Ford Fusion Named Motor Trend Car of the Year

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ford fusion named motor trend car of the year

The Ford Fusion is a perfectly competent yet utterly bland vehicle. It’s proof that American firms can compete in the mass-market vanilla sedan segment, but not because it does anything particularly well. Its strength is nothing more than an absence of the glaring issues that kept Detroit out of the Accord/Camry sweepstakes. Which is why Motor Trend doesn’t get overly carried away with the credibility-straining praise of the vehicle itself (with the requisite glaring exceptions, to wit: “the Fusion SE goes from mild-mannered commuter to worthy canyon charger”). So instead, the praise gets spread to the lineup as a whole: “the 2010 Ford Fusion’s impressive bandwidth as a model range was one of the many factors that helped it earn the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year award,” we’re told. What this boils down to: you can get a hybrid powertrain in addition to four-pot and six-pot engines. In short, MT gave the Fusion COTY because it does everything a Camry does, but, crucially, it’s from Detroit. Well, Hermosillo, Mexico, actually. Still, its advertising budget still comes from Detroit, and that makes all the difference.

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  • Dougjp Dougjp on Nov 18, 2009

    A mild makeover of a car which was at the back of the mid size sedan pack and it gets car of the year? Why? Is it because of all those pretty green leaves floating around it in the ads that blare out at us constantly? Is this "award" ad revenue based, and/or slanted in Detroit's favour? In 15 out of the past 20 years, the MT car of the year its either been a GM, Ford or Chrysler product....hmm. I would LOVE to see TTAC do a critical article about Motor Trend's car of the year awards. There have been some awful choices and some mediocre ones compared to the competition in their respective years. How about the Chrysler PT Cruiser, best of all cars in 2001?

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Nov 18, 2009

    Autoweekm exposed Motor Trend's pay for play COTY Award in the late 80s, so it's not something anyone just invented or the whining of a sore loser. MT has had no credibility for me for years. And BTW: the 1970 Torino got the car of the year for similar reasons as this Fusion did. Past COTY winners: Vega, Omni/ Horizon, Citation, Volaspen, Renault/AMC Alliance, Mustang II and lest we forget "Bumper Of The Year" in 1968 for the GTO's Endura rubber coating on it's bumper. Motor Trend has been a bad joke for many years. [Wasn't the Chevy Monza COTY in 75 as well?]

  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Nov 18, 2009

    Much sound and fury signifying nothing.....

  • Marquis Dee Marquis Dee on Nov 18, 2009

    I hear tell that the "Focus Group" is outselling the "Fusion Family" (at least in CFC program)? Maybe someone can confirm...I was born and raised in Ford Country, and hope the company can return to prosperity. Good friends like their "Ford Foci" and one just bought a Flex.... That said, tried exhaustively to get my MIL to go for a Ford; she's 78 and has never owned a non-US make. She went for the Hyundai Sonata, and she LOVES it.....she drove it to Chicago twice in 2 months! Never thought I'd see the day, but I know the whole BK thing - she expected Ford to be next - played into it. On the other hand, she test-drove both makes until the Hyundai salesmen cried "uncle", and considers herself to have made a good decision. Regarding what is actually "made" in the USA: it's a global supply chain folks, for better or worse; note how recent labor unrest in India impacted US production numbers. Still have the Kentucky-built 2000 Camry headed towards 100K, original tranny, just regular maintenance and new tires (and timing belt). And NO RUST here in Salt Country! Tried to like Fords in 2000, but just couldn't do it. (Like my MIL, I guess!) I'd consider a Ford very seriously now, not because of the COTY (meaningless, as many have observed) but because I track the experience that friends and relatives have with their cars; unscientific, but Grandpa worked for Packard - their motto was "Ask the Man Who Owns One". However, since I expect to get past 200K on the Camry (barring unforeseen disasters), looks like I can give Ford 5 to 10 more years to get even better. Even if they are assembled in Mexico....better that than a Chinese GM product....or maybe I'll have a late-life crisis and buy that F-150 I've always wanted! “If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist" - U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-Vermont, 11/9/2009