2020 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Ford Fusion Energi

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Prius Prime has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Prius Prime Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Prius Prime and the Fusion Energi have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fusion Energi was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fusion Energi.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius Prime’s reliability 51 points higher than the Fusion Energi.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Energi:

MPG

Prius Prime

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

145 city/121 hwy

Gasoline

1.8 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/53 hwy

Fusion Energi

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

104 city/91 hwy

Gasoline

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/41 hwy

The Prius Prime’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 25 miles, 25% further than the Fusion Energi’s 20 mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

The Prius Prime stops shorter than the Fusion Energi:

Prius

Fusion

70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the Fusion Energi’s (33.4 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the Ford Fusion Energi.

The Prius Prime is 8.9 inches shorter than the Fusion Energi, making the Prius Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Prius Prime uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Prius Prime Limited is quieter than the Fusion Energi Titanium:

Prius

Fusion

At idle

27 dB

32 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Cargo Capacity

The Prius Prime has a much larger cargo volume than the Fusion Energi (19.8 vs. 8.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Fusion Energi doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Prius Prime’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Fusion Energi’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Prius Prime is less expensive to operate than the Fusion Energi because it costs $290 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Prius Prime than the Fusion Energi, including $122 less for a muffler, $2 less for front brake pads and $330 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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