By on March 9, 2017

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front 5/8, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

2.7-liter V6, twin-turbocharged, DOHC, direct injection (325 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm; 380 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm)

Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

17 city / 26 highway / 20 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

13.5 city / 9.0 highway / 11.5 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

22 mpg / 13.0L/100km (Observed)

Base Price: $34,480 (U.S) / $44,038 (Canada)

As Tested: $43,160 (U.S.) / $44,488 (Canada)

Prices include $875 destination charge in the United States and $1,750 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada.

There is no single car that appeals to the wants and needs of everyone — yet that hasn’t stopped Ford from trying.

Need a mid-sized family sedan? There’s a Fusion for that. What about a bare-bones four-door suitable for rental fleets? There’s a Fusion for that. Government-issue plug-in hybrid? There’s a Fusion for that, too. And now if you need a high performance sport sedan, there’s even a Fusion for that mission. Sort of.

The 2017 Fusion Sport takes the otherwise tame mid-size sedan market into a whole ‘nother realm thanks to the twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 pillaged from the F-150. 325 horsepower in a mid-size sedan is interesting, but 380 lb-ft. of torque will grab a driver’s attention and keep it all the way up to “I’m sorry, officer.”

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

Ford’s stylists have exercised considerable restraint in creating the Sport’s unique appearance. Rather than slather it in gratuitous ST (or even SHO) badges, this Fusion is rather subtle, with key identifiers being a blacked-out, honeycomb grille and quad tailpipes, not to mention minimal input from the chrome trim department. Sitting on the “tarnished dark” 19-inch wheels, the Fusion Sport is a handsome car despite its general shape having logged a few years’ worth of familiarity. The Aston Martin-cribbed nose still stands out from the rest of the mid-size sedan crowd.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Interior, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

Ford exercised more restraint inside with an interior familiar to Fusion drivers. For the most part, it’s ergonomically sound with the large SYNC 3 touchscreen within easy reach and the speedometer flanked by a pair of 4.2-inch screens configurable to provide everything you’d want in a car except a decent-sized tachometer. The flurry of little round buttons for the climate control require some muscle memory conditioning before finding the rear defrost and heated seat button locations at speed.

Apple CarPlay is a welcome addition and helps to quiet the SYNC complainers — though in fiddling with SYNC, it worked just fine during our time with the test car until the day it was returned, when it froze up and refused to do anything but display the last song it remembered from SiriusXM.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front Seats, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

The seats — both heated and cooled on this Canadian-spec car — feature Miko suede inserts that add a unique flourish to the interior and help keep the driver’s backside in place during cornering. This is especially important since the bolstering is nowhere near as aggressive as it is in, say, a Focus ST. Even if they’re not track-ready in terms of lateral support (which nobody should expect them to be), the seats are quite comfortable.

The almost generic look of the Fusion Sport makes it one heck of a sleeper and its swiftness is sure to catch more than a few fellow motorists off-guard. The EcoBoost engine provides a wickedly satisfying rush of forward thrust with only the slightest whisper of lag, pulling strongly to the upper revs. The rotary dial shifter has a little round “S” button in the middle that when pushed triggers more aggressive throttle response, shift points and in-cabin ruckus.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Rear 7/8, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

These days it’s hard to decipher how much intake / exhaust note is fabricated versus actual in many cars, but regardless of where it’s coming from here, the Fusion Sport provides a pretty impressive soundtrack when the driver pushes hard on the accelerator. By no means is it obnoxious — there are no pops and belches on deceleration — but it’s enough to remind that this isn’t a run-of-the-mill family sedan.

It’s when pulling away from a stop and winding out first and second gear that the Fusion Sport feels strongest. At highway speeds, downshifting a cog or two is required to really get a meaningful kick, but I never felt a need for more power when passing highway doddlers. The transmission is a six-speed automatic unit, which Ford says is heavier duty than the auto-box used in lesser Fusions, and snaps off shifts with moderate expediency. Still, folks who’ve grown accustomed to dual-clutch units will wish for a more responsive gearbox. The paddles help the driver think he or she is involved, but if pushed to near redline, the Fusion will simply shift for itself.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Rotary Shifter, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

That Sport Mode “S” button also affects the suspension, too. Ford fit its Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) to the Sport, which is able to stiffen things up, making the Fusion a surprisingly capable handler. With the extra all-wheel-drive hardware, this is no lightweight (nearly 4,000 lbs), and its mass is felt when playing on tighter curves, but body roll and dive are very well managed. That said, the car was tested during February in Canada and wore Pirelli Sottozero winter tires, so one can only assume it’ll be even more engaging on ice-and-grit-free roads and with rubber that’s not so squishy.

