5 Reasons Not To Buy A Ford Fusion Energi (And 2 Reasons You Should)
Even with some mild updates, it’s no match for the Chevy Volt.
The Ford Fusion Energi has been updated for 2019 with a refreshed look and larger battery pack, but does that make it suddenly competitive in a plug-in hybrid class that’s constantly growing with worthy contenders? The quick answer is no, a nip/tuck and a few more miles of range does not a Volt-killer make. So here are five reasons you shouldn’t buy the 2019 Ford Energi Fusion, and because we’re always fair and balanced, two reasons you should.
*Flip through the slides above for our why not to buy and why to.
The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi offers an electric-only range of 26 miles, which is up five miles compared to last year’s model thanks to an increase in battery pack size from 7.6 kilowatt-hours to 9.0 kwh. Even with that boost, the Fusion Energi’s all-electric range is still a far cry from the 50+ miles offered by the Chevy Volt and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. And after those 26 all-electric miles are gone, the Fusion Energi’s 2.0-liter gas engine ignites and drags its fuel efficiency down from the equivalent of 103 miles per gallon combined to a dirtier 42 miles per gallon.
Seriously Compromised Cargo
The Fusion Energi’s trunk is severely compromised by the battery pack intruding into the space. A regular Fusion offers 16.0 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Energi model’s is nearly cut in half to just 8.2 cubes. That’s a little trunk for such a big sedan, and might not even handle a full load of groceries for a small family.
Not The Purest Of PHEVs
At its heart, the Fusion Energi has always been a gas-powered car converted to become a plug-in hybrid. On account of that, it comes with inherent flaws and limitations that cars designed from the outset as plug-in hybrids – like the aforementioned Volt and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and others like the Prius Plug-in Prime – don’t have. The aforementioned tiny trunk is one. Another is the fact its body is not as aerodynamic as it could be. Yet another is weight, which wasn’t as significant a consideration for Fusion engineers when this generation of the car was being developed.
No Selectable Regen Levels
One of the best selling points for modern PHEVs is selectable regenerative braking levels. PHEVs that offer this feature allow you to choose the intensity level of regenerative breaking, with higher levels helping to slow the car down more before traditional friction brakes are needed. In some cases, the driver can choose a level of regenerative braking resistance that’s so high, the car can be stopped without ever touching the friction brakes – this is called one-pedal braking. Alas, the Fusion Energi offers no selectable levels of regenerative braking. Its standard level is very mild and its effect on slowing the car down is barely perceptible.
The Energi model is only offered in one of the Fusion’s trim levels, and it happens to be the Titanium trim level, which is the most expensive one. On account of that, the Fusion Energi’s starting price is a relatively high $34,595. Thanks to its larger battery pack for 2019, its federal hybrid tax credit has increased from $4,007 to $4,609, but the Fusion Energi still costs nearly $30,000 while a Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid with nearly double the range starts at $33,400 and is eligible for the federal government’s full $7,500 tax credit. While it has a bit smaller cabin, the Clarity’s trunk is significantly larger at 15.5 cubic-feet.
Why You Should Buy It: Looks
Despite being on the market relatively unchanged since 2013, this generation of the Ford Fusion has always been a looker. Its grille-and-headlight combination have always looked Aston Marting-esque, and the car’s sleek silhouette was like a four-door coupe before that became an industry catchphrase. If looking good is as important to you as doing good, the Fusion Energi is a smart choice.
Why You Should Buy It: Trick Charge Port Door
Perhaps I’m grasping at straws trying to find nice things to say about the Fusion Energi, but how its charge port door opens did genuinely surprise and delight me. Why? The way it pops out and rotates over to the right felt like what I imagined cars in the future would do when I was but a wee tot. I still don’t have the flying cars I was promised, but at least this charge port door doesn’t open like fuel filler doors have opened for the last 70 years.