Ford Fusion SE Energi Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (2015 Model Review)

Written By: EightySix

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

2015 Ford Fusion Energi Brings Plug-In Style

                                                  2015 ford fusion se energi PHEV

The 2015 Ford Fusion Energi gets a jump on the plug-in hybrid competition in one important way: it starts with a car people actually like. While so many green vehicles have awkward styling and econo-box handling, the Fusion was a highly-rated, comfortable, well-equipped sedan before it got the eco treatment.

Drivers of the traditionally-powered Fusion say it's luxurious beyond its price and compares technologically with a BMW. The Ford MyTouch infotainment system gets more intuitive with each generation. The car drives solid and quiet with confident handling. The lines of the exterior are sleek and muscular. The Fusion holds its ground with the Honda Accord and Mazda 6.


The PHEV Version

The plug-in sports a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. The all-electric range is around 20 miles, putting it ahead of the Accord and Prius plug-ins but behind the Volt. In normal hybrid mode, the Fusion gets a combined 38 MPG. And in all-electric mode, it can reach 88 MPGe combined.

The LCD screens deliver information to the driver with a distinct eco twist. The car teaches the driver how to drive in the most efficient manner. Brake Coach guides the driver to the best use of the regenerative braking system. The driver can select the "EV Later" function to reserve electric power for later in the drive while using gas power early. The display also coaches the driver how to use the accelerator just enough before the gas engine kicks in.

And in classic green style, a digital plant grows vines and leaves as driving efficiency increases.

If you don't mind burning gas, the Fusion will get to sixty in around eight seconds. Electric top speed is an impressive 85 miles per hour.

The Energi version starts at just under $35,000. With government incentives and some haggling, you can drive off the lot for about the same price as the Hybrid model.

Ford Fusion SE Energi Plug-in Hybrid


Why You Should Buy One

This is a comfortable step for buyers tentative about the electric car market. The Fusion Energi is familiar. It's a nice looking modern sedan. When you drive it home, your neighbors will notice you have a new car, peek in the window and soon forget all about it. You won't be that tree-hugging weirdo in the neighborhood driving the electric lunch box.

The Fusion is established. It's not reinventing anything, which is just fine. Spending a lot of money on someone else's experiment and buckling your family into it is not a welcome feeling. It's okay to want to change the world, but when it comes to transporting the people you love, the mainstream is a safe place.

The Fusion doesn't ask you to lower your standards for comfort. It's not telling you elbow room and a smooth ride are bad for the planet. It fits nicely between old ways and new. You'll get your modern touch-screen navigation, quiet interior and solid performance. You'll also get about twenty all-electric miles and a respectable 38 MPG. No reason to feel guilty about that gasoline use.

Analyze how you drive. Keep a journal if you must. Research charging stations in your area. If you find most of your trips are twenty miles or less and charging is easy to find, you may burn very little gas with the plug-in Fusion.


Why You Won't Buy One

Do you want to take only comfortable steps? If you want to drive what the neighbors drive, carpool with them. The car you have probably costs less to operate than the Fusion Energi. Let's face it, most people want high gas mileage to save money at the pump. Spending a bunch of money at the dealership to save a little on gasoline is impractical.

According to Cars.com, 5 year cost of ownership of a 2015 Fusion Energi, including purchase price, is $40,077 (as of Jan 2015). The Hybrid is $37,925 and the standard version, which gets a combined 29 MPG, is $36,515. Stick with what you've got and give the EV market a couple of years to produce something that fits you better. Or spend a little extra on a BMW i3 or Mercedes B-Class and kick gasoline altogether.

Cars powered only by gas or only by electricity save more space for you. Forcing both energy sources into the same space restricts passengers and cargo. The battery of the Fusion is mounted in the trunk, bisecting the original 16 cubic feet of space. It suddenly is lagging behind as a grocery-getter.

In order to stay in all-electric mode, you need to treat the accelerator like a baby canary. Watch the monitor to see you don't press too hard or the gas engine will kick in and kill the bird with carbon monoxide. Reminds me of driving with my dad when I was sixteen. Accelerate too hard and receive a disapproving frown.

Will it Change the World?

Not really. The Fusion Energi does nothing new. What it does, it does with reliable comfort. It achieves its job, but it is not advancing the green car movement. It is a sleeker and quicker than the plugin Prius, but not much more.

In order to shift the way the world drives, Ford needs a bold move. Where's the electric F150 concept? Take electric torque and prove it can haul a boat or a cord of firewood. Make black smoke belching turbo diesel trucks embarrassed. Fitting an 80 kWh battery on a full-sized truck shouldn't be tough. Converting Ford's truck fan base may not be so easy.