25-MILES EV RANGE | OVER 40-MPG’s | WILL BE GONE BY 2020: 2019 FORD FUSION ENERGI TITANIUM
With 2020 soon in sight, the end for the Ford Fusion will rapidly be here before we know it. After 14 short years, the Fusion lived a spirited life covering all the bases in the car industry from your standard family friendly commuter, to the high performing Sport with over 300-horsepower, to the fuel efficiency ways of hybrid and plug-in hybrid capabilities. Having driven nearly every single Fusion available, there was still one left unattended, the Energi Plug-In Hybrid.
Carrying much similar attributes to the standard Fusion Hybrid, the Fusion Energi sees the same 2.0-liter Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder hybrid powertrain. Jolting up the technology level, the Energi features a plug-in hybrid system that uses a 118-horsepower electric motor and an increased 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery system that in returns makes for a maximum 195-combined horsepower system. This changes the Fusions capabilities to go up to 25-miles on pure electricity before the gas engine comes online. To get this range, the Fusion must now be plugged into an outlet of some sorts.
Adding all this extra hardware places the Fusion Energi on a stifling notion as it does make the car quite heavy. This plays a big part in its handling and suspension set up seeing that it tips the scales just over 4,000 pounds. Hybrids systems always have a tricky braking setup and the Fusion Energi is no different with a gooey feel and hard-to-modulate feel in traffic junctions. The boosted steering we find handles the extra weight just fine with a comfortable balance in it biased motions – as we found ourselves on the twisty end of mountain road; we discovered its steering strong suit is best left to the straight-away interstates.
Having gone the distance in our test car, adding nearly 600 miles to the odometer, it made for quite the travel companion. The suspension was smooth and enjoyable – it handled the rough bits well absorbing most impacts and sending positive feedback to the car. Considering the extra weightage, the gas-electric engine handles the task at hand with ease. With acceleration coming in around 8-seconds to 60-mph, the Fusion Energi is never one to be in a hurry. However, leave the system to do what it does best around town and its performance is much more sustainable as the torque output keeps it pace with traffic and will love to stay in EV mode, increasing our fuel economy numbers. Considering the amount of traveling we did involve countless mountain-esk hills, the Fusion Energi never failed on MPG performance as we maintained a steady 41 mpg.
Seeing that foresight for the Fusion has been tossed into the waste basket, not much has changed overall since its 2017 refresh that gave it a more classy, sophisticated business sedan approach. With the Energi only being available in the highest Titanium trim, its starting price is just over $100 more than the standard Fusion Hybrid at $34,595.
Encompassing all the latest comfort and safety features, there is no shortage of premium availability inside. Our tester was outfitted with a splendid brown leather interior with power adjustable driver and passenger seats, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, SYNC3 touch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity and Ford’s latest Co-Polit 360 Assist that features advanced adaptive cruise control with start/stop assist, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance, automatic high-beam assist and blind spot monitoring.
In the end, the Ford Fusion isn’t the only thing dying off – the plug-in hybrid for mid-size sedans is seeing the last of its kind as the only competitors are left to the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Plug-in hybrid technology is falling subject to the cars that are now being design and built with intended purpose. As such, we see the design fail once we open the trunk to the Fusion Energi and see 50-percent of it missing to the battery pack. As we go into its last year, the Fusion is aging well with as it’s being to be surround with updated design schemes and premium luxury features. With over 40-mpg’s and enough electric mile range to last most commuters to work – the Fusion Energi is still a great way to go the distance when it comes to saving a few extra bills at the pump.
Model: 2019 FORD FUSION PLUG-IN HYBRID TITANIUM
Starting Price: $36,595
As Tested: $38,085
Engine: 2.0-LITER ATKINSON CYCLE FOUR-CYLINDER ENGINE & ELECTRIC MOTOR
Horsepower: 195-COMBINED HORSEPOWER
Transmission: eCVT AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 43-CITY / 41-HWY / 42-COMBINED / 103-MPGe
(AS TESTED: 41.0-MPG COMBINED | 105-MPGe)
Fuel Range: 460 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±8.0 SECONDS