By on May 8, 2017

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

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

Six-speed automatic transmission, 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)

20.6 mpg [11.4 L/100km] (Observed)

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

As tested: $34,480 (U.S.) / $44,038 (Canada)

Prices include a $875 destination charge in the U.S. and $1,750 for destination charge and federal excise tax in Canada.

“Dad, you need to buy this car!” screamed my godsons from the backseat, needling their Scion xB-driving father with an outburst fueled entirely by speed-induced adrenaline and youthful innocence.

I remember being just a little older than these two kids — I was in Grade 4 to be exact — when a low-budget field trip to nowhere brought me into contact with my kindly homeroom teacher’s adolescent son. Or maybe he was 26? You can’t make a call at that age. Anyway, volunteering-son-of-teacher’s daily driver that day was a Fox-body Ford Mustang GT, gray in color.

Already a tall kid, I folded myself into the backseat, excited to not be confined to the third row of the Caprice (or Safari) wagon hauling seven other classmates to look at frogs or tadpoles or whatever it was that day. Up front, the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 roared to life, the clutch dropped, and I suddenly forgot all about the abundance of loose change I’d discovered littering the Stang’s floor.

So, I knew how my godsons felt when I said, “Check this out,” and hoofed the throttle of the new-for-2017 Ford Fusion Sport on the way up to their dad’s cottage. A heavier car this time, but with more power on tap. Far more room, too, and the kind of stealthy anonymity you only really appreciate in the pragmatic embrace of adulthood.

It’s a large-ish midsize domestic family sedan, but kids dig it. The question is: can adults live with it?

2017 Ford Fusion Sport rear 3/4, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Carrying a pre-delivery MSRP of $33,605, the Fusion Sport adds about $11,500 to the price of a base Fusion — no small bump for a midsizer, even a well-respected one. Of course, in this case, the “Sport” label isn’t just superficial BS, as the easily overlooked appearance upgrades mask an impressive powertrain that makes this already handsome model something special.

In a way, it’s a throwback. Once upon a time, Detroit automakers made a habit of shoveling their hottest engines into staid, intermediate grocery getters no one under the age of 35 looked at twice, placing a buzz-worthy cherry at the top of a generous powertrain sundae. Well, just try to find a low-priced sedan with as much engine choice as the Fusion. Off-the-shelf anchor to keep the base price down? It’s there. Two flavors of hybrids? Check. Two turbocharged four-cylinders and a screw-the-environment twin-turbo V6? At your service.

It’s something a stable automaker that carefully manages its pennies (and collects copious revenue from the world’s best-selling vehicle) can do.

Ford tapped its truck and SUV lineup for this powerplant, sourcing a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 from the F-150 and Edge Sport and combined it with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a hardly innovative six-speed automatic capable of handling the voluminous torque. The Fusion Sport’s power — 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque (when gulping 93 octane) — pushes the sedan into air much more rarified than one would expect of a midsize domestic.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport engine, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Why, that’s BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz territory! And sure enough, beating those crafty Germans was all the talk after Ford announced the Fusion Sport — the automaker even encouraged it. Save money, get this instead, and support America. That’s dangerous talk for any company, as it inevitably opens the door to comparison and, usually, disappointment (though you’d need an extra stack of cash to squeeze the same horsepower from a Fatherland special).

It’s all too easy to recall former Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca doing the same thing for the then-looming Dodge Lancer and Chrysler LeBaron GTS. In a commercial, no less. Ford at least kept its boastfulness off TV, but the comparison exists. Does the Fusion Sport stack up against rivals from the continent?

In terms of power, yes. This vehicle delights its driver in nearly leaping off the pavement under full throttle, growling all the way (especially if you’ve engaged the seemingly superfluous “sport” mode, which amplifies engine note in the cabin via the speakers). Passing is an effortless joke, leaving other motorists wondering what your secret is. Likely, no one will notice the subtle lip spoiler and gunmetal gray 19-inchers as you whip past.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport side, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

While we didn’t have carefully calibrated equipment to measure the Fusion Sport’s prowess, the 0-60 mile-per-hour time in the low five-second range reported by other sources won’t generate any argument from me.

