By on May 9, 2013

IMG_2586

According to the “Infinite Monkey Theorem”, if you lock three monkeys in a room with typewriters for infinity, eventually they will produce Hamlet. By the same measure, should you lock three engineers in a room for infinity, eventually they will produce the perfect car. Ford has seemingly absorbed this philosophy through their European division, however, as most theorems go, instead of a the perfect car, they produced “Aston Martin Rapide part Deux, the Budget Restrained Sequel”.

The previous generation Euro Ford Mondeo 2.2 TDCi Titanium set up my expectations for the latest Ford Fusion/Mondeo when I flogged it around the Nurburgring in about 9 minutes. Capable, comfortable, attractive, and well screwed together, the Mondeo was the best car to wear the wrong badge. So now comes an even better looking, and supposedly even more capable version to both shores of the Atlantic (according to Ford). So does the Budget Restrained Sequel to the Aston Martin Rapide (or BRSAMR according to my Blackhawk pilot mentor, Lt. Col Mary Bell) match or exceed the high precedent set forth by the engineers in Cologne, Germany? Well, ja und nein.

At first glance, the BRSAMR looks gorgeous. The designers nailed the classic flowing lines coupled with a gigantic grill in near perfect proportions. The grill and headlights assemblies are remarkably well integrated, especially next to the nearly similar sized Taurus: making the Big Bull Barge look dated. Euro creases down the side with a fastback rear complete the effect of looking fast while standing still. But look closer. Ford sweated the details: the creases merge and flow in incredibly complex ways that make nearly every angle interesting to look at, with surprise and delight to behold. For example, the center high-mounted brake light: instead of slapping it inside the rear glass, Ford designers and engineers made a relief in the glass, a unique element for the brakelight that merges into the roof.  It provides a slight spoiler effect for the rear. This is functional, cleans up the air flow, and looks interesting. If they put that much thought into the brake light, that speaks volumes to the rest of the car…hopefully…

IMG_2588

But it looks like an Aston Martin rip-off you say. Well…yes, and I welcome it. That’s like complaining Kiera Knightley looks too much like Natalie Portman. We need more beauty in this world, not more Malibus. Yet, the rear spoiler needs more elegant integration and when staring up close, the vertical front grill is massive. While it shall make a great zombie ram (take note Walking Dead producers, ditch Hyundai, you want the Fusion), I wonder how well pedestrians in crowded cities fare when the driver fails to look up while adjusting that MyFord Touch stereo.

IMG_2589

Inside, the Fusion delights and surprises almost as much as the outside. I said almost…the dash swoops between the front passengers hiding a cavernous storage hole and elevating the multimedia interface within easy reaching distance of the driver and passenger. But what’s this? Fake wood on the door panels and dash? FAKE WOOD?!? Or is it tortoiseshell a’la Chrysler Sebring circa 2008. I can’t quite tell as the panels are small, and the sparkly element fails like a Twilight vampire. All I could ascertain was it was plastic, and unwelcome. Brushed aluminum, or even silver plastic would have worked wonders here…but I’m paid to criticize, not design, so Ford guys…fix this.

The other ergonomic foible that drove me up batty was the location of the manual shift mode buttons. The Toyota Camry had well placed paddles behind the wheel. The BRSAMR has a rocker switch on the side of the shift lever placed at a bizarre angle, while made of not the stoutest feeling plastic ever. This ergonomic misstep left me awkwardly angling my wrist to the point I left the BRSAMR in ‘Sport,’ hoping the magic transmission angel’s controlled shift logic avoided behaviors of a demon spawn. It wasn’t successful, but managed to remain on the level of annoying street preacher and not Westboro Baptist Church. Yet when pushed, the transmission snapped off shifts and downshifted in corners like a wizard. I guess it likes torture and not sedation. BDSM followers take note.

2013 Ford Fusion SE Interior

I shall now point out that the Fusion SE with the 1.6L turbo comes in manual. But I will only point it out, as the BRSAMR does not need it, nor will it add much to the enjoyment of the car. As I shall now explain, stay with me padawans.

The Fusion grips, steers and flows with aplomb… for such a large car. The steering feels a bit dead on center, but once past that, the wheel is accurate, well weighted, and precise. Turn into a corner, and the Fusion grips with minimal understeer, while giving decent feedback through the tiller. It’s possible to alter your line mid-corner without much drama, but then, the BRSAMR is heavy. You feel the suspension working overtime like a fat dude at Zumba. Body roll remains limited, but the alacrity in turn transition is just not there. The brakes stop, but the initial travel felt a bit vague as the big car tries to slow down. It makes commuting easier as you can lazily stomp on it with no finesse, but you are not driving a Focus, and you know it.

Ride quality remains good with firm, damped responses, although the optional larger wheels on my tester transmitted surface irregularities a bit more than I liked. Stick with the stock wheels. You aren’t fooling anyone that you are driving an expensive car, and if you are concerned about that, buy an old Lincoln for cheap, and get some 22’s… so you can indeed be ‘different’.

Overall, the Fusion was fun when pushed, but only just. Climbing back into my Audi A4 only compounded this impression. I wouldn’t mind trying to flog the Fusion, but I wouldn’t seek out any twisties just because I could.

Oh yeah, I forgot… the engine. Well, I heard something under the hood, but it was so smooth and quiet, I kinda forgot it was there. So did the acceleration curve. At 170bhp and minimal turbo lag, the engine proves adequate, if not mind blowing acceleration. It keeps the excitement down to levels where a Mormon girlfriend won’t leave you for the guy in the Camry, but won’t leave you trying to outgun the hipster in the diesel Golf.

IMG_2587

So what IS the Fusion/Mondeo/BRSAMR? It’s simply the best looking, and nearly the most capable mid/full-sized sedan on the market. The Accord drives better. The KIA/Hyundai twins do the same for a bit cheaper, and the Malibu provides subprime financing fodder. Yet I give the Fusion the nod, as it looks good, drives well for a commuter, and has little things that remind you that cars should have character. Now Ford, make an SHO version…but don’t call it the ‘Rapide’.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

88 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2013 Ford Fusion SE 1.6T...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    In a family sedan, does anybody really utilize the flappy paddle shifters, or in this case rocker switches, after the first day or so?

    Seems to me that if the majority of the driving public wants nothing to do with manual transmissions, they probably want nothing to do with “manually” shifting their automatic either. Probably why Ford went with a cheaper rocker switch.

    • 0 avatar

      There is nothing more ridiculous to me in today’s cars than paddle shifters. Especially CHEAP plastic paddle shifters in relatively slow cars.

      While I’d forgive this if they were the main method of switching gears in the Tesla model S – rather than the cheap Mercedes E class stalk shifter, In the Ford cars they simply look ridiculous.

      My uncle’s 2013 Lincoln MKS is a prime example. The shifters are there simply to show everyone that if everyone else has them we can too. Even with the eco-boost, the car is so slow it doesn’t matter.

      youtube.com/watch?v=dFGHwBAH75o

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        A 2013 MKS Ecoboost is slow? I would hardly call a 5.3 second to 60 car slow.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          In the real world, it’s perfectly fine for buyers. The MKS has problems, but its 0-60 time isn’t one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            CelticPete

            Paddle shifters are useful for mountain descents, IMHO. I am happy they build them into cars – so stop whining about them.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            You realize CP, that regular slush boxes do the exact same thing, except you take it from ‘D’ to ’3′. Without the added expense and ergonomic kabuki dance.

      • 0 avatar
        lunosalpha

        I use them all the time on my 2010 CVT Legacy. Works great for hills and in the mountains (esp with snow). I suppose some people are just fine with riding their brakes. Yeah I get there is some wear to the more expensive tranny vs cheap brake pads. Still, I hate to look like the Camry or minivan driver (is there a difference) with brake lights on all the way down a decline.

        Spent a week in a 2013 Mustang V6 that could have seriously benefited from paddle shifters. That tranny is so geared to economy you have to keep it in manual mode to feel like you’re driving a car with 300 HP. And the cheap buttons on the shifter (probably the same ones on the Fusion) don’t cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I had a 2013 Malibu rental last week, which also has a stupid rocker-switch on the gear selector. And because it’s not a gated gear-selector, there were five or six instances in which I accidentally shifted directly into manual mode instead of drive. I personally don’t see the point in the rocker-switch, but if it’s there, you shouldn’t accidentally wind up having to use it…

    • 0 avatar

      “Really”, no. Track days, yes.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      No. I had a rental camry 4-banger with the flappy paddles in a slushbox. It took a half second to respond to flapping-the-flappy-paddle, so it would really be only “put it in low for the mountain downgrade” and no other use.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      They’re just there as a friendly slap in the face to remind you just how lame that slushbox really is.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        And wait til you get the bill to repair or replace it when it blows up!

        “Hey, kids, I know you all wanted to go to DisneyWorld this holiday, but we can’t because Dad spent ALL the money on the flappy-paddle transmission. So sorry.”

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      After talking with quite a few folks at various dealerships, their feedback is that vast majority of real people either never touch them, or will use them a couple times and then never touch them again. However, they keep getting put on cars because they are a line item that gets checked off creating the impression of value.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        Truth. Most manual selection modes are absolutely useless. Even on the racetrack. Nothing quite like having paddles that take a half-second or more (much more if it’s a Chevy box) to respond.

