Despite the added weight and complexity, the Ford Fusion Energi matched–and even exceeded–the ratings of its conventional and hybrid siblings in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash tests.
All three of Ford’s 2013 Fusions– the Fusion, to the Fusion Hybrid, and the Fusion Energi–received five out of five stars in overall ratings by NHTSA. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the Fusion its coveted “Top Safety Pick+” rating, following an “acceptable” rating in the small-overlap front crash test. (The IIHS didn’t differentiate between powertrain variants.)
This time around, the Fusion Energi managed a full five stars in front barrier crash testing for both a male driver and female passenger, thanks to front head and knee airbags for both seats. NHTSA gave the Fusion Energi a five-star rating in side crash testing after performing both barrier and pole tests (simulating being T-boned and hitting a pole or tree, respectively). Strangely enough, NHTSA found that the rear seats are slightly safer in side crashes than the front seats–five stars to four.
Also strange: the Fusion Energi also carries a higher side crash-test rating than the standard Fusion, five stars to four. Our guess: the extra weight of the batteries (which are mounted behind the rear seat) could provide just enough more protection from crash forces to gain the extra star. Ford was unable to confirm exactly how or why the car received the extra star by press time.
Finally, the Fusion received a roughly 11-percent chance of rolling over during an emergency maneuver, and scored four stars for an overall rollover rating. The NHTSA also commended the Fusion Energi for offering blind spot, lane departure, and forward collision warning systems as options. As with all 2013-model-year vehicles, traction and stability control are standard.
Front crash test:
Side pole crash test:
Side crash test:
By Ben Timmins