By on January 21, 2016

front quarter

The dog startled me, as much as I likely startled him. A blind corner coming over a rise, a low-hanging tree branch, and a bit too much aggression on early morning dew-sparkled tarmac conspired to pucker canine and human alike. The stability control kicked in moments after oversteer presented too much of the Fusion’s glowing taillights to Fido.

No, you aren’t reading the wrong review. It’s simply been too long since I’ve driven any car as the mobile portion of my personal fleet is of the SUV and minivan variety — none of which has a sporting ride height. The sports car in my fleet has been a shelf for a couple years now, falling victim to cascading failures, including the “can’t take two kids and their gear to soccer practice in a Miata” fault that has doomed so many sportscars for generations. So to be let loose on magnificent backroads in any low-slung car is exhilarating.

This drive was an early morning solo jaunt in the 2015 Ford Fusion SE, after a few hours’ drive with the family. Two kids spoiled by roof-mounted entertainment were noticeably disagreeable to the sparsely equipped sedan at first. They would have to manage with the few movies loaded on their tablets like cave people.

The first leg of our trip quieted the girls quickly as the expansion-joint-marked interstate that typically jarred them awake on the trip to the grandparents was muffled nicely by the Fusion’s solid chassis and well-damped suspension. The ride may not have been as compliant had larger wheels than the base 17 inchers been fitted, but the 235-section Michelins were silent — save for the brief dog encounter.

rear quarter

The Fusion has been a stunner for several years now. As ubiquitous as it is, I’ll still crane my head when a well-equipped Platinum edition is near. Ford has done a great job keeping the car fresh, Aston-inspired grille and all.

That said, the small 17-inch wheels don’t hide the bulk quite as well as their larger counterparts — there is a great deal of sheet metal above the wheel arches, when viewed from the side. The beltline crease extending aft of the headlamps does break it up visually, lengthening the car. The flat-black covers for the foglamp opening are disappointing.

Out back, the near-fastback profile of the rear window flows nearly seamlessly into the trunklid, both lengthening and lowering the car visually. I love this view: While the trunk is quite high, necessarily leaving a tall slab of sheetmetal and flexible bumper, the hexagonal nacelle for the license plate (wide enough for Euro plates) breaks the monotony and cleverly echoes the grille.

interior

Basic black is the order of the day inside the base Fusion, though the matte aluminum surrounding the center stack breaks things up a bit. The cloth seats are remarkably comfortable thanks to their six-way power adjustment that allowed for plenty of options while driving long distances. Interestingly, the inflatable lumbar support became firm and uncomfortable when starting the car after sitting in the cold for hours; deflating it briefly seemed to correct the issue.

When trying to pair my Samsung phone with the base SYNC infotainment system, I was stymied for the first day. The owner’s manual was missing, so I turned to Google. No dice. The menus that should have been appearing weren’t. Only through sheer happenstance did I realize that the car needed to be in Park to pair a phone.

SYNC worked well after my bout of idiocy. Streaming music was nearly as clear as a proper CD. The lack of a touchscreen was surprising, however, and attempts at changing tracks often led to increased volume or reduced cruise control speed as the thumb controls on the steering wheel were not well defined for eyes-up use.

dashboard

I may have flat-spotted the right-front Michelin as I charged through Southeastern Ohio’s Appalachian foothills at a pace somewhat out of character for a two-ton family sedan. The car was solidly planted as I dove for each apex. Dropping the six-speed automatic transmission into “Sport” mode held the transmission in lower gears much more willingly than the standard “Drive” mode, though the rocker switch to “manually” select cogs is poorly placed. Useless, too, as it will upshift entirely too early as redline approaches. No, simply allowing the ‘box to figure it out is the answer to fun times in the Fusion.

I’m still thinking about the drive a few weeks later, which is remarkable for a fleet-spec American sedan. Before driving the Fusion, I’d have picked the Accord without hesitation if pressed to recommend a family sedan. Not anymore. The Fusion tops my list as a great value, with an incomparable ride and good fun in the twisties.

Oh, and the dog is still in one piece.

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140 Comments on “2015 Ford Fusion SE 2.5 Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not bad for a base model. It is nice that the tires have actual sidewalls.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Actually the SE is the step up version of the Fusion. The “S” is the lowest form of Fusion you can get with the Titanium the highest trim. Note that there are several package upgrade offered on the SE that give it 18″ wheels, a touch screen, moonroof etc. Manufacturers are being very skimpy with the mid level trims these days forcing one to move to the best version just to get things like a leather wheel or a touch screen etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd1983

        This is what I like about the Altima trim levels. The midlevel SV trim has cloth seats, but leather wheel and shifter, bluetooth, alloys, remote start, etc standard.. It can be optioned with sunroof, active safety package and nav too. Essentially you can get it with every option except leather (the SL trim) if you want. To someone who doesn’t like leather, this is very important.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I like the instrument cluster in this base version better than the fussy, half-digital one (with that dinky little tach) in the more upscale models.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    I logged nearly 1600 miles in the span of 7 days last year out in the Pacific Northwest in a mix of freeway and byway driving, hills, twisties, long highway slogs. I had the upmarket Titanium trim with leather, MFT/Sync, etc and it was a GREAT car.

    The seats never left me hurting after a long tank emptying drive, I got great mileage despite blasting through the high desert at 80mph on back roads, had plenty of power for passing the random semi packed to the sky with hay, and the suspension was the perfect mix between sport and comfort.

    In short, I loved the Fusion. More than the Volvo V60 I had this past trip even.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy

      Now, if someone at Ford is reading this… please please please do a Fusion ST w/ a manual and AWD. I know you have the parts in the bin!!! I’d gladly trade my FoST for a FuST.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “How about you buy one with the 2.7TT, AWD, and an eight speed automatic?”

        -Ford-

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          6 speed.

          http://www.ford.com/cars/fusion/2017/?fmccmp=lp-future-top-hp-2017-fusion

          “2.7L
          This proven, powerful EcoBoost engine, available in the 2017 Fusion line exclusively on the new Fusion Sport, delivers high-performance V6 power for serious driving enthusiasts. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, plus standard all-wheel drive.”

