The plug-in hybrid vehicle is perfect for buyers who want a completely electric car but don’t want to worry about their usually short driving range. One example is the 2018 Ford Fusion Energy. Ford has been selling the Energy since 2013, and most consumer reviews seem to indicate that they are happy. The Energy mated a larger lithium-ion battery pack with a regular gasoline-electric powertrain from the Fusion Hybrid. It allows the Energy to drive up to 21 miles on pure electric power before the gas engine starts and delivers fuel economy similar to Hybrid Fusion.
Although we like the Fusion, it’s very hard to recommend Energy. It asks a fairly high price over a comparable Hybrid. Its larger battery packs also take a significant amount of the trunk space, making it difficult to load large items. The Energy 21-mile range is also less than what you get from other plug-in sedans and far behind the Chevrolet Volt 53-miles.
Overall, the 2018 Ford Fusion Energy is worth a look, but be sure to consider other options first.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi carries over unchanged.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is a five-passenger plug-in hybrid sedan that available in three trim levels: SE Luxury, Titanium and Platinum. The regular Fusion Hybrid is reviewed separately.
Standard equipment for the base SE Luxury trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, automatic headlights, LED taillights, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, remote ignition, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, driver-seat memory settings, a six-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery and a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat.
Standard tech features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, voice controls, Bluetooth, the Sync 3 interface with an 8-inch touchscreen and twin 4.2-inch configurable screens in the instrument cluster, an 11-speaker sound system with two USB ports, a satellite radio and CD player.
The Titanium trim adds a rear spoiler, LED foglights, an auto-dimming driver mirror, front sport seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, ambient interior lighting, and an upgraded Sony audio system with 12 speakers and HD radio.
Optional for the SE Luxury and Titanium trim is the Driver Assist package, which adds automatic wipers, automatic high-beam control, a blind-spot monitoring system, lane departure warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert and a heated steering wheel. On the SE Luxury, this package also adds auto-dimming exterior mirror.
Adding the Driver Assist package allows you to get adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation. Also available is a sunroof, an automated parallel and perpendicular parking feature and a navigation system. On the Titanium, you can also get ventilated front seats.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum includes all above features along with a power-adjustable steering wheel, additional leather trim and upgraded leather upholstery. All trims can be equipped with 18-inch wheels and inflatable rear seat belts.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Together, this combination produces a total output of 195 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) sent that power to the front wheels. The battery pack, which is larger than the standard Fusion Hybrid, allows the Energi to drive with speeds up to 85 mph or travel up to 21 miles on electric power alone. Keep in mind, aggressive driving will cause the gasoline engine to start at a much lower speed when the car is in default EV Auto mode.
In performance testing, the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi in electric-only EV Now mode accelerates from zero to 60 mph a painfully slow 15 seconds. In Hybrid mode, the Energi went from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, a quick time for such an eco-focused model. Clearly, the EV Now mode is designed for maximum efficiency and is best used in leisurely driving conditions.
The EPA estimates the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi fuel economy and electric-only range of 97 mpg-e. Energy consumption estimate of 37 kilowatt-hours (kWh) used per 100 miles, which is a measure of how efficient the Energi is during all-electric driving. Once that all-electric range is used up, the Energi operates like the Fusion Hybrid and earns an EPA rating of 41 mpg combined (41 city/42 highway).
With a 120-volt power source, the battery can be fully charged in seven hours or 2.5 hours using a 240-volt source.
Like the regular Fusion, the 2018 Energi has a well-equipped and stylish interior. It features clean lines and quality materials that give a comfortable and upscale feel. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with a number of adjustments that make it easy for various drivers to get a comfortable position. The rearward slopy roof cuts the rear headroom, but only tall passengers will have a reason to complain.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energy is also equipped with tech features as found in many luxury models. Standard active noise cancellation helps create a quiet environment, especially when driving in electric mode. The central touchscreen features Sync 3 infotainment system, a powerful tool for configuring and controlling your car and smartphone. It has an attractive interface and is easy to use.
Furthermore, you get some additional features that can be accessed remotely through your PC or MyFord Mobile smartphone app. This system allows you to view the battery state of charge and remaining driving range, heat or cool the interior or search for the nearest charging station.
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi biggest drawback is its relatively small trunk. With a large battery that takes a significant chunk of cargo space, there are only 8.2 cubic feet available or 4 cubic feet less than Fusion Hybrid and half of what’s available on a regular model. But the Energi provides a 60/40-split folding rear seat, which somewhat alleviates compact trunk space.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Key competitors include the Toyota Prius Prime, Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt Hatchback.
The official price for the base Fusion Energi SE starting at $33,305 (include $875 destination charge). The Titanium trim cost $34,305, while the Platinum starts at $41,305.