The Sport’s steering is quick without being darty, and it’s nicely weighted, but it lacks the feel one expects from a true sport sedan.

The ride isn’t half bad either, thanks in no small part to that CCD suspension that Ford says anticipates and reacts to potholes preventing a wheel from dropping too deep, resulting in the suspension being unruffled by road irregularities. The car’s stability at speed through sweepers attests to this, but big, heavy 19-inch wheels and sporty suspension tune (even when “S” mode isn’t selected) ensure the Sport won’t be mistaken for a cushy cruiser.

A lot of the Fusion Sport’s fun comes from having all that accessible and usable addictive power. Stomp on the pedal from a standstill and up to 50 percent of the power is directed rearward. There’s no torque steer, and hammering out of corners without discipline or respect for physics is silly fun while the big sedan just grips and goes. Surely, in a track setting, with all of us long-lost Andrettis at the wheel, we’d wish for the snazzier torque-vectoring system from the Focus RS — but come on, how many Fusion buyers are planning to enter drift competitions or track day events? For what it is, the Fusion Sport’s system will be more than satisfactory to the majority of its buyers.

Finally, as we all know, ya gotta pay to play, and the twin-turbo V6 puts much more emphasis on the Boost than the Eco. With more highway driving than city, the trip computer showed an average of 22 mpg, which isn’t outrageous for a car with the Sport’s performance. But this Fusion drinks 93 octane juice to get all 380 torques.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Rear 3/4, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson

At the other end of the value quotient, with a starting price of $33,605 (before any incentives), it doesn’t have many peers — especially in the mid-size family sedan segment. American buyers are given a choice of equipment levels for their Fusion Sport, enabling that truly enticing entry point. Up here in the Great White North, we’re told to take our Fusion Sport loaded to the tune of more than $44,000 — or forget about it.

Does Ford’s new Sport trim help the Fusion family get closer to being all things to all people? Maybe, but as fun to drive as it is, it’s best to not expect a true sport sedan as defined by the Germans. Of course, it’s in keeping with the age-old American tradition of fitting a bigger, more powerful engine in an otherwise pedestrian sedan, creating a smile-inducing machine that’s bound to surprise a few performance car drivers.

Whether it’s all things to all people or not, a handsome, well-equipped AWD sedan with 380 lb-ft of torque surely has a place in our motoring enthusiasts’ world.

 

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162 Comments on “2017 Ford Fusion Sport Review – Pay to Play...”


  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    I shudder to think about what it would be like to work on a FWD platformed AWD vehicle with a twin turbo V6…much less think about what it would cost to pay someone else to wrench on it outside of the warranty.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Ugh…. 4000lbs though. With a crappy back seat, and an auto transmission. Who is the intended market? Seems like a Golf R/Focus RS/STI are better in most ways.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Golf R and Focus would be for a different buyer. This Fusion Sport fits a more broad buyer population. Example the bored Camry and Accord driver to the Volvo, Infiniti, and Acura driver that doesn’t want to purchase the bottom of the barrel version models. Over all this version Fusion could meet many purchasing groups. Marketing this car is key to success.
      Just my two cents.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      someone other than the 3% of the market (enthusiasts) who complain endlessly on the internet about stuff they won’t buy.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      It’s no Lincoln Continental, but the back seat is plenty adequate for American-sized adults. It was one of the selling features when we ordered our 6MT Fusion. I’m 6’2″ and can easily sit behind myself, with just enough headroom.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      All three are much different buyers than those of the Fusion Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        As JB pointed out not too long ago, real car buyers cross-shop different segments.

        I was considering either a Fusion Sport or a Focus RS. I went with the FoRS.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Why exactly is the back seat crappy? With a 6′ driver ahead of me i had plenty of room left over for every dimension. A crappy back seat would be the current so called full size Charger/300 along with trunks that are smaller than some mid size sedans. The 200 would take second honors. The Fusion is right in line with it’s competitors for the most part.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Fantastic car. Test drove one a few weeks ago. Great awd grip and torque in snow covered places. Makes most foreign sedans useless.
    Regarding price. Who pays full price on any auto right now ? $3000 to 5000 off is the norm. If it’s a Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, FCA, or GM product think $3000 to 12000 off sticker.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I like it. It has a certain cool dad car vibe. Sort of like a modern day version of this:

    http://www.hotrod.com/articles/reliving-a-thrill-ride-in-1963-r-code-427-ford-galaxie-50-years-later/

  • avatar
    kars

    the Ford website lists it at $41,038. it is totally loaded.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Mid-sized sedans are still a large segment and some of those buyers want passing power and AWD. For some a hatch is a no go and if you are over 40 the RS and STI look childish.

    The Germans make fast sedans and every fauns over them, nothing wrong with a fast fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      I agree, but for most of us even the 2.0L EB is reasonably powerful without going full Sport. Although the CCD would be nice. Honestly, I think with a choice between this, a 2.0EB, and a CPO MKZ with the 3.7L V6 the Lincoln wins.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I struggle to see reasons to choose this over a 300/Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      How about “avoiding Chrysler levels of reliability”?

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Avoid full size
      Avoid FCA
      Avoid the ghetto image of those cars
      Avoid FCA

      Did I mention, Avoid FCA?

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Boat like size and visibility of the 300 is awful. Nothing sporty in those vehicles beside strait line performance. Fun factor in the Fusion Sport destroys any 300. Oh, then there is the FCA reliability and resale value thing. Which is bottom sub par for industry standards.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well a Fusion has more usable rear seat knee and legroom than either Charger or 300 for starters and it’s a mid size car not a full size. It also puts out similar if not quicker acceleration numbers than a stock RWD Hemi version of the FCA twins thus canceling out the traction advantage of AWD. No V6 AWD FCA sedan comes close to the Fusion Sports performance levels. And judging by where FCA products keep landing year after year on the reliability ratings I would trust the Ford more than the Chrysler product any day of the week.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I think that alot of folks here will be missing the point about this car. IT’s not about (totally) 0-60. Its about a bit more refinement and a sense of stealthiness that you cant get with an Audi A4 or a GolfR/Foucs RS.

    The Fusion is not the best in class in interior space. However I have to wonder if all the folks that complain about it have actually sat in it. Yes the back seat is smaller than the Accord,Camry and Passat however at 6ft even I can sit behind myself with ease. Now I dont have any head room to speak of,and thats a fault and a big one that I except to be remedied at the next full redesign in 2-3 years.

    The Accord for years had some of the worse interior noise levels on the market forever until about 5 years ago. However the folks that bought it never seemed to mind or didnt care due to the fact that it excelled in other areas…well really until 5 years ago reliability and MPG was it.

    Not saying run out and buy a Fusion. Fact is most of use wont, even me, however if the backseat space was so bad why do they sell so many of them?

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Stealthiness and refinement are key virtues of a Golf R. Haven’t sat in or driven the Fusion Sport yet but the R is a very nice place to be and if a U-boat came too close it’d get blown out of the water.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      I had a 2011 accord. The road noise was appalling. But otherwise a very good all around car.

      It was completely reliable of course,no repairs at all over 6 years. I felt the steering was nice – not too light, and felt precise. Ride was good too, not sloppy,but not harsh. It also had a lot of headroom, and an upright windshield that allowed much better visibility vs a fusion. First time I rented a fusion, i thought” I cant see a damn thing in this car.” Fusion did drive really nicely tho, and was quieter.

  • avatar
    06M3S54B32

    LOL. . $40k for a any Ford is $20K too much. Can get a nice CPO 3 series BMW for that much.

  • avatar
    soberD

    This thing is lame. When do we get a 4 door mustang?

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’ve rented Fusions and been pretty happy with them, except for the awkwardly low entry height (plenty of headroom but the roof curves down over the door and you have to duck to get in). I’ll certainly test drive this thing. Loaded Fusion versus completely stripped German (and Ford shop rates versus German) isn’t a tough call.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    those seats look bad , like seat covers from was mart bad, and that is when they are new.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    In that segment, I would choose the Charger…even the normally aspirated V6 makes 306 hp, not that much different than the Fusion. It has the same dual exhaust, manly car look, on a cop proven chassis, bigger wheels, bigger brakes, on a proper front engine, rear drive platform. Torque numbers aside, I can’t imagine the Fusion being any quicker zero to 60, but having seen no numbers yet, I’ll concede the Fusion is probably as much as a few tenths quicker. Both have dated styling, but overall, I would prefer the looks of the Charger. Now, if Ford would simply roll out a stick shift model, or a 3.5 TT variant with DC tranny, no contest. I like both the Charger and the Fusion, but but either combination might be enough to drag my old azz into the Ford showroom…

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “with DC tranny”

      Isn’t that the one that has all of the issues on the Focus? As much as I dislike the slow AT on my Fusion I think I’ll pass on that mess.

      “I would choose the Charger…even the normally aspirated V6 makes 306 hp, not that much different than the Fusion. It has the same dual exhaust, manly car look, on a cop proven chassis, bigger wheels, bigger brakes, on a proper front engine, rear drive platform.”

