2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

Fusion Hybrid gets more style but not better fuel economy

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review

It’s easy to lose yourself in the Ford Fusion. At the first glimpse of its simply stunning front end, and sleek side profile, you may immediately forget what brand name is on the front of the car and what engine is under the hood.


1. 2013 Ford Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the same car.

2. The Fusion Hybrid has new all-new lithium-ion batteries which are lighter and more powerful than previous batteries.

3. It can now go up to 62 mph on battery power alone.

4. With an EPA rated 47 mpg in city and highway driving, we averaged 39 mpg.

However, after spending a week with the Ford Fusion Hybrid, there are a few areas that can bring you right back to reality, be it flimsy interior trim, a buzzy engine or the worse than expected fuel economy.


The new for 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is in hot pursuit of becoming the most fuel efficient mid-sized sedan, picking up the pace right where the last model left off. However, the new Fusion uses a smaller gasoline engine, and lighter, more powerful lithium-ion battery. Total output is down slightly from the old model, but isn’t noticeable by any means, thanks to the equally slight change in weight.

Still, 188 total horsepower feels peppy and responsive, unlike other hybrids on the market including the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Of course a major difference between this car and the Korean vehicles lies with the transmission. Ford, like Toyota, has opted to use a CVT transmission to ensure smooth operation and transition of the two modes of power delivery. The result is acceptable for everyday driving with the Fusion switching seamlessly between gas and electric operation, and with power delivery being smooth and predictable. Furthermore, the updated hybrid powertrain allows the gas engine to shut off at higher speeds, meaning short cruises on the highway can use very little gas. However, like any other CVT, there is a definite rubber band effect when it comes to putting your foot down, and high-speed passing produces a ton of noise which penetrates into the cabin from the little 2.0-liter engine.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid front 3q3Braking is also crude, with face-deforming deceleration present from the first tap of the pedal. This same behavior was noticed in the Ford C-Max Hybrid that we drove a while back, but when the vehicle made the move to a plug-in hybrid, engineers smoothed out the braking feel considerably. It’s a shame that the same issue still plagues the Fusion Hybrid, but just like the C-Max hybrid, maybe there is hope for future models.


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid rear3q

On-road manners of the Fusion Hybrid are wonderful, featuring superb handling, steering feel and feedback. It’s sporty and far from the floaty, disconnected feel found in the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The way that the Fusion behaves isn’t crashy or uncomfortable, and gives the impression of handling like a much smaller vehicle.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid trunk2Somehow the overall size of the Fusion is well hidden. It has ample space to accommodate passengers and even riding in the back seat isn’t as bothersome as the sloping roofline would indicate. The one area of complaint would be with the trunk, which has awkward proportions due to the hybrid technology residing in the rear of the vehicle. This robs four cubic feet from the regular Fusion, which is noticeable. The rear seats do fold down, giving some added cargo hauling capability to the hybrid.


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid mft

Our Fusion tester came outfitted with the polarizing MyFord Touch system. As usual, the speed of the unit was questionable, but voice recognition and ease-of-use was solid. It’s worth noting that MyFord Touch’s approach to having four static shortcuts to the phone, climate, navigation and in each corners of the screen is great once you get used to it.

Additionally, the two customizable color LCD screens which sandwich the speedometer are a great touch that really showcase the Fusion’s modern mentality. Since it’s a hybrid, Ford adds a bit more information, detailing the vehicle’s fuel-efficiency and drive mode. It’s now visually clear when the car is operating on EV power or not thanks to the tweaked EcoGuide setup. Another nice touch is the summary of your trip when you put the car in park and turn off the ignition, which details your driving habits and fuel consumption.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid driver viewThe Fusion is available with a slew of high-tech safety and convenience gadgets, like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, active-park assist and lane-keep assist. Our tester was fairly bare-bones, and aside from the appearance package, which added sexy 18-inch wheels and a rear-decklid spoiler, came with MyFord Touch and a rear-view camera with (redundant) parking sensors. Our tester didn’t feature leather seating, perhaps opting to continue a theme of eco-friendliness. The cloth seats do feature sporty-looking red stitching and still have a heat function, a useful addition in the middle of winter. Our modestly equipped tester, with the extra cost paint-job doesn’t break the bank at $31,375, which isn’t too far from the $27,200 base price. Of course, at $37,475, a fully loaded model is priced for the amount of tech and convenience features included.


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid profile

Despite a hum-drum interior, the cabin doesn’t really detract from the overall presence of the car. It does strike you as a much more expensive and serious vehicle, with aggressive lines that highlight the front-end’s Aston Martin-like looks, and an overall design that makes the mid-sized sedan look down-right tough. It’s incredible to imagine that the Fusion once looked so bland and uninspiring, and that now, mid-sized sedans are receiving the love of designers. And it’s working, with bystanders and other motorists taking notice of Fusion.

But it very much is a Ford, and the evidence of its domestic origin is in the details. Build quality issues were found throughout our tester, even at just 1,600 miles young. Plastic interior bits were loose and rattled; the sunglasses holder was stuck up and needed extra encouragement to fold down; and a plastic panel behind one of the rear door handles popped off with no provocation. Even the hood prop was found to not be attached to anything.


These nagging issues might be isolated. They’re also not our major concern. The biggest problem we had with the Fusion was its fuel economy. After a week of driving in various conditions and with different driving styles, we were far off the EPA rated 47 mpg. Our best consumption number was 39 mpg, which is exactly on par with what the last generation Fusion hybrid earned in the combined EPA cycle. The numbers aren’t bad, but the expectations were set much higher. In comparison, the EPA rated numbers for the Toyota Camry sit right around 40 mpg, and are achievable in real world driving.


2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid front 3q snow

Overall, the Fusion Hybrid is a great change of pace from what Ford has been offering, with a newer hybrid system and drastically better styling. Issues like brake feel, engine noise and build quality do all need to be addressed, but the real issue in recommending it remains its inability to come close to the claimed 47 mpg rating.

It’s certainly better looking and more engaging to drive than a Camry Hybrid, just don’t expect to save any money a the pump.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked