The 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum Hybrid offers the best of many worlds, making it an easy choice for shoppers seeking luxurious comfort, sporty handling and excellent fuel economy.

There’s so much to love about the mid-size hybrid sedan that it’s hard to decide where to begin singing its praises: How about that you can recover the nearly $400 price difference between this hybrid Fusion and its internal-combustion counterpart in just one year of fuel savings? Or that its city fuel economy doubles that of its gasoline-powered sibling?

Its delicious interior rivals some luxury models’, thanks to quilted-leather heated and ventilated seats; indulgent, leather-wrapped instrument panel, door panels, and window sills; and a hand-wrapped leather steering wheel. Elegant exterior styling includes a sleek new front end with signature lighting, LED headlights with new Aston-Martin-looking grille, as well as a freshly redesigned rear end.

The Fusion Hybrid’s collection of safety and convenience technology includes an adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go functionality, as well as pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection featuring forward collision warning with brake support and active braking and lane-keeping assist. Also included is an enhanced active park assist that can position the car into both parallel and perpendicular spaces. Its blind-spot system includes sensors in the car’s rear quarter panels that can provide both audible and visual warnings if traffic is detected in side blind spots or approaching from the sides when slowly backing out of a parking space with obstructed views.

Powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine paired with an 88-kilowatt AC synchronous electric motor, the sedan is shifted by a rotary dial. While the dial shifter can take a little getting used to, the rotary dial function does make for easier access to new storage bins, illuminated USB charge port and ergonomically designed cup holders.

Green driving

The Fusion Hybrid motor offers ample torque at initial takeoff and quick and responsive acceleration, so it doesn’t feel poky in city driving, and Ford says its electric-only operation can propel the Fusion at speeds up to 85 mph. A stop-start system that shuts the engine off at a standstill and regenerative braking provide additional fuel savings.

Ford further encourages efficient driving with a selection of video-game-like tools to help educate drivers about their acceleration, braking and coasting skills and rewards them with a display that grows (or loses) eco leaves based on their habits.

And while it’s rated at 43 mpg in the city,
41 mpg highway and 42 combined (double the 21 mpg promised by its internal-combustion counterpart), in our weeklong test, we often saw highway fuel economy around 50 mpg.

The EPA estimates its annual fuel costs at $850, based on current gas prices and 15,000 miles per year with a combination of 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway driving. That’s a potential savings of $2,500 in fuel costs over five years compared to those of the average new vehicle. Traditional gasoline powertrain Fusion siblings are estimated to cost from $1,200 to $1,300 per year depending on engine size.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at $25,785.