      If you’re going to buy Chrysler, you can get all of that (minus the “cop-proven” part”) in a 300/300S. Plus you get the added benefit of the 300 being build on the W211 E-class platform.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Fusion is going to be significnatly faster 0-60 than the V6 Charger. It’s a bit lighter (even with the AWD) and the torque curve of the 2.7T is a lot meatier than that of the Pentastar.

      I’d expect the Fusion and 5.7L Charger to be pretty even in a sprint.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah looks like tests put the hemi and the fusion sport in the low 5 with the pentastar lows 6. Still the penta star feels great in the midrange. In fact looking at torque curves the Ford peaks higher but the penta star is flatter and stays there until redline unlike the ford that falls off a cliff at around 4500 rpm.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      While the Charger isn’t a bad car there is no way on earth a V6 in either RWD or AWD will even remotely keep up with a Fusion Sport. C&D puts the Fusion at 5.1 seconds 0-60 and a pretty muscular 13.7 1/4 time. The same magazine also tested the higher output 300 HP 3.6 Charger (292 is std) and got a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds and a 1/4 of 14.7 seconds. Not too surprising with a deficit of 116 LBS. FT of torque and 25 ponies.
      It takes a Hemi V8 equipped Charger to get to the levels of power of the Fusion Sport. C&D got the same 5.1 0-60 time and 13.6 seconds in the quarter. I also bet in the real world fuel economy would suffer by as much as 3-4 MPG in day to day driving with a V8 equipped 4400 LB beast of a car.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Small, oversquare V6, reasonable price and interior space, and a good-looking exterior.

    I like it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The problem this car has is that the Camry SE and Accord V6 squeeze it from below—they’re almost as quick, much roomier and probably more reliable—and the A4 and it’s ilk from above.

    It’s nice, but it’s not Audi nice, and while it’s fast, it’s not appreciably faster for most people and you give up a lot in terms of price and room.

    If I were making the payments, I’d probably choose the Camry or Accord, frankly.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Problem with Accord and Camry is they are FWD only. Not that I need AWD, but I don’t like big power + FWD. 50% power to the rear on takeoff will help torque steer.

      And Audis are nice, but $45k+ for a 250hp 2.0T is just not what I’m looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “The problem this car has is that the Camry SE and Accord V6 squeeze it from below—they’re almost as quick, much roomier and probably more reliable—and the A4 and it’s ilk from above.”

      You’re forgetting that the price starts around $34k, and it’s nicely equipped at $37k. Before incentives. Where are you going to get an A4 or similar for prices like that? And that’s before you consider more power + AWD when comparing to the CamCord V6 models that sit below it.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      An Accord or Camry is *nowhere* as quick as this. Accord V6s are running high-six second 0-60 sprints, this is turning mid-to-high-fours in full-attack.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Dubious claim.

        Do you have a link?

        I’d wager CASH MONEY no one is going to wringing sub-5 second 0-60 times in this unless a) they’re experienced and b) they’re abusing the tranny in such a way that it explodes – and even then I highly doubt it. It weighs 16,000 quarter-pounders (the grey meat-like substance that forms the patties shrinks when McDonald’s incinerates them).

        This thing is pretty bland, has the same cheap-ass-f*do interior as the regular Fusion, and ANYONE who is actually staking a claim for picking this over a Dodge/Chrysler product BASED ON RELIABILITY and/or COST OF REPAIRS must be smoking some highly concentrated THC buds, buds.

        Ford brings up the lower quarter of the pack in terms of reliability, right down in the mud with VW and similar. With a twin’turbo, awd and complex tranny on this and woe be unto you.

        I’d take Jack’s anvil-reliable V6 Accord with manual at 28k and some change all day long.

        I can ALMOST imagine how frustrating and expensive it will be to perform any significant engine and/or transmission work on this thing when the inevitable time arises.

        Tres? Anyone see Tresmonos around?

        • 0 avatar
          True_Blue

          Trying to find exact numbers on it is tough – Autoweek states mid-fives on a no-prep street hole shot. I’d wager, like stated, an experienced driver could whittle that down a few.

          4.8 was what I saw claimed in Google, but a 5.5 is still acres ahead of a V6 Accord in quickness. Is that doubted?

        • 0 avatar
          Nemo

          @deadweight You do know that this engine and tranny are from F-150? There isn’t anything new about it….awd same thing

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The basic engine is the same as the F150, but the transmissions are entirely different. The Fusion has a transaxle and a Power Transfer Unit while the F150 has a transmission and transfer case. However I would bet that the transaxle and PTU is similar if not the same as used in the SHO.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        It’s a closer than that. C&D has the V6 accord at 5.8 and Fusion Sport at 5.1. Noticeable in a drag race, but not a huge gap on the street. Fusion does pull away with a full quarter mile (13.7 vs 14.4)

        Also, Jeff says it takes 93 octane to see all 380 lb-ft torque. 93 is somewhat rare; many states top out at 91. This review doesn’t say it, but I’ll bet that’s “overboost” as well. Most reviews I have read for the Fusion Sport say it is a lot slower than you would expect given the numbers. This is also the first review I’ve read to say it sounds good. No one says the Accord V6 is slower than expected or sounds lame.

        I’m with DeadWeight; Accord Coupe 6MT is hard to beat for an enthusiast family vehicle in that price range. I think the 6MT drops acceleration times to 5.5 and 14.0 as well. There is something to be said for putting the power down with some dignity in the Fusion, but I think the 6MT in the Accord Coupe more than offsets that.

        • 0 avatar
          True_Blue

          Edmunds tells me a ’16 auto with trac off at a dragstrip on a prepped course it’s running 6.1 to sixty.

          https://www.edmunds.com/honda/accord/2016/road-test-specs/

          With the C&D link above stating a 5.1 run for the same speed (three tenths off of my “high-4s / 4.8” quick read), it’s still one second faster to 60 mph despite the weight difference. That may be close in the numbers game, but on the street, getting 380 lb/ft down through four tires will trump 252 lb/ft through two – especially quickly unloaded fronts.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I wouldn’t compare results between publications. Edmunds routinely records a slower time for the same car than C&D’s methodology.

            Matters little, though. For those who care and notice, the Fusion Sport is faster than the Accord in every metric. Sticking with C&D for consistency, it’s over half a second faster to 30, from 30-50 and from 50-70. It’s overkill for most, but for those who care that is a meaningful difference.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Wilson

          I’m a fan of the Accord Coupe 6MT, but for dads who have to load their kid into the backseat repeatedly, having a pair of rear doors makes a BIG difference.

          What’s more, while 93 octane is somewhat hard to find here in the Great White North, even fuelling it with 91 all week, the Fusion Sport feels seriously strong, especially through the meaty part of its mid range. The CamCord V6s feel decent — certainly decent for a family sedan, but the Fusion Sport’s torque really does make it fun to punch around through traffic.

          Lastly, as a few others have said, the Fusion’s AWD is another ace up its sleeve to make it more of a driver’s choice over the CamCord sportier versions with their torque-steering FWD.

        • 0 avatar

          Here’s the direct quote

          “What really makes the Accord feel light is the 278-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Careful chassis tuning keeps the coupe on an even keel, but the powerful V-6 under the hood dominates the experience. Driven normally, excessive wheelspin and torque steer are kept in line. Revving the engine and dumping the clutch, however, will result in tire smoke and some steering-wheel tug. A hard launch will bring a 0-to-60 time of 5.6 seconds; a quarter-mile time of 14.0 seconds at 103 mph is possible. Forgoing the brutal launch, as we do with our 5-to-60-mph rolling start, adds only 0.4 second to the 60-mph sprint.”

          I have one. It’ll do that, maybe even a couple tenths better on a good day.

          Honda underrates the power on these engines. They’re really quite spectacular. And they run on regular gas.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        The Fusion is a rental car. No getting away from that.

    • 0 avatar
      VTECV6NYC

      Completely agree with psar and DW. I have a ’17 Accord Touring; the J35 is superb, and its performance (5.7 to 60 per MotorTrend; 5.8 to 60 per C&D) isn’t that far off the Fusion’s numbers. Not enough of a difference to make me purchase my first American car, anyway. Fuel economy figures and that drab, rental grade interior are a little tough to accept, too.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The J35 is indeed superb. But the Honda’s interior is more rental grade than the Fusion’s. If there is something the Fusion does better than the Honda at any trim level, it is feel somewhat more expensive than you’d expect from this class. An Accord Touring feels nothing like $35K unless the V6 is singing. The Fusion feels like $35K just going down the road. With the Sport model they’ve finally given it a powertrain that will back that impression up as well.

  • avatar
    V16

    The Passat in V6 form would seem to be a better buy.
    More room, DSG transmission, slightly less power, priced almost identical in base form.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      lol you consider DSG a selling point?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        We’re talking a decent DSG here, Dan…not Ford DSG.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Doesn’t VW’s out of warranty service prices for their DSG include a wallet-ectomy?

          Give me a good ole fashioned torque converter automatic with an even number of gears up to 8. That seems to be the sweet spot.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Doesn’t VW’s out of warranty service prices for their DSG include a wallet-ectomy?”

            Probably. This is why you lease VWs. Frankly, there is a very short list of cars I’d keep past the warranty period these days.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      The DSG might help the Passat’s 0-60 time a bit, but the AWD + more horsepower is still going to make it the faster car. Then factor in Ford/Lincoln’s continuously controlled damping and you’re comparing a Ford that handles nearly as well as a proper German sport sedan to a Passat that handles a bit like a wet towel.

      I’ll give you that if you prefer the electronic safety features the Passat has it beat, but having driven both there’s really no comparison.

    • 0 avatar

      Better lease likely not a better buy.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      V16, you forgot about awd. Passat is a no go for many due to fwd only.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    BTW this should have been a Jack Baruth review – he could have given us proper historical context.

    This is the car to buy just so one day you can say you owned one.

    Just like the 7 liter Galaxie referenced by other members of the B&B.

    This is the modern equivalent of the original Taurus SHO. :-)

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    I love the idea of this car; I just wish Ford did a better job with building it. I’ve yet to see a single current-gen Fusion with properly fitted exterior panels or dash/door trim alignment.

    Why a manufacturer would design a vehicle to highlight such obvious miscues escapes my grasp… it screams “indifferent engineering, indifferent assembly.”

    • 0 avatar
      Nemo

      I own FFS and the only grudge I have against it would be the workmanship. But it’s all gone once I step on it
      :)

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged Miata Man

        Enjoy! I’ve deliberately refrained from test driving one, because I know I’d probably be ready to sign right afterwards…

        And then, the misaligned door/dash joins would grate my nerves each time I sat down behind the wheel over the next 2-3 years. Admittedly I’m rather A/R about fit and finish, but it’s obvious Ford meant for the pieces to line up, yet they don’t. In ANY Fusion.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    After a couple decades of Hondas and Acuras, we sprang for a Fusion in 2013 after being left cold by the then-equally-new Accord. We optioned up an SE about as much as we could within the constraints of that trim level, which was necessitated by the manual transmission. Unlike the Accord, a manual Fusion comes in colors, both inside and outside, as well as with modern options. It has been a great car, easily exceeding our expectations for handling, road noise level, and economy of operation.. Nothing wrong with it that twice as much horsepower wouldn’t fix. If the other half can give up her third pedal, we might well get one of these. It’s a Livernois tune away from a 12-second quarter mile and a mid- to high-4-second 0-60.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      The Accord is easily the better car. And the Ford manual is in no way in the same league as the Accord manual.

      C&D just rated the Accord above the E Class Mercedes – better suspension, better handling, better engines.

      Why the pedestrian Honda Accord out-achieves the new Mercedes-Benz E-class.
      http://www.caranddriver.com/features/honda-accord-2017-10best-cars-feature

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        Nah, we drove them both and compared back to back, and traded in an Accord. We like Hondas, but the stick is mandatory and Honda has been decontenting their models with those for a while now. The Accord four cylinder is nowhere near as quick as the six, which is only available in the coupe with a manual. We use the back seats, so no coupe for us. Ride quality and road noise wasn’t even close to comparable, and like I said there were few choices for options–and practically none for colors (only tones) and no choices at all for interior. For the Fusion, we got leather, nav, sunroof, driver assist, tech, and luxury packages, even the self park feature, which is kinda weird with the manual. Pretty comfortable with our choice. It’s not a forever car. It now has almost 60K on it with no problems other than recalls. Quiet, smooth, reliable, and frugal. This info is sort of academic now since you can’t get a manual Fusion anymore, but we have no regrets at all.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Oh man, good luck with thornmark. Anyone tasteless enough to log in just to tell you you bought the wrong car (you didn’t) isn’t going to be swayed by your reasoning.

          On top of that his interest in cars seems to begin and end with “Accord”. He’s like the Spam-obsessed character in the old Monty Python sketch who orders “Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam and more Spam”.

          Except “Spam” is Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            Nemo

            Other than S2K and NSX I can’t think of anything that Honda made that was fun to drive…and these two were not made in huge numbers so are kind of outliers. Ford at least have a Mustang brand and also add ST, SHO, SVT, RS, Raptor as well. I am ok with people who claim Mazda Miata is the answer for everything but an Accord?

