By KBB.com Editors
To compete in today's midsize sedan arena a car needs to stand out, in both style and performance. The Ford Fusion is just such a cara 180-degree turnabout from the lackluster Ford Taurus it replaces and a major homerun for Ford. Although designed here in the U.S., the Fusion borrows much of its chassis and drivetrain from its Japanese cousin, the Mazda Mazda6. It is the merging of American styling and Japanese hardware that makes the Fusion such a terrific value, offering superior handling, good fuel economy and low emissions (rated as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle or PZEV in California). However, almost certainly due to an anticipated lack of much market demand, Ford didn't see fit to place a manual transmission in the V6-powered models, essentially cutting short the Fusion's potential as a bona fide driving enthusiast's car.
If you're looking for a five-passenger sedan that doesn't dissolve into obscurity when left in a parking lot, check out the Fusion. It offers more distinctive styling than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, yet it's priced closer to the Civic and Corolla.
If you're looking for a sedan with higher fuel economy figures or more resale value, the Accord and Camry are better choices.
Front side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags become standard, as does an auxiliary audio input jack. The SE model receives a fold-down passenger seat, 16-inch wheels, fog lamps and a six-disc CD/MP3 player, while an all-wheel-drive option is made available on the V6 SE and SEL trim levels.
Driving Impressions With a chassis that offers what Ford claims is class-leading torsional rigidity, the Fusion is a solid performer. Its sophisticated short- and long-arm front suspension, which offers geometry that's superior...to the nearly-ubiquitous MacPherson strut arrangement, helps the Fusion deliver handling that rivals a European sports sedan. That feeling is enhanced by the power rack-and-pinion steering that is mounted to a front sub-frame to minimize vibration and noise. Even the four-cylinder-equipped Fusion has more-than-adequate power, but we recommend the 3.0-liter V6, because there is very little fuel economy penalty for its greater power and superior drivability.
One of the reasons for the Fusion's immediate popularity is that it provides a lot of interior room and cargo space for the money.
Despite Ford Motor Company's significant operations in Europe, the Fusion has Mazda underpinnings, but the chassis and suspension capture the European feel for which its engineers were aiming.
The Ford Fusion's interior continues the "bold American" theme of the exterior with an added twistfreedom of choice. While most other cars in the class offer just two or three color choices for the same basic interior, Fusion offers three different interior themes (the S trim offers two), including Charcoal Black with oatmeal-colored stitching. The round analog instruments are easy to read, and the steering wheel includes integrated cruise control switches as standard equipment. Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are all very representative of the segment as a whole, while the trunk spaceat 15.8 cubic feetis substantially larger than many competitors, including the Accord.Exterior
The Fusion's exterior design began with the dynamic exterior of the Ford 427 concept car, including the three-bar grille and trapezoidal, multi-element projector-beam headlamps. In the current production idiom the wheels are pulled out to the corners of the car but, unlike conventional practice these days, the shape features some fairly sharp edges and a "box-on-wedge" profile. Even on its base 16-inch wheels the Fusion looks properly grounded, but it looks even better with the P225/50R17 tires on the alloy wheels with the five split-spoke design, and the front end has an artful appearance that features a well-integrated, nearly flush bumper below the chrome grille.
The base S model features front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, power door locks with keyless remote entry, power mirrors and power windows with "one-touch-down" function for the driver's side, 16-inch wheels, AM/FM stereo with single MP3-compatible CD player, air conditioning and rear-seat armrest with built-in cup holders. The base 2.3-liter engine can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or the optional five-speed automatic. Also standard are niceties like halogen headlamps, tilt/telescopic steering wheel and cruise control. The SE adds aluminum wheels, fog lamps, six-disc CD changer, power driver's seat and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The SEL adds 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control and heated mirrors.
As an alternative to the standard four-cylinder engine, a 221-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 is a key item on the option list, and it is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), leather seats, a moonroof and all-wheel drive (V6 only) are also among the available options. A pair of premium audio systems is offeredboth feature six-disc CD changers and MP3 capability. Shortly after the model launch, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, DVD navigation and a rear spoiler will be offered, but only on the SE and SEL trim levels.
The standard 2.3-liter in-line four-cylinder engine delivers good drivability and more-than-acceptable acceleration. It is a good choice if you want to keep the initial outlay low or you must have a manual transmission. For most buyers, though, we recommend the 221-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. It's matched with a six-speed automatic that helps contribute to its laudable fuel economy.
2.3-liter in-line 4
160 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
156 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 (manual), 24/32 (automatic)
221 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
205 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28
By Kaceyef on Saturday, August 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Fusion is the first car I bought for myself and by myself. I love everything about it. It's comfortable, drives, steers, and parks easily. I've driven it for 5 years and only had to replace the battery and tires. It is very reliable, which is important to me as a single lady. I plan to drive it at least another 4 year. I wish it were a little more fuel efficient, but an average of 25 mph isn't bad for a combination of city and highway driving."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By bankheist on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A Very Good and Solid Vehicle - No Regrets"
Cons: "Noisy, both engine and road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my Fusion SEL new in 2007, special order with 4 Cylinder and 5 speed transmission. I have 91,000 miles on it and had only two problems with it. The CD player would not eject the CD (fixed by cycling the power to the unit) and the on board computer had to be reprogrammed. Otherwise, this has been a super car. Engine noise and road noise are the two areas Ford could improve on, even the 2014 models are a bit noisy. The 5 speed works well with the 2.3 Liter engine. Very comfortable leather seats, lots of room, and nice styling are what initially attracted my attention to the Fusion."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By lisaf on Friday, July 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "smooth ride when it runs"
Cons: "motor blew at 50k, transmission at 61k."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought my Fusion new in 2008 and have had nothing but problems the entire time. When I first bought it, there were issues with the transmission. It would be sluggish to change gears and would jerk a little when shifting. I took it to many different mechanics who all said there was nothing wrong with it, all because the computer wasn't showing any codes. Then at 55,000 miles, 5,000 miles out of warranty, the engine blew. I received no help from Ford other than an offer to pay the $40 tow bill to the dealer to have a $5000 motor put back in because, oops you're out of luck there's no warranty now. Then 1 year later at 61,000 the transmission has failed in the car. So now, I have a very expensive lawn ornament I am still paying payments on. I'll try to find some positives with this car. Hmm, when it does drive it has a very smooth ride and the stereo is great. The gas mileage is not as good as everyone says it is. It's better than what you'll get with a v6 or v8 car, but compared to other 4 cylinders its not that impressive. So, to sum up. Never, ever, ever, ever again buying another Ford. I will walk or ride a horse first."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Olee on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of room, Safe, Great Gas Mileage, Smooth Ride"
Cons: "2007- Interior Handles faulty (common issue)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned a brand new 2007 Ford Fusion 4 cylinder and had it until it had 42,000 miles. In July 2012 I got in an extremely terrible accident with a car that ran a red light and it was completely totalled. However, I found the airbags worked and I walked away with a sprained ankle and some minor airbag burns. In the 5 years I had the car I only had to replace the drivers side interior handle. I took it in for regular oil changes (every 3000-5000 miles) and replaced the tires right before the accident. I loved it! Enough room in the trunk to fit 2 maybe 3 bodies, my 6 ft friend could sit in the backseat without me having to move my seat forward, I got great gas mileage. When looking for a new car I opted for a 2009 Ford Fusion SE V6 with blue tooth capabilities, steering wheel radio control, and electronic mileage and gas gauge. Again, I love it! I found that the V6 has a much smoother ride and after 2 years still occasionally find my self accidentally speeding. I'm pushing 95,000 miles and haven't had to do anything but replace the tires. This is a great family vehicle (I have 3 girls under 7 years old) and great gas mileage (with a 90 mile commute total daily). I would recommend, and I have recommended, to anyone!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Fathom on Monday, June 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Fast car. Mileage is currently over 34mpg via country roads, small highways. Paint is defective, very strange pattern only on the driver's side door. Ford would not compensate me for this defect."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Mike K on Monday, June 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent value"
Cons: "Wish the gear selection indicator was also on dash"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Driver's seat is exceptionally comfortable for me. Sport tuned suspension makes it more fun to drive than most vehicles. Power train, steering and suspension are excellent. Body is average quality but this car has been extremely reliable and a joy to drive."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful