Styling with the Ford Fusion has been a high point across the entire model line, looking far more a European premium luxury car than a mainstream mid-size car from America. Many opine it looks like an Aston Martin, not a bad thing at all.
And with the plug-in hybrid model, Ford didn’t over do the theme with a lot of unique trims to differentiate it. Up front a key indicator is its charging port which lights up in blue LED when you get out, indicating the level of charge left on your battery.
Unlike many hybrid or green cars Ford retains a prominent exhaust tip out back at the rear fascia, giving the Fusion Energi a look much identical to the mainstream models. Hybrid emblems are really the only other indicator you have stepped up to this model.
The interior is every bit as design intense as the exterior. Smooth flowing lines with Ford”s kinetic design theme have a distinctly modern feel. The combination of integrated switch gear, and mostly high quality materials make it feel a premium place to spend time.
Front and rear seats offer plenty of comfort and support. The rear seat passengers have plenty of leg and head room despite the raked roofline. The rear seat backs do not fold down in the Energi however as the battery is just behind them.
The dash and center stack are as modern as they come, the Energi Titanium coming with the top-deck MyFord Touch touch-screen infotainment system. The controls are capacitive touch on the center-stack for audio and HVAC, with some duplicate controls on the steering wheel.
In either case, you must flip through menus to operate most audio, advanced HVAC and navigation functions to get things set where you want them. Once you get things set, the steering wheel controls become your best bet for common adjustments while on the go.
The trunk of the Ford Fusion Energi is rather small due to the extra battery for its electric-only operation. It’s roughly half that of a gasoline Fusion and two-thirds a standard hybrid model with 8.2 cubic feet of area.
Under the hood is a 2.0 liter Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower combined with an electric motor. Together they can offer up to 195 horsepower depending on the drive mode. With EV mode, you can travel up to 85 mph and power is reasonable for most city driving.
Charging the Fusion Energi for a range of 19-21 miles of electric-only driving takes about 2 ½ hours with 240V and 7 hours with a standard 120V wall socket which is what I did over night.
Power and refinement is commendable. Ford’s first in-house designed and engineered hybrid drive system transitions between gasoline and electric power much smoother than some competitors. You never feel that shudder when the engine starts and stops.
The Fusion Energi offers up a quiet ride while at speed with an impressive chassis feel and composure. Handling and turning response is slightly more sporting than some competitors even though it does have less aggressive low rolling resistance tires.
The IIHS rates the 2014 Ford Fusion as a Top Safety Pick +. This is because it achieved the required Acceptable rating for the small overlap crash test and good ratings on the other tests. Additionally, crash prevention technology is an available option which is a requirement for Top Safety Pick + status.
Price as tested $42,685. For more news and test drives of hybrid or electric vehicles see our partner channel Motoring2.com.