Ford's midsize family sedan remains one of the best choices in a crowded and competitive field. The Fusion is a very attractive combination of ambitious styling, refined driving characteristics, and impressive value.
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2016 Ford Fusion Overview
What's New for 2016
In the interest of keeping up appearances across the board, an Appearance package -- composed of 18-inch wheels and a collection of body-trim pieces -- is now available for the base S model. Otherwise, the Fusion is unchanged.
Choosing Your Ford Fusion
The Fusion is available in three versions: a traditional gasoline-fueled model, a gas-electric hybrid, and the Energi plug-in hybrid. The two electrically-driven versions are covered in separate articles.
Since its redesign for model-year 2013, the Fusion has solidified its place at the top of the family-sedan class. The eye-catching sheet metal that was so distinctive a few years ago is rapidly being copied by other manufacturers. Handling is much better than should reasonably be expected from a mainstream midsize sedan. It gives up nothing in materials quality, everyday convenience and all-around goodness to its competitors.
The Fusion can be had in three trim levels: S, SE, and Titanium. Standard equipment across the line includes a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, a backup camera and Ford's SYNC voice-operated infotainment system.
If you don't want or need the tech features available on the upscale lines, an S with the Appearance package will do it all just as well as its fancier siblings -- which is very well indeed - and look good in the process at an attractive price. At the other end, optioned-up Fusions pose a credible challenger to entry-level luxury models on the features and driving-dynamics fronts without the entry-level luxury price. The Fusion's pricing structure avoids the big jumps of other Ford lines, so picking what you want (and want to pay) is more of a reasonable balancing act in this case.
2016 Ford Fusion Review
With striking good looks that bring much more expensive makes and models to mind, the award-winning Ford Fusion midsize sedan provides comfortable seating for up to five adults and offers excellent fuel economy and performance at an affordable price.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Ford Fusion is available in three trim levels. All are equipped with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
- The base Fusion S is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Standard features include a rearview camera, automatic headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Pricing starts at $22,100.
- The Fusion SE is also powered by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but can be optioned with one of two turbocharged engines: a 1.5-liter EcoBoost four or a 2-liter EcoBoost four. Key standard features include 10-way power driver’s seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a keyless-entry keypad. Pricing for the SE starts at $24,170. Ecoboost models are available with front- or all-wheel drive.
- The nicely-equipped top-trim Fusion Titanium receives the 2-liter EcoBoost and is available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations. Heated leather seats, a 12-speaker Sony audio system with an 8-inch touchscreen, and 18-inch premium polished wheels are among the numerous standard features. Pricing starts at $31,120.
- Although the Fusion hardly qualifies as a pure sports sedan, it is decidedly sporty with the 2-liter engine, which provides an excellent balance of power and efficiency -- it's rated at 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway in front-wheel drive. The highway number drops to 31 highway when equipped with all-wheel drive.
- The Fusion provides crisp and precise steering, complete with a little feedback, thanks to the electric steering rack. Handling is a nice balance between sport and comfort. The easily maneuverable midsize sedan acts compliantly in traffic and on twisty roads.
Although the base and 1.5-liter EcoBoost deliver excellent economy, enthusiasts will likely find their performance lacking.
While not as dynamic as the Fusion’s exterior, the midsize sedan’s cabin works diligently to stand apart from the majority of the segment by offering an upscale feel -- even in the base trim. Seating is comfortable in all five seating positions, although rear seat passengers might feel a little restricted thanks to the Fusion’s coupe inspired C-pillar.
- Optional leather seating -- standard in the Titanium trim -- is soft and luxurious. Trim work is aesthetically pleasing, offering a level of luxury more along the lines of a midsize luxury sedan than the family-friendly segment to which the Fusion belongs.
- Upper trim levels are loaded with technology, including the freshly revised SYNC with MyFord Touch package, which incorporates a high resolution infotainment LCD touch screen complete with GPS navigation.
- The monotone design of the lower trim levels can become a bit monotonous.
- Rear head room is limited for adults who are more than six feet tall.
- The MyFord Touch system can be cumbersome at first. The learning curve isn't outrageous, but it may take a little while to be able to navigate the system quickly and easily.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The turbocharged 2-liter EcoBoost engine delivers V6-like performance without the fuel economy toll typically associated with the bigger engine.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The base engine doesn’t quite live up to the sporty looks and handling of the Fusion, making the EcoBoost options even more appealing.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Ford Fusion is an attractive vehicle that provides a pleasing environment for everyone on board. The driving dynamics are above par for the segment, making the Fusion a great choice for families who need more space and convenience, but aren’t ready to abandon spirited performance. Ford’s pricing is right in line with competitors, making the Fusion a top pick in the segment.
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