        But I’d rather have paddles… even the cheap plastic kind, than that stupid rocker switch. It gets my vote as the most useless, un-ergonomic thing to come out of new product development this decade.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The inspiration:
    http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/1969-vw-beetle-rollsroyce.jpg

    The beltline is way too high, making the Fusion look especially dated. Compromised visibility is no longer an attribute.

    But the elephant in the room: the Ecoboost 1.6 gets really lousy mpg considering its lack of performance. Just about worst in class. It’s noteworthy because Ford claims pretty much the opposite.

    Same w/ the Ecoboost 2.0 against the competition.

    >>Ford designers and engineers made a relief in the glass, a unique element for the brakelight that merges into the roof. It provides a slight spoiler effect for the rear. This is functional, cleans up the air flow, and looks interesting. If they put that much thought into the brake light, that speaks volumes to the rest of the car…hopefully…<<

    Looks like an afterthought – a nipple scaring a normal roofline.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s just so stupid to me to offer engines this size in cars this heavy. You make a small engine have to struggle at maximum performance to tug these loads when you could have simply built a tried and true V6. In fact, I’d make the 2.0-L ecoboost standard and put the 3.7 -L optional with the 3.7-L standard and the 3.5-L V6 optional in the MKZ.

      This is the reason I abandoned Ford years ago.

      I only run Chryslers/Dodge round’ here.

      I disagree that “the car looks dated”. Because of the Aston Martinish looks, it will take a very long time to make this car look dated. Probably 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        There are definitely limits. I think a lightly boosted 2.0L would make more sense. But VW had their 1.8t in heavy ass Passats for the longest. The biggie is to get the thing spooled up as quickly as possible, which means running a turbo about the size of a dachshund’s paw.

        Personally for a daily driver I would be fine with such a setup as long as it was quiet and responsive. Very very very few people seek out driving excitement from 3400lb midsize sedans. If I wanted thrills + a nice engine note I would want an engaging chassis to go with it.

        • 0 avatar

          I do not see the logic of a small displacement engine and forced induction. There are studies showing that the cost/performance aspect is POOR in these cars in relation to naturally aspirated motors big enough to do the job.

          I’ve driven the A7. The 3 Liter with the supercharger isn’t bad – but that’s a supercharger which tends to be more expensive than a turbocharger.

          http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2013/02/consumer-reports-finds-small-turbo-engines-dont-deliver-on-fuel-economy-claims.html

          GRANTED – for me to point at “poor fuel economy” when I’m driving a supercharged Hemi and getting fewer than 10MPG city is the pot calling the kettle Black, but I just find this whole “Green movement” thing lulzy.

          I’ve gotta get new tires today. Chewed through RSA and Goodyear is having me go Eagle GT all around with a Wheel Alignment ($1300) and they claim there’s a 50,000 mile replacement warranty if my Vortec eats these up before their time.

          • 0 avatar
            DC Bruce

            The most dramatic example is the difference between the first and second generation Acura RDX. The first generation was powered by a turbocharged 2.3 liter 4, which was quick but a huge gas-sucker . . . testers achieved worse the EPA ratings, which were not good. The second generation was powered by a normally aspirated V-6 of equal or slightly greater horsepower rating, which not only delivered better acceleration, but also higher mileage in both EPA and car mag tests.

            I think the basic problem is that the profile of the EPA tests doesn’t reflect the way most people drive. It appears that some of these turbo engines are optimized for the test, but do worse in the real world.

            OTOH, my ’02 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon reliably achieved its 30 mpg EPA highway rating when actually driven on the highway at 65-70 mph, powered by a 250hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine without trick valve timing or direct injection. That was a Saab motor, not a GM product.

          • 0 avatar
            CelticPete

            The ‘logic’ is that they do well in EPA tests. If they don’t perform well on gas mileage in the real world – Ford doesn’t care.

            I have an Audi so in my experience with the 2.0T liter engine they drive very well. They don’t however get incredible gas mileage or anything. I don’t care since my girl just wanted a stylish luxury car and the Audi fits the bill. Plus I like how the car handles.

            I don’t think its really possible to drive a modern turbo car and stay off the boost. So in the real world gas mileage sucks. Plus becasue it handles well you want to accelerate quickly..

            It’s pretty much the exact same logic behind electric steering and CVTs. its all about nominal increases in gas mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            @DC Bruce: The K23A Turbo in the RDX was NOT optimized for either fuel economy or the EPA tests. Owners usually get just about what the stickers says they should. Compare that to the EcoBoost EPA numbers, which apparently no one can achieve.

          • 0 avatar
            wumpus

            GM’s cruze eco does get amazing mileage with a 1.6T engine, but I think its mostly from a transmission with an overdrive similar to the LSx’s .5 monster. Make the turbo small enough to spin at low revs and you get torque at those levels (and justify the overdrive) and you won’t have enough boost (due to the small turbo) to worry about lowering the compression ratio (and killing the mileage).

