Affordable Hybrid Sedan with Style and Comfort – we review Ford’s new 2015 Fusion Hybrid in the SE trim
The jury’s still out on the is-a-hybrid-really-worth-it debate. Nevertheless, automakers continue producing them — and at the end of the day, hybrid vehicles do accomplish what they’re set out to do: save you money at the pump (a lot of money) and help out the environment (if that matters to you). With gas prices on a seemingly perpetual incline, the hybrid value-proposition begins to make sense. Starting at $27,105 for the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE midsize sedan, coupled with great styling and a more comfortable interior, consumers may have one more reason to crossover to the green-side.
New for 2015
Major changes for the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE are mainly convenience and comfort upgrades with a few more exterior options including standard 17-inch aluminum wheels on the top-end Fusion Hybrid Titanium trim. Gone are the Sterling Grey, Ice Storm, Dark Side, and Sunset colour choices, making way for an updated palate including the new Tectonic Silver, Magnetic Metallic, Bronze Fire, and Guard Metallic exterior colours. If we’re choosing colours based on badass names only, I’d definitely go with Ice Storm.
Better fuel-economy may encourage more road-trips and more time nestled inside the cabin. Fortunately, the Hybrid SE seats get a huge comfort boost with Ecocloth material, a 10-way power driver seat including power lumbar and memory functions, plus a 6-way power passenger seat with fore/aft, up/down with recline. A Terracotta interior package is also new for 2015 adding sports seats, better door-trim, and premium floor mats to the mix.
Fusion Hybrid Power
Ford offers three versions of the Hybrid including the S, SE, and Titanium. Plus, two additional plug-in versions: Fusion Energi SE and Energi Titanium. All the Hybrid models including our SE tested trim are powered by a hybrid 2.0L I-4 Atkinson-cycle powertrain coupled with an electronically controlled continuously variable eCVT transmission and a high-voltage electric motor. While the the electric motor benefits from power gained from regenerative braking, the 2.0L gasoline engine still delivers an impressive 188-hp, and will switch to all-electric at speeds up to 85 mph.
A useful (and standard) feature is the SmartGauge with EcoGuide, providing the driver with real-time driving feedback and powertrain operations including hybrid drive, electric drive, and gas engine, while displaying instant and average fuel economy. The display layout is clean and direct with two screens flanking the front-and-centre speedometer, including the left-screen displaying more real-time information showcasing driving efficiencies.
Stylish Exterior Design
The Taurus-esque Ford Fusion first introduced in 2005 was ambiguous with not much setting it apart. Fortunately, Ford’s new design direction flourishing from the Great Recession and auto industry turmoil of the late 2000s, has led to world-class Ford products with European-inspired design. When the all-new, second-generation Fusion hit the streets in 2012, jaws certainly dropped. Absolutely nothing connected the outgoing 2011 Fusion from the new 2012 model — and that’s a good thing.
More modern with sleek projector laser-cut headlamps and contemporary LED taillights, the 2015 Fusion combines bold, muscular lines with sporty yet elegant features. Add the benefits of hybrid technology with incredible fuel economy, the new Fusion is a stylish, affordable sedan unlike anything Ford has introduced recently. The only exterior option on my 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE tester were the larger 18-inch premium painted luxury wheels for $700; thought the standard, hybrid-unique 17-inch aluminum wheels are sharp as well.
Other standards include the chrome front grille, integrated blind spot mirrors, body-coloured door handles and rocker mouldings, and security approach lamps/heated exterior power mirrors, to name a few. Fog lamps, power moonroof, a rear decklid spoiler, and a white platinum tri-coat metallic paint are all optional.
Inside the Hybrid SE
Ford has certainly paid more attention to the Fusion’s interior, focusing on craftsmanship coupled with more convenience/comfort features and options. But it’s the SE Hybrid Luxury Package that will really set the 2015 Hybrid SE cabin apart. Sure, for $2100 it may not be suitable for all, but if the Fusion Hybrid is your main, long-term family chariot, the upgrade is probably worth it, adding crafted leather upholstery and heated, power front seats.
My Hybrid SE also came equipped with navigation ($800), a heated steering wheel ($200), rear inflatable seat belts ($190), the reverse sensing system ($400), premium floor mats with trunk mat ($150), and active park assist ($600).
Also read: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport Review: The 325-hp Unassuming Sedan
Two other packages, also included in my Fusion Hybrid tester, are the $1500 Driver Assist Package with the lane departure and blind spot detection features, and the $700 SE Hybrid Tech Packaging adding MyFord Touch with the rear view video camera.
Aside from upgrades, the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE comes well-equipped with dual-zone electronic climate control and a cabin filter, intermittent/speed-sensitive wipers, the rear-view camera, rear A/C vents, and the SmartGauge cluster, to name a few. SiriusXM satellite is also a great standard (subscription fees are separate) paired to a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 capability.
Totalling $39,639 CAD MSRP (including fees, before taxes) for the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE I tested, included just over eight-thousand dollars in options, the final price-point is fairly high. But strip away some of the packages and options, and the Fusion Hybrid SE hits most of the marks — with stunning exterior styling, increased cabin comfort, and all the benefits of hybrid technology and fuel efficiencies at a sub-$30k starting price-point, the Fusion Hybrid sedan may encourage us to reconsider the conventional gas-only option for something a little more green and certainly more efficient.
Learn more about the Ford Fusion
2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Gallery: