2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid

I Think I’m Getting Spoiled…

…and full-sized sedans aren’t selling, why?

It seems like every few months we learn about another model line being dropped due to slow or no sales in favor of a crossover or SUV these days. From a numbers and maybe a forecasting outlook I understand. But maybe it’s just me at a relatively advanced age that I wonder if this is the correct move.

This is not to say that the market isn’t going to suddenly turn back toward intermediate and full-sized sedans, but I also remember when manufacturers ceased making convertibles. Markets change.

 Once again I took the time to take a decently long road trip in a full-sized sedan. This time it was the Ford Fusion in Hybrid variant. Hmmm. Let’s see.

After the initial adjustment to the quietness and absence of feedback of the initial starting of a hybrid vehicle, I immediately noticed that typical electric assisted torque. Oh, by the way, it took a moment or two to realize that there is an icon display in the cluster to visually let you know that you’ve successfully started the vehicle. This is VERY important since there was absolutely no audible feedback as in a typical all internal combustion power plant.

The initial pull away was smooth and fine as the electronic portion was utilized. It wasn’t too powerful, but welcomed in a large vehicle like this.

I know the trend it toward crossover vehicles. I understand and cannot dispute the argument in favor of them. But I can honestly say after taking a long road trip in both smaller and larger SUVs, that though they have their benefits, a full-sized sedan is wonderful for the open highway.

This Ford Fusion Hybrid felt wonderful in the city as well as on the highway. Personally, I prefer a ride and handling setup, like an older 5-series BMW I had. It seemed to be the perfect blend of sportiness, feedback and handling. All without any harshness in ride quality. This Ford reminded me of those days.

Steering weight and feedback was great and was spot on. Clearly better than I expected from a full-sized American vehicle. The ride quality was also much better than expected. I had absolutely no complaints of the overall driveability of this Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Interior comfort was also a pleasant surprise. Well, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise given that it is a full-sized sedan. There was an expected level of “ease of entry” that was welcomed. Though it is a much lower vehicle than the typical crossover, there was never the instance where I “dropped” down into the vehicle or felt like I had to “hoist” myself out of it.

There was adequate room in the rear seats with a usable fold-down center armrest. The room in the rear compartment was better than you typical see in modern crossovers. The majority of crossovers or SUVs I’ve sat in had more upright rear seating and limited legroom. This is expected as there always seems to be a slant toward the usability or flexibility of the seating configurations vs cargo space. Clearly, the family sedan wins in this area of comfort and satisfaction during a long road trip.

This being a hybrid vehicle with all the gains in fuel economy, there’s the flip side of where to store the battery. Well this platform stowed the battery in the rear area. This cut quite a bit into the dimensions of the trunk.

I found this a bit limiting upon first sight, but after I maneuvered my cargo properly, the smaller trunk space didn’t come into any negative light. This was a small price to pay for the increased flexibility.

Speaking of flexibility of the power plant, this hybrid model averaged over 35 miles per gallon over the week I drove it. This included quite a bit of urban use and quite a bit of highway driving. It took a while to understand how to use or interpret the instrumentation provided that allows the operator to monitor how efficient they are driving. Being that this car is a hybrid, it stands to reason that the driver is interested in saving fuel. So actual telemetry on how they’re driving is useful. I found this a benefit as well. I STILL don’t understand the correlation of Kwh to that of MPG, but I do understand that I was getting very good mileage in a full-sized vehicle.

As a quick note, I thoroughly enjoyed the features of this model. These days it’s my opinion that there is absolutely no reason for higher end vehicles to charge extra for modern safety features such as lane keeping assist, radar based cruise control, auto high-beam headlights and other items. Less expensive models have these items as standard equipment. I know my manufacturing processes and I know sometimes it’s cheaper per unit to simply make it standard with a small bump in price than to have never ending build combinations where this is on some and not others coming down the line.  Forgive the rant.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this sedan. I urge manufacturers to not give up on these vehicles. I understand where the market is headed, but there is still a market for a well built and equipped family sedan. Given the choice of which to take on a long road trip, I don’t believe a crossover can compete with the comfort and ease of driving that a full-sized sedan provides.

Check one out when you get a chance. Personally, I like this Ford Fusion Hybrid. It’s a great car and headed in the right direction toward useable electrification.