Ford Fusion Hybrid nears Toyota Prius' gas mileage figures

Ford says hybrid version of its new Fusion sedan will post some ofthe best gas-mileage numbers around. Perhaps best of all, they'reastoundingly easy to remember -- 47 miles per gallon in the city, 47 mpgon the highway for a total of, sure enough, 47 mpg combined.

When you get past the hybrid, the numbers are good, but aren't headline making. The rest of the line:

  • 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine: 25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, 29 mpg combined.
  • 2-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine: 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, 26 mpg combined.
  • 2.5-liter: 22 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, 26 mpg combined. By contrast, the new Honda Accord's base engine is rated at 27 mpg city, 36 highway, for 30 combined.

On the hybrid, Ford's rating is 8 mpg moreon the highway and 4 mpg more in the city than the Toyota Camry Hybrid,which is impressive, but not as impressive as considering its onlythree miles shy of the average of Toyota's top mileage meister, thePrius, at 50 mpg average.

"The new Fusion is part of our plan tooffer vehicles with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety,smart design and value," says Ford CEO Alan Mulally. "We are absolutelycommitted to class-leading fuel efficiency as a reason to buy Fordvehicles."

They had better be. The midsize sedan is one of Ford'sbiggest selling models. Lately, buyers have put fuel economy at theirtop of list of considerations. And with a new Accord, Nissan Altima and anew Mazda6 on the way, competition in the segment couldn't be morekeen.

Ford is throwing one other feature into the mix that willhelp with gas mileage, even if it doesn't get full credit for it when itcomes to the way the government rates gas mileage. The Fusion equippedwith the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is available with a stop-startsystem, which turns off the engine when the car is idling atintersections. It's a reasonable $295 option.


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