Ford's midsize family sedan remains one of the top choices in a crowded and competitive field. Since its redesign for 2013, the Fusion has solidified its place at or near the peak of the family-sedan class. Its eye-catching sheetmetal—led by an Aston Martin-like grille—was quite distinctive not long ago, but has since been replicated by some other manufacturers.
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2017 Ford Fusion Overview
What's New for 2017
A new all-wheel-drive V6 Sport model has joined the lineup, packing a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that delivers 325 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. A top-end Platinum edition also is new this year. Fusion is the first North American Ford to come with a pedestrian detection system.
Choosing Your Ford Fusion
The Fusion is available in three distinct varieties: a traditional gasoline-fueled model, a gasoline/electric Hybrid, and the Energi plug-in hybrid. The two electrically-driven Fusion sedans are covered in separate articles.
Ford offers a selection of engines, depending on trim level:
- A 175-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, standard in S and SE trim
- A 245-horsepower 2-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder
- A 1.5-liter EcoBoost that makes 181 horsepower
- And the Sport's 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, developing 325 horsepower
Each Fusion uses a six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary gearshift dial, and has four-wheel disc brakes. A rearview camera is standard.
Handling is much better than would reasonably be expected from a mainstream midsize sedan. In the new V6 Sport, continuously controlled damping provides real-time suspension tuning, including pothole detection technology.
Five trim levels are offered: S, SE, Titanium, plus new V6 Sport and Platinum:
Sales begin in summer 2016, with the V6 Sport likely to arrive several weeks later. If you don't want or need the tech features available on upscale Fusions, an S or SE model can provide most of the benefits of its fancier siblings. At the other end, fully-optioned Fusions pose a credible challenge to entry-level luxury models. With the Fusion's pricing structure, selecting a trim level and options isn’t a formidable task.
2017 Ford Fusion Review
With its fashionable-but-aging Fusion, Ford competes in a crowded field of midsize sedans. A Platinum trim level is new for 2017, as is a new performance-oriented Fusion Sport with a twin-turbo, 2.7-liter V6 engine.
Pricing and Equipment
Starting at $22,995 ($875 destination charge included), the gas-engine Fusion comes in five trim levels: S, SE, Titanium, Platinum, and Sport. Front-drive is standard and all-wheel drive optional (standard on Sport). Four gasoline engines are available on the Fusion range.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 178 horsepower is standard on the S and SE, while the Titanium and Platinum use a standard 2.0-liter, turobcharged four-cylinder with 240 horsepower, and the Sport runs with a 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V6 with 325 ponies. Additionally, a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that uses stop/start technology and produces 181 hp is available as a replacement for the 2.5-liter on the SE. Ford also offers a Fusion Hybrid and a plug-in Fusion Energi (both listed separately). Six-speed automatics are standard across the Fusion range.
The Fusion SE ($24,125) comes with:
- Rearview camera
- A 10-way power driver's seat
- Satellite radio
- Power front seats with power driver’s lumbar
- Rotary gearshift dial
- Keyless ignition
- Sync3 infotainment
- 17-inch wheels
- Broad choice of engines. Best bet for V6-type performance – aside from the actual V6 – is the 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four, which revs swiftly and is delightfully quiet, free of vibration.
- Taut handling. Fusion ranks among the best-driving midsize sedans, nearly on par with the Mazda6 and Honda Accord. Nicely-tuned steering feels rather light, but consistent. The Fusion stays confidently flat when cornering.
- Ride quality is intentionally firm, but the well-composed suspension yields more comfort than some rivals.
- New Sport model has an adaptive suspension that detects potholes and adjusts to minimize their impact.
- The base 2.5-liter engine is merely okay.
- The Fusion Sport's handling is sharp, but it's not quite at the sport-sedan level, due partly to weight of V6 engine over the front axle.
- The 16-inch wheels have a negative impact on handling, while the optional 19s hurt he ride – find a nice 17- or 18-inch alloy.
- Seats are comfortable and supportive, including those in the base S model.
- Quietness. Noise and vibration are well-suppressed. Doors open and close with a solid sound.
- Passenger room. The Fusion has one of the more spacious interiors in the midsize category. Thin front seatbacks help apportion leg space between front and rear passengers.
- Tall doors ease entry/exit. So do seat cushions that are comparatively high.
- Rearview camera isn't standard on the base S model.
- Back-seat headroom is limited if a sunroof is installed.
- Most materials look (and feel) high in quality, yet the interior doesn’t seem quite as substantial or rich as some competitors. Glossy black plastic on the dashboard and door armrests is easily scratched.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
A growing number of active-safety systems are available, including adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping, and drowsy driver alert. Parking assistance now includes perpendicular spots.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Finding significant bad news in the Fusion is an exercise in near-futility. Most complaints are minor. The new rotary gear selector, for instance, won’t please everyone. Additional standard safety features would be welcome – but that’s true of most family vehicles. Lack of a manual-shift option might distress enthusiasts, but most buyers won’t care.
The Bottom Line
Led by a grille that’s reminiscent of Aston Martin, the Fusion is still a graceful, enduring design. Among the best-looking midsize sedans, it’s sportier than most – a standout in its category. Best value is the SE edition.
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