Ford knows more than how to make thrilling sports cars, spacious and capable SUVs, and hard-working trucks. It knows the power of a name. The Escape allows you to get away from it all. The Mustang makes you feel as if you’re in control of a wild horse. The Fusion is just that – a combination of various qualities and capabilities.
The Blue Oval introduced the midsize sedan for the 2006 model year as a competitor to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. A facelift followed a few years later.
Ford debuted a totally new Fusion at the 2012 North American International Auto Show as a 2013 model. The second-generation version featured sleek styling, new technology, and a wide variety of available pure-gas and hybrid powertrains.
The 2017 model year marks another significant refresh of the Fusion. The 325-horsepower Sport and luxury Platinum variants join the S, SE, Hybrid, Titanium, and Energi plug-in hybrid configurations.
We recently spent a week in a 2017 Fusion Energi Platinum. As we drove it around Austin, Texas, we came to know just how well named it is. Ford’s engineers created a mixture of attractive styling, upscale interior materials, useful technology, and comprehensive safety features.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Exterior
The 2016 Fusion is a good-looking car. The 2017 Fusion is no different – except that is. It’s still easy on the eyes, but Ford designers have slightly altered its lines. A new front end features a revised lower fascia, a grille with sharper outboard points, and more visually dynamic and striking headlight casings.
A pronounced character line still shoots from the front fenders through the door handles and back to the LED taillights, which are now joined by an eye-catching chrome strip.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Interior
Last year, we were fortunate enough to drive the new Explorer Platinum through the natural beauty of Colorado. Like that flagship Explorer, our Fusion Energi Platinum had an interior trimmed with beautiful quilted leather in a color Ford calls Medium Soft Ceramic. That coordinated wonderfully with the various strips of wood-tone trim around the cabin and the dark shade of brown that covered the tops of the door panels, steering wheel, dashboard, and center console side rails and storage compartment lid.
The Fusion’s luxury was matched by its conveniences. Its automatic high beams turned themselves on when we needed the extra illumination of their LEDs. Our heated and cooled front seats made every trip to the grocery store and beyond more pleasant, although you can probably guess which function we used exclusively during summer in the Lone Star State.
When things cooled off at night, we slid a panel back to get a view through the power moonroof at the starlit sky above us. That was the perfect ambience for the jazz music on Sirius XM satellite radio we listened to through the 12-speaker Sony audio system.
The knurled ring around the Fusion’s new rotary gear shift dial made it easy to grip and turn to the right position, even when we were in a hurry. Switching from a lever to a dial also freed up space for redesigned cupholders. In a press release about the new Fusion, the automaker said, “The new cupholders are now one in front of the other, with the front cupholder 6 inches forward from their location on the 2016 Fusion. It’s a small move with big effects, allowing Ford to extend the armrest by nearly 3 inches and to expand the armrest bin by an extra half-gallon, comparable to your average 2-liter soda bottle or four 16.9-ounce water bottles.”
If we needed to get somewhere we’d never been before, all we had to do was punch the address into the navigation system using the eight-inch touchscreen. SYNC 3 made that process and pairing our smartphone to the Fusion through a Bluetooth connection quick and frustration-free.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Performance
We spent a lot of time enjoying the amenities of our review vehicle, but we didn’t spend a lot of money on putting gas in its tank. That’s because the Fusion Energi’s 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, when fully charged, allowed us to run on pure electric power for 21 miles – in near-silent smoothness. All we had to do to get that was connect the included 120-volt charger to a power source and plug its nozzle into the port on the front driver-side fender. It was like having a “gas” station in our driveway.
When we got down to mile 0 of the battery’s pure-electric range, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder/88-kW electric motor team seamlessly took over. At certain speeds, the 188-horsepower*** pair was nearly as quiet as the electric-only mode.
According to the EPA, our car was capable of achieving a combined 42 mpg using gas, and 97 MPGe using gas and its lithium-ion battery**.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Safety
In addition to its front airbags, front-seat side airbags, first- and second-row side curtain airbags, and even front knee airbags, our Fusion Energi Platinum came with a tire pressure monitoring system and other potentially life-saving bits of tech.
The Lane-Keeping System helped us do just that by alerting us whenever we happened to drift out of our lane without signaling through a series of steering wheel vibrations. If that wasn’t enough, it would automatically apply a slight steering correction to keep us where we needed to be.
The acronym for Ford’s Blind Spot Information System is BLIS – and rightfully so. We were happy knowing that it was watching our backs (and our sides) out on the highway.
Thankfully, we didn’t need the Fusion Energi Platinum’s standard Pre-Collision Assist, but it was always ready to apply emergency braking to avoid a wreck if we weren’t quick enough in stomping on the left pedal.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Overall
Attractive design, luxury car goodies, and loads of performance, convenience, and safety tech were just some of the things Ford combined to create the Energi Platinum version of the 2017 Fusion, a sedan which truly deserves its name. It also deserves a look – and a test drive. Just go to an AutoNation Ford dealer. Prices for the Fusion Energi Platinum start at $39,120*; as tested, our White Gold press car had a price of $39,995.
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
***195 horsepower in Charge-Depletion Mode