From the title of this article, you might think that I hate my 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid. But actually the opposite is true. I love my Fusion and I highly recommend it! Read my article, Top Ten Things I Love About My 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
But, no car is perfect, and there are definitely some things that Ford could do improve in the Fusion (or, in many cases, things that Ford should have left alone and not changed).
But without any further ado, here’s are the top ten things worst things about the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid:
1. No Spare Tire
It sounds ludicrous, but more and more cars today are being sold without a spare tire. If you remove the trunk liner of the Ford Fusion – surprise! No spare tire:
Instead, you get a Styrofoam insert with tire repair kit. But, if your sidewall is badly slashed, the repair kit is useless. AAA doesn’t carry spare tires. At that point, your only option is to get towed and hope the shop carries your size tire.
I ended up buying a Fusion spare tire on eBay.
2. The Rotary Dial Shifter
In the 2017 model, Ford decided to eliminate the gear shift lever and replace it with a wimpy rotary dial. This is industry trend, which saves space, cuts costs, and allows the car to have the feature of shifting itself into park when you turn it off.
While those are beneficial features, the gear shift lever was one of the last remaining bastions of direct man-to-car connection. Even though I always drove automatics, grabbing the shift lever and rocking it into position used to give me a tiny bit of macho satisfaction.
Operating the rotary dial shifter, on the other hand, is about as macho as toe-nail painting. Turning the dial into the “Drive” position just does not satisfy. Even worse, my muscle-memory has me still reaching for the non-existent shift lever whenever I need to shift from park to reverse.
3. The Electronic Handbrake Switch
Similarly, yanking on the hand brake after a long day of defensive driving used to be a mild form of stress relief for me. I could take out my aggression by really yanking on that thing.
But, Ford has replaced the mechanical lever with an unsatisfying small electronic flip switch which probably saves cost and space. But bleh… How I yearn for good old-fashioned mechanical controls that actually took some muscle to operate!
4. Too Much Junk in the Trunk
Hybrids require batteries which must be stored somewhere. Since the Fusion hybrid was derived from the gas-only version, space for batteries was an afterthought and they just threw the batteries in a big step in the trunk:
A big chunk (4 sq. feet) of trunk space is taken up by the batteries. But that’s not actually my real beef. My true tinge of regret stems from not being able to get the Energi plug-in hybrid version because it had virtually no trunk space due to the batteries.
5. The Length
The 2017 Ford Fusion is a long car. It’s 14 inches longer than my 2006 BMW 325i. Living in a crowded city, that is definitely a minus when it comes to parallel parking in tight spaces.
6. The Massive Key Fob
Maybe this is a minor beef, but the Ford key fob is ridiculously huge. I had the alarm trigger once with this thing in my pocket because it was so big that it pressed against a key hard enough to trigger. Never had that happen before with smaller key fobs.
7. The Side-View Mirrors
My Fusion came with side-view mirrors that had a smaller “blind spot” bubble mirror in the upper outer corner.
This is supposed to be an added feature and some people do like these, but my beef with it is that it requires me to re-focus my eyes to use. As I get older, focusing my eyes is getting slower so this is a pain. In practice, I don’t use it. It’s actually a hindrance because the reflections in it are a distraction. I’m looking to do an after-market replacement someday with just a plain rear-view mirror with no cutout.
8. The Look of the Rear
Ford has done a great job of improving the look of the front of the Fusion over the years, but the look of the rear has not kept up, in my opinion. For 2017, they added some chrome trim to the rear which doesn’t really do it for me. What do you think?
9. The Antenna
Someone on the Ford Fusion Facebook Page said that the antenna on the Fusion makes it look like a toy remote-controlled car. Being used to the BMW “shark-fin” antenna, I agree the Fusion antenna is not sexy.
On a more practical note, it causes a “tent pole” effect when you try to put a car cover on, and could possible break if the cover is pulled hard.
Happily there is an easy fix for this. You can get an after-market shark-fin antenna for your Fusion! This is on my “to do” list. People tell me it’s easy to install and works well. Be sure to order the correct color.
10. Snow Chains Not Allowed
Ford does not approve of using snow chains on the Ford Fusion which I think is ludicrous. When I asked the Ford salesman, “how am I supposed to go skiing?”, his reply was, “rent a car”. So, if you’re planning to go skiing with your Fusion, you might want to look elsewhere.
Also, It’s Assembled in Mexico
After owning foreign cars up to now, I wanted to do something patriotic and buy American. My dreams were crushed when I found out that Ford makes the Fusion Hybrids in Hermosillo, Mexico. I have nothing against Mexico, or the factory there (which is award-winning and state of the art); I just wanted to support workers in Detroit.
But Otherwise, It’s a Great Car
You’ll notice that none of these are fatal flaws; most are pretty nit-picky in fact, and some have after-market fixes. I believe the Fusion Hybrid is fundamentally a really good car; see my article on the Top Things I Love About My Ford Fusion. It drives great, looks great, and has amazing gas mileage! I’m really happy with it so far, but there’s always room for improvement.
What do you think of the Ford Fusion Hybrid? What do you like about it? What are your gripes? Leave a comment or question below. – Brian