Because I’m encouraged to compare it to a vehicle that vacations in the Alps, the Fusion is notably faster than a BMW 530i but not quite as quick as a 540i. Put another way, it’s a second faster to 60 than a Mercedes-Benz E300 but more than half a second slower than the Mercedes-AMG E43.

You’re taking notes before heading to the dealership, right?

The bold blue sedan had no trouble finding traction, either, though the low-profile rubber (admittedly, snow and ice radials) generated more road noise in the cabin than you’d expect in a Germany-fighter. Had there been some white stuff on the ground, perhaps the rear wheels would have made their presence felt. As it was, they didn’t, unless you count the absence of torque steer.

Befitting a sports sedan, this tester’s steering proved heavy and precise, though it lacked a certain refinement — a trait shared with the understandably stiff but not especially forgiving suspension. It wasn’t simply a symptom of the springtime roads, which around here bear more resemblance to the pavement outside the Reichstag circa April 1945 than the Autobahn. A modicum of extra damping might keep the northerners happy.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport front, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

You’d think the extra power on tap might make this disguised beast a little hairy to drive in mundane daily driving scenarios, but a stiff accelerator keeps the extra power in check during low-speed maneuvers. Scared drivers who never go to leg day won’t unexpectedly knock the lid off this horsepower cache. Overall, it’s a well-behaved vehicle but not without the odd hiccup. On two occasions, the six-speed auto — clearly confused by the eggshells under the accelerator — jarred me with a very clunky upshift while cruising sedately through the ‘hood at about 25 mph.

With the power on, nothing cropped up aside from a desire for twistier, emptier roads and preoccupied law enforcement. I would have enjoyed the opportunity to push the vehicle to its limits, but alas, no dice.

Now’s the time when I inevitably mention my height. Don’t worry, secret Fusion aficionados, my Raymond Massey-esque physique fits behind the wheel just fine, and the very stiff but supportive seats quickly grow comfortable. Blame the slight delay in realizing this on the cushy Buick tester that preceded it. Unfortunately for the Dearborn-generated hype, it’s from this vantage point that the vehicle’s distinctly un-German elements come front and center.

From the light gray suede-and-leather surfaces that weren’t my cup of tea to the plasticky center stack and small, hard-to-see climate buttons positioned below the 8-inch touchscreen (with Sync 3, thank God), this tester’s interior doesn’t scream “Premium!”, nor should it, really. The added price buys a performance drivetrain, not a top-down makeover. Still, despite having seen a mild refresh for 2017, the Fusion’s interior remains a work in progress.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Interior, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Another quibble is a gauge cluster that places the speedometer in the center, leaving scant room for a tach. While the Fusion offers two ways of measuring engine speed, a small digital gauge in the lower left side of the forward display doesn’t exactly scream “Sporty!” either. It’s simply a reminder that this is a family sedan that stumbled across a cache of steroids — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

During the truncated week I spent with this tester, the Fusion Sport — not surprisingly — guzzled firewater like Montgomery Clift (look it up) in urban surroundings, but its fuel consumption evened out somewhat as mixed driving brought down the average. This isn’t an economy car and it doesn’t try to be one; no cylinder deactivation, no eleventy-billion-speed transmission, no trying to be everything to everyone.

Combined fuel economy for a week of mixed driving was 20.6 miles per gallon (matching the 20 mpg EPA rating), helped by a long two-lane cottage cruise that returned 23.8 mpg over the 125-mile drive. The EPA city rating is 17 mpg, as this ain’t no plug-in.

Is the Fusion an alternative to a BMW? Sure, anything can be. I’ve got a Cruze to sell you if you’re looking for a change. But it’s hard to believe car shoppers exist who can be so easily swayed from acquiring a benchmark status symbol by a load of horsepower and a price just $155 more than a base (180 hp) 320i. More likely, the Fusion Sport represents a family-friendly alternative to Ford’s own Mustang, what with its all-weather traction, spacious rear seat and 16 cubic foot trunk.