        • 0 avatar
          Timothy

          Can I get the Mustang Recaros with that package??

        • 0 avatar
          Timothy

          Wow. I just priced out the Fusion Sport on the configurator.

          Equipping it like my ST (401A, SYNC and Sony Sound) w/ heated seats and a moonroof is 38 grand. I’d love the heated steering wheel but that requires the addition of the Driver Assist Package pushing the price to nearly 40.

          That’s a LOT of money for a admittedly very stylish and powerful car, but still. It’s a Fusion.

          Apples to Oranges but at 40 large you can start looking at Audi A3, BMW 2 Series, C-Class Benz, etc etc. (I’m allowed to do this, I’m single and don’t plan on having kids. I pick the car I want because it intrigues me, not because I need it to fulfill a specific duty)

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I think it all comes down to the kind of numbers the Fusion Sport puts down.

            If it has S4-level performance then it’s a screaming deal. If it matches the Charger R/T- Road and Track then it’s priced fairly. If it’s just a V6 Camry analog then it’s over-priced.

            I’m personally excited for it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Car and Driver’s Edge Sport did 0-60 in under 6 seconds. I would expect the Fusion to be quicker and handle much better. The Edge also has the least powerful version of the 2.7TT.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “If it has S4-level performance then it’s a screaming deal.”

            I have little faith that it will have a rear-biased full-time AWD system and 55/45 weight distribution. So let’s avoid disappointment and keep our expectations down at the Charger R/T level!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If you want more performance, set up to the 400 HP Lincoln MKZ.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Meh, I’d be good with 300 something and a better focus on styling, fit, and finish.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          That sounds pretty fantastic. I would prefer manual, but even as someone who has owned almost nothing but manuals, I am starting to accept that the war is long over.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy

        And why in the hell can’t I get both Air Conditioned and Heated Seats? Why just one or the other? Grr.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          gotta leave something for Lincoln.

          • 0 avatar
            Timothy

            Uggh. Lincoln. Why.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Because 3.0TT.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Uggh. Lincoln. Why.”

            because- as I apparently have to repeatedly explain to myopic “enthusiasts”- most of the car buying market don’t read TTAC or Jalopnik, and will buy a car based on things other than 0-60 or ‘Ring times.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            His point is sort of valid though. Ford is offering both heated and cooled seats on the Fusion, but not at the same time. That’s kind of weird. What is even more strange is that the Fusion Platinum only comes with cooled seats and a heated steering wheel.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “Ford is offering both heated and cooled seats on the Fusion, but not at the same time”

            Configurator shows “Heated and Cooled Front Seats” as an option on the Ti.

            (Heated is standard in that trim.)

            I’d be shocked if the Sport offered cooled-but-not-heated in any world other than that of bad tech writing or typos.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            On the 2017 is either/or. On the 2016 Titanium, it’s both for $395.

            Probably an IT issue though.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          That’s so bizarre I wonder if it is a problem with the website rather than reality. Especially pairing a heated wheel with cooled seats.

        • 0 avatar
          eamiller

          Pretty sure you’re looking at an incomplete configurator. The current 2016MY has both heated and cooled seats. This would be a pretty dramatic change for 2017 considering they didn’t even add the option for cooled seats until well into the production run.

          • 0 avatar
            eamiller

            In fact, if you look closely at the pictures, the buttons for both the heating and cooling are on the center stack.

            Per usual, when Ford puts a new model year on their configurator, they manage to screw it up.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s gotta be incomplete. It makes no sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy

        But who is BUYING lincoln? I mean I work in and around the city of Boston and aside from UBER and Executive Cars (Limos) I almost never see a Lincoln in the hands of a “private” owner.

        Listen, my car history is extremely varied and I don’t really give a damn about ring times. Just needs to be fun to drive and have a little something special about it… The Lincolns don’t offer enough above the Fords they are based off of to justify it’s continued existence. I just don’t get it.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Timothy, your argument was made several years ago, now Lincoln has exclusive powertrain with 400 hp, torque vectoring rear dif w/AWD from Focus RS, and comes in two flavors: Fusion-sized (MKZ or bigger (Continental).

          The MKS wasnt cutting it, so Lincoln made a true, worthy flagship model, the Continental. The current MKZ is a looker to me, has a V-6 engine not found in the Fusion, and is a very good car overall. The revealed revisions will make it better and distance it further from Fusion. Lincoln’s crossovers -MKT aside- are not bad at all. Im sure MKX will soon get the 3.0L T/T 400 HP/RS rear dif package soon enough.

          And still, there is complaining that the wheels are too big and the engine will be a disaster. Before it rolls of the assembly line, its doom and gloom ranting by those who wouldnt buy it if it’s picture was next to the very definition of a great car.

          People made fun of Cadillac for selling huge gaudy FWD preacher/AARP-member’s cars, so they swapped out for RWD, a far sportier persona and anything but stodgy styling. Nope, no one is happy, sales are in the tank, everyone wishes for the big fat Caddies of yester year, that most deemed examples of how out of touch GM and/or the brand was/were at the time.

          What’s the lesson here? Dont reinvent yourself when you see yourself going down the wrong path, just keep staggering along, providing internet commenters with plenty of witty and clever remarks until youre out of business. Just accept your fate as an American luxury car brand and die like youre supposed to.

        • 0 avatar
          Bimmer

          But who is BUYING lincoln?

          I do… used. Picked up last summer ’11 MkZephyr Hybrid. I was looking at Fusion Hybrid, but Lincoln was in better condition, lower milage, with more toys for only $1,500 more.

    • 0 avatar
      igve2shtz

      Last week, I had a rental Fusion Titanium. Logged 1500 miles in 3 days and I couldn’t agree more with you. The ride was comfortable and quiet. The 2.0T had plenty of pep, and the Sport mode of the transmission was great. Didn’t even need to use the paddle shifters. The driving was mostly country roads, 55-60 MPH. I averaged 30 MPG over 1500 miles … cruise control 95% of the time, and hooliganisms 5%. The suspension was a great blend of comfort and sport, and the damn thing loved on ramps. I think it makes one great touring car.

