All eyes are on Ford at the moment, following criticism that its hybrid models aren't getting anywhere near official EPA gas mileage.
Consumer Reports has confirmed this, with the result of its testing on the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid returning a bittersweet 39 mpg figure.
On the one hand, 39 mpg is an excellent result--it makes the Fusion Hybrid the most economical midsized sedan Consumer Reports has ever tested.
On the other, that figure is still 8 mpg short of Ford's official 47 mpg claim for the car, which still backs up the magazine's previous tests of Ford hybrids.
Thankfully, the car has received a thumbs-up overall. The car's powertrain is described as "very impressive", both in terms of refinement and performance, with ride and handling praised--as is the car's styling.
The hybrid model could be the pick of the Fusion range, with both the 1.6 and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines criticized for poor performance and economy next to competitors.
Cabin space, fit and finish and the MyFord Touch system also received negative comments. Testers say that these "prominent gripes" keep the Fusion from topping the group's list for midsize sedans.
The magazine has also tested Mitsubishi's revised i-MiEV (or "i") electric car, and the Ford Focus Electric.
Save for the former's 111 MPGe rating, making it the most energy-efficient car Consumer Reports has tested, the i-MiEV scored poorly in virtually every area. In contrast, the Focus Electric managed to be fun to drive, and still return a 107 MPG equivalent figure--actually 2 MPGe better than the car's EPA rating.
None of the new vehicles are recommended, however--both for being too new to gather reliability data on each model, and in the Mitsubishi's case, for simply not being good enough...
Finally, Ford's C-Max Hybrid has also been tested. At 37 mpg it again falls behind the 47 mpg official figure, and just loses out to the Mazda5 overall in its class.
Ford is certainly building some great cars at the moment, but niche-market Focus Electric aside, many will still be concerned about the economy of the firm's hybrid vehicles.