2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Chasing 47 MPG

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Last year, we weren't the only ones to observe less-than-stellar fuel economy from the then-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid compared to its 47/47/47 mpg city/highway/combined EPA rating. Other publications and owners also reported mileage lower than the EPA ratings. The pile of complaints didn't fall on deaf ears.

In August 2013, Ford released software updates to the 2013 Fusion Hybrid and other hybrids to modify various hybrid parameters for improved fuel economy, especially in cold weather. Official EPA estimates haven't been revised, but we recently tested a 2014 with the updates. Our number to beat was 40.63 mpg recorded with a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid tested last year. So how did the 2014 model fare during our drive?

This time around, the Fusion Hybrid averaged 41.8 mpg after 285.9 miles of driving (201 miles last year) in mostly bumper-to-bumper traffic with speeds averaging 24.8 mph. It's impossible to exactly mirror last year's testing. Like always, we drive test cars during our daily routines and report the observed mileage. You can dive into the specs of last year's recorded mileage in the review, here, where mileage, outside temperature, average speed and distance are listed.

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Leading the field of highest single-leg trips this test was a 45.4 mpg commute, just shy of 47 mpg. The 31.6-mile drive from downtown Chicago to the western suburbs was a mix of highway and rush-hour traffic averaging 25 mph, which is a fairly typical commute.

In both tests, I reset the onboard mileage computer before departing on an errand or commute and logged the car's onboard mileage data each time. The slower average speeds and warmer weather (50-60 degrees) compared to the 2013's colder weather and higher-average speed test didn't help the Fusion's mileage as much as expected. The type of driving the updated software is supposed to help is cold performance and highway driving, which were styles of driving our 2014 test didn't experience much.

Despite struggling to hit 47 mpg, the take-away is that my overall positive impression of the Ford Fusion Hybrid remains. Coming up short in mileage isn't as big of a detractor as you'd imagine because of how refined, quiet and smooth the Fusion Hybrid rides while still delivering competitive fuel economy. The near-seamless transition between electric and gasoline modes combined with a folding rear seat means it's a gem in the midsize sedan segment. Plus, the standard MyFord Touch is one of the least-annoying examples of the system because the heated seat buttons are outside of the touch-screen, and there's a real dial for tuning.

Related
Ford Hybrids To Get Mileage Boost After Complaints
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Review
More Fusion News

Comments 

Its good to see that they are working hard at getting better gas milage. Can't wait til all cars get 40+

Pete Caritis

Joe you've made a noble attempt to justify a purchase of a hybrid vs. the non hybrid version and you've done an admirable job of doing the math. My question to you is why would anybody choose any hybrid over the non hybrid version?? If one kept their cars for 10 years or so I would say that it makes sense to do that but for those that don't keep their cars till the wheels fall off it just doesn't make economics sense.

The cost vs. benefit issue has played out over the last 10 years or so and I still don't grasp the economics of this for a vast majority of car buyers. Hybrids just don't make sense.

For the Fusion you researched, and it is a fine car indeed, your break even is still almost 6 years depending on how good a negotiator you are and where it is that you are buying your fuel. Unless someone feels that the hybrid rides better and performs better, what other benefits would swing the benefits side to the hybrid??

Pete

And you can say the same for diesel. A petrol car wins the cost benefit every single time.

Jeff

Pete,

I did the math before I bought my Lexus ES 300h. The premium was less than $2600 vs. the non-hybrid ES, and I will break even in less than 3 yrs. I regularly drive over 18K miles/yr...and my estimate was based on gas @ $3/gal, which I consider reasonable for today's prices.

With some hybrids, the economics do make sense.

Pete Caritis

@Jeff

My numbers were for the vehicle touted here, the Fusion. I didn't use your Lexus example but am shocked that there is such a difference from one maker to another. Do the math for the Fusion and see how your numbers compare to mine.

Pete Caritis

More crazy math.

One could buy the Fusion Energi that gets 100 mpg and for that you would pay over $40K. Over at Autoguide the author projects payback at over 25 years. Who drives cars for 25 years?? None of this crazy math makes sense to this old man.

2013 Lexus ES350 not a hybrid makes 43miles/gallon when you drive 60 miles/hour.

Others

In winter, all the vehicles give 30% less mileage. For sure, it should give 47 MPG in summer.

Also it will take some time for Hybrids to learn the driver habits and adjust accordingly.

We heard all such problems with Prius as well. Now you see, no complaints against Prius.

izzy

This article has made the same mistake many other "happy owners" have made. They are relying on a misleading dashboard "Average MPG" indicator that uses a deceptive "average formula" to make people think they're getting awesome MPG results. I've had a 2014 ford fusion hybrid for 3 months and I consistently get 50 - 52 MPG on the dashboard. However, I started counting the miles I get from a gas tank by resetting the trip A counter when I fuel up and I learned that I really only get 39 MPG while the dashboard indicator tells me I'm getting 52 MPG. Divide the total miles you get my 13.5 gallons and see how misleading your dashboard indicator is!

thanks for sharing this post.I like this Ford Fusion Hybrid.Because,In August 2013, Ford released software updates to the 2013 Fusion Hybrid and other hybrids to modify many hybrid parameters for improved fuel economy, especially in cold weather.The slower average speeds and warmer weather,such what you are mentioned here 50-60 degrees compared to the 2013's colder weather and higher-average speed test didn't help the Fusion's mileage as much as expected.

