Last year's stunning Evos concept previewed the 2013 Fusion's styling, and the production sedan looks like, well, a bigger, better-looking Focus, or possibly a smaller, better-looking Taurus. Surprised? Neither are we. But lack of astonishment or no, there's no denying that the new Fusion is fetching. It's a mid-size sedan with the elegance of a luxury car, an impression hammered home by that Aston Martinian grille. Under the hood, however, Ford is tendering no illusions—the range of economical engine options encompasses conventional, hybrid, and plug-in-hybrid alternatives. Those who opt to go strictly fossil fuel have three choices: a 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic; a 179-hp, 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo four mated to either a six-speed auto or a six-speed manual; and a 237-hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost four hooked to a six-speed automatic. (All power figures are estimates, but they're not likely to change much.) All-wheel drive is again available but only with the 2.0-liter. An engine stop-start system will be offered exclusively on 1.6-liter models, where it is said to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 3.5 percent.
Fusion hybrid buyers get a new 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder to replace the outgoing 2.5-liter. A permanent-magnet AC synchronous motor holds up the electrical end of the momentum bargain, helping to boost total system output to 185 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission sends the power to the wheels. Lighter, more powerful lithium-ion batteries replace the previous Fusion hybrid's nickel-metal hydride batteries and increase the electric-only top speed from 47 to 62 mph. Ford is calling out Toyota and Hyundai, the Fusion hybrid stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry hybrid by 4 mpg in the city and 5 mpg on the highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid by 12 and 4 mpg, respectively. For those not inclined to do the math, that translates to 47 mpg city and 44 highway for Ford's gas-electric sedan.
In addition to a long list of nanny tech aimed at those overwhelmed by the prospect of paying attention behind the wheel—adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system, blind-spot warning, active park assist—you'll also find the polarizing if updated MyFord Touch system on the options list. Call Libertyville Ford for more info 877-816-3301..