      I loved the Fusion so much that I immediately went online to check out used ones. Titanium models are going for pretty cheap (~50% original MSRP) in the off-lease, average mileage spectrum (Got to love American resale values). I am still debating purchasing one.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    This review interests me. I have gotten it in my head lately that maybe it’s a tiny bit silly for a married 34 year old college educated professional father to still be driving a 10 year old Integra, and maybe I should get something a little more grown up. So I found myself last weekend test driving a Honda Accord Hybrid and a Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

    The Energi Titanium was nice, but the trunk was a joke. The Accord certainly was a nicer car. However, the Accord Hybrid is taking a hiatus for 2016 and will be back in fall of 2016 as a 2017. There are very few 2015’s left on dealer lots, where there are plenty of 2016 Fusions available.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      When 34, I was driving Nissan 240 SX-SE. Although, we had a minivan as well. So what is the problem? Go with kids – take minivan. go alone – enjoy the ride

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        I take my daughter to school each and every day. She rides in the RSX Type S just fine :)

        There is more to the decision than image. For one thing the RSX is just a little tight when everyone is in the car and my wife and I have agreed that something roomier and nicer would be welcome.

        Of course, at the rate things are going negotiating with the dealers I will be driving the Acura for another 10 years. I forgot how mule-stubborn Honda dealers can be.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          I see 2 problems with RSX.
          – It is hard as washboard.
          – to replace a starter you need to take out a headlight and a lot of other stuff from the engine bay.

          One of the goodies of RWD sport cars, they are easy to work on, because they don’t have transverse engine like FWD.

          Honda dealers probably are not as bad as it used to be. I recently took my uncle to buy Accord and dealer was more that cooperative. Come on 30th day of the month. Push them hard and they will agree to anything as long as they get dealer incentives for pushing cars out. actually, right now is great time to get something used, 1-2 years old.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            If still talking about Honda’s, it is a terrible time to buy a 1-2 year old used one, and it has been for a while. They have very little depreciation. Unless it’s a CPO, it will likely need brakes and tires. The new one will have better incentives and very aggressive financing from Honda.

            Now a German car or premium Hyundai, yes the used car is worthwhile.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave W

        Funny, when I was 34 my wife and I had an Accord, F150, and a MR2.

        Not to be confused with a daily commuter the F150 had a straight 6 with a 3 speed+granny gear, and 2 extra leaves in the rear suspension. Fill the bed with gravel or plywood and it had a quite smooth ride.

        Mister 2 got the bulk of our fighting over whose turn it was to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      “I have gotten it in my head lately that maybe it’s a tiny bit silly for a married 34 year old college educated professional father to still be driving a 10 year old Integra”

      You can get that back out of your head. Look at the car payments and high insurance premiums you aren’t paying by driving a 10 year old car. Run it till the wheels fall off, I say.

      I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know what the car you’re driving says about you?

      “I am driving a car.”

      That’s it. No one else on the planet cares whether a 10 year old Integra is “appropriate” for you.

      • 0 avatar
        old5.0

        +1. I’m a 38 year old college educated father of two, and my vehicles consist of a well-maintained 2003 CVPI, an 89 F250 for chores around home and a 480 rwhp 88 Mustang coupe weekend toy. I do keep the wife in new drivers every 3 or 4 years (just put her in a 2015 Edge), but I’m content with what I have. I realized long ago that most people aren’t staring at my Mustang because it sounds so good, they’re wondering why that old piece of shit is so damn loud.

        Drive what speaks to you and forget everyone else.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      My DD from 25-39 was an RSX Type S. Lots of fun to thrash, but ridiculously reliable and an extremely practical hatch. Selling it had nothing to do with image. Drive what you like and what works for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My best friend has a 2013 Fusion Energi Titanium. He bought it in October for $22K, which would get you a sparsely-equipped gas-powered Fusion. We’re both very impressed with it…except for MyFord Touch, which is glitchy.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Absolutely nobody here convinced me that buying a new car is a bad idea, but having a water heater fail spectacularly and flooding my house at 3PM CST today sure as hell convinced me :(

        So I think new car is now officially off the table.

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        Tell him to register on owner.ford.com and find the sync section. Check and see if he’s running the latest version of SYNC, which if it’s a 2013 isn’t likely. You can download the update to a flash drive and install it yourself–actually, once you start the car and insert the flash drive, the installation is completely automatic and takes about half an hour. SYNC/MFT isn’t perfect yet but it’s a lot better than it was–the update got rid of lots of the lagginess and it enables Siri Eyes Free from the steering wheel buttons and voice prompt.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “…the small 17-inch wheels don’t hide the bulk quite as well …” Rubbish. Blah-blah, American sedan, blah-blah, one-Ford, Made in Mexico. Show me the American here. Besides, 16 inchers with a good suspension should be enough. They [manufacturers] compensate for bad handling with smaller sidewall. Although, inevitably, 17 inch pricing is close to 16 now

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      We rented a 2016 Malibu Limited LT with the std 16″ tires and they were more than fine. In fact this car out handled the former 2014.5 Camry SE we rented a week before with 17″ tires with better steering and less fussiness in the curves.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m annoyed that 16″ 235s on a mid-size sedan are called small. I used to own a 5000lb station wagon with 15″ 235s and they were considered large. I’ve 18″ 235s on my current full size sedan and they are huge (holds a corner surprisingly well also).

      Big wheels seem to be the rage, but it’s gotten out of hand.

  • avatar
    gasser

    How was the engine in the base model? I have read previous comments about both noise and lack of power (especially if the transmission moves into a higher gear). My past experiences with the Ford base four is that it lags far behind the Accord in refinement and mileage. The other engine choices are not that attractive. Most reviews feel that the 1.5T eco has neither power nor economy. The 2.0T is standard on the Titanium, but is quite a $$ bump up on lesser trim levels.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I too am interested in impressions of the 2.5L NA motor. My rental with the 1.6EB was noisier and had to work harder than the 2.5L four in my fiancé’s Camry, and got worse MPG to boot. The Ford’s automatic also struck me as dimmer witted than the Toyota’s Aisin.