If you’ve got money for just one new car but want to satisfy both practicality and primal automotive urges, Ford has an answer.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport in front of garage, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

[Images: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

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79 Comments on “2017 Ford Fusion Sport – Embrace Your Pragmatic Inner Child...”


  • avatar
    brawnychicken333

    Is it really fair to compare the interior of a $33,000 Fusion to a $50-60,000 German car?

    Is it as fast, or nearly as fast, as that German? Yes? Mission accomplished.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I keep coming back to this, but after my experience in an F30 328i Comfort, unless you absolutely NEED that roundel + 3xxi badge, this is easily a better value. Even a moderately equipped 320i non-Sport probably won’t feel much more luxurious, and it will cost a lot more while not being as fun to drive.

    That $35K price point is a weird intersection of a lot of market segments. A little much to pay for a mainstream midsizer IMO though this represents good value. Not enough to get anything but the bare minimum from Germany. Kind of Acura’s heartland. For my money, new, I don’t know. TLX V6 might not be as fast, and the 9AT is an issue, but it looks better in and out which is about all that distinguishes cars in this class anymore.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Just curious-
    Did your tester have a sunroof?
    They notoriously eat into headroom.
    I like everything else about this car – and it would make a great replacement for my 2008 Fusion SE AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      My 2017 SE rental had the moonroof option. It for sure ate into rear seat headroom as my 6′ friend was brushing his head against the headliner. Ford should scallop a little space out like some other manufacturers do.

  • avatar
    scott25

    From working at the Ford dealership, this is 2nd only to the Focus RS as my favourite car Ford makes, and I’d obviously rather drive this every day. I haven’t driven it on particularly rough pavement but I love everything about the ride, the engine, and the overall feel of the car. Steering isn’t particularly lively but not many current cars, especially not sedans, have that. Also love how it looks, a great alternative to the extroverted looks of the STs, RS and Mustangs. I’m 6’4” and I fit perfectly in all Fusions, including with sunroofs, but I don’t fit in MKZs for some reason.

    I’d probably compare this more directly with the Charger and Challenger AWD, even though they’re bigger and one is a coupe.

    I feel like this could be a big success for Ford as long as they market it right and they have one on every dealer lot. The only snag is the Edge Sport next to it that the salesman are more keen to sell and women will gravitate towards more.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      They stuck the Taurus SHO out there when everyone else was making half-@§§ed attempts like the Lumina EuroSport. It did well, and put the car on the list for a lot of people, even if they didn’t end up with a SHO.

      Like the Fusion, the regular Taurus drove nicely enough, but it wasn’t spectacular. The SHO fixed that with similar HP to a new 5.0L Mustang. Despite the clunky Mazda transaxle, it was a revelation.

      This car enters the same madket where “sport” packages include ground effects and other modest modification if any to the standard powertrain, steering and suspension. This blows that out of the water.

      I believe the 2.7L is just a smaller version of Lincoln’s 3.0L T/T. That’s fine. The Fusion Sport doesn’t push 400 hp like the top MKZ, the Lincoln has more power and displacement, not just a little tweak here and there to make a higher number on paper.

      This is a far different approach than the MKS EcoBoost/Taurus SHO. I know the Lincoln gave you a significantly upgraded interior but that alone was not much of a reason to choose it over the cheaper Taurus SHO since that car’s interior isn’t exactly terrible.

      I hope this car does well for Ford. It should. It isn’t a BMW minus the badge, its a fast, fun FWD-biased AWD mainstream American car that can kick a BMW in its price range’s arse. LOL

      It is more natural to compare it to other similarly priced mainstream cars that are fast, like a more practical alternative to a Mustang, but not succoming to crossover mania (and giving up handling) with an Edge Sport.

      It is pretty much also there for when the current SHO winds down, so Ford will have a go-fast sporty family sedan on tap.

