• Aug 4, 2009
2010 Ford Fusion hybrid - Click above for high-res gallery

Ford's new 2010 Fusion Hybrid has earned plenty of accolades since it debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall, and the latest praise comes from Consumer Reports. In its most recent round of testing, the entire Fusion lineup did well, but CR singled out the hybrid model and declared it "essentially tied" with long-time favorite, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Fusion racked up 34 mpg, beating out the Kia Optima in a test of mid-size family sedans.

Compared to the Camry, CR agreed with most other reviewers that the Fusion felt sportier:

"The new Fusions are very impressive especially the Hybrid," said David Champion, senior director of CR's Auto Test Center. "The Hybrid successfully blends excellent fuel economy with driving pleasure, something all other hybrids have failed to do."

Although we've disagreed with some of Consumer Reports' previous assessments, this is one case where we're of the same mind. Check out the official press release after the jump for more of CR's thoughts.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Consumer Reports]

PRESS RELEASE:

Hybrid Ford Fusion Gets Excellent Rating in Consumer Reports, Now on Par With Toyota Camry Hybrid

Four and six-cylinder versions much improved, Audi Q5 tops tests of compact luxury SUVs

YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 3, 2009; The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is now Consumer Reports' top-rated domestic sedan. Essentially tied with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Fusion Hybrid achieved an excellent 34 mpg overall in CR's fuel economy test and offers sportier driving.

The newly freshened four- and six-cylinder versions of the Ford Fusion family sedan are much improved and now compete with the best models in the category. All three versions were quieter and more refined than previous versions.

Consumer Reports also tested four- and six-cylinder versions of the freshened Kia Optima in its tests of family sedans in the September issue.

"The new Fusions are very impressive especially the Hybrid," said David Champion, senior director of CR's Auto Test Center. "The Hybrid successfully blends excellent fuel economy with driving pleasure, something all other hybrids have failed to do. All have a comfortable ride, agile handling, and the innovative display on the Hybrid encourages frugal driving."

Prices ranged from $20,365 for the four-cylinder Optima to $32,360 for the Fusion Hybrid, which included a $5,000 package that added navigation, leather seats, a moonroof and other options. All of the cars in this group are Recommended based on test scores and the cars' previous reliability history. CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR's Annual Car Reliability Survey of its more than seven million print and web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The Audi Q5 was top in CR's test of compact luxury SUVs, also in the September issue. A combination of performance, comfort and refinement has made the Q5 one of the top-rated models in the growing compact luxury SUV market. (Note: The Audi Q5 was one of the top-rated cars ... Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited -- $28,860 is listed in first place.)

Full tests and ratings of family sedans and compact luxury SUVs appear in the August issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale August 4. The reports are also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.

Family Sedans

The Ford Fusion Hybrid's ride is supple and controlled, with good isolation from bumps. The Fusion Hybrid, ($32,360 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price as tested, base hybrids start at about $28,000), is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with electric motor that combine for 191 hp and delivers 34 mpg overall and can be propelled up to 47 mpg on electricity alone in CR's own fuel economy tests. The CVT transmission performs smoothly. Braking is Very Good. The interior is well-finished. Due to the battery pack, the Hybrid's trunk is smaller than the non-Hybrid's and its seats do not fold down.

The Kia Optima is a sensible, well-rounded sedan that's competitively priced. It might not be an exciting drive, but it's roomy, rides well, and handles securely. The Optima LX, ($20,365, MSRP as tested), is powered by a 175-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that accelerates smoothly and gets 25 mpg overall. The five-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. Braking is Very Good. The Optima has a nicely-finished interior. Cargo space is Excellent.

Compact luxury SUVs

The Audi Q5 is quiet, agile, and fun to drive. It has a composed ride and a meticulously finished interior. The Q5 Premium Plus, ($42,800, MSRP as tested), is powered by a 270-hp, 3.2-liter V6 engine that delivers very strong and smooth performance and gets 19 mpg overall on premium fuel in CR's own fuel economy tests. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts responsively and very smoothly. Braking is Excellent. The Q5 has a well-finished and luxurious interior with wood and chrome detailing, lined storage compartments, and padded trim. Trade-offs include confusing controls and modest rear-seat and cargo space.

The Volvo XC60 is quick and civilized, and it benefits from Volvo's safety advances. Handling is sound, but the car is not as sporty to drive as its competitors. The XC60 T6 AWD, ($42,245, MSRP as tested), is powered by a turbocharged 281-hp, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that is lively but gets an unimpressive 17 mpg overall. Braking is Very Good. Many interior panels are soft to the touch, and the satin-look metal trim is well done. Cabin storage is moderate.

The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 certainly has its virtues, but it trails most of the competition in this class. It's quick, quiet, agile and nimble in routine driving. The GLK350, (41,760, MSRP as tested), is powered by a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers excellent performance but gets only 18 mpg overall on premium fuel. The seven-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Braking is Very Good. The interior is nicely finished, with padded surfaces and imitation leather covering the seats. Cabin space is similar to others in this group.

