It’s Ford’s top-selling midsize FWD sedan, and if you’ve always wanted one, now’s the time to buy a Fusion as the 2015’s are coming out and dealers will give good deals to move 14’s. The only major difference between the 2014s and 15s is that a rearview camera is now standard. Otherwise only minor upgrades were made, mainly to the electronic interface.
For the 2014 model year, Fusion saw multiple upgrades including inflatable rear seatbelts, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a new 1.5L, four-cylinder engine option.
One reason the Fusion has been so popular is its handsome styling that resembles – via its grille – an Aston Martin sports car, the brand Ford once owned. The entire car is stylish from front to rear bumper.
Fusion is one of the few midsize sedans to offer four powerplants. There’s a 2.5L, 4-cylinder with 175-hp and 170 lb/ft of torque; a 1.5L EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 178-hp and 177 lb/ft of torque; a 1.6-L, EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 178-hp and 184 lb/ft of torque and for performance fans, a 2.0L, turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder generating 240-hp and 270 lb/ft of torque.
Our test car came with the 1.5L EcoBoost 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission that in concert provided EPA fuel mileage estimates of 25 city, 37-highway mpg. These impressive figures are helped by Ford’s Stop/Start system that puts the engine in sleep mode at stoplights and when idling. When this occurs, I noticed the A/C fan slows as well.
So powered, Fusion had ample power with two adults aboard and when ascending hills. The trans, however, does downshift frequently when ascending hills, which is understandable given its modest output for a 3,300-pound sedan. For sure the 2.0L turbo engine wouldn’t.
Fusion is offered in base S, SE and Titanium trim models. Each offers more standard equipment, fancier interior trim items and larger tires. For the SE and Titanium models, Ford offers a Luxury Driver Assist package that adds auto high beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning/lane assist systems. Optional too are a sunroof and ventilated front seats.
The SE tested had a stylish interior with leather front heated bucket seats that had just the right amount of lateral support. The back seats are a tad firm but can accommodate two adults with easy ingress/egress and generous amounts of legroom. Headroom, however, is a bit crimped due to Fusion’s sloping roofline.
The cockpit has one of the best-designed vertical stacks and console with rounded edges. HVAC controls are a combination of flush buttons and traditional large rotary dials for audio and temperature controls. A rather smallish LCD screen displayed only audio functions as the car was void of GPS nav and rearview camera systems. But standard are Ford’s controversial MyFord Touch system that requires some study and practice to become proficient in its use.
Back in the trunk, there’s 16-cubic feet of cargo space that increases when the 60/40 rear seats are folded. More meaningful, it can easily accommodate two large roll-a-long luggages or two Hoofer type golf bags.
Fusion’s main attributes include a smooth, quiet, composed ride that gives the feeling of a much larger car. It takes sharp turns with confidence and the electric power steering makes parking a breeze. In this respect, Fusion can be optioned with a self-parking system but it’s not really needed as the car is nimble. More practical is the AWD option that will be beneficial with winter oncoming.
Base priced at $23,935, the test car came with the SE Luxury package that included heated front seats ($2,350), Reverse Sensing System ($295), Start-Stop ($295), Rear Inflatable seatbelts ($190) and delivery ($825) all of which brought an equipment group discount of $300 for a grand total of $27,890.
At this price, Fusion goes up against Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord, two tough competitors and top sellers. As such, buyers must compare and weigh factors such as mileage, amenities and features, all of which makes Fusion a compelling choice.
Fusion also received five stars for the government’s 5-star overall safety rating; five for driver frontal crash, four for passenger; three for front side crash, four for rear seat crash; and four for rollover.