    • 0 avatar
      DubTee1480

      When my wife test drove a 2.5 Fusion last year she hated the engine. Said it felt sluggish and also felt slower than her 2.4 equipped Accord. She also test drove a 1.5T that night. She ended up bringing a 2.0T SE home after test driving a 2.0T Titanium (the dealer had to inventory transfer her car in from another dealership).

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The Fusion’s engine lineup never impressed us much. The 2.5 is not very efficient or powerful and sounds a bit noisy and strained. The 1.5T is little better and doesn’t always get it’s rated mileage unless you drive it like your putting your foot on egg shells. The 2 liter turbo is better on power but nowhere near as quick as the V6 competitors and the new Malibu’s 2.0 T which times out at 6.2 seconds with the new 8 speed. It’s also thirsty in just about any test I can find and we only saw a V6 like 24 average on a FWD rental we had. The 2017 revamp is supposed to address some of this with a more powerful 1.5T and a more efficient 2.0T.

      • 0 avatar

        I rented one just like Chris Tonn on my vacation to Maine and New Hampshire last year. I agree with all of his conclusions — it’s a great driving car BUT…..

        Yes, that 2.5 Duratec is a bit of a dog in the hills. It’s kind of noisy too when compared to the 2.5 Camcordsonatima engines. The mileage was nothing special. In 1,000 miles of not-that-spirited highway and two-lane driving, I averaged 27mpg. I rarely took it above 75mph.

        On highways with grades, I found the best thing to do was set the cruise control at 70-75mph, shift to manual mode, and switch between 5 and 6 when I felt the car struggling. The strategy worked and added to the fun factor.

        In the time since I’ve rented Sonata, Altima, Optima, Focus, LaCrosse, Fit, Cruze, Elantra and Chrysler 300. The Fit was the most fun, the Sonata the easiest cruiser, the 300 the most brutal, but the Fusion was my favorite all-arounder. I would enjoy getting this car again at the counter.

        Nice job, Chris.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      We haven’t been terribly disappointed with our Fusion’s economy with the 1.6T. It has averaged 29.5 mpg over the last 15K miles. 35mpg with the cruise set at 65, and 31 at 75. That’s better than my Integra ever did.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My biggest problem with the Fusion was that Ford didn’t make a fast one and that an MKZ 3.7 could be had for like $1800 more than a Titanium 2.0.

    But, now they are making a fast one so I’m happy.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It would have even been fine if they made one with the 3.5 instead of the 3.7. You are still looking at 280-290 HP in current applications. There is no good reason why they haven’t had one.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        I agree. The Ford 3.5 is an impressive engine (may be the best in it’s class). I’ve one in my current car. It pulls hard and I still manage 28mpg driving back and forth to work. I’m certainly not a fan of Ford dumping this motor for ecoboost.

  • avatar
    turf3

    “Small 17″ wheels”. Give me a break. A car this size should run 14″ wheels with 65 or 70 series tires, for usefulness in real world condition. A full size car, 15″ or 16″.

    Fewer than 1% of people who own this car will take it to a track or skid pad. However, 99% of people who own this car will drive over potholes.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Amen. It blew my mind a few weeks ago when they featured a 4 cyl Accord with factory 19″ wheels. Ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Agreed. People buying these silly new cars with 19″ tires are finding they are quite dangerous in inclement weather and provides very little actual handling benefit to a proper suspension design and 17″ rubber. I got by very well on P225/60R16 tires on any of my 1990’s- early 2000 mid size sedans and handling was more than fine, Winter traction was fine and they rode quite well too. Oh and a set of tires didn’t run me 1200-1500 dollars like the 19″ and 20″ crap does.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      We can just put this at the beginning of all of these car discussions to save time: “Any technology or design from before my 20s was crude. Any technology or design since then is frivolous.”

      • 0 avatar
        sproc

        There’s a very small “get off my lawn” element, but seriously, what possible engineering justification is there for putting 40 or even 35 series tires on mid-market passenger vehicles?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I like “nothing important happened before I was born.”

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I had a history professor in my undergrad who taught American History from Lief Ericson to 1920. Why stop at 1920?

          His response: “That’s when I was born. Nothing after that qualifies as History.”

          • 0 avatar
            Dave W

            When Barbara Tuchman was asked why she has written so little history of events after WWI she said that it stops being history for her when you can’t research it with out getting upset at the leaders idiocy.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Well, I’m in my early twenties, so you can count me out of that camp. I don’t have a problem with the technology in modern cars; I do have an issue with how little thought or foresight is put into its implementation, at times.

        That said, I do not agree with 19″ wheels on mid-sized family sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        Perisoft, that’s a humorous point, but it does nothing to debase turf3’s argument.

        Compared to a 16″ or 17″ wheel, the big low-profile tires give you the attributes of Group A:
        – A slight increase in cornering performance
        – A moderate increase in aesthetics (subjective)

        But also give you Group B:
        – A moderate decrease in gas mileage
        – A moderate decrease in acceleration
        – A moderate increase in unspring weight, making for
        – A moderate decrease in ride quality
        – A huge increase in tire cost

        So which of these two groups of attributes matter more to family sedan and commuter car buyers? I propose that it is Group B. It’s not a Lambo, it’s a Ford. It will probably get traded in on a CR-V in 4 years.

        In keeping with the actual theme of the article, I test drove a mid-level Fusion a couple years ago. I found it to be a nice-driving car. Not exceptional, but nice. Mildly sporty…ish. I didn’t care for the techno-wizardry, like the fake digital gauges. (They were at least better than the gauges in the Taurus, which were like undercar blue neons meet a funhouse mirror meet a disco ball. Absolutely terrible at conveying critical information to the driver in a hurry. The Fusion’s gauges at least worked better than that.)

