Tuesday, July 8, 2014

2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE - proof you don't have to give up comfort for green driving

I'm a fan of the Ford Fusion in all its trims, the hybrids more so than the traditional gassers.  The hybrid and plug-in hybrid tech available on this car is nothing short of amazing.  Take it easy with the options sheet and stick to the milder SE and you can have you cake and eat it too.  What do I mean?  Well, Ford has dropped the sticker on the Fusion Energi models and the SE Model starts out at 34,700 and is better equipped...leather seating power seating, EcoCruise control, automatic lamps, auto climate control,  power windows and other goodies that are the other plug-ins wet dreams as standard.  Yes, Standard.  Yes you can option up, but no need as this nicely appointed Fusion Energi SE in the video at the more affordable than last year price of 34.7K.  Best part is that it looks like a regular car, not some freak mobile.

Driving this is eerie.  Ford did a tremendous job in quashing the old NVH demons with this iteration of the Fusion.  Add in all electric driving of the Energi and it church quiet in the car, not even tire noise works its way into the cabin.   No engine noise or transmission shifts to indicate you are moving, just a subtle push in your back as you hit the go pedal.  If you don't look at the speedometer you will get yourself in trouble as there are no aural cues as to how fast you are going.

And do this car does do quite well in EV only mode.  Up to 21 miles of tailpipe emission free driving on a single charge.  The EPA ratings on this car in EV mode are 95MPE city and 81MPE highway.  In a mix of fast freeway driving and urban driving with hills I averaged 66.4MPe. I left on my 21 miles loop with a full charge and returned with an indicated remaining EV miles of 2.5.   Not EPA estimates, but I drove to stay with traffic, used regen braking when I could on hills and "added" back miles which served to increase my total range of EPA estimate.

This car could be having your cake and eat it too if your commute is about 20 miles each way and your employer has a charging station.  Think of it...charge at home for pennies a KW at night, drive to work, refill on your bosses dime and drive home at the end of the day.  No gas used on your part and half your commute paid for by someone else.  In this scenario your pay back for the Plug-in premium is shortened dramatically.

Of course the real advantage of this power train over a pure EV is that you have the ability to go on road trips.  No range anxiety, just let the car switch to gas operation and you are road trip ready.  Las Vegas anyone?