If you’re lucky, you’ll land yourself a nice provincial government job here in Ontario. Not only will you likely receive decent financial compensation for your labours, but you’ll probably enjoy considerable job security, a pension and a comprehensive benefits package, too. Good on ya; lucky score!
But wait, there’s more. If you’re deemed trustworthy enough to be let out of the cubicle farm, you might even get a government-issue sedan to go do the site inspections your particular role requires. Being the politically correct and socially responsible group that they are, that government agency of yours is likely to choose staff cars that are safe, sensible and inoffensive. Fuel efficiency – to feign environmental responsibility – is a worthy consideration. Style is not.
And yet, even finished in white, the Ford Fusion Hybrid – darling of the government fleet set – is still a stylish and handsome machine.
Of course the Fusion Hybrid Titanium-trim car we tested is bathed in a metallic white that looks richer than the milk white found on the fleet cars, and not even the considerable familiarity of the current generation of Fusions has diminished its visual appeal.
But this car here would be like striking gold as a government official for this Fusion Hybrid is also an optioned up Titanium model which means it comes with a host of luxurious items including a moon roof, heated steering wheel, and cooled seats finished in a lovely terracotta leather, a new option this year.
The overall cabin design is pleasing and features mostly rich-feeling textures and materials. The central dash is a command module based around Ford’s 8-inch touchscreen for its SYNC with MyFordTouch infotainment system. The Blue Oval folks have suffered a lot of grief over this system for its apparent uncooperative nature but my experience with several different Ford models this past year has shown that it’s an intuitive and straight forward system that has proven far less problematic than many of the other systems I’ve experienced.
Navigation maps are clear and graphically pleasing (if not as slick as some of the best out there), and there’s even an EcoRoute feature that plots the most fuel-efficient route to your destination. The Sony based sound system is powerful and decently balanced too.
Energi Plug-in: Long-Term Test Wrap-up: 2014 Ford Fusion Energi
This particular car is spec’ed with the $1,500 adaptive cruise control and $1,500 Driver Assist Package options that really make this Fusion a rolling technology display. Between the lane keeping assist and the adaptive cruise, drivers will experience short spells of driverless driving as the car manages the tasks of speeding up, slowing down and gently keeping you between the lines should the driver’s attention be diverted momentarily.
But there’s more. The driver assist package includes Ford’s Active Park Assist that enables the Fusion to find a suitably-sized parking space, and steer itself safely into it. I have experienced this system on the Ford Edge and while it does work, I found it such a nerve-wracking experience that I’ve not dared to use it since. My driving capabilities include being able to park, and with a back-up camera too, there’s no excuse to not be able to park your own car.