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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 426 Ratings for the 2010 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great vehicle

By on Saturday, May 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value for price, fun to drive"

Cons: "little problem with snowy condition"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Loved the color, loved the gas mileage, is very comfortable, had no problems with any features of this car. The only complaint was minor handling difficulty in snowy conditions, especially if needed to climb any hilly terrain. If take off traction control, and keep in low gear, it handled much better. Probably would be even better if used good all weather or snow tires. This car had Michelin tires that are rather soft rubber and partially worn."

A great vehicle that is fun to drive.

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value for the money. Dependable."

Cons: "None"

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

"Best car you can buy for the price. Great gas milage, very easy to drive. Have only had to buy a battery in 3 yrs of driving."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car, quick and responsive

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "quickness and driving ability"

Cons: "dash board"

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

"Fantastic car, quick, sporty and looks good. if the car has any down side it would be the dash board. I would prefer gauges."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A sensible, quality Ford sedan for anyone!

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel economy, reliability, practicality, quality"

Cons: "Busy center stack, light steering, resale"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

The star of the review!

"I have owned my 2011 Ford Fusion SE for a few years now. So far, I have plenty of positive things to say about this car. I found this car attractive at first because of its stylish design and large trunk. I remember when my friends and I would play golf, we would car pool in a Fusion and it would easily swallow 4-5 golf bags...plus all of our other belongings and bags. Thus, many of my friends own this car, and recommended it to me since I was looking to replace a ten year old Altima. I visited most of the major mainstream dealerships before making a choice on my next midsize sedan. After visiting the Nissan dealer, I found the Altima to be a little bit bland, in regards to performance and the interior. It didn’t feel like a new car to me. I also looked at the Accord, which I really did enjoy due to its comfortable ride and how the controls were all logically laid out. But, what set me back was that so many people drive it, and it didn’t really surprise me or, like the Altima, feel engaging or fun. Same goes for the Camry. I then visited the local Ford dealer, and here goes: Like I said before, I found the Fusion the most attractive looking car out of the bunch. As a taller person, I felt that there was great headroom. The steering wheel also has many controls that the other cars seem to lack, as well as being easy to operate. Even while driving the SE model, I found the car very comfortable in terms of the materials where I would be resting my arms. Lots of padding in the important locations. The Fusion also had great ride quality thanks to its superb chassis, which it shares with the Mazda6. I’m assuming that was the reason why the car felt so in control and able to take corners well. The transmission, a 6 speed automatic, is geared just right, and there are no rough shifts or jerking. It is a very smooth gearbox. Sometimes I don’t even know what gear I’m in. Let the car do the work! Legroom in the front and rear are great. The dashboard, which doesn’t have too much technology, (I opted for the lowest level SE model, with no SYNC, navigation, sunroof, etc.) looked very modern and made the car feel more expensive. However, there are many buttons on the dashboard, and it took a few days for me to figure out the controls and their placement. Storage space is also excellent, with a big glove box and bins smartly located (such as the middle storage compartment and the bin on top of the air vents). One interesting things I found was how superb the instrument panel was displayed. Everything is very clear and large. A bright blue light illuminates the instrument panel which looks beautiful any time, any day of the week. I average about 27 miles to the gallon with a mix of city and highway driving. Excellent for this size car! I seemed to get higher results than what the EPA suggests. While there are many positives to this car, I have to mention some negatives for the general consumer. I wanted the four cylinder model for its efficiency, not its performance. The car felt that it had about the same power as my Altima. I thought it would be a little bit quicker. It really starts to pull at higher RPMs. Also, the steering does feel a bit light. If you want something sportier, go for a Mazda6. But, if you still want a Fusion, there is an available V6 and Sport model that makes the car much more like an enthusiast car. Under heavy acceleration, the engine does drone, but as a conservative and frugal driver, I don’t have an issue with that. The cloth seats are generally good, but after three hours on the road they start to bother you a little bit. I found the cloth seats in the other cars somewhat better. I should have gotten the leather now that I think of it. Therefore, I found that the Fusion since it seemed to outshine the other competitors in many areas. However, the price of this car made everything just work. The base SE model that I got retails at some amount hovering about the $21k mark. After negotiating with the dealer, I was able to drop the price down to $20k. A similar priced Altima, Accord, or Camry would have made me pay upwards to $25k. Although the resale value may not be as great, I do keep cars for at least 10 years before finding a replacement, so I might be able to get some money of it. J.D Power Associates give the Ford Fusion a great reliability score, and I have had no problems with the vehicle besides regular maintenance and conditioning for the 60,000 something miles I’ve driven it. It is also a top safety pick, receiving 4 and 5 stars on all of the tests. Safety is always a priority, so all the cars performed well in the crash tests. Thank you for those who took the time to read this comprehensive review. Let me know if I missed something, there are many parts to a car! Out of all the midsize sedans, this is definitely my recommendation. For those of you who are just going for the traditional Accord or Camry, think again. Look at all of your options. Do not underestimate any car. All of these cars in the class are good picks, but each has a personality that attracts different buyers. For me, the style, efficiency, practicality, reliability, and features made the 2011 Ford Fusion SE the best midsize sedan."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

The star of the review!

Love my fusion

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, reliable, roomy"

Cons: "one on every corner"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The Fusion is a great car. It has features of a more expensive car such as SYNC, bluetooth, sunroof, etc... for an affordable price. I love the amount of space in the cabin and trunk, the reliability, and the look and feel of the car."

My Opinion

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "NA"

Cons: "NA"

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

"We have owned this car since 2010. Other than routine services no unexpected repairs. Starts easily even in very cold weather. The Hybrid engine gets slightly better mileage in warmer weather due to shorter warm up times. Overall mileage for ALL TYPES of driving is a consistent mid 30's number!. We are replacing this vehicle with another Hybrid. Gas will never be cheaper will it?"

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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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