            Of course, if they don’t include the wacky transmission, they don’t get the mileage. Change the final drive on an ordinary transmission and watch acceleration off the line plumet (doesn’t the cruze eco do this?). Might work with one of those fancy 7-9 gear transmissions everybody seems to be working on, but you will still get reviews whining about the engine not working hard enough and not sending enough money to Saudi Arabia.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Oh, c’mon now. Surely this 1.6 liter ecoboost in this 3,700 lbs to 3,800 lbs (real world, with a driver, maybe a passenger or two, and their “stuff”) proves its worth given that:

            1) You’re getting a power-to-weight ratio of 1 spooled horsepower for every 22 pounds of vehicle, approximately, which leads to Circa-early 1990s Toyota Tercel acceleration times;

            2) You’re getting real world fuel economy that is nearly certain to fall quite short of the Ford’s window sticker, with said official city/highway mpg numbers the product of dramatic gaming of the EPA’s fuel efficiency test loop protocol;

            3) You’re getting the added bonus of all the complexity of forced induction in terms of more things to go wrong, being more difficult & expensive to diagnose and fix (especially true for out of warranty shade tree mechanics).

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I would have made Ford’s 288 HP 3.5 a Fusion option and gave the 305 Hp 3.7 to the Lincoln MKZ this way there is something to differentiate the two models. 240 HP is near the bottom of the pack as far as top engine options go with the Malibu at 259 HP, the Camry at 268, the Honda at 278, the Altima at 270 and the VW Passat at 280 as an example.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m afraid you’ve made the same mistake as everyone else: comparing horsepower numbers.

          The Accord, Altima, and Passat all make 252-258 lb ft. of torque from their engines, between 2500 and 5000rpm. The Fusion’s 2.0 makes 270 lb ft. torque at 3000rpm. It may be down on horsepower, but it’s leading the pack on the stuff that counts in everyday driving.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “It’s just so stupid to me to offer engines this size in cars this heavy. You make a small engine have to struggle at maximum performance to tug these loads when you could have simply built a tried and true V6.”

        Give this man a cigar, most sense I’ve heard in a long time.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Big truck’s comment is spot on. So why go turbo? Well, you can fudge the mileage ratings, but that kind of stuff catches up with you. But for the short term it works and short term thinking is the foundation of corporate American policy. Two, you come across as being much more modern and high tech which appeals to younger buyers. And lastly, hypermilers can wring really good numbers out of them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This large car/underpowered engine strategy pretty much helped sink Cadillac in the 80s. Sure there was more (Olds Diesel, V8-6-4) but if say a TBI SBC had been available in 1982 and they just used it instead, Cadillac may still be a serious contender and avoided the downward slide in the first place (ATS may change the game we’ll see if Cadillac can get it back).

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Agreed. MINI gets about the same HP from it’s 1.6 turbo, and it’s quick but no rocket. Saddle that little mill with a car the size of a Fusion and the good times will not roll. And it will be straining so hard you can’t expect great MPG either.

        I think a bigger turbo 4 could be viable instead of a V6, but 1.6 liters ain’t gonna cut it.

  • avatar
    Mitsu_fan

    I may be in the minority, or hell, I may even be the only one but I dont like the way the new Fusion looks. The grille reminds me nothing of an Aston Martin… those are beautiful. This just looks goofy, just as it does on every product they slap it on (to include the newly ruined 2014 Fiesta non-ST’s). And there are soooo many character lines that the design just looks busy. Where as a Sonata looks melted, the Fusion looks stretched and not happy about it. Compared to sterile family sedans, yes it stands out. But to me, its not in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      TorontoSkeptic

      Totally agree, some of us just like more conservative styling. To me the so-called boring designs enthusiasts dislike – e.g. the Cruze or Infiniti M – are great sedans, very classic. This just screams “trying too hard” to me. It’s kind of like the spoiler on the economy car.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        If no one thinks a car is too edgy when it’s first released, it’s probably poorly styled. People were saying the same thing about the first Taurus in ’86.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      You’re not alone. I’m not a fan of the car’s looks, especially in the lower trims with the cheap plastic inserts where the foglights belong, and the steel wheels w/ hubcaps.

      The Mazda6 and Kia K5 (Optima) are by far the best looking cars in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      poltergeist

      Count me in to the “don’t like the Fusion’s styling club”.

      • 0 avatar
        CelticPete

        I like the styling – but its not hugely better then an Accord – and behind the Mazda I think. Still I wouldn’t buy from this segement. If I wanted a Family car I would just go big and get a Charger. That car has personality..