      • 0 avatar
        cdnsfan27

        If this car is going to kick anyone’s it is the Audi A4 Quattro that better watch out!

        • 0 avatar
          5280thinair

          The Fusion Sport and A4 Quattro deliver very similar 0-60 times. The Fusion has quite an edge in power 73 more ponies and 107 ft-lbs) but is a bit over 400 lbs heavier. Even with the extra weight I would have expected the Fusion’s extra grunt to make it the clear winner in acceleration — I suspect those who suspect the Fusion dials back the torque at launch may be right.

          With transaction prices for A4 Quattros typically in the 40s (USD), the Fusion is a performance bargain. However sit in the two cars and the Audi comes across as much more luxurious and refined. The Fusion’s not bad, it’s just that the A4 and Merc C-class have really upped the ante in this regard. But of course, they’re playing at a higher price point.

          I bought the A4 Quattro, but expect I could have been happy with the Fusion Sport. Just not as happy:-)

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I agree. Its more about which car makes you happier. If you’d rather have the luxury badge and a higher grade interior (at presumably higher maintenance/repair costs), there are plenty of choices.

            However, if you’re sick of pretending your Camry SE is a sports sedan, you have somewhere to go. As others mentioned, the Fusion Sport is competitive price wise with the Camcoordlitma V-6, with a lot more performance and style. This is especially tempting given the discounts as some have mentioned.

            I would choose it over a CLA, no matter how close the prices. This car is “just a nice Fusion”, but the CLA is a gaudy pretend Mercedes.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Having owned teo MKS since they were introduced in 09(08, really), I have enjoyed them both and grow sotired of the hits and strange comparisons they take, especially here.

        However, when in 09 I was looking at the new 3.5 ecoboost, and everything the MKS was giving me…there was no other equal.
        None.
        I have challenge anybody to give me the same total available luxuries and power and cargo and everything the MKS offered at 47 K.
        Nobody could come back with anything except the cut and past enthusiast “narrow cockpit”

        And I agree with all your positions here with this car, which would be my next car if I only didn’t require a higher ground clearance with my new mountain drive way.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I’m not trying to dog the MKS. I’m just pointing out that this strategy goes further in distancing Lincoln from Ford. That’s all.

          I’m honestly glad that you and Kyree love your MKS’. I’m not being sarcastic. It isn’t a bad car by any means, I’m just using it as an example to show what Ford is doing now with its high end Ford-branded cars and its Lincoln lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      FBS

      I’d like to see a comparison between the Fusion Sport and the Charger R/T. Seems like they both try to scratch the same itch of affordable grunt in a grown up sedan package.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Nice review, Steph.

    $33K is a fair price for this level of power and AWD. It’s also the same general price as an Accord or Camry V6. It’s interesting in a way those two are not, and I prefer the Fusion’s styling and interior materials as well. I’d have to be fixated on TCO to pick them over the Ford.

    But I still think the closest competitor to this is an off-lease Q50 with the 3.7 and AWD. Similar power, similar thirst, similar intentions of being a bit more than a FWD midsizer with a big engine. That would be a harder choice to make.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      New cars always lose against used ones. Even new to new though, I’m feeling like the Q50 3.0t would be worth the premium. Especially considering you would probably need to load this up to match that equipment wise.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        But the Ford will have some things the Infiniti won’t, like ventilated seats, and that trick “pothole jumping” suspension.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Yes, new usually loses against used. But the comparison against much more expensive and/or much less powerful German metal is similarly mismatched in my view. The decision to save some money from your intended 328 purchase by opting for a Fusion Sport seems driven by the same logic as opting for a lightly used entry level luxury car for the same money as a new Fusion Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        If you wanted it loaded, and to match the Q’s power, the MKZ is the obvious competitor.

        This car’s intention isn’t to compete with premium cars, despite toung-in-cheek comparisons in performance.

        When you throw price out the window as you just did, of course it doesn’t stack up well to cars well above its range.

        Well, the Chrysler 300 is okay, but of course it SUCKS because when you forget about price, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is just a nicer car. LOL

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Dang it I want one.

    The Ford dealers with 300 miles have even been smart enough to have a few nearly no option models on the lot too so that things stay very close to that base price.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    The biggest problem I have with the Fusion rentals I’ve had has been the extremely low door opening. I don’t have a headroom problem when I get into the thing, but I feel like the door opening comes really far down so I have to duck my head to get in or out of the car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I have little doubt that this would be a more satisfying driving experience, warts and all, than a similarly priced 320i or 330i without the sport suspension.

    But most buyers these days don’t really care about that. In a busier world, there is nowhere to drive fast. They care that when they leave work or social occasions people see them getting into a BMW, not a Ford.

    And in any case a C300 might bring a different result; the lack of power and four-cylinder sound is made up for by the impeccable interior, something which recent BMWs don’t have.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      There’s no reason this car has to be alienating to drivers who don’t want to jostle their fillings loose. It’s irritating to me that Ford makes a car with such quality hardware, then undermines it with pointlessly stiff boy-racer suspension and lousy secondary controls that good design would replace with better ones that cost no more to make.

      I don’t know if they simply don’t want this car stepping on the MkZ, but that’s self-defeating GM thinking. People who pass on this car won’t buy a Lincoln. They’ll buy a car built by someone else.

  • avatar
    Parousia

    Nice review, Steph. I’ve got a similarly-rapid “Q-Ship” 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. It’s nice being able to fly under the radar when you want and have the ability to tool around comfortably (at a price that undercuts A.B.M. (see what I did there?) by tens of thousands). Quick question for you and the B&B–Ford rates the Fusion Sport at 325/380 running 93; does anyone have reliable data on those numbers running 91, 89 or 87? (The Genesis 5.0 goes from 429 (on 91) to 421 (on 87)… or so I’ve been told.)

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I’m one of the least ‘car vain’ people I know, but even I have a hard time getting past the exterior of the Fusion. It’s the official car of Enterprise, Hertz and who knows how many other car rental companies.

    I can’t unseen this car in refrigerator white.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    The Fusion Sport is a game changer.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I like the anonymity. No mention of brake performance. So I’ll assume more than sufficient.

    I don’t know about success – here’s an understatement sport sedan in a tsunami of crossovers.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’m surprised to hear about the uncomfortable ride considering Ford’s promotion of the suspension’s behavior over potholes (it is supposed to glide over them by not letting the wheel dip into the pothole). I guess that only helps if your attention lapses and you put the wheel over a pothole; it wouldn’t do much sloppy cold patches, frost heaves, expansion joints, and generally uneven pavement.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’m curious to hear what the Fusion Sport sounds like. Most reviews and what I’ve heard on youtube suggest the exhaust does not live up to having quad tips. Oddly, the Edge Sport with the same engine sounds decent.

    Quad tips are becoming overused. Whether it sounds good or not is certainly subjective, but anything with quad tips should have some kind of distinctive exhaust sound.

    WRX is another offender. It’s like they didn’t tell the guy who decided on the exhaust tips that they were taking away the boxer rumble.

  • avatar
    ajla

    An engine with this type of output would have been awfully nice in the outgoing Regal GS.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      That Regal is overpriced, too heavy, too slow, under-powered, and too small. Good riddance.

    • 0 avatar
      DuffMan

      I waited and waited for details of the new Regal as a replacement for my current Regal. Disappointed. I picked up my Fusion Sport Sport 4 weeks ago and so far I am quite impressed. While it’s true that it only comes loaded in Canada, if you work hard enough you can get the price down. I figured I managed to get $8K off. When you factor that in comparing it to the Germans who only add, never subtract from the list it becomes even a better deal. More than enough passing power, decent handling and braking. I believe the brakes may be different from the standard as one dealership told me Ford does not yet offer steel wheels (for snow tires) to fit over the Fusion and Edge Sport calipers

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        You’re probably right about the brakes. Tire Rack’s shopping tool shows a minus-size option of only 1″ for the Fusion Sport, down from 19″ to 18″. Base Fusions come with 16″ alloys, so they must have smaller brakes.

