2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

I'm not sure when or how Ford went from fitting its cars with ill-fitting, ovoid plastic interior door panels to best-in-class duds like those in our Fusion, but there you have it: the Fusion's interior is best in class. Just about everywhere you look and touch, from the nicely stitched seats to the perfectly grained dash shows signs of thoughtful design. Oh, and did I mention the gauge cluster? Whereas many hybrid gauges come off like an afterthought, this slick digital display is novel and futuristic, but not in a 1980s digital speedometer kind of way.

Like Phil said, EV mode comes on rather easily. I cruised around town in utter silence, and even got the engine to shut off while coasting at 45 mph. Aside from that, the driving experience is well mannered, if a bit innocuous. Damping, as Phil noted, is one area that could use some improvement.

Overall, there's nothing groundbreaking about the Fusion, but you do get the clear impression that someone sweated the details on its development. When you recall, as I do, the way a Taurus of five years ago literally reeked with cheapness, you realize the Blue Oval has come a long way, indeed.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

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