Ford’s Fusion will compete against the Chevy Malibu, Saturn Aura, and Toyota Camry in the hybrid department. Unlike its rivals, the Fusion comes with all-wheel drive and a smaller but more potent nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, which can boost efficiency up to 47 mpg. The sportier, more upscale look also features a raised hood, larger fog lamps, and soothing ice-blue background lighting on the instrument panel.
This is flat out “the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet.” Its closest competitor is the $107,000 Lexus LS 600h. Standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, automatic on-off headlights, auto-dimming mirror, backup alarm, six-CD stereo, traction control, seating for five, and a continuously variable transmission.
With an EPA city/highway rating of 39/37 mpg, the Fusion beats Toyota’s Camry Hybrid “by a whopping 6 mpg.” This brilliant, user-friendly charmer also comes with a dashboard display of “Efficiency Leaves.” Drive frugally and the leaves grow. Make jack-rabbit starts, drive too fast, or brake too late and the leaves start dropping “like a Vermont sugar maple in October.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
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- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
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- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- The new bride who had a horrifying allergic reaction to her husband's sperm
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
5 surprising facts about left-handed people
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