        What I couldn’t get past with the Fusion was that it was starting at $27k for a 4-cylinder, a modest set of features, fairly unpleasant black spandex seat cloth, and a modest amount of room. The decent styling and dynamic attributes couldn’t justify the price when there were more interesting and much cheaper options.

        (Side note: The Model T used to come with open spoke design 23-inch wheels. Yeah, great-grandpa was rollin on dub tres’es. “Holler at your chum!”)

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Higher curb weights and the advent of stability control mean the bigger rotors and calipers required for those, won’t fit inside a 14 or 15″ wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I agree. Our 2012 Altima has 16s with real sidewall and it turns in sharply enough and corners well while providing some decent ride isolation. And the tires are cheap.

      • 0 avatar

        There was nothing wrong with 15- and 16-inchers on midsize, non-sporting cars until about 15 years ago. That’s when the press “motor noters” kept complaining about wheel wells not looking filled out enough.

        They got what they wanted, but I think the consumer got handed a brown, steaming-pile sandwich.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque

      I’m running 195/70R14’s on my 98 Camry LE. Even with the comfort-oriented Yokohama Touring S tires it doesn’t have a comfort advantage over our more firmly sprung and better handling ES300 with ancient H-rated 225/60R16 Michelin MXV4’s.

      I’m due for replacement winter tires on the Camry, and found it’s getting harder to even find a manufacturer who still carries 14’s.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    In May of 2014, I cross shopped the Fusion, Accord, Altima, 200 and the Mazda 6. I drove both the NA 2.5 and 1.5 Ecoboost versions of the Fusion. The low end torque of the Ecoboost Fusion was very impressive, but I found it hard to keep the acceleration from a stop in a desired range. The throttle response was such that the slightest pressure on the gas pedal resulted in me overtaking the car ahead of me and hitting be brakes to keep from rear ending the traffic ahead of me. This is probably a big part of the reason for the low real world FE of the Ecoboost Fusion.
    On the other hand, the 2.5 NA engine and auto tranny was an absolute dog in the low rpms. It was completely gutless until you hit 3000 rpm. I hate that.
    In contrast the 2.4 DI Accord with the CVT seemed just right in stop and go driving. In fact, if you didn’t notice the lack of shift changes, the CVT is almost invisible.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Thank you for providing the powertrain impressions this review should have included in the first place.

      I haven’t driven the current iteration Fusion w/ 2.5, but the last generation with this engine was pokey off the line and the 6 speed did not want to downshift. I think this Fusion is heavier, so I can’t imagine the situation has improved.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Accord has one of the best CVTs on the market, IMO.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    The Fusion is a much better than past midsize offerings from Ford. With that being said, the styling is becoming somewhat stale now. They need to change it up a little to keep it fresh. It’s sister car, the Lincoln MKZ (back to Zephyr soon I hope) is getting a new face to match the Continental. Maybe Ford can spice up the Fusion too!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Well it is getting a new grille that looks suspiciously like the current grille.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Fusion is being refreshed for 2017. Thankfully, Ford re-addressed the rear fascia, which is one element I’m not fond of on the current version. But the biggest news is the addition of the Fusion Sport, which will mate the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 with AWD. It will essentially be the counterpart to the Edge Sport, which is the top trim for that vehicle. And the expected price for the Fusion Sport is just north of $34K, which I find to be perfectly palatable…especially when compared to a Maxima SL or something like that.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/naias-new-engine-new-trim-2017-ford-fusion-domestic-mid-size-ass-hauler/

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    What about mpg? Everything that I have read shows there can be some wide discrepancies on what people get for range. And how about the trans? Good, bad, average, did it hunt around for gears, were the shifts tight etc? I was hoping for a little more in this review.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Well, you got 5 paragraphs on the exterior styling and phone pairing so it probably covers what most car buyers find important anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I’ve been a passenger in a number of peoples’ Ecoboost Fusions and Escapes. If they complain about the fuel economy, I can usually tell why they get poor mpg about 10 seconds into the ride. Apparently some people define “driving gently” as “I don’t smoke the tires from every stop.”

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Yes, driving style is the major factor. Some people think the gas pedal is digital, either full on or full off.

        Not to mention they often drive in a manner that requires frequent application of the brakes. You have to make up for that momentum you just tossed away. Easy to avoid by not tailgating and looking at the road ahead of you.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>I’m still thinking about the drive a few weeks later, which is remarkable for a fleet-spec American sedan. Before driving the Fusion, I’d have picked the Accord without hesitation if pressed to recommend a family sedan. Not anymore. The Fusion tops my list as a great value, with an incomparable ride and good fun in the twisties.<<

    Every review I've read puts the Accord above the Fusion for handling. I wonder if this author has driven an Accord Sport.

    But then again, the Accord Sport won’t be found at rental counters.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I’ve driven an Accord Sport as well as the Fusion and I agree with Chris, at least from a ride perspective. The Accord feels crashy and fragile while the Fusion soaks up everything with excellent body control. As far as handling, the Fusion felt perfectly competent on highway ramps, though it isn’t like I had either car on a track.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        No. Accord is best. Every metric, every buyer, every preference, every time.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        The tested 2.5 Fusion especially is considered a dog.

        Car and Driver also rates the Fusion in the lower half of mid-size sedans – putting it #6 out of 11.
        http://www.caranddriver.com/honda/accord

        Professional reviews put the Accord and Mazda6 ahead of the Fusion in handling.

        The Fusion is what it is, a nice rental car, not much more.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I agree with burgers & beer and others.

      The Fusion has a chassis and suspension superior to the Accord (and Camry by miles), with a far more solid feel, quiet ride & less road noise.

      The Fusion feels German/Teutonic by comparison.

