When considering the better choice after narrowing down the options and coming down to the Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion (Hybrid), you must first speak on trims and then price. For starters, the Ford Fusion is available in only one trim. The Toyota Prius is available in 5. But if we are to compare apples to apples here, then since the Fusion MSRP is priced at around $26K for 2010, we must compare to the Prius V (5) which is also at $26K. Although, for 2011 the price is up to $28K. If price is the only important factor for you, and you want to spend less than $26K (or $28K), you can stop reading and go buy or lease the Prius in trims 1-4, which go from $26K down to $20K! Of course, the various options for each will change the price, but for the sake of keeping things simple and on an even playing field, we’ll keep those out of the discussion. Now, if you are okay with the price then we need to discuss the other factors to consider in order to make an educated decision.
Since these are Hybrid vehicles, most people want to know about gas mileage. Is it any surprise, the Prius blows away the competition at 51 mpg City / 48 mpg Hwy, while the Fusion is respectable- but no match at 41 mpg City / 36 mpg Hwy. This is no doubt due to its larger 2.5L automatic engine in contrast to the Prius’s 1.8L automatic transmission. In terms of power, The Fusion will do you justice at 156 @ 6000 RPM horsepower, and torque 136 @ 2250 RPM; While the Prius only delivers 98 @ 5200 RPM horsepower and torque 105 @ 4000 RPM. Both are considered mid size FWD, 4 door cars seating 5 passengers. Both have a similar warranty, 3 years or 36000 miles. The Fusion is manufactured in Ford’s Mexico plant, the Toyota in Japan. The Ford Fusion is considered a sedan, but the Toyota Prius is a hatchback.
In terms of style, the Ford looks like a typical sedan, which could be good or bad depending on what your looking for, but no matter how you slice it, the Prius still reminds us of a football!. Although, the look of the Prius has become somewhat of a status symbol for those seeking to project a statement of Eco-consciousness, even the uber-wealthy have bought in. The Fusion has received slightly better ratings for driver side and passenger front crash tests, but both are solid at 4-5 stars. Both also come equipped with virtually the same standard interior features and have similar available options (for additional cost.) According to Kelley Blue Book, consumers have ranked the Fusion an overall rating of 4.7, while the Prius rated at 4.6
In conclusion, although the Ford Fusion does much better than its rivals at Honda and Nissan, it cannot compete with the Toyota Prius in regard to gas mileage. However, Prius’s edge in efficiency comes with sacrifice, and that sacrifice being power and performance. Although the Prius is a smooth and quiet ride, it can be frustrating on a highway, or high traffic, multi-maneuvering, speed-shifting situation in which the transmission will not be able to keep up, and the engine will not be able to deliver those much needed bursts. You will find the Prius to be more versatile and roomy due to the folding seats and hatchback, but the Fusion is aptly appointed with leg room and trunk capacity. If you can give up the “need for speed”, go with the Prius, if not- then be happy with the Fusion. But you may also want to wait… because in 2011 things are getting shaken up as Chevrolet introduces the VOLT and Nissan brings us the LEAF- fully ELECTRIC vehicles! But we’ll have to save that comparison for another time!