        Good luck with your purchase. These sound like fun cars.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Congrats on the purchase from me as well. How do you like the ride quality and seat comfort?

        • 0 avatar
          DuffMan

          The ride quality is fine although I’m not sure if the pothole detection is actually doing anything. They are still quite abrupt. We have gone on some long drives and have not suffered from the seats at all

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Awesome, good to know.

            I drove a new-at-the-time 2010 Fusion Sport and I found it very rough over bad roads. Even normal bumps on nicer roads seemed to jar it pretty good.

  • avatar
    John R

    I hope it does well. I have heard of leaky transmissions already however – youtube.com/watch?v=2AbtTgH5s88

    $35k is a peculiar space. I think if you adjust for inflation you’ll find that the Altima SE-R, Malibu SS and RalliArt Galant used to live in it. Those trims aren’t around anymore for a reason; certified pre-owned Japanese luxury brands live there, too. Not an Apples to Apples comparison, sure, but in the real world it happens more often than you think.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I really expected better fuel economy from a TTV6 and AWD.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    The Fusion styling has worn a bit to my eyes. I think they’re about at the end of what they can do with the Aston look. Look at the most recent revamp, which was a headlamp change and a chrome bar at the back.

    I really think the Accord looks right now, since the Mazda is not a contender to me. The 6 is only a good value at base model, and it’s not available with V6 or a powerful engine option in any trim.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree 100% Corey.

      Only I would choose the Fusion Sport over a loaded Accord V-6. Its just too much car for similar money to ignore.

      But, back to earth where I’m not rich, but say I could afford a new modestly equipped midsize car, it would be a Honda Accord coupe I-4/manual. I guess I’d take the Sport package, but I’d shed a tear in memory of what the Sport name would entail if the car wore a Blue Oval.

      I would not buy a non-Sport model Fusion, I don’t love the looks, and I don’t want the n/a I-4 with an automatic, nor the I-4 Turbos.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Ford’s 1.5T and 2.0T seem so badly outmatched by the Fusion’s mass that they really tarnish what is otherwise a very appealing and well rounded car.

        I’d probably choose the Fusion Sport over the Accord V6 as well. Honda absolutely wrecked the clean styling of the Accord with the refresh. The wheels ruined the profile view and the garish chromification ruined both the front and rear fascias. You can’t approach the car from any angle. Four years in and I still think the Fusion is one of the sharper looking cars, and AWD is a nice touch in this power bracket.

        • 0 avatar
          rocketrodeo

          The AWD system and the V6 add more than 600 lbs to the weight of the Fusion. Our 2013 with 1.6T, 6MT, and lots of options is 3350 lbs and change, for which 180 hp is just enough. It’s not exactly quick, but the stick and regular 36mpg highway tanks make up for that.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            I would strongly consider a new Fusion with a manual if it was possible. I could make do with it being a sedan over the Accord coupe (though I would rather have a coupe) if it had a manual.

            I don’t get why they AT LEAST don’t offer it on the base 2.5L I-4!

            If I buy a new car anytime soon, it’ll be strictly for work, as in Uber or a courier service. Sadly, it won’t be a Fusion or Accord. Nothing that fun. If its a car, its going to be a cheap subcompact with a manual. If its more than that, it’ll probably be a Ford C-Max Hybrid.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I’m confused. If you prefer manuals and would rather have a coupe, Honda makes that. Is it just that you don’t like the Accord at all?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            burgersandbeer,

            I’m sorry for the confusion. I do love the Accord, and as it stands, I would buy it over a 4 cylinder Fusion. I was just saying I would also consider a manual Fusion if offered, even though its a sedan.