      But the Accord & Camry powertrains (save for the hybrid Fusion) are better.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I agree that the Fusion has better sound proofing and feels more solid over bumps (road hugging weight pays off), but I actually prefer the suspension tuning on the Camry SE. The Fusion did a small ‘hop’ over bumps, a damping issue? The Camry seems less upset over the same kind of roads, albeit yes noisier and less granite-slab solidity/heaviness. The latest Sonata has the best “big boulevard cruiser” feel. Feels like a big soft car, because it is. I also prefer the Sonata’s roomy front seats to just about any other midsize car that I’ve sat in.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          My buddies 2015 Sonata Limited is quite impressive for what he payed for it. For 23995 brand new after rebate it was a better car in every conceivable way to the 26K stickered Camry SE rental we had last year which was also 23995 after rebates etc. The Camry drove worse, was slower, got less MPG, the interior was much cheaper and worse it lacked so many things the Sonata has for the same price. Even the bumper to bumper and power train warranty are much better on the Hyundai.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve rented several Sonatas in the past year and a Fusion SE 2.5. Both seemed well built. The Sonata is vanilla, the Fusion is more cinnamon. I like the room and power delivery of the Sonata better. I like the handling, seats, interior and driver experience — especially handling — of the Fusion better.

            My most recent Camry LE/SE experiences are very disappointing. They truly have de-contented the hell out of America’s best-selling passenger car. The P.T. Barnum clones who market this car truly think the suckers will keep paying for the Toyota label.

            For now they’re right, but let’s not forget that both GM and Ford had the top car mantle until they got lazy.

            Jack Baruth, any thoughts?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Jack’s reviewed the Fusion, Sonata, and Camry here and can be found using the site’s search box.

            You may not like what he has to say about the Camry SE if you believe only “suckers will keep paying for the Toyota label”.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      We also drove the Accord Sport before we got our Fusion — since we were replacing an Accord, we figured that would be the benchmark. Any improvement in handling was very negatively offset with the additional road noise. Bottom line, SWMBO didn’t like it. Was surprised she didn’t like it, but there you go. Suspension tuning makes the Fusion feel more like a 5-series than an Accord. The Fusion handles much better than expected, and we live in the midst of some excellent southern mountain roads. Possibly the quietest car in its class. Replaced the stock Goodyears with the top-rated Pirelli P7s and the car got even quieter.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    2013 Fusion rentals specced just like this are all over Kijiji in Canada with about 50k miles(80km) for the equivalent of around $7500US after exchange, not too bad.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    I have a 2016 SE 2.0 FWD w/Nav. For the price paid, it’s a steal. I have my dislikes too, and I’ll list a few.

    First the positives, shop around. I got mine for $22.5K + TTL with the most powerful engine. Paying cash & purchasing near the end of the month might have helped. No other vehicle short of an FCA product had a 240hp engine at that price. Power is always there, and living at elevation the turbo isn’t winded like an NA engine. The NAV works fine and is programmable for conditions you’d like alerts about. SXM is excellent. The ride is nice and the seats are 10-way power adjustable comfy. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes. 30mpg at 65mph.

    Negatives – there’ll be some bump steer affecting handling if accelerating on lousy roads, and if you don’t have both hands on the wheel the car might bump steer an unintended direction. The rear window has some distortion. Average mpg is 20mpg with about 70% city driving, so maybe it isn’t so bad after all as there are only 400 miles on the vehicle. Road noise is definitely there on lousy roads, and I can’t blame the 18″ Goodyear’s. The Fusion needs additional insulation. The climate control takes some getting used to.

    Opinions vary dependent on user, vehicle, engine, location, model & trim, so I hope you enjoyed mine. I cross-shopped a Camry, Avalon, Charger, Sonata, F150, Taurus, Legacy, and Outback.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      how do you like the audio system?

      • 0 avatar
        zip89105

        @ JimZ
        I like the audio. I have the 10 speaker middle of the line OEM system and it sounds great with no distortion when cranked. I’m no audiophile, but I like it. Some owners have posted dislikes on other forums, mostly about SXM reception on certain channels, but I have no complaint. I’m 50% deaf and have to have the volume louder than most to compensate and the radio does the job.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Nice review, and interesting to read a positive opinion on the performance of the 2.0 in this car. That’s an interesting cross-shopping list. F150?

      • 0 avatar
        zip89105

        @ 30-mile fetch
        I’ll preface by saying my current vehicle is a 4Runner. The 2016 F150 XLT Supercrew fit the bill because it has 4 doors, an available 2.7 turbo with decent mpg, is whisper quiet on the inside, has available electronic limited slip differential on the 2WD model, and was available for $30K in November when Ford had their fantastic sale, which for cash buyers like myself was a very good price. By the time I acted to make a purchase all the lower priced ones, which stickered for $38K and could be a no haggle buy at $30K, were sold. I waited too long. By the end of November the cheapest no haggle ones available locally were over $36K, but those had options I didn’t want or need.

        The problem was I couldn’t find a Supercrew with a 6-1/2′ bed. That configuration was the first to sell out. Either they’re selling faster than projected or the dealers are ordering the wrong configuration. Supercrew’s with 5-1/2′ beds are everywhere, but for me, having previously had a 5-1/2′ bed on a Ram, the bed is too short. Interestingly, the Fusion is the first 2wd vehicle I’ve owned since 1986.

        • 0 avatar
          Prado

          Nice choice of vehicles! I’m also the original owner of an 03 4Runner and bought a new Fusion last summer. My favorite car from shopping in the ‘mid size’ class was the Camry XSE V6, but I could not justify the price when I could get a Fusion I still liked for about 10 grand less.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Actually it’s rated as one of the quieter mid-size cars so it probably IS your 18″ Goodyears that are to blame.

      • 0 avatar
        zip89105

        It’s said to be one of the quieter cars, but it’s not. I test drove two Fusions. I can tell the difference between tire noise and road noise, and my Fusion is not quiet unless it is driven on nice asphalt. On beat up roads, mostly asphalt in my area, the road noise comes right through the floorboard. On nice concrete roadways I can hear the tire noise, but no road noise. It’s also said to have no back seat headroom, but at 5’11” I fit just fine back there.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      You lost me when you said SXM is excellent. Their bitrate runs between 48kbps and 64kbps. The sound quality is garbage (regardless of vehicle). Maybe at your elevation, you’re closer to the satellites. :)

      In addition, it is quiet. Then again, I wasn’t driving one with 19″ wheels. I agree with the other poster. That has to be the biggest factor.

