By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 8.6
There's something for every midsize 4-door sedan shopper in the 2015 Ford Fusion lineup. Buyers can choose from three turbocharged gasoline powerplants, ranging in size from 1.5 to 2.0 liters, with all-wheel drive available on SE and Titanium models. Need a hybrid? The Fusion offers one that gets an EPA-rated 47 mpg in the city. If you need even more electrification, the Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid sedan that can go 21 miles on batteries alone. Through it all, every Fusion model offers up striking styling that's uncommon to the family sedan market. The Fusion can be packed with technology, like the available MyFord Touch infotainment system. Throw in a surprisingly sporty driving dynamic, and you have a car that can please both the practical and performance-minded.
The 2015 Ford Fusion is a hard car to dislike. It offers up style, family sedan practicality, performance, technology and value in one package. That doesn't even include the two hybrid models, bound to appeal to green-driving enthusiasts.
About the only thing the 2015 Fusion doesn't offer is a V6 engine. Ford counters that its 2.0-liter EcoBoost puts out just as much power. This is true, but some buyers prefer the smoother power delivery of a bigger engine. Diesel fans will also have to look elsewhere.
KBB Expert Ratings
Ford is expanding all-weather capability on the 2015 Fusion sedan by adding all-wheel drive to the midrange SE model. Previously, it was only available on the top-level Titanium. Otherwise, the lineup remains largely the same.
The 2015 Ford Fusion backs up its looks with a dynamic driving experience, at least, for a family car. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, and while it's not...
... quick, the suspension setup gives it surprisingly good handling for such a large family sedan. Both the 1.5-liter and 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinders provide more thrust, and you can still get a 6-speed manual transmission with the front-wheel-drive SE 1.6-liter, a rarity in this class. For the truly power hungry, the 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo will satisfy all but the most ardent V6 fans. On the other end of the spectrum, the Fusion Hybrid transitions between gasoline and electric operation nearly seamlessly, and can even go up to 62 mph on just electric power. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can travel up to 21 miles at speeds up to 85 mph on just electricity, with a total range of up to 620 miles.
PLUG-IN HYBRID VERSION
The 2015 Ford Fusion Energi can go up to 21 miles on a charge, meaning many people could go for weeks without refueling. But with a gasoline engine backing it up, room for five, and a total range of 620 miles, it's also good for road trips.
SMALL BUT EFFICIENT ENGINES
Every 2015 Ford Fusion model uses a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine, including the hybrid sedans. That means that under the hood of the Fusion, there's an efficiency-to-horsepower ratio for just about anybody.
The 2015 Ford Fusion's attractive 5-passenger cabin doesn't feel as airy as some of its competitors. Nonetheless, there's room for four adults, and three kids can sit in the rear without too much "He's on my side!" The deep trunk can swallow more than a Honda Accord, although in hybrid and especially plug-in hybrid models, the storage area diminishes because of the battery pack. The family sedan's rear seats fold for more cargo room, even in the Hybrid model, but they can't be released from inside the trunk. Note that Ford uses recyclable or renewable materials for the seat fabric and foam on hybrid models.
Remove the Ford badges off the 2015 Fusion, it could pass for an upscale European luxury sedan. Credit not just the grille, inspired by Aston Martin, but the subtle details Ford has strewn over the exterior. Take the aggressive headlights and thin taillights, for example, or the multiple unique wheel designs and interesting color palette. On a practical note, the clever EasyFuel capless gas filler system means you'll never again lose your fuel cap, or have to wrestle it open or closed. Fusion Energi models use a lighted ring around the charge port, with a fully lit ring meaning charging's complete.
Even the base 2015 Ford Fusion S model comes nicely equipped. Standard features include manual climate control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, 16-inch wheels, and Ford's SYNC wireless communication system with voice control. Move up to the SE models and you'll get a 10-way power driver's seat, rear air vents, a 6-speaker audio system, and 17-inch wheels. The top-line Titanium model nets the powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 12-speaker Sony premium audio system with HD and satellite radio, dual-zone auto climate control, a rearview camera, leather seating, and 18-inch wheels.
In addition to more powerful engines, and things like leather seats and upgraded audio systems, there's an emphasis on high-tech safety in the 2015 Ford Fusion. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control with collision warning are all available to expand driver awareness. Then there's the reverse-sensing system and Active Park Assist which help with parallel parking. SE and Titanium models can also be equipped with all-wheel drive, giving the Fusion a leg up against many of its family sedan competitors when it comes to tackling foul weather in snowbelt states.
The base engine in the 2015 Ford Fusion is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, but we suggest moving up to the SE sedan, where you have your choice of the 1.5-liter, 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, all of which can run on regular gasoline. The 1.6-liter engine offers a 6-speed manual transmission, while the others employ a 6-speed automatic. The 1.5-liter offers start/stop technology that shuts off the engine at a stop to save fuel. The Fusion Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor – along with a continuously variable automatic transmission – to achieve excellent fuel economy. The Energi can travel up to 21 miles in electric mode, with up to 620 miles total range. Recharge time is projected at seven hours on a 120-volt outlet, or 2.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet.
175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
175 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg
1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
178 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/36 mpg (non-Auto Start-Stop) 25/37 mpg (with Auto Start-Stop)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
178 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/31 mpg (all-wheel drive)
2.0-liter inline-4 and permanent magnet AC synchronous motor (hybrid)
188 horsepower (total)
129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 47/47 mpg
2.0-liter inline-4 and permanent magnet AC synchronous motor (plug-in hybrid)
195 horsepower (total, with full battery charge)
129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 44/41 mpg
Prices for the base model 2015 Ford Fusion S start just over $23,000, while the midrange SE's price is right under $25,000. Titanium models run quite a bit higher, starting at about $31,500, however they do come with much more standard equipment. Add $2,000 if you want all-wheel drive on SE or Titanium models. On the green side of things, a regular Fusion Hybrid sedan starts at about $27,500, while the Energi plug-in hybrid starts at about $35,500. All those prices are in line with its competition, like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Chevy Malibu. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price before buying to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2015 Fusion. Looking ahead, we predict the Fusion's resale value to be near the top of this class, close to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.