Ford has one of the most affordable plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars on the market with the Fusion Energi, a variant of the Fusion Hybrid that can be plugged in to charge for all-electric driving.
For 2019, the Energi gets a new, more energy-dense battery pack that's the same physical size as that in the outgoing car but, says Ford, lends it nearly 20 percent more electric driving range, for a total of 40 km.
Also new to the Energi this year is Ford's Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assist tech, which is standard in all trims and brings automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, lane keeping system and automatic high beams. (Ford also lists a backup camera as part of the package, but that's cheating because as of mid-2018 every new car on sale in Canada is required to have one.)
Other updates to the Fusion Energi include rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, voice-activated navigation and SiriusXM traffic apps.
Other standard features include automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats.
Features that can be added to the base model and become standard in uplevel trims include ambient lighting, leather upholstery, ventilated seats and power tilt-and-telescopic steering column.
Mechanically, the Fusion Energi carries over unchanged. Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and electric motor that team up for 188 hp, which goes to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission.
With the Fusion Energi, Ford competes directly with plug-in versions of the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, both of which will go a little further on a full charge of their battery, but Ford sells its plug-in tech at about two-thirds the price of those Korean siblings.
Watch for Ford to transition its PHEV drive system to a different vehicle line in the future as the company prepares to ditch virtually all of its car models in favour of the crossovers customers currently crave.
Ford's fuel/energy consumption estimates for the Fusion Energi are 2.4 Le/100 km when running on electricity, and 5.5/5.7 L/100 km on a combination of gas and electricity.