Last year, Ford claimed that its Fusion Hybrid sedan was one of the company's many models that beat the magic 40 miles per gallon fuel-efficiency figure, but Consumer Reports discovered that the automaker is just dreaming, Green Car Reports says.

Consumer Reports tested the mid-sized sedan and got 39 miles per gallon, well short of the 47 mpg highway that was first estimated by Ford at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit last January. The publication also took the Fusion Hybrid model to task for issues such as the challenging MyFord Touch infotainment system as well as the model's fit and finish.

Either way, customers don't appear to be taking too much issue with the model's fuel economy. Last month, the Fusion Hybrid more than tripled December 2011 sales by selling 3,244 units. For all of 2012, the Fusion Hybrid boosted sales by 25 percent from 2011 numbers, to 14,100 units.


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  • 34 Comments
      Luc K
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they exactly followed EPA standard test methods then is that misrepresenting? The lawsuits are ridiculous and Ford was recently added to that. Only lawyers make money here. Worldwide the EPA numbers are pretty much lowest. European ECE mpg's are way higher (>20%) and don't even mention the Japanese JDM cycles which are even higher. So far I'm only aware of Hyundai not testing properly and inflating numbers. Customer reports on fueleconomy.gov show that some achieve the EPA numbers (some even over).
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      So what: 39MPG real world for the Hybrid Fusion : that's still good by the standards for the automotive sector in America. What kind of real world vs sticker fuel economy does the standard Fusion Achieve ? They claim 22 city 34 highway for the standard Fusion: so that must mean 19 city and 29 in the real world. All the EPA numbers and Fuel Economy numbers published by automakers are best case numbers : done in warm 70deg sun clear weather with little to no wind on level smooth perfectly maintain surfaces, with no traffic congestion. Anyone driving in those conditions can get better than EPA numbers with mild hypermiling techniques. Just saying. Sure, the automakers are not being transparent about the real world fuel economy of any of their vehicles : that means a structural change is needed to the way they rank and rate the fuel economy of the vehicles. I think the automakers should be required to operate 10 vehicles in all conditions all throughout america over a year, then use the data from the real world to create their estimates for the fuel economy numbers. Similarly the EPA should use real world testing, not laboratory tests to acquired an estimate for the fuel economy a consumer should expect to get out of a given vehicle the EPA is testing.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        They're trying to measure something that can't be measured. Sure you can hook it up to lab equipment and run the same test for every car but they can always "build it to the test" and get a misleadingly high result. Sites like fuelly and fuel economy.gov are a little more helpful but even so, you can't necessarily say that somebody living in a different area, with totally different roads and traffic patterns can accurately predict the fuel economy that you would get. Other than giving a ballpark estimate, there isn't much more that can be done. It isn't like a dyno, where you can just hook the car up and count on a good result, but a lot of people seem to be treating it as such. Certainly, some people are taking the tests way too literally, and seem to be out for blood when a car doesn't seem to measure up.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        So what? Do you think it is OK for companies to misrepresent their specifications? If Ford misrepresented their numbers, then they need to be published. Customers use these numbers to make their product decisions and they know that.
      ss1591
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR is also failing to tell the whole story! When the EPA tests car they use 100 percent real gas not the oxygenated fuels used, I have never seen why they do this but it continues. The EPA also drives below the stated highway speed limit and stay at or below 55 MPH. I have a Volt and depending on how I drive I can go between 20 and 60 miles on a charge so the Fusion must also have a huge range depending on the way you drive it.
        kEiThZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ss1591
        EPA is mandated by law to use 100% gasoline. But that at most should result in a 10% miss, not a 17% miss. And as noted, the EPA tests have evolved. They don't underestimate (by as much) how fast Americans drive.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @kEiThZ
          That should only be a 4% miss. Ethanol is 60% as much energy as gas by volume and E10 is 10% ethanol.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ss1591
        The current EPA tests do not stay at or below 55mph. http://www.epa.gov/nvfel/methods/ftpdds.gif The Fusion surely has a huge variance too, but I can tell you having friends who have both that the Volt gets much closer to its listed mpg than the C-Max Energi does. And given the Fusion uses the same drivetrain as the C-Max, I expect it also has a short range.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only way Ford can be at any fault here is if they pulled a Hyundai/Kia and messed up the EPA outlined procedure. I think Ford would be smart enough to fess up at this point if they felt that they made a similar "human error". If not, then shame on Ford. Is consumer reports claiming that they put the car through the same exact EPA test? If not, then shame on CR.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        "Is consumer reports claiming that they put the car through the same exact EPA test? If not, then shame on CR." CR never claims that. Their whole MO is real-world testing, in which most cars get less than EPA rated mpg. Although, not typically this much less.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "CR never claims that. Their whole MO is real-world testing, in which most cars get less than EPA rated mpg. Although, not typically this much less." So is their gripe with Ford or the EPA? If Ford is following the same procedures everyone but Hyundai does, then why make a big stink about it? Real world is always going to be different than EPA. Everyone knows that. EPA just gives you a relative number to compare... apparently it isnt as accurate with hybrids. Thats why Ford is working with the EPA to refine the procedures. Consumer reports is acting like Ford did something wrong here... if they ran the same test and got different numbers, then they have something. Apparently they dont have jack ****.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Actually CR testing is well proscribed and repeatable. Most cars get lower on the city portion of the CR test. Most cars get HIGHER on the highway portion of the CR test. So far only Hyundais (caught screwing up the test) and Fords actually get lower on the highway portion. Ford was short by a greater magnitude than Hyundai.