        I generally like smaller sportier cars though – anything over 190 inches I think is too big for my everyday life.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          I pretty much agree. Midsizers have bloated too much, and at 190″+, they get to be tough to fit in my garage.

          I also prefer the Mazda6 & Accord. I was actually surprised by how much I like the Accord. Everything about it just seems right while the Fusion seems forced and awkward, especially inside. Personally, I don’t find the creases to be effective or handsome, especially on the hood.

          To me, the Fusion looks great from certain angles, but from others, just doesn’t work. But I did see a dark blue one today that was a gorgeous color.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I neither love nor detest the exterior styling of MOST Fusions, but I will say for the record that I saw a deep red Fusion Titanium parked in the Metro Detroit Airport McNamara terminal parking structure that looked exceptionally nice.

        It looked so good, in fact, that I had to do a triple take.

        I don’t know what seemed to make it strike the right notes aesthetically; maybe it did because it looks better in red (and is the only red one I’ve seen thus far), or maybe it had something to do with the cars parked near and around it, or maybe the induction lighting in the parking deck flattered it particularly…

        I do feel that the powertrains are a huge letdown in the Fusion, PARTICULARLY since the Fusion has a chassis that’s near or at the top of the midsize, front wheel drive, family sedan class (and that’s mad props coming from someone such as I, given that some perceive me as biased against FoMoCo).

        And then, of course, there are the other letdowns, such as sloppy quality control, poor fit and finish, poor fuel economy in absolute and relative terms, lazy acceleration (to put it politely), the seriously bad MONO gauge vs proper ones as in the Accord or Mazda 6, the inefficiently sized and tight interior space, a trunk decklid that will literally KO you if you’re not careful, the transmission, the questionable durability/reliability, and the high price point…

        When one considers how much car the new Accord or Mazda 6 offer for less money, nearly certain better reliability, far better fuel economy, and more interior space, with the added bonus of being available with proper manual transmissions, even a highly competent, class leading chassis can’t save the Fusion from a plethora of other transgressions.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I don’t have any real feelings for this car at all, it’s not ugly, it’s just…ok. My neighbor is practically foaming at the mouth over it. He gets a car for work every two years and it’s almost time.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    It’s a pretty car, and I thought I wanted one, then the recalls and such and so I decided to go for the sweet/cheap deal and get a year old Taurus for $19.9K, afterall it was a $31.3K sticker car and had a lot of stuff. Remember when that guy told Clark Griswold, “you think you hate it now, wait till you drive it” – I’d just change drive to own and it would fit. I finally figured out that I am just NOT a Ford man. I’ve tried over the years with 1 Mustang, 2 T-birds and just a few months ago with the Taurus. But, afer 5 months and several issues with the transmission, I realized that it wasn’t just the issues, it was the car, I hated driving it a little more each day. The little things that I glossed over “cause a got a hellevah deal” started to get to me in a way that the most annoying, whiniest 4 year beside you on a long flight never could. Maybe I shoulda got the Fusion, maybe not, considering my track record.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Hey Mike, the Army Engineer in me loves the acronyms! I can’t talk in full sentences at my office…:)

    As for the Fusion, you mention the Camry in passing. How would you compare the Camry SE to the Fusion SE, as both seem to have a (slight) sporting bend to them…

    • 0 avatar

      As I have transitioned to the reserves, I’m slowly learning to speak in real words now!

      But read my review on the Camry SE. It was published last week. Basically the Camry SE killed my inner child. I did not like it at all.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I suggest that perhaps a better name would be “Budget Constrained …”

      Also, the best acronyms become words themselves, so you should probably add some words that with vowels to the name.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    Mike, I’m guessing that enormous grille is there to protect pedestrians, not menace them as you imply. New regs have caused an unfortunate styling trend of huge grilles on many cars.

    • 0 avatar
      ant

      how does having a big grille help peds?

      I mean, I get doing away with flip headlights….. but big grill?

      What does it do?

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The big grille disguses the height of the nose, which is placed to be at the median height of people’s knees, rather than below it.

        • 0 avatar
          gsf12man

          Note how relatively horizontal the hoodline is on newer car designs. The designers do their best to disguise it, but there is a bit of unavoidable awkwardness from the a-posts forward.
          There must be some clearance between hood and top of engine so the hood has more room to deform (beneath an unfortunate pedestrian) before hitting the immoveable objects below.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            However, it is better for a pedestrian to go over a car than under it, and increasing the height of the point of contact increased the likelihood of them not going over at all.

            I am curious if injuries from smacking the engine through the hood are common enough that any actual safety improvement will be observed.

  • avatar
    bziko98

    Sorry Fusion lost all the latest comparo tests by automotive media I’ve seen. Looks like the Mazda6 is the new class leader.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      From what I have been reading, out of the five puffbooks that I subscribe to and that two or three websites that I look at regularly the Fusion finishes about fourth depending on the engine choice out of eight. It is usually behind the Accord, 6, and Passat but ahead of the Legacy, Camry, Altima, Malibu and the Korean twins. You are right about the 6 though. It has won atleast half of the comparisions and finished second only to the Accord (Honda appears to have gotten right this time). I am biased for Mazda so unless the really dropped the ball on something I will chose them.

    • 0 avatar
      otaku

      Can’t stand the 6′s styling. Mazda just seems content to transition from one dumb-looking front end to another. Now they all have beaks for grills.

      Ridiculous

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Some say the Sonata’s look will quickly become dated, but I actually think the Fusion’s will.

    I’m surprised at how small the interior is in the Fusion.

    • 0 avatar

      The trick is to have something that looks like nothing else. The Sonata looks like the CLS. EVERYTHING has copied the CLS – that’s why rear seat headroom is terrible now in so many cars. To get that four door coupe style, you end up making the trunk opening shorter and shorter – starting the roofline way further back so that the headroom is in “the arch”. The A7 solved this by extending the roofline all the way to the trunk and simply making it a hatchback. Now more and more cars are copying the A7′s “sportback”. Perfect Example: Tesla Model S.

      Eventually everything is going to look like the CLS or A7. Hyundai’s already there. Ford is catching up, but they are obviously taking the Aston Martin route.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The Sonata just looks overdone to me. Ford has handled the details much better on this car, and the overall proportions are quite good.

      The other car that will look dated is…the new Camry. A few overwrought details on what is basically a frumpy body. That’s not a good combination.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    But what’s this? Fake wood on the door panels and dash? FAKE WOOD?!?

    Halleluiah, I hate the silver and and brushed aluminum crap that’s everywhere in cars. Even fake wood provides a little warmth that is missing in 99.9% of car interiors today.

    Is anybody gonna test the top dog turbo?

    • 0 avatar

      I prefer wood actually, but when its done well. This was just black something with gold lines through it. Looked horrible. If they had gone for some well done fake walnut, it would have looked so much better.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        How much does REAL wood veneer cost over plastic? I’m guessing under $100 and it makes all the difference in the world. Either make it real or use something else.

        For a car with an out the door price of nearly $30k, I can guarantee you the consumer would gladly spend an extra $100 for the real thing.

        Fake wood just reminds you every day that you didn’t buy a real luxury car.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Sorry guys I firmly grew up in Midwestern Brougham Territory (TM) and I’ll even take the alien forest that is an old Hyundai XG300 over silver plasti-chrome on the inside of most of today’s cars.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            It doesn’t have to be either fake wood or fake stainless steel. There are other choices.

            But the wood decal stuff back in the day was truly horrible, it was like what wood looks like in a cartoon.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Dan: I am with you. In fact, I’ve long advocated doing away with 100% of the silver interior trim pieces that are either plastic, painted whatevermaterial or faux metal, that the interior designers apparently think is required in massive quantities in order to “break up” the alleged monotony of otherwise uniformly colored dashboards, center stacks, gauge clusters and door panels.

            The tortoise shell dark grey-ish/black plastic that was used in lieu of cheap silver trim in a 2009 Mazda 6 I rented looked infinitely better than the silver plastic, IMO, and even fake wood properly done is magnitudes of order better.

            Even when using actual, real metal trim and bejazzlement to break up the alleged monotony of an otherwise all charcoal or black interior, it should be used in a restrained and thoughtful manner.

            The worst example as to how silver brightwork cheapens an interior’s looks in the Fusion pictured above is the continuous and seemingly forever run of silver that frames the center stack and even runs into the center console.

            It looks really tacky.

            I personally prefer a sea of uninterrupted black or charcoal if the other choice is this new and cheesy trend of excessive use of cheap looking silver trim.

            Just stop this craziness, automakers, okay? This is the current trend that harkens memory of the exterior wood (or plastiwood) paneling on everything from Aries K cars to Buick Broadcasters in the 80s to early 90s.

        • 0 avatar
          Ion

          “Real” or “fake” is irrelevant. Most makes (especially lexus and mb) use so much gloss that they feel and look the same. Ironically the best wood trim I’ve seen was in one of the higher trim f150s that used a satin finish. To be fair to the automakers though, Fender for some reason also heavily glosses their guitar necks and I find myself having to seek out Squier necks that are satin finished. It seems like the gloss is considered fancier in both applications.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            “Piano black” plastic can make a nice contrast against silver and not look contrived, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I generally hate plood, but that sliver just above the glove box isn’t bad.

    • 0 avatar

      AMEN. I feel like aluminum/carbon fiber trim has it’s place, and it’s not in a workaday family sedan. A little bit of convincing wood goes a long way towards making an interior seem more inviting. I like my E36′s tan leather/wood trim over the more common black leather/everything.

      I think the 2.0T/AWD combo should be a good steer, but it sure is down on power compared to others in the segment. Sheesh, a V6 Avenger would blow it’s doors off. (And it costs like 19 grand.)

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The fake wood is probably there as a give away to that segment of buyers that still expect to see some sort of wood grain inside above a certain price point (probably the same people that were raised on wood grained Ataris and dorm refrigerators). You can get it in a glossy piano black plastic finish, which does look pretty good and is at least being honest about itself.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    What is with all the drama with the fake wood? It’s hardly like Ford slathered it all over the dash and door panels. It’s a very thin and small accent to break up the dull monotone silver and black and it’s only on the higher trim levels. Did you actually expect real wood on a mid price everyday sedan? Did you also realize that Nissan, Toyota, Chevy, Honda and VW all use larger quantities of fake wood on there higher trim levels mid size sedans? Not a real piece of wood in sight at these prices. No you have to go to a Lexus or Cadillac for real wood pieces.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    You guys/gals and the friggin paddle shifters. Seriously, almost no one gives a hoot unless they’re in a tow vehicle towing a heavy trailer. Now, if Ford had their last gen V6 in this, I might actually consider it.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Personally, to my eye, it only looks good in top-spec trim. It has some odd proportions and a high waist-line.

    The true measure of quality design is how good the base model looks with unflatterig wheel sizes and all of the “perfume” removed.

    I still stand by my assertion that the Accord has the nicest sheet metal in the segment. It has a crisp, athletic, lean appearance without an ounce of misplaced design mass.

    If:
    - it was my money
    - i had to buy new
    - i want to minimize out of warranty expenses
    - i want the best resale value

    I would hands down buy the Accord Sport. Its no contest.

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      I drove a rental Accord and have to agree with you. Accord #1 among family cars now. Caveat: I have not driven the new Mazda6.

      ((I was very surprised to see the Accord on the lot at National Car Rental.)

      • 0 avatar
        CelticPete

        It varies a bit based on price point. If we are talking in the 25k range and you want a family car – then Mazda wins. As you go up in price though you might want a more powerful engine (especially important if you are getting an automatic for the wife).. Then other cars become options. Like say once you get into the 30ish range you might consider an A4… that kind of thing.

        There is no clear cut winner at all price points..

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Automobile Mag picked the Accord over the Mazda and Car and Driver found the Accord Sport
        6 speed much much faster than the Mazda.

        http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-mazda-6-i-sport-test-review-the-gearbox-of-an-rx-8-page-2

        http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1303_midsize_madness_day_four/

        And, of course, CReports rates the Accord best in class, Mazda respectably close behind.

        The Mazda is a very good car, but the Accord is better for its mission. The A4 is way too small
        for a family car w/ 16 fewer cu ft of interior space than the Accord or Mazda. Even the A6 is
        smaller than either by 6 cu ft.
        http://www.edmunds.com/car-comparisons/?veh1=101418836|&veh2=200421517|sedan&veh3=200420232|sedan&veh4=200422410|sedan&show=0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9&comparatorId=3491882

  • avatar
    slance66

    It’s a darned good looking sedan, although I do think it looks too long in profile when I see them. It would be on my list, although not with the 1.6T. I like the new Accord as well and think anyone should cross-shop it. I’m fond of the Optima’s styling too, which is similar in some ways.

    It seems like the midsize sedan market is still trying to decide whether people want Euro style sports sedans, big comfortable cruisers, or eco minded cars that fit five. So they are giving us all of them in a variety of flavors. Something for everyone at least.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Sometimes I like how this car looks, other times I feel that it was dated immediately on launch since it uses styling cues derived from almost ten years ago while being stuck on top of a rather unoriginal sporty-sedan stance.

    Theres nothing sporty about a tiny one litre lugging around a fairly heavy car, I’ve criticized Audi for this and its only fair that I criticize Ford too.

    Also, the interiors identical to a rentsl Chevy Captiva I had to ride around in.

  • avatar

    I really wanted to get this car after reading some reviews, a quick look at customer reviews at edmunds put my desire to rest.
    Same thing with the new Altima, looks good on paper but reading customer reviews make you think twice, no wonder they lower the price on it.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Yes, it is amazing how a test drive or actual customer reviews can dull the initial gleam in the eye offered by a new car. I felt this way about the Dart until I test drove two of them. Edmunds’ long-term tests are good barometers, too.

