By on April 6, 2015

2015 ford fusion titaniumIt’s a Detroit midsize sedan that I drove just for the sake of driving. That’s a verdict in and of itself.

This heavily optioned 2015 Ford Fusion, a Titanium EcoBoost AWD model loaned to us by Ford Canada for the final week of March, isn’t perfect.


• U.S. Market Price As Tested: $38,440

• Horsepower: 240 @ 5500 rpm

• Torque: 270 lb-ft @3000 rpm

• Observed Fuel Economy: 19.3 mpg


But from the standpoint of on-road dynamics, the Fusion does what only a couple other intermediate sedans currently on the market can do: encourage their owner to take the long way home.

The Fusion’s imperfections are notable, however, perhaps to a greater degree because the midsize Ford excels at the act of bringing its pilot joy. According to my Grand Caravan-driving brother, also a father of four, the Fusion’s rear seat, “isn’t bad,” but it lacks the expansiveness of the top-selling midsize car, Toyota’s Camry. Although I’ve spent enough time now with MyFordTouch to find it sufficiently sensible, the system continues to be just plain slow. Why am I waiting and waiting and waiting for climate control options to appear after I start the car? Interior material quality is a mix of pleasant (steering wheel and armrests, for example), adequate (dash top and door surfaces) and disappointing (matte black button surround on the centre stack.) On the subject of performance, this top-flight 2.0L turbo is merely decent. In a world in which the three best-selling midsize nameplates continue to buck the no-V6 trend of their slower-selling rivals, this four-cylinder comes up 37 ponies short (on regular fuel) of the Toyota Camry’s 3.5L V6. Moreover, our particular all-wheel-drive Fusion tips the scales with an extra 201 pounds. (Titanium front-wheel-drive Fusions are 155 pounds lighter than our car.)

2015 Ford Fusion AWD rearIn other words, there’s enough boost, but the Fusion never left me with the I-can’t-believe-it’s-this-fast feeling engendered by V6-engined versions of the Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima. In this age, that’s what the most powerful powerplant in a multi-engine lineup should do. 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds, seriously? At least the Fusion’s all-wheel-drive system allows power to be applied to pavement in a hurry, with none of the excessive wheelspin of nearly all its rivals.

So if the Fusion is sufficiently but not substantially boosted, where does it rate on the eco front? Our tester was a drinker, averaging 19.3 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving over the course of a week. It’s rated by the EPA at 22 in the city; 31 on the highway. In our hands, the poor mileage wasn’t an anomaly. The last time we tested a Fusion with the same powertrain, in the spring of 2013, it averaged 18.4 mpg.

2015 Ford Fusion brick red interiorThe interior’s not perfect, the car isn’t that quick, and it consumes more fuel than the Camry V6 we just drove in the dead of winter, yet here I am saying this is the one I’d choose to drive.

True, a Mazda 6 is the more agile car, but it’s missing 30% of the Fusion’s torque. And while the Mazda handles at an expert level when pushed really hard, it’s not nearly as serene as the Fusion, which rides firmly but never allows the outsold world’s rough pavement to be publicized inside the cabin.

2015 Ford Fusion brick red interiorThis Fusion, wearing Goodyear Eagle LS2s (235/45R18s) doesn’t ride as firmly as the most aggressive Accords, either, and I prefer the way its direct steering projects signs of life; the way it progressively builds up its weight. Ford didn’t build an outright sports sedan here – there’s plenty of room for this chassis to morph into an ST and a need for the automatic transmission to gain enthusiasm – but it’s enjoyable to drive in all circumstances, regardless of speed.

That’s a noble achievement in an age of sterilized transportation, an age in which the endless pursuit of refinement shuts out most manifestations of interactivity.

As for the Fusion Titanium’s optional extras, because they did nothing to alter the on-road behaviour, they had little impact on the way I viewed the car’s positive aspects.

2015 Ford Fusion interior detailsIn Ford’s U.S. pricing scheme, the $33,115 Magnetic Metallic Titanium 2.0L EcoBoost AWD was topped off with a $1200 driver assistance package (which includes blind spot assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and more), the $895 active park assist (always a wonder), $995 adaptive cruise, $995 sunroof, a $795 red leather appearance package which included cool-in-the-early-’00s 18-inch wheels, a $150 heated steering wheel, $395 for heated and cooled front seats, $190 inflatable rear seat belts, and a $795 navigation system for a $38,440 total.

Don’t judge the Fusion based on such an over-equipped sticker. As of this writing, only 5% of the 2015 Fusions in stock at U.S. dealers are fitted with all-wheel-drive, according to Cars.com. Less than one-quarter of those cars are priced above $35,000. This car, therefore, is not a typical Fusion, but at its core it always displays the best and worst of the Fusion lineup: good looks, a stiff structure, a big trunk, an EcoBoost engine which lacks eco, somewhat poor packaging, and, most importantly, a European appetite for back road frolicking.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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152 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Bonus points for red interior. Glad to see it’s making something of a comeback.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    I wonder if ford is now regretting its turbocharge makeover (not even going into the disappointing mpg of the fusion as-is) since oil prices are so low.

  • avatar

    What locale are those top photos?

    What’s the point of a four if the mileage is so mediocre?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ford Automotive Press Relations Executive: “Who’s requesting a Fusion for a review?”

    Minion: “Tim Cain up in dar Nova Scotia, eh.”

    Ford Automotive Press Relations Executive: “Eh, send him a $40,000 Fusion.”

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      I think now they’re probably just trying to get you riled up, DW.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I know, right?

        I’m really not faulting you.

        “Some ‘get off my lawn’ pr!ck keeps complaining about the MSRP of vehicles reviewed over at TTAC. Let’s start shipping Tim models with everything plus the kitchen sink.”

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Needs 2.7TT.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Needs 3.5 EcoBoost!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Well yeah. I’d be happy with the 2.7TT because I don’t think they’ll ever throw the 3.5TT in there.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          They really should, Zephyr isn’t offered in this type of package with the sporty wheel/suspension setup.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So you two – which do you take for a large sedan, the 3.5EB or the GM 3.6TT?

            Assuming same sized car, and AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey-

            I think I’d take the 3.5 Ecoboost because I very familiar with it. It is available in many more applications than the GM 3.6TT, and has been out for over 5 years. That being said, GM powertrains are usually pretty robust. The only way to get the GM 3.6TT right now is in a CTS or XTS right?

            Once the next 3.5 Ecoboost comes out, that will be my answer. It will be most beast.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @corey

            Tough choice for me as I have no exposure to the “EB” 3.5 and limited exposure to the GM 3.6 in N/A form let alone turbo.

            I’m going to go 3800. If this isn’t an option, I’d be looking for a way to remove the turbo from the options you presented.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            28-

            I’d be happy if Ford offered the Fusion with the 3.5L NA from the Edge or Explorer. Charge $500-750 over the 2.0T.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would too, but they want to keep pimping ecoboost no matter its potential faults or buyer preference. The next time you meet with the FoMoCo board, highlight the fact its silly to hold back such good motors from all of their models.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m at Tigers’ opening day with a few Ford engineers. I thnk most of them drank the blue Kool-Aid when it coms to the I4 ecoboost engines. I like the I3 (Fiesta only) and V6 versions. I wouln’t cross the Escape or Fusion off a list because of the I4 ecoboost engines, I’d just perfer a V6 in both.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @28 The 3800 is over!

            @both

            Sounds like the EB wins the day. I don’t have doubts about the 3.6 in general really with all those CTS versions running around on them. But bball has a point about the EB being around longer with turbo experience.

            We’ll have to see how it does in the Conti when that comes out.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            My son, does the Church have to get medieval on yo a**?

            @both

            3.7 N/A in the Conti option please, or switch the platform…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The 3.7 would be the base option, yeah? Since they won’t give the Mustang V8 most likely.

