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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I've posted elsewhere on this site, I'm coming up on the end of my 2 year lease of my 2013 Volt so I figured it would be a good idea to check out the competition before pulling the trigger on another Volt. We loaded the family up (2 adults, 2 small-ish kids) and drove to the nearest dealer that had a Fusion Energi in stock which happened to be an SE model with leather, Ford-Sync and a lot of options except for, strangely, a backup camera.

First of all, I was a little annoyed because, even though I asked on the phone for it to be plugged in, it wasn't, and sure enough, the battery was depleted. This means I didn't get a chance to see what it drives like in it's "EV Now" mode. :rolleyes: EDIT: I took a second test drive with a charged up battery.

Interior:
Overall, the interior is decently appointed, IMO it was a lot like a VW Passat both in materials and roominess, especially for the back seat. For comparison, my 12 year old son has about 4 inches of room between his knees and the driver's seat in our Volt; in the Fusion he easily had twice that, probably more. Obviously, the middle seat back there gave the kids a lot more elbow room too. The "Dune" (beige) leather was fine (not sure if it was real leather or not) and I preferred it to our Volt's "Pebble" leather appointed seats; mainly because Chevy decided to put suede over the majority of the Volt's seats which shows dirt and spills prominently.
Winner: Fusion


Exterior:
The body looks gorgeous. Even my son (who watches way too much Top Gear, apparently) picked up on the Aston Martin look. The Volt is no slouch either but it's low air dam is annoying. I know Chevy started putting a smaller dam on newer models so I'm calling a draw
Winner: Tie


Cargo:
Like most hatchbacks, the Volt has a lot of room back there - and with the ability to fold the back seats down, dare I say it's cavernous? The Fusion Energi? Well, it probably would be fine at the grocery store unless you shop at Costco and buy in bulk. As much as people complain about the Volt's T-shaped battery taking away the middle, back seat - the Energi's battery does that to it's trunk. What's humorous is the 3 inch tall, horizontal pass-through that's available if you put the back seats down, even the salesman chuckled about it! What are you seriously going to use it for? Ski's perhaps, maybe some 2x4's? Personally, the lack of trunk is not a deal-breaker for me as our other car is now a GMC Acadia, so we're covered for the occasional Ikea and Home Depot trips but if we didn't have that SUV I wouldn't have even bothered to come see the Fusion.
Winner: Volt


Driving Impressions:
EDIT: The first time I test drove this car, it's battery was completely depleted and I had a terrible experience, I returned a few days later having the salesman charge it up beforehand and everything was much different. The following is from the second drive, and the original comment copied to the footnotes of this post. (You can jump to http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...Fusion-Energi-yesterday&p=1792674#post1792674 to read my full comments from the second test drive)

The FFE, in day-to-day driving seems to feel a lot like the Volt with the exception of the ICE engine kicking on when you really "put the spurs" to it. The electric motor provides similar throttle response to the Volt in "Normal" mode. I drove their test circuit in the various EV modes:
  • EV-Auto: In this mode, the ICE really didn't come on in normal driving unless I floored it
  • EV-Later: This seems much like my Volt's "Hold" mode in that the electric motor still is active but the ICE runs more often to try to keep the battery charge up. The ICE still shuts down when it can if you're stopped, coasting, etc.
  • EV-Now: In this mode, you're not going to win any speed records or effectively pass other cars very well. However, even though the 0-60 times suck in the mode, from 0-30 or so it is pretty snappy. As stated above, though, the ICE engine doesn't come on that much anyway (provided you have battery charge) so it's really not that much different.
The real questions in this category comes down if the ~20 mile AER range is adequate and if you mind burning a little bit of gas during hard acceleration such as short on-ramps, turning onto crowed streets or passing on the highway. I'm still going to give the Volt the nod on this category because it is able to perform at it's peak without burning gas and it has nearly double the AER. If those two things are not important to your driving situation, it's probably a tie.
Winner: Volt (but others will disagree depending on driving situations)​


Conclusion:
EDIT: The following was edited to reflect my conclusions after the 2nd test drive. Original comments in footnotes

In conclusion, I'm torn between the two. The lease quotes I'm receiving from various dealers put the Volt a bit higher than the FFE given the current discounts and rebates everyone is doing to clear the 2014's off the lots. What I want is a Voltec based Fusion, but I cannot wait for the 2016 Volt re-design to find out if GM is going to give us something like that. I have the feeling I'm leaning toward the FFE because of things that the Volt, IMO, should already have for a $35k car such as power seats with memory (huge when you share a car and your SO is 7 inches shorter than you), adult sized rear legroom and that fifth seat.

