Ask an enthusiast what it’s like to drive a hybrid and they’re likely to yawn, lay down and promptly nap for 20 minutes. Ask an eco-conscious citizen of the 21st century what it’s like to drive a 263-horsepower sport sedan and they’re likely to gnash their teeth, rend their garments and pantomime the burning of forests. Or something like that.
It’s pretty easy from that little tableau to derive my personal bent, so that’s likely to make my conclusion all the more surprising. After spending successive weeks in the 2010 Ford Fusion Sport AWD and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, I prefer the hybrid.
Performance & Handling
When it comes to laying down power, it’s hard to beat an all-wheel-drive system. More drive wheels mean more traction for moving forward. And though the adage may state otherwise, there is a replacement for displacement: it’s called electricity. So the gap between these two cars in real-world applications (i.e. driving to the store) is not as wide as it might seem on paper.
Sure, the Hybrid is powered by a milquetoast 156-horsepower, 136-pound-foot Atkinson 2.5-liter inline four with 191 net horsepower when combined with the 106-horsepower hybrid motor, while the Sport’s 3.5-liter V-6 is good for 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. But at tip-in and part throttle, the low-end grunt of the combined hybrid system and the eCVT transmission makes for almost as snappy a feel as you get from the Sport.
2010 Ford Fusion HybridEnlarge Photo