- - Friday, September 12, 2014

A classy vehicle from the Ford family, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi skews a bit higher in price than the Fusion Hybrid, but for a plug-in that looks and drives just right, this choice is an excellent one. Offering very high fuel economy in 2014 the Ford Fusion Energi now comes with a heated steering wheel and air-conditioned front seats.

Indeed, this is one of the most stylish cars I know for good gas mileage and head-turning style, the competition includes the Chevrolet Volt with a longer electric range, but holds fewer passengers. The Toyota Prius Plug-in and the Honda Accord Plug-in hybrid are also options in this category.

Seating five passengers easily, this sedan has two trims, the SE Luxury and Titanium.

The SE Luxury has some great standard features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, heated auto-dimming mirrors, keypad entry, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, leather upholstery, power front seats, heated front seats, driver memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a 110-volt power outlet. Electronic options are well thought out with a Sync voice-activated audio and cell phone interface, six-speaker audio system and the MyFord Touch electronics interface that has an eight-inch LCD touchscreen.

You can also add some options to this trim, including keyless entry/ignition, remote start with pre-heating/cooling of the interior, a heated steering wheel, airbag rear seatbelts and the Driver Assist package with rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot warning system, rear parking sensors and camera, and a sunroof. You can add to this trim a navigation system, automated parallel-parking system and a collision warning and brake support.

The Titanium trim comes with all the SE Luxury goodies as well as keyless entry/ignition, remote start with pre-heating/-cooling of the interior, rear spoiler and parking sensors, rearview camera and an upgraded audio system.  Options just for the Titanium include premium leather and ventilated front seats.

Under the hood, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi operates with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor from a lithium-ion battery pack. With this you get 195 horsepower from the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Notice that the battery pack in the Energi is larger than in the regular Fusion Hybrid and that gives this option more power overall for longer electric power use.

Also in regard to the battery, the Ford folks say it will take about seven hours to charge or about two-and-a-half hours of driving using the 240-volt source.

For safety, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi has the standard fare of antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side, front knee and side curtain airbags. With the Ford Sync there is also the emergency crash notification and the Ford MyKey can be used with teen drivers for safer driving too.

For safety options, depending on trim and package, there are the add-ons of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver-drowsiness detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and collision warning with brake support.

It’s a fancy ride and inside, even fancier, with high-quality design and materials and a dash with lots of goodies that are definitely user friendly. Take note too that the adjustable driver seat is one of the best since it offers a position for everyone and inside there is also plenty of legroom all around for any size driver and passenger.

The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi does have a remarkably small trunk, but that is because of the battery pack inside. Overall there is only 8.2 cubic feet of space.

Definitely an easy drive with more than acceptable acceleration for getting around town or on the highway, and it’s quiet, all the time, so quiet you likely won’t know the car is even running. One standout as well is the EV button and you can switch to all-electric, normal hybrid or the EV Later mode meaning you are using fuel and saving the battery power for later.

Sporty, sexy and one cool ride that mother earth likes too, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi is all about the real thing for all your car driving needs.

Should You Need to Know: Important to note, the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi qualifies for high-occupancy vehicle lane access in California.

Miles per gallon: The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE I drove came in at 43 mpg  with gas only and 100 mpg using the electric and gas together.

Cost: The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE I drove had a price tag of $44,620.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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