    • 0 avatar
      otaku

      Based on the reviews, I had no love for Nissan or their entire lineup of CVT’s, but then a friend of mine recently purchassed a brand new Altima and I was fairly impressed with how quiet and comfortable it felt. I don’t know how reliable those CVT’s will be in the long term, but I have to admit that it really made the car run smooth both in the city and on the highway.

  • avatar
    Ltd783

    While I’ve never driven a Fusion, I have a feeling the 1.6 is more than up to pulling it’s weight. I had a rental 2.0 Ecoboost FWD Escape, and I can honestly say the power was excessive for the application. It was fun in a rental, blowing the doors off unsuspecting drivers (It even made my 55 year old mother laugh when she drove it and gave it some gas), but honestly, no CUV needs the kind of midrange pull that offers. In FWD trim it was tricky to keep it pointed straight when you’d give it full throttle there was so much torque steer. My only disappointment with it was I only saw 24mpg average over almost 3k miles, I’d gladly trade 50 hp for 30 mpg on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      Power was excessive?

      You’ve got to be kidding. I’ve driven a 2.0 Ecoboost FWD Escape, and it was no rocket. It was ok, but nothing more than that. I was kind of shocked with the amount of torque steer it had for the power level. Any power reduction would put it firmly into the “penalty car” level, where I’m so glad I don’t have to drive something like that.

  • avatar

    I think this car looks the best in the bunch and were I shopping for a car in the segment I’d probably buy it. The things that’d give me pass is the interior, though the false wood doesn’t bother me, nor does the brightwork, from the pics I don’t think it looks so hot. Maybe in person it’s better.

    @Dead Weight, sorry but I disagree. So silver breaks up the sea of black and charcoal and I welcome it. Hate totally monochrome interiors. If the Fusion’s interior had some real color, it’d be much better. That’s what modern car makers need to do, put color inside. Chevy in Brazil had started doing this. Depending on light, there are brownish and green hues in the mostly grey interior. Though I wouldn’1t be so timid, it’s a very big relief for me, so much so that’d I’d actually consider a car from Chevy as I think their new cars are the best place to be right now (not comparing here directly to Fusion, just making a general statement.

    @Captain Mike, why the Mondeo was best car in wrong brand? If a car is that good (and I agree the Mondeo was, though I preferred the ovalized ones form the late 90s) who cares about the brand? in more than one way, that car was better than a Series 3 or Class C or Audi 4. Just sayin’

    • 0 avatar

      It wasn’t the wrong brand, it just had the wrong badge to be truly appreciated. For instance, how many Europeans bought a low-powered BMW over a much nicer equipped Mondeo just because it had a BMW badge on it? I know of quite a few… Ford is for the everyday man, BMW is aspirational. Slap a BMW badge on it, and it would sell in the millions.

  • avatar

    Wondering what it would take to drop that 1.6T into Fiesta. It uses a NA 1.6, but not being up on Fords I have no clue if it’s the same block.

  • avatar
    Onus

    The fusion is getting the new 1.5 ecoboost next year.

    I’m sure i could get the rated mpg out of this too. I’m always ahead of the pack compared to what people get.

    I saw one at aldi the other day. I love this is white. I don’t remember what color the car i saw was. The interior is much more sedate compared to the focus which bothers me at times.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    The designers of this car should be fired. It’s comically over styled with no cohesiveness to be found.

    Same for the interior. With this Fusion, Ford continues their mission to make every one of their designs worse then the last one.

    So, with a failed design on top of numerous quality issues, it’s clear Ford severely missed the mark with this new throw away Fusion.

    Thank God for fleet sales I guess

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      And comparing this terribly designed appliance to an Aston Martin should mean automatic explosion from writing anything automotive related.

      It’s a insult of the highest proportions to compare a beautiful Aston to a lowly POS Ford.

      Ford almost ruined Aston once, their name shouldn’t be tarnished in this way.

  • avatar
    Pat D

    We are a one car family. After leasing 10 Accords in a row – always stick, except for one v6, I swore off Honda. Didn’t like the clutch failing at 900 miles in the middle of game-time traffic and Honda could care less. I wanted a Focus ST, but the wife hated it, not because it was sporty, but because she could not see out the back. So we looked at the Fusion. Wife refused anything with black seats so that took us down from the 2.0 Ecoboost to the 1.6 Ecoboost. Looked nice, drove better than the 2010 Accord, and the lease rates were good. The ST lease rates were ridiculous, BTW. But I didn’t sign on the dotted line and looked at other options. Visited a VW dealer and tested a Beetle 2.0T stick shift. Instant fun. Ordered a bright red one, and then the wife said, no red and no stick. So now we drive a silver turbo beetle with the DSG tranny. That’s a long way from a Fusion 1.6, but I’m still smiling each time I get in Das Bug. I know I’d be counting the months to go on the lease after a month driving the Fusion.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India