2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid
It’s been a little while since I’ve taken a hybrid out for a test, so I thought I’d try out the 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid while it’s still new and not ready for a re-design in the very near future.
Over the last 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to see a number of hybrid vehicles change and improve with each passing year. From the Toyota Prius, Escape and Highlander SUV hybrids to the mid-size Camry and Fusion – over the years they are considerably different from the hybrids we had just 3 years ago. While a number of manufacturers are looking at pure electric and hydrogen to propel vehicles of the future, the first kid on the block – the engine/electric motor/battery is by far the best combination because there are no unnecessary compromises like range and non-existent re-fueling stations.
What Is It?
- Mid-size hybrid sedan
- Closer to a full luxury car than a ‘regular’ mid-size car
- Fusion offers more power options than any other car in the midsize segment with a choice of two EcoBoost engines plus hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains
- 3 trim levels available: S, SE and Titanium
How Does It Look?
- I love the look of the Fusion. From the front – it looks like an Aston Martin when you first glance at it.
- All-round proportions are just about perfect – it’s sleek and classy
0-60 MPH = 8.6 sec
What’s It Like Inside?
- Extremely comfortable seats – front and rear
- The driver’s position is perfect – the 10-way adjustable seat and the 3-person memory buttons help with this
- Front passengers get a 10-way adjustable seat with the Titanium trim level (6-way comes standard)
- Loved the cooling feature of the front seats, appreciated the heat on my sore back – doesn’t get better than this
- The test vehicle came with the Terracotta Appearance Package that includes Terracotta coloured leather seats, door inserts and a unique 18” wheel design. I got mixed reactions on the Terracotta from several people – I hated it at first, but accepted it quickly
- Surprised to see there was no tilt/telescopic steering
- With the driver’s window open it was very noisy and the wind buffeting was more than a little annoying, however when I opened the sunroof it completely changed – it was very pleasant and quiet
- Once you figure out all the nuances of the digital dash and it’s configurations it’s a very nice place to be, however it’s too easy to change something inadvertently while trying to adjust something else!
- One of the first things my wife noticed as being annoying was the location of the Active Park button – she kept hitting the button every time she reached to change the song/radio station (see picture with blue arrow)
- Trunk space is a generous 16.0 cu.ft. with very little of the battery infringing on the available space.
- Unlike some hybrids, the Fusion actually has a split-folding rear seat (60/40)
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- 2.0 L 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine combined with an 88-kW electric motor and an eCVT transmission.
- The engine provides 141 hp @ 6000 rpm and 129 -ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. Combined output is a net 188 horsepower.
- The numbers don’t do it justice – it feels faster than they would suggest
- Steering input is very good – you get a good feel for the road especially charging into corners at well above posted speed limits
- Just the right amount of weight and feel to the steering
- Gas pedal feels responsive and instantaneous – something you don’t usually get from a hybrid
- The brakes are very touchy when you first get behind the wheel – every time, but after a few times of use they are easy to modulate
- It’s not a sport-sedan, but you can drive it like one and it won’t complain – very impressive
What Does It Cost?
US – Base Price: $30,940 / As tested: $38,665
Cda – Base Price: $34,799 / As Tested: 44,134
*NOTE: There are various government incentives and rebates on hybrid vehicles depending on your region.
- Fuel economy was as expected and very close to the government ratings
- For the entire week I averaged 42-43.6 MPG doing highway driving (50- 60 mph) and the worst I saw was 38 when entering the freeway
- Fuel economy (mpg) is rated at – City: 43.6 / Hwy: 41.3 / Combined:42.8
Kia Optima Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Let’s start with the bad: Umm
- OK moving on to the ugly: Ahhhh
- And the good: Luxury quality and feel without the price tag. Superb fuel economy in a car that is really quite large and comfortable. It may be a hybrid, but there are no compromises to make when choosing to purchase one, except visiting the gas station – unless you enjoy chucking money away.
What’s The Verdict?
I was really surprised by how good the Fusion Hybrid is. I’ve tested each of the model years of the Fusion, but this one is up there with Lexus for quality and near-silence when driving down the road. I’m serious – remove the Ford badge and replace it with anything in the luxury segment, blindfold people and they’ll NEVER guess it’s a Ford. It’s no wonder I see so many of them on the road – people who try them love them and buy them, and I for one would be very happy to join them.
The test vehicle came with $7,700 worth of options – most of which I’d honestly say made the experience worthwhile, so I’d recommend most of them. Among the options worth mentioning were: Engine Block Heater – loved the location, nice and easy to find on the lower front spoiler; Heated/Cooling Seats and Heated Steering Wheel – worth every penny.. Rear Inflatable Seat Belts; Terracotta Hybrid Interior Pkg – added a little something something.
Adaptive Cruise Control, still not sold on these, but this one was very good because it wasn’t overly intrusive and didn’t ‘hammer on the brakes’ when you came up behind a slower vehicle.
Driver Assist Package (includes Lane Keeping System; Blind Spot Detection) again not sure if this is a valuable product. I set the driver Lane Keeping System to be intrusive, but didn’t feel the wheel vibrate once during the week. The car stayed in the lane when I deliberately took it over to the yellow line – it physically pushed back and forced me to stay in my lane – VERY good, but then it drifted over to the right and although it ‘saw’ the white painted line, I had to take control so as not to drive off into the ditch – fail!
Active Park Assist – if you can’t parallel park by yourself you shouldn’t have a driver’s license.
Navigation System (my past experience with Ford Navigation would suggest this option only if portable ones were all discontinued at the same time)… there’s always a paper map of course. The one in the Fusion is much better – at least it tried to keep us in the same time-zone and did find a faster if not more direct route to our chosen destination.
Copyright © 2015 by Iain Shankland
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland