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2012 Ford Fusion

Overview
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2012 Ford Fusion Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

The choices for mid-size family sedans are almost overwhelming: The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata are just part of the list. So what makes the 2012 Ford Fusion so popular? For starters, the Fusion is a well-built car with an excellent reputation for reliability and resale. Its styling is modern and its SYNC audio and communications system is highly popular. The 2012 Fusion is also one of the few mid-size sedans to offer the option of all-wheel drive, and it drives more like a sporty import than a floating domestic. Granted, the Fusion's fuel economy isn't the best in class, but it is respectable enough. Besides, if you want optimal fuel economy, choose the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid (reviewed separately).

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a safe, reliable family sedan that has a bit of an edge in both the styling and handling departments, the 2012 Ford Fusion deserves a test drive. In addition to its numerous trim and option packages, the Fusion also offers a high-performance Sport model that includes the availability of all-wheel drive (AWD).

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're all about modern design and getting the most bang for your buck, the Fusion can't hold a candle to the Hyundai Sonata or Kia Optima. Both cars feature cutting-edge styling and equipment, and can be had fully loaded for around $26,000.

What's New for 2012

Ford's 6-speed automatic transmission and 17-inch wheels are now standard on the SE trim level.

Driving the Fusion

Driving Impressions Thanks to the advanced 6-speed transmission and peppy 4-cylinder engine, even the least expensive 2012 Ford Fusion has ample power to deal with the normal demands of city and highway...

driving. The 3.0-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines return respectable fuel economy while delivering vastly better acceleration and passing power. The front-wheel and all-wheel drive platforms both provide good traction in snow and slippery road conditions. Ford's EPAS (Electric Power Assist Steering) improves feedback while reducing fuel consumption (it eliminates the need for a belt-driven hydraulic pump that burdens the engine); it also reduces the Fusion's turning radius by nearly a foot, making it easier to maneuver the car. EPAS is standard on all but the Sport model, which retains a hydraulic setup still preferred by most enthusiast drivers. The Fusion's capable suspension helps minimize roll while still returning a smooth and quiet ride.

Impressive Powertrain Combinations
Advanced engines and transmissions make all conventional 2012 Ford Fusion models engaging to drive. Both the 4-cylinder and V6 engines offer outstanding fuel economy and run on regular gas (and/or E85 in the case of the 3.0-liter). Ford's newest 6-speed automatic employs a manual-style SelectShift gate and can be paired with either V6 engine.

SYNC Voice-Activated Communications
Standard in the 2012 Ford Fusion SEL and Fusion Sport and available in S and SE models, the SYNC package is arguably the most useful and user-friendly multi-purpose input/output system on the market today. The system includes 911 Assist capability, Traffic, Directions and Information, Vehicle Health Report diagnostics, and can integrate with the optional on-board navigation system.

2012 Ford Fusion Details
Interior

The 2012 Ford Fusion features a handsome and modern interior covered in soft-touch materials and loaded with appealing features. But, while the design is well laid out and logically arranged, the controls for the climate and audio are just too small and placed low in the dash where they are hard to see. Models with voice activated-SYNC and navigation have some features controlled by voice or the steering wheel controls, which is a big help. The enhanced bolstering on the front seats provides impressive support, while the rear offers sufficient head and leg room to comfortably accommodate two adults – or three for shorter distances. Finally, the 60/40 split-folding seatback adds utility to the Fusion's 16.5 cubic-foot trunk.

Exterior

The 2012 Ford Fusion sports a power bulge on the hood, flared front fenders and one of the best iterations of the Ford three-bar chrome grille to date. Underneath is an underbody shield designed to improve airflow and reduce drag, and thus help improve fuel economy. Ford's new wheel designs also earn high praise from us, even on the base models, and there are different sizes depending upon the trim level: The base S model has 16-inch aluminum wheels, the SE and SEL models are on 17s and the Sport model gets its own 18-inch wheels with performance tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Ford Fusions are very well equipped. The Fusion S has power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, keyless remote entry, 6-speed manual transmission, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering column, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, AdvanceTrac stability control, anti-lock brakes and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. The SE adds SIRIUS Satellite Radio, an enhanced sound system, power driver's seat, 6-speed automatic transmission, steering wheel controls and fog lamps, while the SEL has dual-zone auto climate control, leather-trimmed full-power seats and SYNC voice-activated communications. The Sport adds more power, sportier handling, exterior and interior trim and 911 assist to its SYNC system.

Optional Equipment

Fusion S extras are limited to a 6-speed automatic transmission, remote start, and floormats, while SE buyers can opt for a 3.0-liter V6 with SportShift automatic, electrochromic mirrors, SYNC with 911 Assist, rear spoiler, a monochrome appearance package and the Reverse Sensing System. The SEL offers the 3.0-liter V6, Driver's Vision Package (Rear-View Camera plus Blind-Spot Info System with Cross-Traffic Alert) and the Luxury Package (leather seating and trim enhancements). SEL and Sport trims are available with Navigation, a Moon & Tune Package (moonroof plus 12-speaker/390-watt Sony premium audio), and all-wheel drive. Only Sport buyers can choose the Rapid Spec, which adds the Moon & Tune, Comfort Package (dual-zone climate control, heated seats, four-way power passenger seat, puddle lamps and driver's keypad) and the Driver's Vision Package. A Sport Appearance Package with a tauter suspension is available for the SE and SEL.

Under the Hood

The 2.5-liter Duratec in-line 4-cylinder makes 175 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, whether mated to the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic. Available in SE and SEL trims and paired with a mandatory 6-speed automatic transmission that adds a manual-style SelectShift feature is a 3.0-liter Flex-Fuel V6 that develops 240 horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque. The Sport level brings a potent 3.5-liter V6 rated at 263 horsepower, 249 lb-ft of torque and is paired with the 6-speed SelectShift automatic. The SEL and Sport models also offer optional on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD).

2.5-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/32 (manual, S), 23/33 (automatic), 22/30 (SelectShift automatic)

3.0-liter V6 (Flex-Fuel)
240 horsepower @ 6,550 rpm
223 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (gasoline, FWD), 14/21 (E85, FWD), 18/26 (gasoline, AWD), 13/19 (E85, AWD)

3.5-liter V6
263 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
249 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (FWD, automatic), 17/25 (AWD, automatic)

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2012 Ford Fusion Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 416 Ratings for the 2010 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Reliable and strong after 70,000 miles.

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great handling, mileage, and quality."

Cons: "Firm ride."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I was a bit nervous buying a hybrid, and my first Ford. I shouldn't have worried. After 70,000 miles, my decked-out Fusion has been exceptional. Not one problem, no signs of wear other than the stone chips from my highway driving. Gas mileage has been superb, low 40's in the summer and mid-to-upper thirties in the winter with snow tires. The handling is marvelous. Ride is a bit too firm with the original tires; I am trying Michelin Premiers as replacements; I hope they ride better without compromising the excellent handling."

Loved This Car!

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All of the above."

Cons: "Really, none."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this car for 5 years and it has been a wonderful experience.I get great gas mileage, love the interior, and is super comfortable. I would recommend this car to anyone."

I Love My Fusion!

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, attractive, good fuel economy"

Cons: "Not fun to drive if you like sportier cars"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"After my lemon of a Jetta died last year, I upgraded to an SEL '12 Fusion and never looked back. It is a little more expensive than some other cars in it's class, but I say it's worth it. You get a high quality car for your money. I have steel blue model - and it's sharp-looking. The interior is spacious and comfortable. It handles and drives well. I have only had it in the shop for oil changes. I only have two real gripes about this car. It drives great for normal highway and city travel, but I prefer a sportier car, and the 2.5L doesn't impress me in that sense. I didn't have many options at the time so I took what I could. The 3 and 3.5L engine models are harder to find (sadly). So I am looking to upgrade the engine. Secondly, the Sync system can be glitchy at times and is not the most responsive. For example, sometimes the Sync USB doesn't want to work/will change to the song I want but won't play it. Other than that, they are fantastic cars."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

this has been a great car

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "just all around good car"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has been one of the most reliable car I have ever owned in a long time. The gas mileage is great for a six cylinder. I just love it."

Best car I ever bought

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "price,performance, and reliability"

Cons: "Front door pockets"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"no repairs and inexpensive to buy and maintain. Considered an import but after research and a test drive I chose the Fusion S. Great rebates and a further discount from the dealer sealed the deal. No charge maintenance the first 2 years. Completely satisfied with the engine and tranny. Got 37 mpg at 70 mph. Sporty handling, great composure, and adequate power."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Not a great experience.

By on Monday, February 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Pretty fun to drive when it was acting nice."

Cons: "Bad front end, calipers, axle/CV, rear defroster."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I test drove a Fusion and I loved it. I got mine (not the one I test drove as I didn't want a moon roof) and after 600 miles I had issues with a front end vibration issue. I was in and out of dealers more than I ever wanted. I opened a case with Ford corporate....there was no resolution. Finally, after looking into the issue myself, I found a front caliper had started to seize. It was replaced under warranty...and brakes were said to be replaced and rotors resurfaced. Brake pads were, rotors were not resurfaced. Rather than go back, I decided to get performance rotors and brake pads. When I went to remove rotors, I discovered why they were not resurfaced....they were welded to the spindle in both the front and back on one side. This issue was eventually resolved with a torch and a dead blow hammer. All this and more by the time I had 3,000 miles on the vehicle. I replaced an axle at a non-Ford facility since it was bad(Ford did not acknowledge the problem). Over time, I found that the CV joint was bad on the same axle/wheel that has had the majority of issues...and that was the last straw for the vehicle...which I am now trading in. Brakes and rotors have been replaced 4 times, with wear being extremely uneven. The side that had had the seized rotor always wearing out very fast(Ford still said no problem found). Tire wear has been extremely uneven as well. I have replaced the tires 5 times (4 summer sets, 1 winter set for 2 winters) all while rotating and aligning as listed in manual. Transmission has had some issues over time, with rough shifting starting at 20,000 miles and staying pretty constant. Yet still not very smooth with normal acceleration, but just fine when accelerating very rapidly. I am on my 4th Ford blower motor in the vehicle, as they start to squeal after about 5,000 miles of driving. (I just started to ignore it after the 4th one, too much money wasted replacing them). Also, Sync is terrible at many things. Voice recognition is bad and it does not recognize what I say. Also, it constantly tells me that songs from my media are unavailable, even after a Sync reset. One other constant repair has been the rear defroster, with 3 repair jobs required, one at the beginning of each winter. The only pro I have is that despite the terrible front end vibration, the vehicle is somewhat fun to drive. I imagine that had I not received a lemon of a vehicle, I would have driven this car into the ground over many more years."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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