2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you've gone shopping for a hybrid vehicle in the last several years, you may have noticed that they often have substantially higher price tags than conventional counterparts. Of course, it's inevitable that a hybrid will cost several thousand dollars more than a comparably equipped conventional model. After all the hybrid has a lot of extra hardware installed and the powertrain requires more engineering development time than a standard engine.

The problem comes when you try to do that "comparably equipped" comparison. Options and equipment packages are where automakers make much of their profit margins, and entry level models have much smaller margins. Because of the initial investment required to develop hybrids in the first place, automakers tend to bundle more equipment with hybrids so that they can hide some of that cost. The fear is that an expensive hybrid with less equipment might not be salable. General Motors got a lot of criticism when it launched the two-mode hybrid SUVs because the near $50,000 price tag that was only available with features like leather seating and a navigation system.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has put together a table of hybrids and rated each based on "forced features," "hybrid value," and environmental score. The Toyota Prius got top marks for value and environmental benefit and a relatively good, although not great, score on forced features. The Honda Civic and Ford Fusion hybrids got dinged for bundling more features. The Lexus LS600h and GM SUVs got slammed for biasing the hybrid systems to performance and requiring a lot of content. Check out the full scorecard.


2010fordfusionhybrid_review000
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review000
2010fordfusionhybrid_review001
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review001
2010fordfusionhybrid_review002
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review002
2010fordfusionhybrid_review003
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review003
2010fordfusionhybrid_review004
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review004
2010fordfusionhybrid_review005
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review005
2010fordfusionhybrid_review006
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review006
2010fordfusionhybrid_review007
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review007
2010fordfusionhybrid_review008
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review008
2010fordfusionhybrid_review009
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review009
2010fordfusionhybrid_review010
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review010
2010fordfusionhybrid_review011
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review011
2010fordfusionhybrid_review012
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review012
2010fordfusionhybrid_review013
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review013
2010fordfusionhybrid_review014
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review014
2010fordfusionhybrid_review015
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review015
2010fordfusionhybrid_review016
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review016
2010fordfusionhybrid_review017
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review017
2010fordfusionhybrid_review018
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review018
2010fordfusionhybrid_review019
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review019
2010fordfusionhybrid_review020
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review020
2010fordfusionhybrid_review021
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review021
2010fordfusionhybrid_review022
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review022
2010fordfusionhybrid_review023
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review023
2010fordfusionhybrid_review024
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review024
2010fordfusionhybrid_review025
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review025
2010fordfusionhybrid_review026
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review026
2010fordfusionhybrid_review027
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review027
2010fordfusionhybrid_review028
  • 2010fordfusionhybrid_review028

Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Union of Concerned Scientists]

Share This Photo X