Great pricing and now proven efficiency with few shortfalls. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 3, 2016 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE PHEV-22 – $31,995 includes the $875 D&H charge to start. With a $6,507 Ford incentive, the new MSRP is just $25,488. Subtracting the $4,077 Federal Tax Credit – if you qualify – and $1,500 in state incentives for California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents plus a grand or two off retail, take home minus tax, title and license is just over $20k. That is a damn hot deal in my book! It is rated for 22 miles of all-electric range thanks to its 7.6 kWh Li-Ion pack – approximately 5 kWh useable, 97 MPGe combined EV/HEV rating, and 43/41 mpgUS city/highway as a straight hybrid. This is competitive to the Sonata PHEV-27 in the midsize segment. 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Exterior Along with the very efficient drivetrain, its exterior shines. Up front the standard Ford open mouthed chromed grill and slats, sweeping wrap-around front LED lamps and DRLs, and four deep feature lines in the hood make it the best looking affordable midsize available. A very sharp looking exterior design. Moving to the profile, 17” alloys and a laser welded body to roof seam show Ford is building a good looking and higher quality product in terms of build strength than many of its competitors. A small piece of the exterior providing huge benefits are the power heated exterior mirrors. They include security approach lamps – reach for the door handle at night or when getting out, they light your path, an integrated blind spot warning and turn signal indicator along with a feature I have only seen in high end Audi’s. That being an auto-dimming driver side mirror that is not only an excellent feature on any vehicle, being standard on an affordable midsize was totally unexpected! And another that many are moving away from is proximity handles. Meaning when you reach for the handle the puddle lamps not only light, the doors will unlock. When you swipe your hand across the top of the handle edges it will lock. No pushing of a button despite having a proximity key that is hard to find at night like so many have moved to recently. Ford continues to supply the keyless entry keypad on the B-pillar frame. The inclusion of a proximity key makes this keypad redundant and kind of a hassle imho but it is there to use if needed? While not a show stopper out back, the full length chrome trim piece running from edge to edge finishing off in the rear lamps provides an upscale appearance. 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Interior Let me start with the seating. Like all domestics, the front seats were designed for taller and wider American drivers and passengers from the start. Some of the Asian manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this design including longer lower seat cushions that better support taller driver’s thighs plus wider seating with less bolstering providing a more comfortable longer distance drive. moving to the rear seats, the Fusion Energi’s 103 cu. ft. of passenger volume appears to be a bit overstated. Maybe 97 to 99 is more than likely the actual. The rear seat leg room is tight compared to all other midsize competitors. Beyond the basic seat design, they are leather with a 10-way power driver's seat with 2 memory settings and power lumbar and is 6-way power passenger seat is also standard. A long reach tilt and telescopic soft leather wrapped wheel with intuitive tactile infotainment, display, CC/RCC controls are also top notch and standard. Something else that I found unusual yet benefits the consumer immensely is front and rear grab handles at all four doors. Auto up/down windows at all four corners is a nicety you rarely receive from competitors as well. An auto-dimming rear view and a sunglass holder is also standard. Ford SYNC3 In the center dash is a high res easy to read 8” diagonal (large 7” width too) touch screen display with a dynamic lined rear view camera that provides access to all the infotainment. SYNC3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Android Auto allows voice controlled Google Maps Navigation with traffic, access to numerous infotainment apps – Pandora anyone , phone calls and Text messages with canned reply’s making this a must have integrated solution. XM is also standard although XM reception has been cutting in and out far more than it should. When stopped at a light next to a large truck, every underpass, or any taller building next we are experiencing momentary loss of signal reception with little to no buffering to fill in the momentary audio pause. Thankfully the Fusion Energi includes real honest to goodness knobs providing a way to control audio and HVAC. Four 12V outlets – a single 110W outlet for laptops etc. plus (2) USB ports – one within the lower central dash opening and one in the central console – are included. I do not need describe what was available in the past with MyFordTouch. Dual Zone auto climate is also part of the bargain called the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi. To get moving, everyone