John Dark

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium was cheaper than the gas or hybrid model with 80 MPG.

I recently bought a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium model, based on the savings. First, I was only looking at the Titaniums, because I like the high-end feel. The gas-powered version was about $30500; the hybrid about $33,000; the Energi was discounted to $35,200 by Ford before tax rebates of $4007 in federal credits and $1500 in California rebate. After all rebates are done, the Energi was the cheapest of the three.

Because most days I drive less than 20 miles and therefore only use electricity, my average fuel usage so far is 80 mpg. That's 999.9 when using electricity and about 45 when in hybrid mode. People see 20 electricity and 43 mpg and think they best they will do is 40. Not true.

Izzy, the tank is rated as 13.5 gal but very few people get more than 11 gals in the tank when they are close to "empty". So if you are dividing your miles by 13.5 you won't get accurate MPG numbers (actual will be higher).
The software update increased my mileage by more than 6 mpg. A faster warm-up of the engine and a lot of EV time above 65 mph seems to make the most difference for me. When I average close to 70 mph, I now see 43 mpg. Coastal roads last weekend saw a 47 mpg average.
There's more to hybrids than MPGs. There is less ware and tear on car components and the quiet ride is addicting.

kate

This is a comment in regards to a question made by Pete Caratis. He asked why anyone would buy a hybrid vehicle stating that financially it was almost always better to buy the gas model. I agree, that financially more often than not it is better. However, I believe that it is also important to continually improve and make advancements as a society. I don't like relying on foreign countries for fuel. If consumers don't step up to the plate; then companies cannot be forward thinking and successful.

Richard M

When I was in my 20s I bought my first car. A 1989 Honda Civic hatchback. Other than air conditioning, it had no amenities. Not even a radio or a day/night mirror. It had a 10 gallon gas tank and it took me roughly 10 dollars to fill it with Premium. Boy, those were the days! That 10 gallons of gas would get me 400 miles down the road, give or take a few mile. By my calculations, that is about 40 miles per gallon. So, can somebody please explain to me how you can add an electric motor to a car and only get 7 miles per gallon more than my 89 Honda Civic? Honestly, I would like to know!

Don Corleone

That Civic was 27/32 MPG. The engine was smaller, the HP was less. The ride was bumpier... hard to compare a 80's car only on MPG. It also lacked all the airbags and great safety and comfort of a modern vehicle. We are addicted to larger and greater horse power vehicles.

Julian

I bought my Fusion Hybrid last August, and I notice that the fuel economy is heavily dependent on driving style. If I drove it the same way I used to drive non-hybrid cars, I would probably never get close to 47 mpg. However, by adjusting my style to be more conscious of how the car is most efficient, I now can easily surpass 52+ mpg on most trips over a few miles, and have gotten in excess of 60 mpg on some longer trips of 30 miles or more. I'm sure it is helped by the moderate climate and lack of terrain here in Florida, but even then, the difference between high and low mileage is much more affected by how and for how long I drive than anything else.

Kurt

I have a fusion energi and only get 45mpg with a full charge in the morning. The mileage estimates are woefully overstated. If I knew that the mileage would be this abysmal, I never would have paid the premium for a Plug in Hybrid. The hybrids don't financially justify themselves yet.

Denny

The benifits are more for hybrid if your keeping the car more than 5 years. Not only is it quieter, it is a step toward using less fuel all togather. That helps everyone. Actually the more miles you drive the better savings.

Keith

At this point you guys gotta stop thinking about MPG merely as a way to save money on gas over time. Consider the environment as a bigger driving factor in your decision.

Ford fusion hybrid owner

I have a 2013 Fusion Hybrid Titanium and was very disappointed when the gas mileage I was getting came up very short of the 47 mpg that had a big hand in selling me the car last year. After the car had more miles on it (17 k ) now, it seemed to get slightly better gas mileage. From 34 to 37. I did bring it in for the soft wear update which makes it so the hybrid will still be active until speeds of 65 MPH and over. I then started using premium gasoline and started getting 41 mpg. I tried this for a month and then switched to mid grade and am getting 40 mpg. I am from Florida and the ethanol in gasoline in my opinion is not very closely regulated so the difference may not be as much with consumers in other states.
The gas mileage is still very dissapointing and I most likely would have not purchased this car if I had know the the inaccuracies from ford and the EPA. Other then that this is a great vehicle from front to back and all the upgrades I got are well worth it. The color 'impact blue' is the best for this vehicle & I get many compliments on that alone; before anyone even mentions the rims, touch scree, navigation, serious xm radio, customaziable dash, etc.

Denise

Just had a service update to my 2013 hybrid. Overall we have been pretty happy with this car until the last update. I live in the flats of South Florida and most of my driving is short distance local. The kind of driving that was excellent for charging the batteries. My LT average is around 41.2 and generally average 44's in an around town tank. After the update my around town milage has dropped of 12 percent on average and 20 mpg in short trips that required lots of breaking. I am not happy. If you live in the flats and are happy with your milage decline the upgrade.

Ray

I bought a 2014 hybrid 16 days ago. Have driven it just a little over 2,000 miles, the car system puts my average MPG's at 42 but I have tracked the miles driven and the gallons I've put in the fuel tank starting from full the day I brought it home and was surprised actual MPG is 51. I don't drive hard but do drive 7-10 mph over the posted speed limit most of the time. I'm a big guy, 6 foot tall 235 lbs and have driven mostly trucks for the past 30 years, this car is comfortable and fun to drive.

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