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            I had both first-gen Acuras, an Integra and then a Legend, which were fantastic cars for the time period. The rest of the world then caught up. We moderated our expectations for Honda’s progress and had a couple of Accords in succession, their somewhat pedestrian qualities mitigated by the control manual shifting provides. I’ve said for years that we’d buy an American car when it compared favorably with an Accord in all the categories that mattered, and so we did, even though really it’s thoroughly European. We enjoy our unicorn. I have no idea what we’re going to replace it with, though.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I want to race one.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I do wish Ford would quit forcing buyers to get the suede-combo upholstery on its performance cars. Not everyone wants that; I wouldn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Agreed. It’s really hard to keep it looking good.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      You couldn’t sell me a car with suede seats like that. I don’t ever want any material which holds a pattern after touching or sitting on it.

      Additionally, that suede always gets nappy in a couple years, and will look crap.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You can avoid that by brushing it. Like, every couple of days. Ugh.

        Normal leather seats stay looking good if you clean them with leather soap and then “rinse” well every few months.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Something in my car should not require the same maintenance regime as the foo-foo dog I don’t have either.

          Unacceptable!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          leather soaps are pointless on car seats. soaps and conditioners are meant for traditionally tanned hide; automotive leather is sealed with so many dyes and polymers it might as well not even be leather at that point.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Is there any way to maintain this stuff then, or is the cracking and creasing just inevitable?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Cadillac (and I’m sure some others) put that sh*t ON THE STEERING WHEEL.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Agreed.

      I realize bundled options can be better for the consumer in at least two ways (lower cost at a given level of equipment and, less directly, improved assembly quality by simplifying the demands on the factory). But there are some mandatory pairings that bug me. Case in point: If you want a GTI with a sunroof, you have to get leather seats.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I’m normally a leather / leatherette snob, but I would *so* rock a GTI with the tartan seats.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Tartan plaid!

          OH. HELL. YES!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You people are crazy. The tartan was a horrible idea in 1976 and forty years haven’t made it any better.

            GTI Autobahn or bust.

          • 0 avatar
            rocketrodeo

            The GTI plaids were copycats of the era’s Porsche interiors. The 911, 914, 924, 928 all were available in a variety of tartan plaids.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “You people are crazy. The tartan was a horrible idea in 1976 and forty years haven’t made it any better.”

            I’m of two minds on it. I like how distinctive it is and the splash of character it brings to an otherwise too-serious all-black interior. But, the GTI is the serious car in the segment and the plaid somehow clashes a bit with that. My ideal would be the light tan & black two-tone treatment in other VWs.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        I’m subjective to a fault about these things. If VW introduced the tartan upholstery now, I’d probably dislike it. But as it’s traditional in this application, I kind of like it. And while I normally loathe non-functional scoops and so forth, I can let Buick’s ventiports slide because they’re traditional.

        Bonus aspect of the the tartan: I assume it does a good job of obscuring minor stains.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      The suede isn’t for everyone but I like it. I have a 2010 Taurus SHO with it and it’s held up well all these years. Still looks great today and it’s comfy, too. I don’t think leather would have held up nearly as good unless it’s really good leather, and you don’t get really good leather in this price point.

      Cadillac V models have it on the steering wheel. That is a no-go.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I liked those seats in the photos, but have no experience with them. I’ve always preferred cloth-ish seat materials; I’ve never had leather seats in a car.

  • avatar
    Storz

    Neighbor has one, driven it a couple times. Ford torque managed all the fun right out of it. Honestly it’s not all that sporty of a car. My 240hp 330i ZHP was a LOT more fun to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Nemo

      Unfortunately lot of potential was lost in torque management. My butt dyno says the torque numbers are close but hp is overrated. Also have in mind that awd takes out a big chunk of what we know as torque in rwd sport cars. I guess all this can be made better with a better tune, ford I guess just went bit conservative here….

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I like it, it makes me think of a Marauder but with 99% less DONK.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      This Fusion has a much nicer interior than the gross one fitted to the Marauder as well.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Ford had 30 years to figure out Panther interiors and never got them to be even class-competitive. Even in Town Cars with all the adjectives they are horrendous.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Agree entirely. Closest they ever got would be the ’96 TC Cartier.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Eh, at least their interiors are easy to fix for the most part.

          Then again I’m used to flakey ancient European plastic and crappy fake leather, I’m more picky about cleanliness than fit and finish.

          I agree that the Fusion interior is nicer, it even avoids the idiotic glued on screen look of other cars.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    I have this engine in my F-150, and a friend of mine just picked up a Sport… looking forward to seeing how the engine was tuned in comparison to the truck application.

    It builds boost very quickly, and even in a fullsize pickup can make merging into something less than an exercise in pucker.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    For $43K you can have a Jaguar XE Premium with a 340HP supercharged V6 and a 0-60 of 5.1 seconds. It will also have a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty that includes maintenance.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Stealthy family sedan that will make mincemeat out of nearly anything you’re likely to encounter before the merge or in the passing lane. I like it.

