To read all about this comparison between the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid and to watch the accompanying video please visit AutoGuide.com.Natalie Reid was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and probably never guessed that she would wind up finding work impersonating career party animal and public fool Paris Hilton.
I’ve never had that conversation with Dillon Blanski, but it’s hard to picture the man who designed Ford’s latest Fusion finding fault with my logic. Et tu, Aston Martin?
As you probably remember, it debuted for the 2012 model year to a warm if not slightly cynical group of automotive writers who couldn’t help but compare it to products from Ford’s upper crust former subsidiary brand.
Even with a couple of model years under its belt, the Fusion arguably remains one of the best-looking cars in its segment and with an available hybrid powertrain it’s also one of the most efficient. Or so Ford led the world to believe by shouting from dealership rooftops about an average 47 MPG. Like Icarus, I managed to fly high enough to touch those numbers, but never for long. Ford finally admitted this year that its advertised mileage on the Fusion Hybrid and a handful of other models wasn’t accurate and released less optimistic figures.
Nevertheless, the Fusion Hybrid is a remarkably efficient machine. The revised sticker suggests you should see an average of 42 MPG between highway and city driving and honestly, that ain’t bad.
But now Honda is offering a hybrid version of the Accord that locks horns with the Fusion and supposedly offers an average 47 MPG. As a long-time lover of Honda’s mid-sizer, I set plans in motion to see which of the two is a better choice.
The hybrid Accord uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 124 kW electric motor that make a combined total of 196 hp. This is a new hybrid powertrain not to be confused with the system at play in lamentable products like the Insight and Civic Hybrid. While the gasoline engine is capable of sending power to the front wheels, its first job is to generate electricity feeding into the battery pack that sits between the passenger compartment and trunk. As a side note, that means you can’t lower the rear seats to accommodate longer cargo.
The Fusion also uses a four-cylinder engine and electric motors for a total system output of 188 hp. Ford positioned the bulkier parts of its hybrid system in the trunk area and that intrudes on the cargo space. Boxier objects might not fit, but the advantage is that the seats can be folded and that means it’s still possible to use the trunk and cabin as a single space.
Good Looking and Great Looking
Don’t let the Fusion’s dashing style nab you hook, line and sinker. It looks good, but so does the Accord. Both manufacturers avoided unnecessarily styling elements that scream “hybrid” or “green car.” The Accord gets a revised grille while both it and the Fusion wear subtle hybrid badges, but little more. Ford offers the Fusion with 18-inch wheels while the Accord gets model-specific 17’s.
Big Difference in Cabin Details
You could debate the merits of how both cars look from a curb for hours, but it isn’t until you get inside that the differences really become clear. The Fusion’s seats are softer and more couch-like, but the interior is a distant second to the quality and attention to detail Honda puts into the Accord.
Both cars have hard plastic surfaces scattered throughout, but Honda does a better job of hiding them. Perhaps more importantly, the buttons and switches are more satisfying to press.
There are differences in rear seat space between the two, but the margins are too thin to notice and if a quality cabin is among your top priorities, Ford’s product might be a tough sell. The Accord’s seats aren’t as cushy, but it feels like they are better constructed.
Despite that, the Honda has downsides. For some reason, the Hybrid model is only offered with a beige interior and the car I borrowed to test was already showing dirt with only a few thousand miles on the odometer ...