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Footnotes:
The following are my original comments from my first test drive with a completely depleted battery. It appears that, in that state, the FFE's electric motor is unable to provide any propulsion assistance and the ICE, taxed with the job of charging the battery, is unable to adequately perform.

Driving Impressions:
The Fusion Energi is, apparently, powered by several squirrels and a hair-dryer. Acceleration in the Fusion Energi is everything you think of in an econo-box car, uninspiring to the point that I'd be afraid to merge onto a freeway in that thing... okay maybe not afraid, but I'd be hoping for a seriously long onramp. Again, note, I couldn't drive it in EV mode but if both the ICE an electric motors were giving me this lack of power, I doubt it would be any better in EV Now mode. The instant torque of the Volt's electric motor is so much better that it's almost sad. Appart rom all that, the steering, suspension and breaking were all fine and I liked having several display options on the dash depending on how geeky I wanted to be about RPM's and energy flow.​

The following is my original conclusion statement before test drive number 2:
In conclusion, I'm still planning on another Volt if I can get as good of a deal as my current one, but I sure hope GM releases a larger Voltec based vehicle soon because my kids are not getting any smaller.
 

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Fusion Energi

I test drove a Fusion Energi several times. It only took three times of test driving one before I was able to finally getting one with a partial charge. I can relate to everything you stated.

For me, I really liked it. I drove it several times before I finally bought the Volt instead though. For me, here are the pros of the car as briefly as possible.

The acceleration was quite good with the engine assisting while the batteries are charged. This is really because Ford expects most people to use the mode where you set it and forget it. This mode will decide when to use the engine assist (for strong acceleration) and battery (for mild acceleration or cruising). Expect a 0-60 in 8 seconds (.5 seconds faster than the Volt) when all is good, battery is not depleted. Expect (what you experienced) about 11 seconds to 60 when the battery is depleted, not too good.

I really like the car in many ways. The car is really a good looker. Will haul a family of 4 or five in comfort. Many, many features that the Volt doesn't have. Sunroof, power seat, bliss, adaptive cruise, the list goes on. Rear vents in the back for the kids, (they really liked that).

Cons: Pathetic acceleration under EV only (expect about 16 seconds to get to 60). The initial thrust is good, but it is so short lived. Without the engine, the acceleration is simply anemic if you need anything above normal "go" power.

The trunk though was really the complete deal breaker. We travel a lot. This is where the fusion energy failed miserably. We took the luggage that we normally take with us on an overnight(s) stay (this is a story in itself). The fusion simply would not hold it. No matter how hard I tried at the Ford lot the Energi with its tiny trunk simply couldn't swallow our luggage.

We left and took the same luggage to the Chevy lot. The Volt swallowed it with room to spare. After that event, the Energi was never considered again.
 

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An all electric Fusion is what they need using next gen LG Chem cells and 40 kWh of them. With a nice sized motor, similar to the Spark EV motor, that car would sell. If GM can electrify a Malibu or even the new Impala, that would work too. And imagine a well powered electric Camaro.... But i am dreaming and we won't see much of that from GM.
 

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An all electric Fusion is what they need using next gen LG Chem cells and 40 kWh of them. With a nice sized motor, similar to the Spark EV motor, that car would sell. If GM can electrify a Malibu or even the new Impala, that would work too. And imagine a well powered electric Camaro.... But i am dreaming and we won't see much of that from GM.
I am sure for some people a BEV will work well; however, for us, without a range extender like the Volt it is simply too impractical for too many situations for us. For us, a range extender is simply a must until you can quick charge a car on every corner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am sure for some people a BEV will work well; however, for us, without a range extender like the Volt it is simply too impractical for too many situations for us. For us, a range extender is simply a must until you can quick charge a car on every corner.
Ditto for me.

I occasionally will take our SUV on camping trips with my son, leaving my wife with the Volt. We live far enough in one corner of the DFW metroplex that having a BEV like a Leaf would make many places she might need to go in Dallas right at the edge of it's range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The acceleration was quite good with the engine assisting while the batteries are charged. ... Expect a 0-60 in 8 seconds (.5 seconds faster than the Volt) when all is good, battery is not depleted.
That's too bad that I didn't get to experience it with a charged up battery then. Maybe we'll try it again and make the guy swear to us that he'll plug it in. :)
 

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My lease ends in June of 2016 and the Ford Fusion Energi, if it still exists, will be on my short list of cars to drive before I buy. But I really don't think the current FFE would be my choice over the Gen II Volt if the Volt has roomier back seats and more AER. But I won't lease/buy another compact Volt. It is just too small. Don't care about a fifth seat, but I want my friends/clients to have some room to stretch out their legs. If the Gen II Volt stays the same size I may end up in the FFEnergi despite the short legs.
 

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The Fusion Energi is, apparently, powered by several squirrels and a hair-dryer. Acceleration in the Fusion Energi is everything you think of in an econo-box car, uninspiring to the point that I'd be afraid to merge onto a freeway in that thing... okay maybe not afraid, but I'd be hoping for a seriously long onramp.​


Say whuh?????

The Energi's have the same or better 0-60 times as the Volt depending on the source. (motorweek has it 8.5 sec) http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/road_tests/2013_ford_fusion_energi

This won't be in EV only but in hybrid mode just like your test drive.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Say whuh?????

The Energi's have the same or better 0-60 times as the Volt depending on the source. (motorweek has it 8.5 sec) http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/road_tests/2013_ford_fusion_energi

This won't be in EV only but in hybrid mode just like your test drive.
That is very odd, because, I kid you not, getting back in my Volt was night and day different in acceleration.

I did notice that even slowly coasting through the dealership parking lot, the ICE was running. It also came on immediately when the salesperson turned the AC on to cool the cabin down before the test drive. This makes me wonder if the battery was so depleted that the electric motor was completely unable to assist in acceleration.

This makes me want to go test drive with a charged battery even more now.
 

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That is very odd, because, I kid you not, getting back in my Volt was night and day different in acceleration.
Pedal mapping primarily with more, available low end torque from the Volt secondarily. I've owned both. Butt dyno's can be very inaccurate. Again, you'll burn gas flooring it in the Energi in EV auto mode (assuming EV range still available) than in the volt.

Next time in the Energi, get up to 50 or 60mph in EV Auto mode and floor it. You won't be disappointed. http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2013-ford-c-max-energi-first-drive-review
"In early 2013, Ford will start offering Americans a second variant of the C-Max, the plug-in hybrid Energi, which we recently sampled. It uses essentially the same powertrain as the hybrid—an efficient 148-hp, Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine coupled to a 118-hp electric motor through Ford’s own HF35 eCVT Powersplit transaxle. The combined peak output is 188 hp, considerably more than either the Chevrolet Volt or the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, the two other affordable plug-ins currently on the market."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In light of fotomoto's comments and the majority of auto review sites contradicting what I reported, I've edited the original post and plan to re-assess with a charged up car as soon as I can.

Thanks, fotomoto, for bringing it up - now I have a mystery to solve! :)
 

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I was about to buy a hybrid Escape in 2009, but no Ford dealer had it or would order one, so I bought a Chevy Equinox, and I realized I made a much better decision. Ford has improved its hybrids by designing their own transmission (Ford doesn't have to pay any patent fees to Toyota) and producing the two newer models (Fusion and C-Max) in Hybrid and Energi versions, but they are still parallel hybrids, and are limited by their smaller electric motors and battery packs.

If Ford went more BEV with both, they coulld sell better, since the gasoline tank can be replaced by a larger battery pack, and recover that trunk space. I wonder if anyone at Ford has seen the Volt seriously to design a better competiting vehicle. I have test driven the Fusion Hybrid and my wife loves it (especially with the Park Assist!) which no GM vehicle has yet, and as of today the Ford hybrids and Energi models are the only American hybrids and PHEVs available in Puerto Rico.

I believe Ford is as stubborn as GM, planning to sell more ICE vehcles that generate higher profits (Mustang, Escape, Explorer, Edge, etc) than hybrids or BEVs. And I have not read anythong about another BEV other than the Focus BEV, either.
 

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If you drive one again, you may want to try driving in L for a bit. From what I've read, I believe it tightens the pedal map like our Sport mode as well as adding regen like our Low gear.
 

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We have an Enegi in the driveway.

The Energi is slow to 60MPH in EV only. 0-40 is much fine which works well in traffic. If you need to accelerate fast depressing the accelerator pedal triggers the computer and a pop-up appears asking if you want to use the engine. There's an "OK" button on the steering wheel - push it and the engine starts and you're off. I don't want to say that we've drag raced the Energi and Volt side by side but I will say that the Enegi is faster with both running. It's sad that both the engine and the motor have to run though.

The trunk is smaller than the Volt's, but we had a lot of trouble using the Volt on road trips too and took the truck instead. We did cram everything in the Volt for one trip, but then you can't see out of the back window. Either car really could use a cargo carrier. The Energi pass-through is small but will work for skis or 2x4's. And, things are more secure in the Enegi.

Interior size is MUCH larger than the Volt. After driving a true 4 seater (Volt) for a few years I realize how much we needed the 5th seat. Legroom in the Energi, especially in the rear is HUGE. Really everything just feels more comfortable in the Energi.

Then there's the features & options. AC front seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, Parking Assist, Collision Avoidance, 3 memory settings for the seats, Go-Time (allows you to program auto times of day for conditioning the interior), Lane Departure (warning and physical correction), moonroof and more. I do miss the Volt's auto locking when you walk away - you have to touch the Energi to lock it.

The EV only range is only 20 miles and we wish it was more but we can charge at work and the 20 miles is enough for shuttling around the kids. BTW, we're able to get 24-26 in the city and about 18 on the highway. It only has a 3.3 charger (same as the Volt) which annoys me but I can deal with it because I like the Energi better. The Energi has a bigger gas tank though which means it gets much further between fill-ups.

We'll probably sell our Volt and get a Leaf or Focus EV or maybe a 2nd Energi. We like the Volt, it's a great choice for many and more folks should be driving it. But, with a growing family and MUCH better options available we'll replace ours with something else. Hopefully GM brings a full size car or minivan EV to the market.
 

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As I've posted elsewhere on this site, I'm coming up on the end of my 2 year lease of my 2013 Volt so I figured it would be a good idea to check out the competition before pulling the trigger on another Volt. We loaded the family up (2 adults, 2 small-ish kids) and drove to the nearest dealer that had a Fusion Energi in stock which happened to be an SE model with leather, Ford-Sync and a lot of options except for, strangely, a backup camera.

First of all, I was a little annoyed because, even though I asked on the phone for it to be plugged in, it wasn't, and sure enough, the battery was depleted. This means I didn't get a chance to see what it drives like in it's "EV Now" mode. :rolleyes:

Interior:
Overall, the interior is decently appointed, IMO it was a lot like a VW Passat both in materials and roominess, especially for the back seat. For comparison, my 12 year old son has about 4 inches of room between his knees and the driver's seat in our Volt; in the Fusion he easily had twice that, probably more. Obviously, the middle seat back there gave the kids a lot more elbow room too. The "Dune" (beige) leather was fine (not sure if it was real leather or not) and I preferred it to our Volt's "Pebble" leather appointed seats; mainly because Chevy decided to put suede over the majority of the Volt's seats which shows dirt and spills prominently.
Winner: Fusion


Exterior:
The body looks gorgeous. Even my son (who watches way too much Top Gear, apparently) picked up on the Aston Martin look. The Volt is no slouch either but it's low air dam is annoying. I know Chevy started putting a smaller dam on newer models so I'm calling a draw
Winner: Tie


Cargo:
Like most hatchbacks, the Volt has a lot of room back there - and with the ability to fold the back seats down, dare I say it's cavernous? The Fusion Energi? Well, it probably would be fine at the grocery store unless you shop at Costco and buy in bulk. As much as people complain about the Volt's T-shaped battery taking away the middle, back seat - the Energi's battery does that to it's trunk. What's humorous is the 3 inch tall, horizontal pass-through that's available if you put the back seats down, even the salesman chuckled about it! What are you seriously going to use it for? Ski's perhaps, maybe some 2x4's? Personally, the lack of trunk is not a deal-breaker for me as our other car is now a GMC Acadia, so we're covered for the occasional Ikea and Home Depot trips but if we didn't have that SUV I wouldn't have even bothered to come see the Fusion.
Winner: Volt


Driving Impressions:
EDIT: The following seems to contradict what the auto review sites say (thanks to member fotomoto for calling my attention to that) and I plan on re-driving the car soon with a charged up battery to re-assess it.

The Fusion Energi is, apparently, powered by several squirrels and a hair-dryer. Acceleration in the Fusion Energi is everything you think of in an econo-box car, uninspiring to the point that I'd be afraid to merge onto a freeway in that thing... okay maybe not afraid, but I'd be hoping for a seriously long onramp. Again, note, I couldn't drive it in EV mode but if both the ICE an electric motors were giving me this lack of power, I doubt it would be any better in EV Now mode. The instant torque of the Volt's electric motor is so much better that it's almost sad. Appart rom all that, the steering, suspension and breaking were all fine and I liked having several display options on the dash depending on how geeky I wanted to be about RPM's and energy flow.
Winner: Pending re-assessment


In conclusion, I'm still planning on another Volt if I can get as good of a deal as my current one, but I sure hope GM releases a larger Voltec based vehicle soon because my kids are not getting any smaller.
Well, I own both; a 2014 Volt, and a 2014 Ford Fusion Energi plug in. In addition, we just purchased a FFE in June. I can personally tell you that the Ford products are superior on interior appointments to the Volt. The leather and interior execution just feel more natural. I have the Titanium model Focus with all available options. The car is smooth, quiet , the ride is superior to the Volt and I have experienced consistently 31 to 32 miles per charge. Acceleration in electric mode only is comparable to the Volt. If the Focus had a longer range, I would have bought it over the Volt without question. Also, the regenerative braking in both of my Fords are better than the Volt. The 6.6charger is twice as fast as the Volt. At half charge in the FFE, which also has a 6.6 charger, the battery is refilled in half the time of the Volt. Unless you absolutely need more range, the Focus is more car than the Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
FYI: I'm scheduled to re-test drive the same car, but all charged up this time, on Thursday afternoon. Thanks to all the FFE folks for your first hand experiences and opinions. I wouldn't have given it a second look otherwise.
 

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Well, I own both; a 2014 Volt, and a 2014 Ford Fusion Energi plug in. Acceleration in electric mode only is comparable to the Volt.
I own a Volt. I have driven the Ford Fusion Energi plug in. The acceleration from 0-60 in the Volt is just under 9 seconds. The acceleration in electric mode on the Fusion Energi is closer to 16 seconds. That's hardly a comparison in my book. (16 seconds is almost twice as long.)

The Energi plugin is a fine car if you don't mind burning gas every time you need to accelerate onto the freeway. For me... The battery location in the Fusion Energi plug in does not suit my needs. I frequently need the extra cargo space that the Volt offers.

If you mostly haul people... The Ford Fusion Energi plug in might be better.

If you mostly haul bulky items... The Volt wins.

Both cars offer a balance of advantages & disadvantages. It's nice to have choices that fit your needs.
 

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The Energi plugin is a fine car if you don't mind burning gas every time you need to accelerate onto the freeway.
We've never needed the gas engine to assist the electric motor to accelerate on the the freeway. The FFE is slower, no doubt about it, but it's not like there's a a problem with on-ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I reserve judgement until tonight when I do that re-test drive but I share Fulgerite's opinion that if I get an FFE I probably will just have to resign myself to using gas every time I accelerate to highway speeds - something I do often as exiting my neighborhood is via an intersection where I have to turn right from a complete stop and get up to the 60 MPH speed limit rapidly or else be prepared for the grill of a Mack truck to implant itself into my backside. (For those in the DFW area, I'm talking about Hwy 114, just east of Texas Motor Speedway where it's not yet a freeway.)

In fact, compared to this list of the slowest cars in MotorTrend tested, http://wot.motortrend.com/top-10-sl...rend-tested-in-2012-307101.html?__federated=1, the FFE in EV-Only mode would be next-to-last except for the Ford F-650 Dump Truck!
 

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... if I get an FFE I probably will just have to resign myself to using gas every time I accelerate to highway speeds
Well, it works the same way in the PIP- try to draw too much from the electric motor (even under 62mph) and the ICE fires up... at least it's pretty smooth in the PIP. Now how good is it for a (possibly) cold soaked engine to have to start and immediately be used in a high power/high rpm acceleration assist mode... who knows?
 
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