      I do agree that the back seat has ample room. I also agree you got a great price. If I could have gotten what you got for that price, I’d be driving a Fusion today.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it depends. after the merger, there are now two “bands” for SiriusXM. the older “low band” is what Sirius used; Sirius uses a less efficient codec (Perceptual Audio Coder or PAC from Lucent) and ran bit rates from 16 to 56 kb/s. the XM “high band” uses a much more efficient codec (CT-aacPlus) which holds together better at the slightly lower bitrates the XM hardware uses.

      • 0 avatar
        zip89105

        @brn
        I don’t disagree as there are some forum complaints about SXM from Fusion owners, but I have no complaint. The majority of my listening is channels 5 thru 8, 50’s thru 80’s music, and it always sounds just like I remember it, which was analog way back then :) The rest of my listening is live sports. Digital compression used today cleans up the signal but also takes some flavor out of the music.

        Some audiophile types who are really good and post in techno-speak where I barely grasp what they’re saying mention some of their favorite channels have varying bandwidths. Others mention signal compression is the result of the Sirius/XM merger and channel expansion. Others mention ground based satellite repeater stations having an influence on the signal. For some it’s geographical, especially in Canada, where reception can be spotty due to the satellite(s) barely being on the horizon.

        For me SXM is fantastic, as I barely get 5 miles out of town and AM/FM radio reception is basically kaput. My 2003 4Runner doesn’t have SXM, so CD’s and cassettes are it for the music I like when traveling outside of a metropolitan area. And for anyone interested, most Fusion owners mention lousy MP3 and USB clarity for their plugged in music whether you got the top line of the line Sony radio or not. However the OP of the article loved the streaming. Being old school, I don’t use those, but most who do, at least on Fusion forums I’ve browsed, aren’t happy with the sound, so now you know. Enjoy!

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          @zip89105

          Perhaps they’re not all equal. Where I live, it SXM sounds worse than the radio. If it sounds good to you, I’m jealous.

          Streaming from my smartphone or listening from a SD card sounds great (I did replace the speakers, which helps tons).

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    Did you check the trunk for the owner’s manual? In many rental cars, the owner’s manual and accompanying leaflets are often placed in a clear plastic bag in the spare tire recess under the floor of the trunk compartment.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The top trim for the Fusion is actually Titanium, not Platinum…although the new Sport trim with the 2.7-liter V6 and AWD will soon become the top trim for the gasoline-powered range.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Have to nitpick a bit here, but a Fusion SE is nowhere near two tons.

    That aside, a recent Fusion rental for me pretty much mirrors Chris’s experience.
    It was crappy weather and I was in a rush, so I didn’t pay attention to what it had for an engine. That said, it was both unimpressive in acceleration and thirsty. 24 mpg for 150 miles of flat highway @ 75-80 mph. I think V8s can match that. It also sounded terrible and the transmission was not smooth. Transmission has to be in ‘sport’ to use the paddle shifters, otherwise the car immediately upshifts.

    Chassis and suspension are excellent; sadly let down by the powertrain. The one advantage I will give to an Accord is that you forget how big the car is when driving it. Maybe it is the design of the dash, but the Fusion always felt huge.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the Energi gets close thanks to all the additional hardware.

    • 0 avatar
      zip89105

      Base curb weight is 3427lbs. Adding two adults and a tank of fuel puts the Fusion very close to two tons. Expecting better than 24mpg at 75-80 mph is unrealistic for a Fusion unless it’s a hybrid.

      My neighbor has the 2.5 NA motor and confirms it’s a dog, but we live at 2000ft elevation and he commutes mountain passes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on weekends. My 2.0T and another neighbor’s 1.5T garner no power related complaints. The turbo is unaffected at elevation unlike the non-turbo engine which works harder at elevation. In September 2015 there wasn’t a single Fusion in my neighborhood. Now there are five, all SE’s, all optioned differently, and none of us knew each other before purchasing.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        The published curb weight already includes a full tank, as well as oil, coolant, refrigerant, transmission oil, brake fluid, etc. Passengers don’t count; we are talking about the weight of the car. Saying it weighs two-tons is a factual error, and it’s wrong by a significant amount.

        Anyway, I don’t think the weight matters all that much on the highway. And this really was all flat highway, with cruise control where possible. Not just a couple of exits and I conveniently forgot to mention that I spent the rest of my time in urban traffic. If you are OK with 24 mpg out of a four cylinder for that kind of driving, then I assume you currently drive a Land Cruiser. Any number of heavier and more powerful sedans would match or beat that economy on that trip. The Fusion has many strong points, but the powertrains are not currently one of them.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I bought one of these last year. Essentially the same car reviewed with 2 additional options. One of those options, is the appearance package which adds the 18″ wheels, spoiler and fog lights for about a grand. This substantially enhances the look of the Fusion back to its full glory. I get a ton of compliments on its looks. The engine can best be described as adequate, but acceptable to me. I’m averaging 27 mpg in mixed driving with no AC. What really swayed me toward the Fusion was the value and features in the mid level SE trim. Pretty much all of the competition would have forced me into higher priced trims to get features that I valued. Rear AC vents, power passenger seat, good audio integration, sporty looking, etc. Having lived with the car for 8 months now, I appreciate a lot of the small details that can easily be overlooked when purchasing. The external keypad is very handy for an active individual. Love the rear parking sensors (the 2nd option on my car), height adjustment for PASSENGER seat, auto lights, and while most people would not notice this, I do…the interior of the window frames are trimmed out. I think Honda decontented that out of the Accord a decade ago.

  • avatar
    gasser

    This exchange is why I come back to TTAC. The posters have added far more information than the original article had. Their comments are invaluable, and unavailable from the “expert” reviews.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Agreed. Lots of good info from the comments, even if they don’t all agree.

      This was pretty far from a review. Where’s Alex Dykes? He’s much more informative.