    What to cross shop it with? Golf R, perhaps, but that’s pricier. Charger R/T, but that’s far more brash. Closest match I can think of is a CPO Q50 3.7 AWD. That’s a monster motor as well, gets to 60 in about the same time, sucks fuel at about the same rate, and they’re easy to find for $30k or less.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yeah, there isn’t a direct equivalent at all. It’s like an S4 with less refinement.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        So long as we are comparing to CPO cars, you can get the S4 for about the same money. Cars.com turns up a couple within 100 miles listed at $35k.

        For all the types that insist cars can only be compared to the same body style with the same footprint, there are plenty of CPO A6 3.0T options in that price range as well.

        The Fusion Sport is an oddball against new competition, and I’m glad they made it. If we open up the competition to CPO, the list of other options is long.

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      Yeah, it’s weird that 325/380 doesn’t make for a much faster car. The first Maximas with the VQ35 turned mid 5 second 0-60s stock and went on to have high 13 second quarter miles with mild bolt-ons, per slips on the Maxima.org forums.

      I’m not sure any of the 2017 sedans in the sub-$40K category are that quick, even 15 years later.

      Sounds like a 6MT G37 sedan will still be my next ride. The concept piqued my interest and for some foolish reason I thought Ford might offer this monster with a stick. Silly me. I don’t want AWD and will begrudgingly tolerate ~3800 lbs in exchange for 1) a stick shift and 2) 330 HP.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “Sounds like a 6MT G37 sedan will still be my next ride”

        Do it, before they become thin on the ground. I think the G37 is a sweetheart of a car and it doesn’t sound like the Q50 quite preserved its driving character even before considering there is no manual available. That engine is a raucous, eager joy, it has real steering feel, the ride/handling balance is spot on for my preference, and you’re less likely to have problems with it compared to the Germans.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      3 yr old Lexus GS AWD vs. this new. Tough call.

  • avatar
    Ion

    It’s a poor man’s E43 at half the cost that can be optioned up nicely without breaking the bank. I like it. I find the shifter aesthetically pleasing but I feel it should be dash mounted to free up more console space. I also wish Ford hadn’t dropped guard green from their lineup.

  • avatar
    Jim52

    If you look at actual transaction prices, the Buick Regal GS–that has been around for 5 years stomps this Ford Fusion. Never mind the better interior and Magnet Ride Suspension. Drive both aggressively and report back if you disagree. Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Wilson

      Okay, I’ve driven both and I’ll disagree. I like the Regal GS well enough (especially at heavily discounted prices), but it has nowhere near the engine as the Fusion Sport. Neither car is a full-on sport sedan, so if you’re really looking for a handling ace, it ain’t in this pairing. So out of these two, enjoy the Ford’s killer engine and call it a day.

  • avatar
    noneuimport

    While we are on Fusion topic- I am interested in getting a 2-3 old Fusion for my commuter car. I drove the 2.5l and I find the ride to be quite balanced, even slightly better than friends 14 Accord EX(purely subjective,I know). Needles to say Accords cost anywhere 3-5K more used.
    The question that I have for any Fusion owners here is about 1.5l turbo engine that was option on higher trim models. It looks it has slightly better HP/torque figures and supposedly better mpg- but i read reports that normally aspirated engine gets better mpg in real life conditions. The issue that I have is that any higher optioned model that I would prefer to have (SE with heated seats for Michigan winters) is equipped with the 1.5l Ecoboost..

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Our Fusion (1.6 GTDI–the only option for manual transmission, and I think the only choice for ’13) is at 29.7mpg lifetime, now about 59,000 miles and change. With a light foot and some restraint, you can beat the 37mpg highway figure at which it’s advertised. The nice feel to the suspension is pretty much gone at this mileage, though; the shocks need replacing, and unfortunately there’s no good upgrade path as of yet except for some boy racer stuff.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB

    I thought long and hard about a ’17 Fusion Sport but for not a lot more money I instead opted for the Lincoln MKZ with the 3.0L TT engine. I ordered it avoiding a lot of the tech options which kept the price to less than $10K more than the Sport. My feeling is that if I think I really need a car that parks itself and warns me of lane drifting than what I really need is a bus pass.

    But the hard thing for me to take is that I’m going from a ’13 Passat TDI that averaged mid-40s MPG to a car that burns twice that. But, to paraphrase a certain comedian, horsepower is a helluva drug.

  • avatar
    johnnyz

    2.7 Ecoboost got snort. It pulls my heavy 2016 F150 S-Crew around pretty well.

    I sure hope they make it sound better than it does in the F150, somewhere between a fart and a groan.


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