By KBB.com Editors
To compete in today's midsize sedan arena a car needs to stand out, in both style and performance. The 2009 Ford Fusion is just such a car – a 180-degree turnabout from the lackluster midsize Ford products of the past 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 previous generation Mazda MAZDA6. The merging of American styling and Japanese hardware makes the Fusion a terrific value, offering superior handling, good fuel economy and low emissions (rated as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle, or PZEV, in California). Almost certainly due to an anticipated lack of much market demand, however, 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 2009 Ford Fusion. It offers distinctive styling in line with the Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord, yet its priced closer to the smaller Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
If you're looking for a sedan with higher fuel economy figures, a hybrid model or more resale value, the Accord and Camry are better choices.
More content marks the major changes to the 2009 Ford Fusion with SEL trims getting standard ambient multi-color lighting and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is made optional on all trims, while cars without the SYNC audio system receive an auxiliary audio input jack.
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 subframe 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 twist – freedom of choice. While most other cars in the class offer just two or three color choices for the same basic interior, Fusion offers a variety of different interior themes, including Piano Black with contrasting stitching and a cool Blue Suede Package that adds blue Alcantera inserts to the seats and door panels. 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 space – at 15.8 cubic feet – is 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, anti-lock brakes (ABS) 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 with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power driver's seat and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The SEL adds 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, SYNC audio, keyless keypad entry 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. Leather seats, a moonroof and all-wheel drive (V6 only) are also among the available options. Also on the options list is Ford's SYNC system and a voice-activated DVD navigation unit, remote start, an Audiophile eight-speaker sound system, AdvanceTrac stability control, the Blue Suede Package, 18-inch wheels, all-wheel drive and a rear spoiler.
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: 20/29 (manual), 20/28 (automatic)
221 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
205 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (FWD), 17/25 (AWD)
By Greg (TX) on Saturday, November 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quiet and comfortable drive"
Cons: "Gas is not up the new 4 cylinders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought as a temporary car on 2010 and wow what a surprise, we love the car. It is a great value, quiet, comfortable and fun to drive. On the down side the 4 cylinder engine is thirsty for a 4 cylinder."
By NeNe (CA) on Saturday, October 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,731overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price and fast and fun to drive."
Cons: "Navigation not available at time of purchase"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The style of the car is so sexy to me. I feel in love with it when I saw a lady driving a red one in 2005. My husband and i was searching for a car at the time. We bought the car in 2006 online for 25000 cash. What a deal! We got almost everything we wanted. (No Navigation system) I haven't had any problems with the car. It drives so smooth that I don't realizes that i'm driving at 80mi when i just got on the freeway. I love it the most when people tell me how good i look in it. The best car purchased!! I recommend this car to all my friends!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By blackisclassic (NH) on Friday, September 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "affordable, lots of room, reliable"
Cons: "gets stuck when there is a lot of snow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've had the car for over 6 years and it has not let me down for the most part. It drives great and I haven't had any major issues with it. I did have to have the radio replaced because for some reason it was making the buttons for the volume and next malfunction. However, after it was changed I had no problems with it again. It is hard to drive in the snow because it is front wheel drive. It has gotten stuck on me a few times but if you do not get a lot of snow in your area, you will be fine. There is plenty of leg room for taller people and your head will not hit the top of the car unless you're really tall. Overall it is a great car that's pretty good on gas."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By biogirl (PA) on Friday, September 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cute, great trunk space, nice stereo sound"
Cons: "bad transmission, loud steering, bad handles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought this car in June of 2008 with a little over 10,000 miles on it. I was thrilled. The first month the driver's side interior door handle fell off. This was replaced under the comprehensive coverage. Three months after that, the 'chrome' coating on the interior handles started to crack and peel. This time, I was out of warranty (despite it being a Certified Pre-Owned). The car has a roomy interior. The trunk space is amazing. However, in May of 2013 I was forced to replace the failing transmission and power steering column at a cost of over $3,000. The dealership denied knowing anything about transmission issues. My car had less than 50,000 miles on it at this point. Now, in September of 2013, my transmission is again jumping upon deceleration (without even touching the brakes), jumping with upshifts to 2nd and 3rd gears, is randomly falling out of gear and going to high/loud RPMs. Twice in the past week I was not able to accelerate past 22mph. Additionally, the steering column is excessively loud at any speed below 30mph. Pulling into a parking space is embarrassing. The car croaks/cracks/groans with steering wheel movements again. It feels like the bottom front of my car is going to fall off. This week I turned on the back window defrost for the first time since last spring. All four days I attempted to use it, none of the coils worked. Great. Another repair for which I'll have to cough up money. My car has only 53,160 miles on it. These kinds of part failures are simply unacceptable. I've never been in an accident, check my vehicle fluids regularly, and am careful with my acceleration and coasting. I have two young children (3 and 1) and actually feel unsafe in this vehicle. I would never buy this model again, even with low mileage. I feel cheated and frustrated. Either somebody knowingly sold me a lemon, or the person who first sold it back to the dealership with only 10,000 miles on it knew something was inherently wrong with this particular vehicle. I don't even feel comfortable trading it in- what if a future buyer gets into an accident with this car? Buyer beware."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By SpokaneRon (WA) on Thursday, September 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good value, AWD is great in the snow, lots of go"
Cons: "Some inherent problems to be aware of ......."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Purchased this one owner non fleet use car with 43000 miles from a dealer in Montana. I was amazed at how well it handled on the twisty roads back to I90 and how comfortable it was. A year later and I still feel that way! The 3.0 V6 has a ton of power and stuns those next to me at stop lights as I leap off the line. Of course driving like that costs in the mileage .... I average 21.4 around town. In 1 year of ownership, I've had to have a valve cover gasket replaced (leaky and smelly) and the driveline to the rear wheels replaced (TSB) after a vibration was felt around 45 mph. Thankfully, this was covered under the 5/50 warranty! But the most annoying problem to arise when weather got hot was a "scrunchy squeaky" noise from the front end! The FORD "fix" for this was to disassemble the struts and "grease" the upper shock bumpers. ??!! That quieted it down for a few days and cost me $150 at a local tire shop but did include a wheel alignment. Compare that to the nearly $400 charge that the dealer would charge! Well, like I said the "grease job" worked for a day or two so I took the car back to the tire shop and the mechanic and I discussed shaving the taper on the shock bumpers a slight amount and I authorized him to do it. That eliminated the scrunch sound but the squeak was still there. So, I scoured the internet and found where someone posted about aligning the ride height of the upper control arm with the center of the front wheel hub so I put the car on my own hoist and in 15 minutes accomplished this myself. That was the final "ticket" to resolving this problem and haven't had a peep out of it in over 5000 miles. I mention this as I know this problem affects several Fusion, Mercury Milans and Lincoln models of the same year(s). Ford apparently has no clue how to effectively stop the noise and the dealers would love to have an "open ticket" to play with ideas at your massive expense! I love my audiophile stereo system with navigation and XM Sirius radio. Rarely a week goes by that someone doesn't comment upon how good looking the car is and those riding in it for the first time always comment upon how comfortable it is, front and back."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By richard (VA) on Monday, September 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "engine power, cheap to maintain, comfortable inter"
Cons: "driver's leg room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love the looks. it's simple yet pleasing to the eye. for me it has just enough "bling". My particular car lacks all the chrome and accents but that's less to worry about and maintain. the 3.0 liter v-6 has plenty of power and hwy passing capability. it's quiet on the road and holds the road quite well. The information center on the dash is very informative and helps you maintain a sensible driving approach to both city and hwy. trunk space is very roomy. servicing this vehicle is so easy and cheap."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful