Ford’s 2010 Fusion Hybrid proves that fuel efficiency and sporty style can be the perfect marriage. And at a certified 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the Fusion Hybrid leaves many other hybrids hugging trees.
Who said being environmentally aware meant leaving style at the garage door?For Fusion Hybrid, It’s All About the Green
Are you ready to drive over 700 miles on a single tank of gas? The Fusion Hybrid boasts an overall system upgrade that allows it to operate longer at higher speeds in electric mode. In fact, Ford says the Fusion Hybrid delivers up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, about twice as fast as many competing hybrids. The 2010 model heralds Fusion’s second-generation power train system for delivery of the best of both worlds, with a gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors. If you’ve ever wondered how easily a hybrid makes the move from power to power, I can tell you that I’ve had the chance to test drive this one: the propulsion system for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid will answer your query with smooth-as-silk transitions between electric power and petro, then back again, seemingly without effort.Power Behind the Fusion Hybrid Pizzazz
Ford Fusion’s next-generation hybrid propulsion system features the Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT) that allows it to move oh-so-smoothly between engine and motor. Fuel efficiency and emissions are optimized with spark-and-cam timing that’s varied according to the engine load. You’ll also likely appreciate the enhanced electronic throttle control for reducing airflow on shutdowns and minimizing fuel demand on restarts. The 2010 Fusion Hybrid’s new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine runs the time-proven Atkinson cycle, mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (e-CVT). Emissions are further controlled with the wide-band lambda sensor which analyzes the air-to-fuel ration and effortlessly adjusts a lean-to-rich mixture for best specifications to keep the system in balance and minimize emissions. Fusion features an added variable voltage converter to boost the voltage to the traction battery, operating the motor and generator more efficiently.Fusion Hybrid Packing Power
The 2010 Fusion Hybrid packs a new smaller and lighter nickel-metal hydride battery that’s been optimized to produce 20 percent more power than previously. Cabin air keeps the battery cool while advances in chemistry allow it to run at a higher temperature. Ford has installed a new high-efficiency converter that gives 14 percent increased output to accommodate a wider array of vehicle features with ease. An upgraded climate control system over other models means cabin temperature is monitored and the gas engine is only run for heat as needed. For those hot summer days, an electric air condition compressor won’t leave your engine wanting.
If you’ve done a bit of background on hybrids, you’re probably familiar with regenerative braking systems. As expected, Fusion’s system harnesses the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Perhaps a little less expected is that Fusion features nearly 94 percent energy recovery, stats achieved by first delivering full regenerative braking followed by friction brakes during city driving. I felt the 2010 Fusion Hybrid delivers on Ford’s promise of improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.Completing the Fusion Hybrid Package
Ford designed Fusion’s new exterior to give it a look that is both sportier and more upscale. I think they aren’t far off the mark with the 2010 model. I loved the newly designed front end, especially the arc of that hood. New headlamps and grille add to the sleek, sporty appeal. While I didn’t notice it immediately, the larger fog-lamp areas definitely give a sportier look to the car on approach. Ford added more aerodynamic enhancements and new underbody shields to further escalate Fusion’s already-impressive fuel economy. Inside, I admit I immediately fell for the icy blue instrument lighting. But I also liked the metallic touches on the newly designed instrument panel, center console, door interiors and the steering wheel.
Like its more conventional cousin, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid doesn’t scrimp on safety. Ford offers the following standard safety features:
- Ford’s SOS post-crash alert system
- four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system (ABS)
- seat track position sensor for perfect inflator output
- load-limiting retractors for suitable level of restraining force through the safety belt to the occupants
- steering column design for optimum level of energy absorption
- dual stage air bags that provide levels of inflation incorporating a variable time delay between the 1st and 2nd stage output
- enhanced occupant classification system featuring a front-passenger seat sensor to identify three states of occupancy: empty seat, child or adult
If you’ve been waiting on a hybrid because you don’t want to give up style, your wait could be over. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a mid-size head-turner and you’ll feel even more stylish with some extra green in your recycled wallet. Starting at $27,270, you’ll pay a bit more upfront for Fusion’s Hybrid model, but should easily recoup the difference in fuel savings and feel-good payback. Fusion’s sporty facelift for 2010 sweetens the deal and makes green feel fun again. Did I mention the earth-friendly cloth seating?