By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 8.5
For 2016 the Ford Fusion lineup offers something for virtually any family- sedan shopper, whether they're looking for a performance feel, or just want to burnish their green credentials with a hybrid or plug-in. Live where there's foul weather? The 2016 Fusion SE and Titanium offer all-wheel drive. Best of all, any new Ford Fusion is wrapped in European styling that's sophisticated, nicely proportioned, and still looks fresh even after several years of production. Inside you'll find a roomy and high-tech interior, with advanced electronic driving aids, high-end infotainment options and comfortable seating for five. Combine it with a sporty driving experience, and it's easy to see why the Fusion remains a popular choice.
Whether you want a sporty family car with Euro-sharp looks, or just a practical and affordable way to haul around five people, the 2016 Ford Fusion is a hard car to dislike. In addition to style, practicality, performance, technology and value, the two hybrid models appeal to green-driving enthusiasts.
There are two things that might keep you out of a 2016 Fusion. The first is the lack of a V6 engine, and although the Fusion's 2.0-liter EcoBoost offers V6 levels of power, it's not as smooth or refined as a V6. Diesel fans will also have to look elsewhere.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2016 Ford Fusion makes using Sync and other functions easier with a simplified center stack. Fusion S models offer a new appearance package, there's a new Shadow Black exterior color, and a new cold weather package for SE models. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder and its optional manual transmission disappear.
For a family sedan, the 2016 Ford Fusion is surprisingly fun to drive in either front- or all-wheel-drive (FWD, AWD) forms. Even when saddled with the pokey 2.5-liter base 4-cylinder...
... engine, the suspension setup offers unexpectedly good handling for such a large family sedan. The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder offers more thrust along with better fuel economy, but if you're really looking for power, the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo will satisfy all but the most ardent V6 fans. On the other hand, if you live your life by big mpg numbers instead of low quarter-mile times, the Fusion Hybrid seamlessly switches between gasoline and electric operation, and even goes up to 62 mph on electric power. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid gets up to 21 miles of EV range, with a total range of up to 620 miles.
PLUG-IN HYBRID VERSION
With up to 21 miles on a charge, the 2016 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid could go for weeks without refueling. However, the gasoline engine has its back, allowing up to five folks to travel 620 miles on a road trip before refueling.
SMALL BUT EFFICIENT ENGINES
The Ford Fusion offers a 4-cylinder engine in every model, including the hybrids. As long as you concentrate on the "Eco" instead of the "Boost" in the EcoBoost turbos, you can see very good fuel economy, regardless of what you pick.
The biggest change to the 2016 Ford Fusion is the easy-to-use buttons that replace the fiddly touch-sensitive pads on the center console. Otherwise, the roomy 5-passenger cabin mostly carries over. It doesn't feel particularly airy, but it's roomy enough for four adults, and three kids can fit in back without "He's on my side!" arguments. The trunk swallows more cargo than a Honda Accord can, but the battery pack on hybrid and especially plug-in hybrid models compromises luggage space. This family sedan's rear seats fold to expand cargo space, even in Hybrid models, but there's no seatback release in the trunk.
With a grille cribbed from Aston Martin and a sleek profile, a new Ford Fusion would look right at home among several luxury sedans. The aggressive headlights and thin taillights are complemented by a variety of unique wheel designs and an 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.
You don't have to spend a lot to get a decently equipped 2016 Ford Fusion, with base Fusion S models coming standard with manual climate control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, 16-inch wheels, and Ford's SYNC wireless communication system with voice control. SE models add a 10-way-power driver's seat, rear air vents, a 6-speaker audio system and 17-inch wheels. The top-line Titanium model gets the powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a premium 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD and satellite radio, dual-zone auto climate control, a rearview camera, leather seating and 18-inch wheels.
In addition to drivetrain choices, you can add a lot of high-tech safety to a new Ford Fusion. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control with collision warning help expand driver awareness, and make the Fusion an excellent road-trip sedan. The reverse-sensing system helps in parking lots, and the Active Park Assist system takes it even further, actually parallel-parking the car for you. SE and Titanium models can also be equipped with all-wheel drive, making the Fusion one of the few family sedans to offer that added layer of foul-weather security in Snowbelt states.
Just skip the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine in the 2016 Ford Fusion. Instead, start at the SE sedan, where you can choose between 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, both of which can run on regular gasoline. 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 coupled to a continuously variable automatic transmission for excellent fuel economy. The Energi has up to 21 miles of EV range, with up to 620 miles total range, recharging in about 2.5 hours on a 240-volt outlet. Note that the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, along with its available manual transmission, is gone for 2016.
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)
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 (FWD), 22/31 mpg (AWD)
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
A 2016 Ford Fusion S with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $23,000, but you should really start shopping at the midrange SE level, which starts at a little more than $25,000 with the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder. Titanium models start considerably higher at just over $31,000, but also come with more standard equipment. AWD adds $2,000 to an SE or Titanium model. If you're going green, a Fusion Hybrid S sedan starts at about $26,000, the Energi plug-in hybrid just under $35,000 before tax incentives. It's all on par with competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Chevy Malibu. Before buying, check the Fair Purchase Price and see what others in your area are paying for the 2016 Fusion. Looking ahead, we predict the Fusion's resale value to be close to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, near the top of this class.