Source: Car & Driver magazine - 02/09 - Page 40
Article quote on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid:
The Highs: Impressive hybrid machinery, major mpg, video cluster invites driver into the game, superb quality.
The Lows: Loose-feeling CVT on the highway, growling engine on mild acceleration.
The Verdict: Ford hits one over the fence and into the ionosphere.
Ford has pulled off a game changer with this 2010 model, creating a high mpg family hauler that's fun to drive. That achievement has two components: First, the machinery is unexpectedly refined - call it Toyota slickness expressed with car-guy soul. Second, the electronic instrument cluster involves the driver, invites you into the hybrid game, and gives you the feedback needed to keep increasing your personal-best mpg number.
Ford really hit all the marks with this hybrid Fusion, combining excellent fuel economy with slick manners and an engrossing personality. Fun and fuel economy have finally gotten married in a mid-sized sedan.
Ford has been touting the Fusion Hybrid's segment-leading 41 mpg rating, which handily beats the Toyota Camry Hybrid. But Fields admitted that Ford cannot get enough batteries to keep up with consumer demand for the vehicle and its sibling, the Mercury Milan Hybrid, let alone the two hybrid SUVs it already has on the market.
"We are constrained by the amount of components -- including batteries -- that the supply base can provide us," he said. "That said, we will continue to work with suppliers to look at every opportunity to meet demand and still provide a good return for the business."
Analysts doubt Ford is making money on any of its hybrids, but that does not mean they are not important.
"You cannot overstate the PR significance of those mileage numbers," said analyst Erich Merkle of Crowe Horwath. "These are green halo cars that actually benefit the entire product line."