2013 Ford Fusion Energi Performance
Reviewers like the Ford Fusion Energi’s quiet electric operation and smooth transition between power sources. Several critics are disappointed with the car’s electric-only performance, though. They’re content with the power from a stop, but they say that on the highway, it has difficulties getting up to speed and passing other cars.
- "… it's still a fairly sporty drive, and remains more engaging behind the wheel than, say, a Toyota Prius." -- PC Magazine
- "I like the steering feel in today's Fords (including the Focus and Fiesta) and thought the Energi handled well." -- Plug-in Cars
- "Weighing in a good 300 lbs heavier than the Hybrid and 400 lbs heavier than the FWD Ecoboost Fusion has an effect. It's not a ride killer, but it is definitely noticeable." -- Forbes
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor that combine to make 188 horsepower, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EPA estimates the Ford Fusion Energi’s fuel economy in hybrid mode at 44/41 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. In electric-only driving (for the first 21 miles) then hybrid mode, the Fusion Energi’s fuel economy-equivalent EPA rating is 100 mpg-e. This is better than the Toyota Prius Plug-in’s 95 mpg-e rating, but not as good as the Honda Accord Plug-in’s 115 mpg-e rating.
The majority of reviewers think the Fusion Energi has great acceleration from a stop in electric-only mode, but they say it runs out of steam on the highway, and lacks power when passing at higher speeds. One test driver likes how quiet the powertrain is, and another praises the smooth transition between power sources. One critic notes that the powertrain hesitated when accelerating, and again when he took his foot off the gas pedal, which worried him a little.
- "As a car, Fusion Energi succeeds well, but is hardly perfect. Driving in electric-only mode works fine in urban and suburban driving. Electrics deliver all their power instantly, so the car squirts away from stoplights just fine. It's suitable for steady-state highway cruising. But electrics have little left to give once the car is underway, so flooring the throttle at, say, 30 mph results in a very sluggish increase in velocity. No diving and dancing through traffic, fast merging, quick passing." -- USA Today
- "The Energi starts out smoothly, accelerates briskly and switches back and forth from electric to gas to hybrid and back again transparently and without fuss or worry." -- Forbes
- "At freeway speeds, all this hybrid technology matters little, given how much the headwinds pummeling the front of the car demand yet more fuel-consuming power to get this two-ton family sedan down the road." -- San Francisco Chronicle
- "There was a nice surge of smooth power during a brief bit of open traffic on the avenue, and ultra-quiet operation." -- Plug-in Cars
- "To test acceleration, I floored the car from a stop and ran it up to about 40 mph. It took the car a few beats to figure out what I wanted and kick the gas engine on with a tiny shudder. Once it did that, the car accelerated smoothly and quickly, but it didn't press me into the seat. It also hung on for a split second even after I took my foot off the gas, as if the gas pedal had to send a command somewhere first, and wasn't directly connected to the throttle; that was a little unnerving." -- PC Magazine
The Ford Fusion Energi has a lithium-ion battery, which Ford says can be recharged in seven hours by plugging the car into a standard 120-volt outlet, or in two and a half hours using a 240-volt outlet. You can see how much charge the battery has via the charging port on the outside of the car. There is a ring of LED lights around the charging port that shows the charge in quarters (if all four sections light up, the battery is full). The car’s regenerative brakes help charge the battery too. The 2013 Fusion Energi can go 21 miles on electric-only power when the battery is completely full.
- "The charging port for the vehicle is on the left front fender, just behind the wheel well and ahead of the door. A ring of LED lights surrounds the port. When the Energi is connected to power, the LEDs illuminate, indicating a positive connection. Then they resolve to a glow that reveals the battery pack's state of charge - when all four quadrants of the LED ring are glowing, the battery pack is fully charged. Magic." -- Forbes
Handling and Braking
The 2013 Fusion Energi’s larger battery pack adds weight to the plug-in hybrid car, and test drivers say the extra weight results in steering that feels a bit heavy and a suspension that struggles to manage the additional heft over a bumpy road. Reviewers are happy with how the car handles a turn, though. One critic says the car’s regenerative brakes are a bit touchy.
- "On the road, the Fusion Energi has the typical ride of a modern car that is well modulated and does not want to offend you with any inordinate bumps and lurches." -- San Francisco Chronicle
- "As with most hybrid cars, acclimating to the Energi's electricity-regenerative braking feature in everyday driving takes a little time, and inching either forward or backward into a parking stall takes a delicate touch on the brake pedal." -- Edmunds
- "The car is hundreds of pounds heavier than others of its size, and that shows up over rippled asphalt, where Fusion Energi seems to bound a bit, as if the suspension is working hard to control two tons of car. Cornering, on the other hand, is normal. The reluctant feel of an overweight machine is diminished, and Energi handles the ‘S’ turns as well as an ordinary sedan." -- USA Today
- "There's also a bit of a handling penalty for that weight in the rear, lending a heavy feeling to the steering at lower speeds." -- Forbes
- "The car rides smoothly and comfortably. Steering is sharp and linear, if slightly vague, which is a possible consequence of the different, more economical rubber the car is wearing in Energi trim." -- PC Magazine