            If I bought, for my personal use only, a new midsize car today, it would be a Honda Accord LX Sport I-4 2 door 6MT, or possibly a Fusion Sport.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I can’t say i agree on the Accord’s styling. I think it looks nice. My cousin has a new Accord Sport (sedan). I think its an amazing car, and it looks sharp to me. I do prefer the coupe, though.

          To each, his own I guess. :)

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Another competitive set may be the WRX, Focus ST, etc. to which this Fusion Sport is a more grown up alternative.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’ve had a few Fusion rentals and thought the car was mostly excellent. The highway ride was pleasantly hushed and the body was well controlled, with no harshness. The interior looked and felt better than most cars in its class, and even included nice touches like a flocked storage bin under the center armrest.

    I’m surprised by some of Steph’s comments – the low profile winter rubber must make a lot of noise, and maybe Ford messed up the suspension calibration for the sport model?

    I have always thought the car was let down by the powertrain. This certainly adds power, but by the numbers it is slower than I would expect it to be. Maybe limiting launch torque to save an under-speced drivetrain and it’s plenty quick once rolling?

    Fuel economy continues to be underwhelming. I would expect most NA V8s to do better. Jack has a story over at R&T where he pulled down almost identical mileage in a truck with GM’s 6.2L on a stretch of road that is likely less friendly to fuel economy than a “two-lane cottage cruise.”

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Just drove one the other day. Want. With regard to price the Sport has all the toys (in Canada). There are no options other than paint colour charge.

    Speaking of that, I suppose if one were to look at the Fusion range, the model to compare would be the Titanium, which is the same price as the Sport.

    Around here, every dealer seems to have one as well. So won’t become one of those rare birds that the dealership won’t negotiate on.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “Just drove one the other day. Want. With regard to price the Sport has all the toys. There are no options other than paint colour charge.”

      Not true at all for my ZIP code. There are plenty of options, 401A (the IP LCDs, power pax seat, automatic temp, Sync 3, etc), Driver Assist pack, park assist, moonroof, adaptive cruise, heated steering wheel, cooled seats, lane keep assist, Nav, etc etc etc.

      • 0 avatar
        TDIGuy

        Once again, we lose the choice north of the border. The sport rings in at $42,288CDN (exact same price as the Titanium). The 401A and the V6 sport package are listed as “included options”.

  • avatar
    V16

    If you prioritize the interior, the ‘Platinum’ edition of the Fusion makes the ‘Sport’ look close to entry level.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      maybe by appearance, but all the Platinum trim does is add “stitching” on the soft-touch surfaces and diamond patterns on the seating surfaces and arm pockets on the doors. anything which is hard plastic in the standard Fusion is still hard plastic on the Platinum.

      AFAICT the Platinum trim is more or less the “Vignale” stuff from Europe.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Another quibble is a gauge cluster that places the speedometer in the center, leaving scant room for a tach. While the Fusion offers two ways of measuring engine speed, a small digital gauge in the lower left side of the forward display doesn’t exactly scream “Sporty!” either.”

    Never really understood that one, myself.

    2,500 RPM capped tow trucks have tachometers. Sporty, right?

    “Trve kvlt racer!” knows his RPM by sound and doesn’t have time to look down at a tach.

    What’s a tachometer even for in a normal car, and why shouldn’t it just be a footnote gauge, barely used?

    And why does anyone associate it with “performance”?

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      AT least with a stick shift and driving hard, I use the tach to know when’s the best time to shift. Of course I can usually do it by ear, but it’s a nice reminder nonetheless.

      With an auto car? Meh – I don’t need a tach.

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Does anyone know if the Fusion Sport is designed to run on 87 octane as well as premium?

    The want is high with this one but this midlife crisis guy with kids will probably be looking at the Elantra Sport when the time comes.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    If I was in the market for a sedan, I’m more of a coupe person this would be near the top of my list. More CUV shoppers particularly Edge and Escape ought to consider these since it fills the bill for most persons needs and its sportier. I know people like that sitting up high feeling but the trunk is more than enough for a typical family and the seats fold for long objects.
    If only Chrysler took the 200C Pentastar AWD to make it as refined as this.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I look at this and it just feels like an SVT Contour to me. Imagine what that model did and was intended for, and then what happened to them. I feel this is the follow up.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      This car is more like a Taurus SHO of the era, size wise anyway.

