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How the Ford Fusion Hybrid Works


Ford Fusion Hybrid Design
The Ford Fusion Hybrid's SmartGauge screen helps drivers learn more efficient driving habits.­­
The Ford Fusion Hybrid's SmartGauge screen helps drivers learn more efficient driving habits.­­
David McNew/Getty Images­

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­Fr­om th­e outsi­de­­, the Fo­rd Fusion Hybrid looks like a­ typical sedan­. It's ­nothing flashy, and in fact it's safe to say it's a little bland -- all in all it looks like a lot of cars you see on the road, so there isn't anything offensive or eye-catching about it.

Still, the Fusion Hybrid received the same kinds of upgrades as the regular 2010 Ford Fusion did, which many saw as an improvement over previous models. The front of the car, including the grill, is a bit broader than your typical sedan; a character line across the hood (a slight, boxy indent that pushes up) helps give the Fusion a newer look without requiring a complete redesign.

The inside is where things get different, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid, of course, gets a hybrid upgrade system. The main feature associated with the interior is the SmartGauge LCD screen, a customizable, all-digital instrument that visually displays fuel efficiency and, with the help of the "EcoGuide" program, can coach drivers on better driving habits. An animation of green leaves grows when drivers practice good fuel economy. It's possible to choose from four different data screens during a drive. The "Inform" screen simply shows fuel levels and battery charge status, the "Enlighten" screen adds a tachometer and notifies drivers when they're in electric mode, the "Engage" screen adds the engine and battery output power levels and the "Empower" screen lets drivers know how much power is going to the wheels and other parts of the car.

Fusion hybrid drivers and passengers can sit comfortably, knowing their seats are eco-friendly, too: The cloth fabric that covers the Ford Fusion Hybrid's seats is polyester fiber made from 85 percent post-industrial materials. Customers can also select optional GPS navigation, heated leather seats instead of the cloth fabric, Sirius satellite radio and a special upgraded Sony audio system.

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