            I will repent and bathe thyself, in DexCool.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            I think it depends on what platform they ultimately use. If they go transverse as I suspect they will, no way Ford does another transverse V8, 3.7 will be your “big” motor. If they surprise us with something new, a V8 may be in the offing.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, I don’t think we’re in for any platform innovations for the Conti. Will be on whatever FWD transverse platform they use for the replacement equivalent of the Taurus.

            I thought the 3.5EB was “more” engine than the 3.7 NA? Since the 3.5EB is the higher engine option on the MKS.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Conti is getting the 3.0TT. It’s a bumped up and fettled with version of the 2.7TT. Expect over 400 HP/lb.ft. It’s also a Lincoln exclusive engine.

            I could see it getting the 3.5TT as an option in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I hope when the Conti does drop there will be an N/A option. Even Cadillac offers N/A motors along with turbo (and they have a fatwa issued against them from a certain B&B cleric).

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Moar GT350R.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I think the power level of the next-gen 3.5 would overwhelm this sort of platform, at least without some super-trick AWD system like Ford is planning for the new Focus RS. The basic on-demand system in the Fusion AWD wouldn’t cut it. You’d have more torque steer and wheelspin than fun.

        The 2.7 seems like the right choice.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford hasn’t throw the more robust version of the 6R transmission in the Fusion either. The current 3.5EB doesn’t overwhelm the Flex/Explorer/MkT, but they have more HD mechanicals than the Fusion.

          The 2.7TT with 325 HP would be fine with me.

      • 0 avatar
        RangerM

        I agree. At this time (in warmer Raleigh, NC) with an F150 EB (Crew Cab) I can best TTAC’s observed mpg, or walk away from any V6 Cam-Cord….just not at the same time.

    • 0 avatar

      The 2.7L EcoBoost will probably replace the 3.5 and 3.7-liter Duratec engines in a number of Ford cars, including the MKZ and Explorer…

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      A TT V6 won’t fit but the 2.3T most definitely does.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I have a 2008 Fusion SE V6 AWD, which I bought used last August – and I think a lot of the comments in this article apply to mine as well. It sure isn’t perfect – but it just feels better to drive compared to my 2009 Camry SE – which I gave to my daughter.

    Gas mileage is one of its weakest points. My car is rated at 17/25. Out on the highway I’ve seen as high as 30 MPG – as indicated on the readout. But in stop-and-go driving it plummets fairly quickly.

    But as a trade-off – it just goes in the snow.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Kind of a steep trade-off. A Subaru Legacy also goes in the snow for ~$17K less.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        CarMax has a 2008 Fusion SEL AWD for $14k (just one!).

        If someone *paid me $3k* to take a Legacy, I’d do that, too.

        But a new Legacy is not what CaptainObvious was comparing it with, and the used ones cost more than a used Fusion.

        (And of course, Edmunds says actual price paid on a normal-spec Fusion Ti and a Legacy 3.6 – the comparable model, not the 2.5 – is … about identical.

        Now, the Legacy is great if you want “the cheapest way to get AWD in a new sedan”, absolutely.)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The Fusion is priced in a wide range, like ~$19K -> $38K+, with the lower range being 2WD and the upper range being AWD.

          The Subaru Legacy ranges from ~$21K -> $38K with Symmetric AWD at every price level.

          Would I buy either? No. I’d rather have an SUV or CUV.

          But as!de from these two, there are other offerings from other Manufacturers who compete in the $38K range and which will keep their value a lot longer than any Fusion will.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That interior color could be described as “ketchup.” It’s God-awful and puts me in mind of a 70s New Yorker, or this awful Quest van.

    http://image2.cpsimg.com/sites/carparts/assets/roadtests/nissanquest/images2005/frontseats.jpg

    There’s a way to do a red interior these days. BMW knows how on the 6, and Nissan knows how on the 370. Neither of those are this.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The red bits splashed inside this car look nothing like a 70’s car of any kind. Those were a wretched orange red that was on every surface including seats, carpet, dash, door panels, steering wheel etc and earned there title horror house red. This red is much more tasteful and better executed and is very welcome indeed after all the tiresome black, tan and grey garbage that we have suffered through the past 15 years or so!

