Combining luxury, fuel economy and affordability in a mid-size hybrid sedan is not easy to do. However, the Ford Motor Company has it figured out in the form of the 2018 Fusion Platinum Hybrid. It costs under $40k, has a leather-covered interior, will seat five adults and gets an EPA rated 42 mpg in combined driving, 41 highway and 43 mpg in the city*. Thus, after spending a week with it, I came away with a couple of questions. Is the Fusion Hybrid the best mid-size hybrid on the market? Am I missing something?
For the full 2018 Ford Fusion Platinum review, specs, pricing and data read on…
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid Exterior
If you think this 2018 Fusion has a bit of a European flair, you’d be right. This is a global vehicle, which means it’s sold in the shape you see here around the world. There’s a lot to consider when you’re designing a car for different countries, as size, style and of course, powertrains come into play. A 2017 facelift meant the Fusion received some minor updates that transformed it into one of the few vehicles on the road whose true model year is difficult to determine.
Our 2018 Platinum Hybrid showcases a stylish brushed honeycomb grille with accompanying brushed trim, configurable daytime running lamps with LED surrounds, stylish 18-inch aluminum wheels wearing 235/45-series tires and a deck lid with an integrated rear spoiler.
Look closely and you’ll see hints of an Aston Martin in the Fusions’ sleek bodywork. A long sloping nose, wide-mouth grill, and sculpted headlamp enclosures give the Fusion a decidedly upscale look, while mildly flared fenders and a high rear deck add a small dose of aggression. This is not your standard hybrid, quite the opposite in fact. The Fusion designers had a very specific goal in mind when they penned the original Fusion redesign back in 2013 – make it a car that you’re proud to own. In our opinion they succeeded, as the Fusion is one of the best-looking domestic hybrids currently on sale.
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid Interior
Ford did a wonderful job of making sure that the interior of the 2018 Platinum Hybrid reflected the beautiful exterior styling. Nicely padded leather covered front seats with contrasting piping offer heat and ventilation, while rear passengers are treated to generous amounts of head and legroom. Premium materials such as the double-stitched dash, wood inlays and even the center consoles rotary gear selector are topnotch and help the Fusion Platinum feel more upscale than people may think.
Ford’s SYNC 3 system works well and offers unique hybrid electric content, while at the same time being intuitive and user friendly. This allows for quick connectivity to mobile devices, vehicle settings and even the Platinum Hybrids EcoGuide, a system that lets drivers optimize vehicle efficiency by providing real-time feedback. This information is also available through the SmartGauge screen that is located to the left of the Fusions analog speedometer. It’s fully customizable to show instant fuel economy, fuel economy history, a battery regeneration meter, plus much more. Once on the road occupants are treated to a quiet cabin with good outward visibility, however storage space is limited at 12 cubic-feet.
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid Performance:
Powered by a gas and electric hybrid system, the Fusion utilizes a 2.0L I-4 Atkinson engine that’s combined with an electric motor. Both systems can work together or separately from each other to achieve max performance. When used together the total power output comes in at 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque allowing the Fusion Hybrid to reach 60-mph in 9.1 seconds. It’s no rocket ship, but the power produced is adequate for just about every situation. An eCVT automatic transmission directs power to the front wheels and comes on with an immediate surge, and it’s only when your foot is pressed firmly to the floor that you’ll notice the faintest hint of torque steer along with some high revs from the engine.
Overall ride quality was smooth and the Fusion handles both highway and secondary roads with ease. Braking performance was also top notch with handling manners that were confidence inspiring. The EPA-rated mileage will vary due to driving style, however we’re confident that obtaining a consistent 40-mpg overall shouldn’t be too difficult.
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid Safety:
With safety features like Pre-collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stablity Control, Lane-Keeping alert, airbags throughout the cabin, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, electronic-assist parking brake and a standard rear view camera Ford’s commitment to safety runs deep.
Additional safety features can viewed at Ford.com.
2018 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid Overall:
As an overall package, the 2018 Fusion Platinum Hybrid is a wonderful car as it combines luxury with a hybrid drive system that’s actually enjoyable to drive. It also seats five adults and has some of the best road going manners we’ve seen in the mid-size hybrid segment. Plus, with an “as tested” price of $38,770.00 it’s also one of the best values on the market.
Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $38,770.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.