    • 0 avatar
      zip89105

      @ gasser
      I’ll have to disagree. Without the article being posted, we’d never get to discuss the Fusion. My experiences as a new 2016 Fusion owner are somewhat different from other owners/renters/borrowers. Fusion articles aren’t all that common, so I was happy to see one. The few articles out there are almost always about a fully loaded Titanium instead of the #1 seller, in this case the SE 2.5 FWD. All said and done, I liked the article, plus it opened the forum to 100+ opinions that most threads never see.

      The 2016 Fusion, now in its fourth year of this generation, has had many of kinks worked out and has established a history, good or bad, with associated opinions, all of which I welcome. Like any review, expert or not, take what you want out of it to form your own opinion. I haven’t owned a Ford in 30 years up until I bought my Fusion. I thought for sure I’d be in another Toyota, a Camry or Avalon, but the Camry has packaging and content issues for my taste meanwhile the Avalon rides horribly with every bump and road imperfection crashing through the suspension. The Fusion ended up being the best bang for the buck.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This recent run of rental reviews by Jack and now Chris are just what TTAC needed. I prefer Jack’s commentary, but any sort of plebian car reviews are easily the most interesting topics to me (that and piston slap and hammer time). The number of comments seems to reflect that. The only other topics that see as much talk are when things get political, and that’s no fun.

      More rental reviews!!!

  • avatar
    jdiaz34

    We’ve rented a couple of these over the years, and I bang my head into the open trunk lid at least once during each rental period. Anyone else had an issue with that?

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I also thought the Fusion had some cool touches that I wasn’t expecting on a car in that price range.

    The storage area in the center console is padded. By the end of my trip I had almost $4 in quarters loose in there (for the hateful unmanned cash toll right before O’Hare) and they did not rattle. I expected hard plastic and an earful from the change.

    I also like the digital display of what the cruise control is set to. Maybe I am unusually amused by it because my last two cars are notorious for advancing the speedometer, so I typically think of speedometers as showing estimates.

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    Holy cannabis altered reality Batman. This is the very reason I personally and probably will eternally hate American cars, especially Ford.
    Lookee hyere at this Fuson I jest done boughted for dang near 40 grand. By the time I finance this hyere thang for 96 months from my dear frend at the dealuh (special good buddy discount dontcha know) it’ll cost me uh, well exactly one shit-ton of money. Not to mention that on the way home from said dealuh you see 36 of them at your local Rental Return/Buy Here Pay Here or whatever for 16,995 all loaded to the gills all low mileage with a free bumper to bumper warranty that you were just gifted for an additional $3995 to help cover the negative equity in your previous Ford trade. But hey you got $11 owner loyalty discount and a free car wash when you left and most of a tank of gas, so you’re good, right?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I don’t quite understand this hyperbole, but I did wince when my coworker was gleaming that he paid $20k for a basic ’14 Malibu LT, that’s after something like $7k in discounts that the dealer supposedly applied for him (GM family discount, some other stuff). Honestly the negotiations should have STARTED at $20k, give or take the going price for a mainstream mid-line 4 cylinder sedan, and only gone down from there.

      EDIT: it’s no problem finding a leftover ’15 Malibu LT with an advertised sticker of $17k within 200 miles of me.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “I don’t quite understand this hyperbole,”

        there’s nothing to understand, it’s just blathering nonsense.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Speaking of the Malibu we recently rented a 2016 Limited LT with the 2.5 and thought it was a better car overall than many give it due. Starting with refinement it was easily one of the quietest mid size sedans we have driven to date, the ride was very good and it handled anything we threw at it. It’s steering was far better than the Camry SE we had last year too. The 2.5 provided plenty of power and this iteration of GM’s 6 speed automatic was responsive and smooth most of the time. We also liked the touch screen and the clever storage behind. it responded well too and was easy to use. This car also had XM and the service was activated providing many miles of good 70’s and 80’s music. The bluetooth worked flawlessly never disconnecting once. Our Camry rental disconnected several times for unknown reasons.
        Yes back seat legroom was less than just about every other mid size we tested but it was still sufficient.

        The biggest annoyance to us was the stop start feature which did absolutely nothing for mileage. It was noticeable each and every time we stopped the car at a traffic light. Mileage was about the same as the rental Camry with averages in the 26-28 range. Putting the car in manual shift mode kept it from shutting off at lights but we developed a method of stopping, rolling forward which of course starts the engine and then waiting which keep it running thereafter. GM should make it so you can shut this off.

        Trunk space is good, front seat space and comfort were fine and we felt the car came with a reasonable amount of equipment for the price. Nothing broke or rattled and the car felt very solid. If only that stop/start could have been turned off!

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    40k for a Fusion? How many ways can you say negative equity. Thanks Ford!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I loved the Fusion every time I had one as a rental car. It reminded me the most of the e46 BMW I had at that time, even moreso than new BMWs. The chassis, steering, and handling were brilliant and the car felt solid. I also enjoyed the quality and feel of the interior, even in the base models. The only letdown was the fuel economy. Low 30s on the highway seemed pretty poor for a modern 4 cylinder midsize sedan. The similarly specced Camry 4 cylinder (2.5L I4 NA not DI with a 6A) could manage high 30s.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    We lucked into a slightly-used special-ordered Fusion SE with a bunch of unusual options, the chief being the 6-speed manual. It had $7K of options, including the luxury package with leather, the driver assist package with lane-keeping assist, tech package with nav and the somewhat questionable MFT, moonroof, and even park assist — the last not really a selling point, but have you ever seen one of these on a manual transmission car? Also 18 inch wheels. The color is not my favorite, the 2013-only Ginger Ale, but SWMBO loves it. Total unicorn. We looked all over for a 6MT car and no others were equipped much above base level. We’ve put 15K on it so far and it’s been much better than expected; so far completely satisfied with its value. It fits 6 foot tall adults in the back with plenty of legroom and we have yet to find the back of the trunk. It gets a lot of compliments, which is kind of surprising for a mass market family sedan. SWMBO is thrilled with it, which in the final analysis is the only metric that counts.


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