel ABS brakes and Ford’s Personal Safety System.

The truly unique feature inside the Ford Fusion, and what I think is the ‘industry’s best’, is the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) SmartGauge cluster with EcoGuide.  It is an easy to see and understand innovative new instrument cluster that provides real-time information to help you maximize fuel efficiency.  The unique design uses two high-resolution, full-color LCD screens on either side of the analog 2010FordFusionHybridInstrumentCluster01smallspeedometer that can be configured to show different levels of information, including fuel and battery power levels, and average and instant mpg.  To the right, growing leaves and vines track and reward your driving efficiency.  Unlike other hybrids, all of the information is on the instrument cluster and not from a screen on the center stack.

The interior reflects a more contemporary technical look with metallic finishes on the all-new instrument panel, center console, doors and steering wheel.  The dashboard is finished with a soft upper and lower skin.  Displays and switches also feature a contemporary Ice Blue Lighting.

The new exterior gives the Fusion hybrid a look that is both sportier and more upscale.  The newly designed front end, including a powerfully domed hood, new headlamps, chrome grille, integrated lower aerodynamic bodykit, and larger fog-lamp areas enhance the sporty nature of the all-new model.  Even more aerodynamic enhancements on the leading edge of the fenders, and new underbody panels shields further boost Fusion’s already outstanding fuel mileage.

2010FordFusionHybridBackSeats01smallStandard safety systems not mentioned above include driver/front passenger front and seat-mounted airbags, 3-point safety belts for all seating positions including front pretensioners/load limiters, LATCH child seat safety system, perimeter alarm, securlock passive anti-theft, tire pressure monitor, side curtain airbags, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.

The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid carries a base price of just $27,270.00 for this nicely loaded midsize sedan that truly stretches your fueling dollars.  My test car came with the following options that furthered my enjoyment when driving-Ford Navigation System with voice activation, heated side mirrors with lane 2010FordFusionHybridDoorTrim01smalldeparture and blind sport actuation lights integrated onto the mirrors, rearview video camera, electric moonroof, Sony Surround Sound system with 12-speakers, and leather trimmed seats for a total price of $32,485.00.

COPYRIGHT:2009:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: MSRP $27,270 As-Tested $32,485
Type:
Midsize Sedan Hybrid
Where Built: Mexico
EPA Class: Midsize Cars

Dimensions

Exterior
Length: 190.6 in.
Width: 72.2 in.
Height: 56.9 in.
Wheel Base: 107.4 in.
Curb Weight: 3720 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 38.7 in.
Front Hip Room: 54 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.4 in.
Rear Head Room: 37.8 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 56.5 in.
Rear Hip Room: 53.3 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.3 in.
Rear Leg Room: 36.7 in.
Luggage Capacity: 11.8 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 12 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 4
Base Engine Size: 2.5 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 191 hp
Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 37.5 ft.
0-60mph: 8.2 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 41 mpg / 36 mpg / 39 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 697 mi. / 612 mi. / 663 mi.

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