is now used to placing their foot on the brake, pushing the start button to boot up the car, and shifting a lever to D. The Ford Fusion Energi now includes a rotary gear shift dial instead of lever. I love these in the FCA offerings and it is good to see one added to the Fusion Energi SE. They create less clutter than a shift handle to work around and are also less expensive to incorporate than a lever. There is also a remote boot up and shut down sequence available from the key FOB. A 60/40 fold-down split rear seat-back is also standard but the trunk (see below) provides scant little volume and opening into the breadbox shaped pack enclosure blocks access unfortunately. This small volume does not include a mini spare but a tire inflator and sealant kit. If that pack was redesigned to provide more cargo volume, I could see a lot more Fusion Energi’s being sold. The rear seats include a center armrest. Like the Honda Accord, Ford supplies front and rear mats standard too. Look up the price of purchasing non-standard OEM Toyota Camry mats and you will know how the additional expense is hidden. 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Drivetrain A 188 hp combined output is generated from a 141 hp atkinsonized 2.0L I4 mated to more efficient for 2017 electric motor(s) - MG1 and MG2 – through a power-split device provides both the propulsion and efficiency. It can be driven although not very far at up to 85 mph in EV mode. The aforementioned 7.6 kWh Li-Ion can be recharged charge from flat is approximately5 hours from any 120V home and 2.5 hours from a dedicated Level2 240V outlet. On the regenerative braking front, Ford states that up to 95 percent of the energy normally lost through heat during braking can be recovered with longer careful regenerative braking slowdowns. 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Safety The Fusion lineup including the Energi PHEV-22 includes 8 standard airbags – front, side, side curtain, plus driver and passenger knee airbags. Actively, ABS, ESC, TC, BA, EBFD, HSA and a TPMS system are all standard. New is the available advanced accident avoidance technology. This Fusion Energi SE includes the Driver Assist Pkg. ($1,320) with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Auto High Beams, heated wheel, Auto wipers, and SYNC Connect for controlling charge start and stop times for TOU charging. Adaptive Radar CC with Stop and Go function ($1,190) - Pre-Collision warning with Pedestrian Detection and autonomous braking support - and Enhanced Active Park Assist ($995) - Parallel Parking and Park Out Assist plus Reverse Perpendicular Parking, and Forward and Side Sensing Systems - are a part of this week’s ride. The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi achieved a solid 5-Star overall crash test rating by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although the Fusion Energi has not been tested but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2017 Fusion has. It achieved an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating with a perfect across the board score. 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Efficiency When Marian and I picked up the 2017 Fusion Energi at an LAX parking garage, it had 92 percent SoC available. We drove the 405 southbound consuming the entire available stored energy in the Energi after 25.3 miles on 4.7 kWh (indicated) before the pack swapped to hybrid mode. We traveled almost two more miles before the ICE started for the first time. I reset Trip 2 at the 27 mile mark when the engine started and traveled the next 64.8 miles under Hybrid mode at an indicated 59.0 mpg in 1 hr. and 16 minutes. 80.7 mpg combined for the 91.8 miles in total. Yes that is another Fusion Energi parked alongside this week’s ride here in Southern California. The Fusion lineup is the second most popular Ford – behind the F-Series here in Southern California – and the Fusion Hybrid and Energi are a large part of its popularity. The (2) configurable 4.2” driver displays within the Smartgauge with EcoGuide system continues to show how far ahead Ford has been since its introduction within the first gen Fusion Hybrid over 6 years ago. While it is spec’ed for 103 cu. ft., I am thinking it is more along the lines of 98 to 100. A midsize but not nearly as large as some of its competitors with lower volume. The trunk is where some trouble occurs as its 8.2 cu. ft. of cargo volume is not only small but it is not laid out well with the rectangular bread box and minor stepped shelving Li-Ion pack housing sits towards the rear of the available space. We had trouble fitting one small suitcase in vs the four – 2 of them large that had no chance – which had to go into the back seat. One of the few shortfalls continue to be the low volume dual shelved trunk volume. Although a heavy weight at 3,913 lbs, it rides and handles like the much lighter midsize Fusion from which it was derived. The Fusion gives nothing to competitors where its R&H prowess is concerned. Along with the decent efficiency provided during its first drive between LAX and San Diego, the Energi its everyday city/highway fuel saving capability