With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine's auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh wow, being sportier than a Camry, that's soo hard to pull off. Like a Sofa GTi.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Consumer Reports will go as far as to say that the Ford Fusion is equal to the Toyota Camry.
      Then the Fusion in reality must be far better than the Camry.
      CR has been in bed with Toyota for a long time, often giving Toyota a free pass.
      Not that CR is anything to bank on as far as cars go, I will say hats off to Ford for batting a homerun. Thats what it takes to get CR to acknowlege anything close to or better than Toyota.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed. It seems like CR doesn't have the guts to put the Fusion ABOVE the Camry when it clearly is so. It's like how it seemed to give the Camry a pass for questionable interior build but hated on competitors for the same reason.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford seems to be the bright spot among the big three.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like this Fusion Hybrid
      I didn't expect that I would but it looks pretty good inside and out.

      Ford products definitely better than crappy GM products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Camry got the same overall fuel economy in CR's tests, but better in the city and highway tests. It was also faster. Please don't anyone on here try to tell me that acceleration isn't important. And it factors heavily in CR's tests.

      Also, it's misleading to say the Fusion beat the Optima in fuel economy. The Hybrid did, but the conventional I4 got 24 overall to the Optima's 25 and the Optima was faster to boot. With the V6's, they tied at 22 overal but the Ford was much faster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Oh, it's /sporty/? Oooooh, um. I don't know. That sounds kind of dangerous..."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sportier, eh? A frigging tugboat is sportier than a Camry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reason number 6,332 as to why CR is better than Charmin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Same old, same old. Dino juice crap. 34 mpg, jees let me write my mother... B.F.D. Want a sports car? Buy a sports car. Let's not say sporty for a C segment sedan. Bahaaa-humbug. Makes me laugh. My EV is sporty between 30 and 40 miles an hour. Pretty impressive isn't it? About as much as a four door ford. Tiny little baby steps to keep you sucking the oil tit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      34mpg is a disaster.

      Does anyone know, do the rear seats fold down in any meaningful way in the 2010 Camry hybrid? There's a pic of the tiny passthrough in the 2007 Camry Hybrid and they don't fold down in the Ford Fusion Hybrid at all.

      They do fold down on the Prius though.

      Am I the only guy who wants to pick stuff up at Home Depot or IKEA?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the Ford Fusion Hybrid weren't rated 15% higher than the Camry it wouldn't be such an issue that they got the same CR figures as the Camry.

        On the other hand, it got the same ratio (88%) as the Prius, but sounds like it's quite possible to do better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Watched a bunch of CR Review videos to see how it compares.

        Fusion 6cyl:22mpg
        Fusion 4cyl: 24mpg
        Fusion Hybrid: 34mpg
        Camry Hybrid: 34mpg
        Jetta TDI: 33mpg
        Prius: 44 mpg.

        Actually I amazed they got that high with the Prius. Unfortunately you have to be a member to get the breakdown, but the did give it for the Prius 35!! city/50 highway. Compare EPA at 48 City/45 Highway. They must seriously beat cars in their City test.

        So the Fusion Hybrid doesn't catch the Prius, but heck on this test it beats TDI and ties the Camry. Nothing to be ashamed of. Chances are no one will get the city mileage CR gets so you have to adjust your mindset when comparing this test.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From what I understand here the Camry Hybrid did better than its rated figure (34mpg) on CR's test. While the Ford did 15% worse than rated on CR's test.

        It seems the Fusion Hybrid is rated at 18% better mpg than the Camry Hybrid but actually reports lower mpg. As I said, this is a disaster.

        I like the Fusion Hybrid too (I'm considering buying one), but I don't feel compelled to apologize for Ford for problems like this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a different test. Shouldn't you find out how competitors score and the highway/city breakdown before you claim the "number" is bad.

        All things must be in context. CR city loop is notoriously harsh. So the 34mpg number can only be compared to other CR test results, not to EPA, not to hypermiling Autoblog staff.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Blame EPA? I wonder if this is one of the manufacturer submitted numbers? In which case blame Ford.

        Does anyone actually read CR and know the full (city/highway) CR numbers for both cars?

        I wonder how CR did with the Jetta TDI.

        I guess I should pick up the next CR automotive special.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its taken Ford how long to make a car thats equal to the Camry? I don't think this is great news as the Fusion is brand new and the Camry is not. Just shows that Ford still has a lot of work left ahead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not as long as it took Toyota to make the Camry as good as any Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I'm a Ford fanboy (that likes GM, and gave up on Chrysler ten years ago) and all, but if i'm beat i'll admit it, i've just yet to find something from Toyota that is better than something from Ford or GM, especially Ford. When Toyota first came here people used to put bets to guess which would would die first, the corrosive metal or the tiny engine (like the corrosive frames they make now). Then in the 70s and 80s they started building some good cars, and at the same time the domestics started turning to crap. Now the domestics have come back, and the imports have fallen back, but too many people hate domestics from a bad experience they had in the 80s to realize it (although Ford is #1 in Canada, and moving quickly in America, so in a few months you might be standing with your tail between your legs).
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Fusion has had a solid reliability record from the get go, something that cannot be said about the current gen Camry. Also the Fusion is not new, it's a mid-cycle refresh. Ford actually paid attention to the Fusion's shortcomings and addressed them, something Toyota forgot to do and instead added LED tailights.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really Chris? It took Toyota a long time to make cars as good as Ford? WOW your really a ford fanboy. If you like or dislike Toyota, there is no question Toyota has made quality cars and trucks for a long time.. unlike ford where they were running into issues.....Anyone can see that, like or dislike Toyota.
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