2014 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid – Test Drive, Specs, Rating, Price

Blue Hybrid SECaptivating Looks with Minimal Fuel Demands

Until free energy is made available, the alternate hybrid power train system remains the most dominant and practical method of clean(er) energy.  Speaking of dominant, the hybrid idea spawned over a decade ago by the Prius.  And since then, it has been widely adopted by practically all automakers offering a hybrid power train option in pretty much every vehicle class.

For Fusion Hybrid

With a plethora of hybrids to choose from, your default question is: “why the Fusion”?  Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of mid-size sedans out there lavished by the modern touch, but I must say, the Ford Fusion design is quite possibly one of the nicest looking of the bunch in its class.

Yes, it’s got a sex appeal, but what about the inner side of things?  We’ve seen more or less both spectrum of the hybrid implementation, but the Ford Fusion hybrid sits comfortably on the good side.  Minus the finicky regenerative braking under low speeds, the overall hybrid functionality is both predictable and practical.

Interior

The Ford Fusion’s bold trend follows into the interior cabin space. Overall visual is dark black layered with thick panels throughout. Color congruence between the cluster gauge, infotainment screen and center console works well to harmonize the overall design.

Interior Console

My only complaint to this design methodology is its ultra dark interior with the lack of more modern panoramic sun roof option to bring in more natural light into the cabin space.

Leather Interior

The good news is, there is no shortage of space, and the overall looks and feel is rock solid thanks to its large chassis and quality panels used. Ford press team boasts about the “acoustic under-body shield and weightsaving sound-absorption material”. We’ll side with this statement as we enjoyed an elegant driing experience with minimized road noise and vibration. Although, we did notice excessive low frequency wind shear when driving at moderate speeds with the front windows rolled down.

MyFord Microsoft Sync

Ergonomics help bring up the score cards in the Ford Fusion. Simply put, the driving position just feels natural, and the thickness and choice of materials and texture is not luxurious, but has a nice feel. The MyFord and Microsoft Sync duo continues to rule the infotainment department in the Ford lineup. Over the past few years, there has been virtually no noticeable updates in the overall user interface. The software works well minus the slight delay in responsiveness, and the Microsoft SYNC voice recognition was able to easily interpret my look up destination, play music, and connect to my smart phone.

Performance

New in the torque production factory is the downsized 2.0 liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, which is significantly downsized from the previous 2.5 liter unit. EPA ratings claims to hit 58 mpg, but we all know, EPA ratings are always far fetched. Driven consciously well with adequate acceleration and putting good use of regenerative braking, we achieved around 39.5 MPG, which is still considered good.

LCD Dashboard with Brake Advisor

Equipped with only a 141 horsepower engine aided with an 88 kwatt engine powered by a 1.5 kw per hour Lithium Ion battery. What’s interesting to note here is the Ford Fusion’s battery pack transition from the previous heavier nickel metal hydride battery pack used. The result is increased robustness and reliability in its electrical storage system.

2.0 Liter Engine with 88 Kw Electric Motor

As you might have guessed, the Ford Fusion is not a car you’d expect to burn rubber. Its 0-60 acceleration is measured in at a sluggish 9.2 seconds. Fortunately, the Ford Fusion Hybrid very well makes up for its ride quality. Thanks to the on-board power steering system, McPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension setup that enables the Ford Fusion to offer a good balance between comfort and performance.

Drive Impressions and Final Thoughts

A simple and clever idea is Ford’s brake advisory system displayed on the front dashboard. This system shows a report of how much energy you have captured from its regenerative braking system under deceleration. Push too hard on the brakes, the calipers resort to biting the disc brakes to aid in decelleration. The trick is to utilize the regenerative braking system as much as possible to convert braking into electrical energy to extend your EV range; thus, reducing fuel consumption. The added incentive is also minimizing the use of your brakes – as a result, prolonging the lifespan of your mechanical braking system.

2.0 Liter Engine with 88 Kw Electric Motor

Driving the Ford Fusion hybrid is well mannered. Its McPherson and multi-link suspension setup allows the Ford Fusion to react quick on its feet while offering a quality ride. An added bonus is its electric power steering that dynamically adjusts how much the steering wheel is needed to turn the wheels under different speed conditions. My only complaint is the active regenerative system under near zero speed, resulting in very sensitive brakes when driving in and out of parking lots.

Coupled to the 2.0 liter engine is Ford’s CVT transmission, and the Ford Fusion implemented it well. Unlike other CVT transmissions that create an obnoxious experience with engine RPM constantly fluttering at the upper range, the Ford Fusion Hybrid was well tuned to only work the engine harder under the right conditions like climbing up hills, or acceleration on demand.

Rear View

The base model of our Ford Fusion Hybrid is priced in exactly at $29,999$. These numbers quickly add up with the SE hybrid luxury package included with leather interior and heated front seats, MyFord Touch infotainment system, Drive assist package, and various technology features such as blind spot detection, rear view camera, navigation, heated steering wheel and active park assist. The total comes down to $39,604, which is in the upper spectrum of the mid-size sedan interval.

Albeit expensive, the price point is still justifiable. Yes, there are cars with the luxury badge slapped on at the same price point, but in terms of how well the hybrid system is implemented in the Ford Fusion, the asking MSRP is well deserved.

Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2014 Ford Fusion
  • Model : SE Hybrid
  • Price as Tested : $39,604
  • Vehicle Type : Sedan
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3
  • Powertrain Configuration : FWD
  • Engine : 2.0L IVCT I4 Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • Transmission : eCVT
  • Horsepower :  141 Hp w/ 1.5Kwatt electric Motor
  • Additional Features : MyFord Touch Infotainment System, Active Park Assist, Rearview Camera, Reverse Sensing system, navigation, rear inflatable seatbelts, push start engine button, keyless entry, reverse sensing system, rearview camera, heated front seats

Pros

  • Luxury materials used throughout interior cabin space
  • Smooth and forgiving ride quality
  • Large interior cabin space.  Decent legroom in rear seats
  • Captivating exterior looks

Cons

  • Rear trunk space compromised by battery pack
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Dated/gloomy interior cabin space.