Ford Fusion Hybrid Bests Toyota Camry Hybrid As Most Fuel Efficient Mid-Size

Illustration for article titled Ford Fusion Hybrid Bests Toyota Camry Hybrid As Most Fuel Efficient Mid-Size

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is officially America’s most fuel efficient mid-size, with an EPA rating of 41/36 MPG city/highway, besting the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 MPG in city, 2 MPG in highway driving.


In what'll certainly shock Congress and naysayers across the nation, and as we found out in our first drive, the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is now officially America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan with a rating of 41 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. That bests the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 MPG in the city and 2 MPG on the highway. We can almost hear the Ford folks in Dearborn chanting from here — it sounds like — is that — yes, "USA! USA! USA!"

41 mpg! All-new FORD Fusion hybrid IS NOW America’s most fuel-efficient mid-size car

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 23, 2008 – The all-new Ford Fusion Hybrid is now officially America’s most fuel efficient mid-size car with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

“The new Ford Fusion Hybrid not only significantly exceeds the competition but also embodies Ford’s 100 percent commitment to fuel efficiency leadership, quality, innovation and advanced technology,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “The Ford team set the bar high – to develop America’s most fuel efficient mid-size sedan – and that’s what they delivered.”

The 2010 Ford Fusion’s final fuel economy certification was completed this week at Ford’s testing laboratories in Allen Park, Mich., and the vehicle will carry an EPA label of 41 mpg for city driving and 36 mpg on the highway when it goes on sale this spring. The Fusion Hybrid, which beats even the much smaller Honda Civic hybrid by 1 mpg in city driving, can travel more than 700 miles on a single tank of gas.

To deliver the class leading fuel economy performance, Ford’s engineers spent the past three years developing in-house the vehicle’s next-generation hybrid propulsion system. It allows the Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrid to travel up to 47 miles per hour in pure electric mode, faster than the Toyota Camry and all other hybrids currently on the road. In addition, the system’s Advanced Intake Variable Cam Timing allows the Fusion and Milan hybrids to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa.

“The Fusion Hybrid’s ability to run at a much higher speed in electric mode allows drivers to maximize fuel efficiently in many driving situations,” said Praveen Cherian, Fusion Hybrid program leader. “For example, this would allow drivers to travel around their subdivision and parking areas in all-electric mode.”

Fusion’s advanced hybrid system features:

* Smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery, which produces 20 percent more power than Ford’s previous hybrid system. The battery’s improved chemistry allows it to be run at a higher temperature and cooled using cabin air.
* New 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (155 horsepower / 136 lb.-ft. of torque), which is mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.
* Enhanced electronic throttle control, which reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.
* Smart climate control system, which monitors cabin temperature and only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin. It also includes an electric air conditioning compressor to further minimize engine use.
* Regenerative brake system, which captures the energy normally lost through friction in braking and stores it. Nearly 94 percent energy recovery is achieved by delivering full regenerative braking, which means only 6 percent of braking is through traditional friction brakes

SmartGauge Teaches Eco-Driving
The new Fusion Hybrid literally teaches drivers how to make the most out of their vehicle, thanks to Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide. SmartGauge is a unique instrument cluster that helps coach drivers on how to optimize the performance of their hybrid.

SmartGauge with EcoGuide features two, high-resolution, full-color liquid crystal display screens on either side of the vehicle’s speedometer. The screens can be configured to show different levels of driver information, including fuel and battery power levels, and average and instant miles-per-gallon.

When set in tutorial mode, the instrument panel “grows” leaves and vines on-screen to reward fuel-efficient driving. The more leaves and vines that appear, the more efficient the driving behavior is and the more fuel is being saved. In some recent tests, automotive journalists have reported exceeding 50 mpg with the Fusion Hybrid.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid also is distinct on the outside with Ford’s “road and leaf” badges on both sides and the rear, unique 17-inch, eight-spoke wheels, and a unique engine cover. On the inside, Fusion Hybrid features eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials and a standard 110-volt power outlet.

Fusion Gasoline Model Also a Fuel Leader
In addition to the hybrid, Fusion will be offered with three fuel-efficient gasoline engines – the Duratec 2.5-liter I-4 and enhanced 3.0-liter flex-fuel V-6 and 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engines. Fusions equipped with the 2.5-liter I-4 engine are expected to deliver at least 3 mpg better on the highway than the Honda Accord and 2 mpg better than the Toyota Camry. The new Fusion will be building off the strong quality reputation of the current model, which has gained important third-party accolades, and will offer class-exclusive features, including Ford SYNC™, SIRIUS® TravelLink™, BLIS™ (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert and Sony-branded audio.

In addition to the Fusion, several other Ford vehicles are fuel-economy standouts on the road today. They include:

* The Ford Focus with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission delivers 35 mpg on the highway, 5 mpg better than the Toyota Corolla’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 2 mpg better than the Honda Fit’s 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, both also with manual transmissions.
* The all-new 2009 Ford F-150 – which just recently was named Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year – achieves 3 mpg more than the Toyota Tundra pickup on the highway and 1 mpg better in the city with its 4.6-liter V-8 engine, compared to Toyota’s 4.7-liter V-8. The F-150’s larger 5.4-liter V-8 achieves 2 mpg better on the highway than the Tundra’s larger engine.
* The 2009 Ford Escape with new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine achieves 28 mpg on the highway, the same as Toyota’s RAV4 and 1 mpg better than the Honda CR-V, both with 4-cylinder engines, too.
* The Ford Expedition achieves 20 mpg on the highway, beating Toyota Sequoia’s 4.7-liter V-8 engine by 3 mpg and its 5.7-liter V-8 by 1 mpg.

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About Ford Motor Company:
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit



Well, somebody at Consumer Reports was on TV the other day saying we no longer have anything to fear from the Blue Oval of Stigma. As much as I'd like to believe him, we've been burned too many times to just take him at his word. I have yet to own a Ford product that wasn't a basket case.

My dad had this observation about Ford. You get one, it self-destructs, and you trade it in with a year left to pay because you can't stand driving it anymore. You swear you'll never get another one. So when it's time to trade your Chevy, you're offered a really, really, really good deal on a Ford. You still remember the last crummy POS they sold you, but it's a really, really, really good deal, and it seemed OK when you test-drove it, so you buy it. Two years later, you're pushing what's left of it to the Chevy dealer. Rinse and repeat.

Our collective experience with Ford:

1975 Granada - what a piece of Malaise that was. Automatic choke was a real piece of work. Carb required user intervention in order for the car to start in the morning. Lousy gas mileage. Knocked, pinged, dieseled, you name it, on newly-mandated unleaded gas. Traded it in fall of 1977 for a Chevy that lasted well into the 80s.

1986 Taurus - four-banger with automatic transmission. In and out of the shop the whole time he owned it for one thing or another, especially the transmission.

1988 Topaz (mine) - again, in and out of the shop, nickel and diming me to death. Brakes, suspension, air conditioner, oil pump. Gone in 1992 for $4500 after Ford rebuilt the engine following the oil pump failure.

2000 Focus (kid's collegemobile) - just about everything people on message boards said could go wrong with this model went wrong with this particular car. Substandard cut-rate ignition lock that looks like it was made in a Chinese sweatshop (and probably was). Doors with latches that stick and won't close. Leaking every kind of fluid imaginable from every seal. Self-adjusting brakes that, well, won't, and leak into the rear drums to boot.

So you understand why I'm skeptical about Ford "beating Toyota at their own game" or "finally getting it right." You all can buy the beta version and let us know how good it is in four or five years.