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Best Hybrid Ever! Delusion or Con Fusion?

Fusion 2010 Courtesy EdmundsWe first wrote about the 2010 hybrid Ford Fusion back in November, 2008. Now as we near the official launch, we thought it would be a good time to share more information on the sedan that is poised to give the Prius, Altima, and Camry a run for their “green-ness”.

Right before things got really ugly for American carmakers, the most financially sound of the three, Ford, unveiled its 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid. At the time, Ford was hoping introducing this hybrid sedan, along with a similarly redesigned Mercury Milan hybrid, would double their sales figures from 25,000 to over 50,000. While those numbers may have since changed, Ford’s plans to launch the 2010 model has not. It’s full steam ahead for the latest hybrid sedan, poised to hit showroom floors in mid to late 2009.

One of the reasons Ford has so much faith in the Fusion hybrid is because the 2010 Ford Fusion pushes the existing limits of how far a car can go without using gas. At speeds up to 47 miles per hour, the Ford Fusion can apparently cruise for nearly eight miles before using gas, and using its full hybrid system, it should get around 38 miles per gallon. Additionally, the battery size is reduced in the 2010 Fusion and was reconfigured to maximize the electric power used when running the air conditioning. Numerous updates under the hood make this hybrid a true advancement, not just another hybrid.

In addition to the power train advancements, the exterior of the 2010 Ford Fusion was also redesigned to be less curvy and more rigid. Driving the 2010 model is smooth and easy; you can read more about how the guys from AutoBlogGreen got a crack at driving the revamped hybrid at the LA Autoshow. One thing they noticed was when the car transitions from hybrid mode to standard mode and back again, it is barely noticeable. This can be good because it adds to the smooth driving, but for a driver who wants to stay aware of mileage; having to focus so much on the dash can be bothersome.

This USAToday article adds to the praise for the Fusion hybrid, naming it the best gas-electric hybrid yet. Even though it costs more than the 2010 Prius, and gets about 10 MPG less, Jeff Healey puts it ahead of the competition because it drives better - most similar to the $100K Lexus LS 600h. Part of the love might be because the anticipated MSRP of the Fusion is around $28,000, which is combined with a hybrid tax credit of up to $3,400. Unfortunately, most people will never see that big tax break as it will be cut in half after 3/31/09, possibly before the car is even available for purchase.

Will this years hybrid war be the Insight vs. Fusion vs. Prius? And will this green sedan be enough to help salvage the American auto giant? Ford has bet on it, and it looks like those who have experienced the Fusion hybrid would agree. For now the blue oval folks will have to cross their fingers and hope that gas prices jump in March. Some kind of Prius recall wouldn’t hurt their chances either.

By Jeff Carey

There Are 3 Responses So Far. »

  1. […] but praise from those who have managed to sneek behind its wheel, even earning the title of best gas-electric hybrid yet from one USA Today writer. The Insight is expected to be the least expensive […]

  2. […] you can only choose the old style Honda Insight and you can’t compare the 2010 Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion hybrid, Lexus 450h or several […]

  3. Just had opportunity to test drive Fusion Hybrid. It is very smooth, nice ride, good handling, reasonable acceleration. Gadgets in car with nav system made techy like me drool. Change-over between all electric and dual mode was seamless. However, based on 10k per year miles driven, if non-hybid car gets 25 mpg then will need 400 gallons. Hybrid at 40 mpg would need 250 gallons. Savings of 150 gallons translates to less than $450 per year leading to many years before roi makes purchase price differential attractive. Still a nice concept.

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