      Its a lot bigger than the Contour was, which was mostly condemned for its lack of interior room (not a problem here) and unreliable CD4E auto (not available on SVT). Being automatic and AWD instead of manual with torque steer galore only broadens its appeal.

      If it doesn’t suffer from the same faults, why is it a default failure?

      Besides, the SVT Contour was called the poor man’s BMW at the time, similar to this in being a performance bargain. It wasn’t bad for what it was and what it cost, and neither is this.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah it does seem like SVT contour 2.0 I had a friend that had 2 SVT contour awesome when new but did not age well.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    I will be cross-shopping this against a used Chevy SS.

  • avatar
    arcuri

    Fusion will have better reliability than the Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Drzhivago would say, “Citation required.”

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      That’s dependent on the model.

      According to several publications, Audi’s reliability has risen tremendously in the past decade. I think CR’s end of year ratings had them at 4th overall, behind Lexus and Toyota and oddly….Buick.

      CNN Money listed them as #3.

      The Fusion is a fine car, and probably the best domestic sedan in its segment…especially at the price point.

      But I wouldn’t say it’s automatically more reliable than Audi overall. It probably wins or loses head to head against specific models, but for your average consumer, it close enough to be a tie I’d presume.

  • avatar
    trs80

    So cross-shopped the Fusion Sport with the new S4 (or maybe A4 by proxy as it can be had with a manual) and 340i.

    The Audi interior is definitely the nicest, and has the best combination of ride and road noise. The 340i is fast, and is available with a manual, but apart from the seats which are very comfortable–extendible thigh support is fantastic if your 6’7″ and mostly leg–the interior isn’t that nice and on my local crap roads and highways was no quieter than my Golf R, and thus was eliminated from contention. BMW’s reputation for substandard reliability and hefty repair bills oddly causes me more concernation than a similarly priced Audi, even though I’ve been well singed if not outright burnt by Audi and not yet owned a bummer.

    The Audi can’t be had without a sunroof and in turn was eliminated, as I just don’t fit. My pleas for Audi to special order one without a sunroof were for naught. I must confess to having previously had a 2004 A4 sans sunroof that is hands down my favourite amongst all the cars I’ve owned. Unreliable to the 9’th power but the right combination (to me) of ride, handling and interior serenity. Well after I chipped it up to 230hp from the paltry 170 stock ponies. The same inability to skip the glassed over roof hole also eliminates the A5 Sportback, A6, and S6.

    The alur of the Fusion is not just the lower entry price, but that it can be serviced and parts likely found virtually anywhere in North America. There are parts of Canada were BMW and Audi warranty work and parts are not easily had–such as Vancouver Island outside Victoria and Nanaimo. And while my budget is largely limited more by my inherent frugality than financial need, wouldn’t the $20-40K difference be better in my investment account? Of course by the same token there’s nothing wrong with my Golf R other than being a bit noisy on the highway, and a bit rough over the frost challenged roads where I currently reside. Oh and Ford won’t sell me a Fusion without a sunroof either, so I kinda don’t fit so well. I asked, but even though you can order a Titanium without a sunroof if you want a Sport you SOL.

    So inclusion, I hate sunroofs. Maybe the G20 340 will be a bit quieter and still have (just) sufficient headroom. I really don’t want a crossover.

  • avatar
    gaspassoregon

    I just test drove a simple version of this yesterday after sitting in a focus RS. What struck me more than anything was how dead quiet it was. I have had several audis and etc, this was a different Ford experience than I’ve had. I didn’t do a huge ride cos I was short on time and not ready to talk turkey, but I was caught very far off guard by this charming contender. The bummer is the trunk rather than a hatch. Not sure if there is a trunk pass through for skiis- that would be helpful if it is.


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