under hybrid mode proves to be a class act. To offset my own driving skills, Marian is an EPA under achiever in most hybrids due in part to the very steep hills in and around San Diego. Remember the Fusion Energi is rated at 43/41 mpgUS city/highway as a straight hybrid and this is Marian’s result after driving back and forth to work over two consecutive days. The second pic is the combination of Day 1 and Day 2s drive. These are not calibrated results of course but if close, the Fusion Energi in HEV mode is matching Marian’s back and forth to work drive(s) of the highly regarded 38/40 mpg city/highway rated Sonata PHEV-27 in HEV mode that we were in a few weeks ago. Remember that the Sonata HEV and PHEV-27 in HEV mode is the second most efficient midsize hybrid we have ever driven. I am heading out to top off the best I can – the capless refueling system is problematic here – and refuel again after a few hundred miles to calibrate the aFCD. Once complete, we will know how the Fusion Energi PHEV-22 actually performs with the current completed results along with a Steady State Speed vs FE graph. So far, the Energi appears to easily meet its EPA in mixed driving with a shortfall in the city against the Accord HEV and on the highway against it and the Sonata HEV/PHEV. All the while burying both on a cost to purchase basis. These are thin air travelers that few if anything can match on the efficiency front. It is great to see the Fusion Energi hanging with the best and in some cases, taking them to the woodshed. Remember the now defunct 2014 Accord PHEV-13s price tag at $40,570? 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE A sharp looker from any angle. More to come including Android Auto action, Radar CC w/ Stop and Go, plus more efficiency detail. Ford September 2016 Sales Overview Ford (Ford and Lincoln) sold U.S. September sales totaled 204,447 vehicles, down 7.7 percent below the 221,599 sold in September of 2015. YTD sales of 1,988,456 are doing a bit better, up 0.8 percent over the 1,972,188 sold through the same period of 2015. Retail sales were down 4 percent in September, with 162,327 vehicles sold in September. Fleet sales of 42,120 vehicles, including daily rental, commercial and government segments, were down 21 percent, consistent with the company’s plan to front-load fleet sales this year. Sales to daily rental companies declined 36 percent for the month. Ford September 2016 Sales Highlights The cars that made Ford shone this month were its Fusion Hybrid and Energi PHEV. Sales of the Ford Fusion HEV reached 3,776 in September, up 88.6 percent over the 2,002 sold in September of 2015. YTD sales of 19,283 match those sold through the same period of 2015. The Fusion Energi had an even more spectacular month and year. September sales of 1,652 was up 104.5 percent over the 808 sold in September of 2015.YTD the hot efficient PHEV continues to shone with sales of 11,650, up 68.9 percent over the 6,899 sold through the same period of 2015. Maybe it is just a coincidence that we happen to be driving the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi this week. Or is it? Regarding the money generator, Ford stated September was the F-Series best retail sales in 2016. F-Series sales of 67,809 was down 2.6 percent below the 69,651 sold during September of 2015. YTD however, F-Series sales of 595,656 is up 5.5 percent over the 564,451 sold through the same period of 2015. And the all-new 2017 Super Duty is just now reaching dealership showrooms. September 2016 U.S. Automobile Market Share Detail In September, Ford’s U.S. market share was down a significant 0.9 percent. On a volume basis, September of 2016 US Auto sales of 1.43 million vehicles was down a slight 0.7 percent below September of 2015s 1.44 million vehicle sales result. 2016 YTD sales of 13.05 million is up 0.2 percent above the 13.02 million vehicles sold through the same period of 2015 with the same number of selling days. U.S. September 2016 Sales vs. September 2015 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 14 Automobile Manufacturers GM September 2016 Sales Down 0.6% with 249,795 Vehicles Sold Ford September 2016 Sales Down 7.7% with 204,447 Vehicles Sold Toyota September 2016 Sales Up 1.5% with 197,260 Vehicles Sold FCA September 2016 Sales Down 0.9% with 192,883 Vehicles Sold Honda September 2016 Sales Down 0.1% with 133,655 Vehicles Sold Nissan September 2016 Sales Up 4.9% with 127,797 Vehicles Sold Hyundai September 2016 Sales Up 4.1% with 66,610 Vehicles Sold Subaru September 2016 Sales Up 3.5% with 54,918 Vehicles Sold Kia September 2016 Sales Down 1.2% with 49,220 Vehicles Sold Mercedes-Benz September 2016 Sales Up 3.1% with 33,075 Vehicles Sold BMW September 2016 Sales Down 5.2% with 29,413 Vehicles Sold Mazda September 2016 Sales Down 2.8% with 24,889 Vehicles Sold VW September 2016 Sales Down 7.8% with 24,112 Vehicles Sold Audi September 2016 Sales Up 1.6% with 17,617 Vehicles Sold In September, Mazda moved ahead of VW to take the 12th spot. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in September was 17.8 million vehicles. On a YTD sales basis, light-vehicle SAAR was 17.4 million vehicles.