          Reggie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Gotta agree, EPA have a set of parameters by which they test cars it might not be perfect. Ford's Fusion can be driven the way EPA conducts the same way on all cars, and it might not do as well in a Larry Leadfoot style of driving different test parameters that Consumer Reports uses to test its cars. To me you get the best of both worlds with the Ford Fusion, most hybrid driver will drive slow and sensible nearly all the time, so you will get the EPA stated MPG numbers. But if you are running a little bit late the driving style might change to Consumer Reports type of style of driving, but only the Fusion will deliver the faster drive, better performance and acceleration to do that, and use more fuel in the process.
      • 2 Years Ago
      There are multiple reasons for MPG differences beyond one's driving habits. I have 700 miles on my 2013 FFH and have 41 MPG combined (and climbing) in winter temperatures. As I have just donated my 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid (140000 mi, lifetime combined average 45 mpg- close to the 51/49 under the old EPA test), I know quite a bit about maximizing fuel economy (e.g., opting out of low friction tires can kill 5-8 mpg!). This is a duel functioning vehicle as it rates 188 hp. My Honda was rated a little over 100 hp and driving it hard would not bring my mpg down as dramatically as this new Ford. The CR test is unfair as the electric motor will not kick in if your car is traveling 63+ mph (Look at the CR's test parameters).
      Luc K
      • 2 Years Ago
      Didn't CR report that a month ago? I don't think there's any update on their findings yet. EPA was conducting an investigation after their report but no updates on that either. If you look at Fueleconomy.gov then user reports show range of 32 - 53 mpg. Looks to me EPA numbers are alright. You may not hit the EPA #s but as always ymmv.
        lne937s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Luc K
        CR reported on the C Max hybrid underperforming on their tests. The Fusion hybrid results just came out.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR's testing is a valuable contrast to the EPA. The problem begins when people (including journalists) assume it's the same test. It's up to the consumer to choose which test believe.
      Luc K
      • 2 Years Ago
      They also reported 39 mpg for the Fusion and commented it was 1 mpg short of Camry. Unless that info was for subscribers only (don't think so since it was in RSS feed).
      Bryan Lund
      • 2 Years Ago
      Big surprise, huh?
      pmpjunkie01
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh really CR, you ran a different test and got different numbers? How shocking! I am sure Top Gear can run another test and blame you for deceiving the public to believe that it gets 39mpg while it really only gets 8.
      eideard
      • 2 Years Ago
      CR is useless, incompetent as ever.
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports test data can still spot EPA anomalies(including cheaters), despite being done in a different way. Why? Correlation. In theory we have two defined repeatable/reliable tests that should correlate. We could actually run the data sets and get a correlation factor with standard deviation. While I haven't done that, I have looked at fuel economy results from both tests and one, extremely strong correlation is obvious: All cars tested get better highway MPG on the CR test, than they do on the EPA test (exceptions to follow). The CR test is essentially an easier test. Now if every car gets better than EPA on the CR test, the few exceptions that don't stand out like a sore thumb. So what were the exceptions? Hyundai Elantra - Found to have faulty results, resulting in cash payouts, lawsuits, new lower results. EPA 40 mpg, CR 39 MPG (1 MPG short) Even being off by 1 MPG on this test was a red flag that Hyundai had a questionable result because every other car tests beats EPA on this test. Now along comes Fusion: EPA 47 MPG, CR 41 MPG - (6 MPG short) That is a smoking gun, Fords results look similarly tainted to Hyundai. Even the gas powered Fusion comes up 1 MPG short like the Hyundai Elantra used to (Today the Elantra is rated at 37 MPG EPA and is no longer short). Since Hyundai ratings have been fixed, the ONLY CARS that get less than EPA rated highway MPG on CR test are Fords. I am placing my bet that sometime in the next year, Ford will be getting updated (lower) EPA numbers and possible sanctions.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        The fact that CR got 39 MPG out of the Elantra is suspect IMO. Dont forget that they came up pretty short with the Prius too. Ford is apparently working with the EPA to provide more accurate numbers for hybrids. Why, based on what I have read its the EPA tests that are at fault, particularly with hybrids.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          You aren't reading what I wrote. The correlation is on Highway MPG. The Prius didn't come up short there. No cars currently do except Fords. On City MPG conversely, ALL cars get lower on the CR test, so this isn't as useful for correlation. It isn't just Hybrids, One of the Gas powered Fusions is also short.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        You do realize that over 62 mph the FFH's electric motor is not on? Look carefully at CR's tests and you'll see the tested highway speeds exceed this threshhold (This is not a good controlled study of this particular car's capabilities, but tester bias based on their definition of "real world" driving). By the way, is anyone paying attention that this is a 3600 lb car with 188 HP? If you drive it with spirit (70-85 mph on the highway or stomp on it in town), you will not get good numbers. Smaller hybrids with much less horsepower and different engine/e-motor set-ups often have less mpg drop off when pushing those cars. Ford has a unique hybrid winner with this very fine mid-size sedan.
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