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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Ford Fusion S include EcoBoost 2.5L I-4 175hp engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, driver and passenger knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 16" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, AdvanceTrac electronic stability.
Starting at: $22,610
|S Search New||$22,610||175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||22 / 34|
|SE Search New||$23,740||175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||22 / 34|
|SE Search New||$27,535||231-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||20 / 29|
|Titanium Search New||$30,740||231-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||21 / 31|
|Titanium Search New||$32,740||231-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||20 / 29|
|Sport Search New||$33,475||325-hp 2.7L 6-cyl||6-spd auto||No Data|
|Platinum Search New||$36,750||231-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||21 / 31|
|Platinum Search New||$38,750||231-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||6-spd auto||20 / 29|
The base 2.5-liter engine does okay, but a broader torque band would be nice. It doesn’t reach peach torque until 4500 rpm, so the 6-speed transmission has to work a lot.
If snappy acceleration is important to you, you need the 2.0-liter turbo, with its 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It revs quickly, and steering-wheel paddles sweeten the shifting. It’s also very smooth and silent, almost amazingly so for a four-cylinder. But the best choice might be the compromise, the 181-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbo four, for its lower price point.
Even at its heaviest, about 3700 pounds, the Fusion feels nimble and offers excellent handling. It’s up there with the Mazda 6, some Honda Accord models, and the strong new Chevrolet Malibu. Ford takes advantage of its European roots and connections, bringing sophistication to the ride and cornering that’s flat and reassuring. The steering is taut and well tuned, making the Fusion eager in a way you just don’t find in everyday midsize sedans. The steering isn’t perfect, but it’s consistent. There’s not much feedback when unwinding the wheel, and the ratio could be quicker, but it still feels sporty, at least with the larger wheels. Ride quality and handling changes between the 16-inch standard wheels and 19-inch available ones, as all cars will.
The suspension uses front struts and rear multi-links that Ford calls Control LInk. It’s absorbent while providing more firmness and composure than rivals such as the Nissan Altima. Still, the Fusion knows that it’s a family sedan and doesn’t try to pretend it’s a sports sedan. It makes the seat of our pants happy.
The Fusion is nearly 192 inches long, with a 112-inch wheelbase, making it big for a midsize car, but then they’re all getting bigger, pushing the EPA’s definition of midsize.
The fastback shape looks dashing in dark colors, not so head-turning in the common silver. The hexagonal grille is a blatant copy of the racy Aston Martin, and it works. The tweaks for 2017 improve the flow at the front, including more shapely headlamps that are now LED, and wider fascia, with a bolder bumper, deeper intakes and glossy black grille insert.
The roofline arches gently, resembling an Audi A7 from the rear, but unmistakable Ford from the side. The Fusion boasts a strong stance and sense of proportion, low to the road like the Mazda 6.
The interior, freshened for 2017 models, is sleek and functional, with a rotary gear-selector dial in the new center console. The standard LCD screen is small, and flanked by switchgear that functions with precision.
We like the USB port that’s illuminated in the dark. Thanks to efficient organization reflecting real thought, the console has a lot of room, even with a media hub, vertical cell phone slot, enlarged center bin, better-located cupholders, and longer armrest. The Volvo-like design, open at the sides, is an improvement over the pinched Focus and Fiesta, but there’s too much glossy piano black plastic on the dash and door armrests. It shows scratches and blemishes too easily. However the rest of it is soft to the touch, and fits well.
The base cloth seats have manual adjustment, and are comfortable and supportive, although slim and clearly low-cost, as well as tilted a bit too much forward for us. But their being thin gives more room in the rear, compared to rivals, with good legroom for two adults in back. The 119 cubic feet of interior volume is just under what the EPA would call a full-size car.
The seat cushions are high, and with the available sunroof you lose a bit of headroom, so six-footers might graze the headliner in back. Same in the Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat.
The trunk is sizeable, at 16 cubic feet. Tall doors make entry and exit easy, especially on the high cushions; they close with a solid thunk. Slim roof pillars allow excellent visibility for the driver.
The new Platinum model is luxury all with way, with quilted leather seats and door panels, Venetian leather on the steering wheel, and regular leather on the instrument panel, center console, and door armrests.
The Ford Fusion offers a lot in a midsize sedan, and compares favorably against its many rivals, from Camry to Passat to Malibu, especially when you consider all the standard equipment. The base engine is okay, while the 2.0 turbo is quicker and gets 2 mpg better mileage. The 6-speed automatic in both of them is smooth and sharp. The Fusion SE offers winning value in a midsize sedan.
New Car Test Drive correspondent Sam Moses contributed to this report, with staff reports by The Car Connection.
Ford Fusion S ($22,610) comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, power windows, four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio. Fusion SE ($24,134) gets upgraded audio, wheels and other features and is available with all-wheel drive ($27,930). The 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter Ecoboost engines are options.
Fusion Titanium ($30,880) and Titanium AWD ($32,880) employ the 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine and features leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and other upgrades. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge. Prices may change at any moment without notice.)
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