Ford introduced its alternative energy lineup, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, in early 2009 as 2010 models. The midsize sedan is now well into its second generation with a healthy list of upgrades for 2017.

The Fusion Hybrid has been the most attractive hybrid sedan on the market for several years. But it has a restyled front end and new headlights for 2017, further adding to its sleek exterior lines. The heavily touted MyFord Touch infotainment center has also been replaced by the simplified Sync 3 system.

The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a new exterior design.
The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a new exterior design.

Like a few other manufacturers, Ford has dispatched an automatic standard transmission shifter in the Focus. Instead, there’s a rotary selector positioned on the console. There’s also a new push-button engine starter high on the dash next to the steering wheel.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

My weekly driver was the third of four Ford Fusion levels on the price scale, the Titanium trim. It’s equipped with 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine matched with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, the Fusion Hybrid has 188 horsepower, with front-wheel drive and continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The Ford Fusion has a long list of standard and optional features from the S and SE trims as all standard. But it also features sport-styled front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the passenger seat and an upgraded Sony 12-speaker audio system with HD radio.

The standard equipment, including a few supplemental packages, is impressive: 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, a rearview camera, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Two configurable driver information displays, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, audio and phone voice commands (Sync), Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.2-inch central display screen, smartphone app integration and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB port add to substantial list

Exterior LED accent lights, exterior keypad entry, rear air vents, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a six-way power passenger seat, a rear seat center armrest and satellite radio area also in the mix.

And there’s also a full spectrum of technology features: a navigation system, adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection, a collision mitigation system and an automated parallel- and perpendicular-parking system. The SE and Titanium also
The Driver Assist package ($1,575) includes automatic wipers, automatic high-beam headlight control, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning and intervention.

Like other hybrids, the Ford Fusion offers a quiet, particularly at highway speeds. The gas motor kicks while accelerating and electrically regenerates while braking. The system is seamless, which corresponds to the near seamless flow of the interior design. The dash and dials are clean and simple.

There’s no mistaking the Fusion Fusion for a sports car. But as a mid-sized hybrid sedan, it has surprisingly strong acceleration and it maneuvers through traffic with confidence.

Plenty of hybrids look like cars I don’t want to own. The original Toyota Prius comes to mind. It’s more popular than all other hybrids combined, but it’s far from handsome. Had the Ford Fusion arrived first, I suspect its looks as well impressive styling and efficiency would have combined to produce a lot more hybrid sales.

Likes:

Attractive exterior styling.
The exterior styling of a European luxury sedan.
Superior gas mileage.
Simply styled dash and controls with sleek line
The front grille? Stolen from Aston Martin?

Dislikes:

While attractive, the sloping roofline restricts the driver’s rear and side views.

Facts & Figures, 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 8.5 seconds.
Airbags: 8.
Fuel economy: 43 mpg city, 41 mpg hwy., 42 mpg combined.
Horsepower: 188.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $31,010.00.
Manufacturer’s Website: www.ford.com.
Price As Tested: $35,155.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/50,000 miles; Hybrid components: 8 years/100,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid has small, but positive changes that make this already competent midsize hybrid yet easier to recommend.”– cnet.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Hybrids have come a long way in their 17 years in the United States The 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid is another in a growing list of worthy hybrids long removed from the early, ugly original alternative fuel vehicles.”

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