2/5/2014 | 3 MINUTE READ

2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The thing about the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE is that you have to like not using a lot of gas more than you like having the sort of trunk space that you’ve come to expect in a midsize sedan.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The thing about the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE is that you have to like not using a lot of gas more than you like having the sort of trunk space that you’ve come to expect in a midsize sedan. It’s like this. Because the Energi is a plug-in hybrid, it has a lithium-ion battery pack. Its battery has a 7.6-kWh capacity. Depending on conditions, it can propel the car for 21 miles on electricity alone, which provides crazy-good miles per gallon. But the battery pack needs to be packaged somewhere, so it is behind the rear seat. Or said another way, it is in the trunk. And it takes up a considerable amount of space in the trunk. The cargo capacity for the Fusion Energi is 8.2 cubic feet. By way of comparison, were you to buy a non-hybrid Fusion, you’d discover the trunk provides almost double the space: 16 cubic feet.

2  

Which brings us to the gasoline. The EPA has a way of calculating miles per gallon for hybrids somewhat differently. So when you have a car that can conceivably go 21 miles using no gasoline, things get a bit surreal for those of us who don’t drive in an EPA test lab. The Fusion Energi is rated at 108/92 mpge, which is city/highway miles per gallon equivalency. On the car’s window sticker it has the combined mpge average (100 mpge), and also a number for gasoline-only city/highway combined: 43 mpg. Realize that in addition to the 88-kW permanent magnet AC synchronous motor it has a 141-hp 2.0-liter I4 engine that uses gas. During my week with the Fusion Energi during the Polar Vortex freezing Detroit, I averaged 36 mpg. Which, with the heater blasting, is damned impressive. Anyone who doesn’t think that fuel efficiency is a good feature for people who are more interested in getting from A to B safely and reliably than having something that they can “toss through the corners while getting on the pedal” or some such car reviewer nonsense ought to pump gas while the wind chill is minus 35. About a minute of that and they’d be wishing for more miles per gallon. That said, were you to buy a Fusion with a 181-hp 1.5-liter I4 EcoBoost and auto start-stop you’d get a stickered 25/37/29 mpg, which is really good, albeit not in hybrid territory.

2

The Fusion Energi Hybrid has a cool-looking covered port in the front driver’s side door panel where the SAE J1772 standard 120-v charger goes for the “plug-in” portion of your fueling. The surround glows. It looks like a car that uses electricity ought to. And, yes, there is a normal place to fill it up with gasoline, as well.

One thing that struck me in not a particularly good way was that the car, which has a base MSRP of $38,700, a car that is something of a mass-market technological tour de force, starts with a key, not a pushbutton. Arguably, something that is ostensibly electrically powered really ought to have a button, not something that was invented 4,000 years ago.

And I would be less than forthright were I not to mention a MyFordTouch issue: While listening to Sirius radio with the center screen selected to Entertainment, there was a black rectangle centered on the screen with reverse white type reading: “No Signal.” Again, I was listening to the radio. This stayed this way the entire week I spent with the car. Possibly there would be some fix to it, but let’s face it: when you have a problem with Windows, there ought to be something a bit more intuitive that Ctl-Alt-Del.  So automotive electronic interfaces ought to have something dead-simple to take care of things like “No Signal.”

Overlooking the powertrain and that cool LED exterior ring around the charge port, the car inside and out is a Fusion. Which is certainly a highly competitive product from any angle.

Selected specs

Engine: 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle, 4-cylinder

Horsepower: 141 @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 129 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Materials: Aluminum block and head

Electric motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor

Horsepower: 88 kW

Total system power: 188 hp

Transmission: HF35 eCVT hybrid powersplit transaxle

Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Length: 191.8 in.

Width: 75.2 in.

Height: 58 in.

Total interior volume: 111 cu. ft.

Cargo volume: 8.2 cu. ft.


RELATED CONTENT

  • Developing the 10th-Generation Honda Civic

    The 2016 model is all-new. As in platform and everything else. And the platform—which will have global use—was developed in North America.

  • 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler

    The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.

  • Chip Foose: Humble Genius

    Scene 1After speaking at Detroit's Cobo Hall during the North American International Auto Show, Chip Foose seems genuinely taken with the evident adulation of the audience, and takes the time to answer every question and sign autographs.The second oldest child and only male in a family with four kids, Chip Foose was born in Santa Barbara, California, on October 6, 1963.

Resources