Prius Hybrid vs. Fusion Hybrid

October 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Toyota Prius dominates the market for hybrid cars, and for the last eight years has been Consumer Reports' top pick green car. Now there's a redesigned Prius, and another promising new hybrid - the Ford Fusion. The Prius Hybrid was first sold in America in 2001. Three years later, Toyota introduced the second-generation Prius. And now, for 2010, the Prius has once again been redesigned.

Steve Bennett is one of more than 700-thousand Americans who has purchased a Prius. Bennett said, "When we decided we wanted to get a hybrid, or at least seriously consider it, the word Prius came to mind. It was the one we were most familiar with."

Consumer Reports just tested the 2010 Prius. Toyota's made some changes with this third generation. Consumer Reports Jon Linkov said, "It's still the most fuel-efficient car you can buy, getting 44 miles per gallon overall, but it's tuned a bit differently. City mileage isn't as good, but highway mileage is better."

The Prius now gets 32 miles per gallon in the city, 55 miles per gallon on the highway. But wait! There's a new green on the scene - the Hybrid Ford Fusion. Turns out, while impressive, the Fusion's mileage isn't as high - 25 miles per gallon in the city and 40 on the highway. And the Ford Fusion Hybrid is more expensive, with a base price of more than 27-thousand dollars. The Toyota Prius's base price is as low as 22-thousand.

So what does the Hybrid Fusion give you for the money?

"It handles better, it's more comfortable, and the Fusion is actually enjoyable to drive. That's something you don't expect with a hybrid," said Linkov.

Bottom line - Consumer Reports says both the new Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion are good choices, if you want a hybrid for your next car.

The Toyota Prius has consistently had excellent reliability. So have other front-wheel-drive versions of the Ford Fusion. Consumer Reports expects that both these hybrids will have very good reliability.

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