Selling midsize sedans is a tough business. With so much profit to be had in this high-volume segment, competition is fierce, leaving automakers with little room for error.
What's to Like About the 200?
The 200 welcomes passengers with a classy chrome-trimmed interior that ranks at the high end of this class. As with exterior design, the emphasis is on style rather than family sensibility. The 200 achieves a certain premium feel, even in base trim. Its short rear deck and smallish footprint make navigating urban traffic less of a chore than expected in a midsize sedan.
The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 173 horsepower and about 24 mpg in combined city and highway driving. With 283 horsepower, the available 3.6-liter V6 provides strong performance with only a slight loss in fuel economy. It's certainly one of the better engines in this class.
What's to Like About the Fusion?
It's safe to say the Fusion is the style leader in this rather conservative class. The unique looks seem appropriate for a sedan with the Ford's spirited driving dynamics and suite of convenience and safety technology.
On the road, the Fusion always manages to be quiet and composed, imparting the feel of an entry-level luxury car. Wind and engine noise have been all but engineered out at highway speeds. The optional 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder provides performance similar to a V6, but with vastly superior fuel economy. The line-topping Titanium model, powered exclusively by the 2-liter, offers all-wheel drive in addition to the expected luxury trappings.
What It All Means
The 200 is easy to appreciate for its upscale demeanor and energetic V6. While not a breakthrough product, it represents Chrysler well in this segment.
No matter how it's equipped, the Fusion scores near the top of the midsize class in efficiency, handling and overall refinement. The availability of all-wheel drive makes it an obvious choice for buyers who need all-weather capability.
Our Verdict: Ford Fusion
The Fusion gets it right on all levels, making it a top pick among family cars.