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Surprise! Another Ford Ecoboost not performing up to expectations in both power and MPG! Where have I heard this before? Remind me again how this mill is a good replacement for a proper and better performing V6. Ironically 7.3 seconds 0-60 is the time I clocked 3 times from a friend’s 2015 base 2.4 Sonata automatic with 20K break in miles on the clock. yes this is a heavier and more loaded up AWD sedan but you would think 55 more horses and 98 LBS Ft of torque would count for something.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      7.3 in a 2.4 Sonata is…anomalous, to be generous. Just as you can’t compare acceleration stats between publications due to differences in methodology, you can’t take your own amateur measurements and assume they have any bearing with other times, amateur or professional.

      I don’t know what methods you are using, but in the real world I’d be very surprised if this Fusion wouldn’t stomp the 2.4 Sonata in every real world acceleration metric.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        “7.3 in a 2.4 Sonata is…anomalous, to be generous.”

        I’ve got a 2.4 Sonata, and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that it doesn’t do 60 in 7.3. It’s a great car, and a phenomenal car for the price; it has many good characteristics. Straight line speed is most assuredly not one of them!

  • avatar
    John R

    Meh. The SE Camry V6 still seems like money better spent. How ever it may “feel” to drive this site’s resident hot shoe perfers it to anything else in this class.

    I wonder if owners can successfully sue Ford to have the “Eco” portion removed from the “EcoBOOST” appellation…

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’d be interested if we could snag a “typical buyer” to compare a Camry V-6 XLE and a non-AWD Fusion Titanium in terms of gas mileage. I ask this because, as I’ve mentioned, I took a female friend to buy a new car and she accelerated so slowly. I asked her if she had ever put the gas pedal all the way down and she said, “Certainly not!”

    I’m willing to bet Tim’s hooning makes the gas mileage gap look worse than would be experienced by a typical buyer in a V6 Camry vs. turbo Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Aggressive driving probably widens the gap, but Consumer Reports found poor fuel economy from the 1.6 and 2.0 Ecoboosts in the Fusion when running them through their typical standardized fuel economy tests. In the case of the 2.0, CR measured 22mpg combined. The Camry V6 was 26 mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      ecoboost suffers from a very long break in period. I’d be curious as to how many miles the vehicles CR tested had on them.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      I was thinking the same thing. There is a woman who lives across from me, she has a FWD Titanium (probably a ’14). Doubt she’s doing drifts on the way to Aldi’s.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Due to a last-minute change in plans, I found myself piloting a Fusion Hybrid from Washington DC to Indiana Thursday.

    I was appalled by the fuel economy even in hybrid form – 31 mpg average for mostly steady state 75-mph driving. The CVT transmission was particularly bad, droning and buzzing all the time. I don’t hate CVTs – especially in rental Altimas – but this one made all of the CVT complaints become very real in one nasty package. It had zero power, throbbed obnoxiously in all conditions except for slight downhill grades, and the “EcoPlus” cruise control feature was as stable as Gary Busey after blasting a few dozen lines. Had the fuel economy been in the high 30s-low 40s, I wouldn’t complain, but this failed to deliver what a Dodge Charger can do.

    The seats were comfy and the uplevel sound system sounded nice (especially against my 4-speaker Accord). MFT worked fine and there were plenty of USB outlets, too.

    Powertrain notwithstanding, it was a good car. I’d still pick the Fusion hybrid over a 4-cyl Malibu. But against anything else in the lot (I was secretly hoping for a LFX-powered Impala Classic for the mountains), it stunk.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Hybrids don’t get their best fuel economy on the highway. Unlike most other cars, they tend to get better fuel economy in the city where the electric motor can do more of the work.

      But you still should have gotten mid-30s at 75 mph.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    But…what about torque?

    You mentioned the lack of HP and the zero to sixty.
    However, maybe the initial and early torque available in the Fusion is

    The 2.0 is rated at 280 lb·ft…and EARLY.
    The Toyota is 255 ft.lb…and late.

    This is really a BIG difference and perhaps a reason you go heavier initially for the fun of it.
    And with this much early power, it would make it the daily fun drive around car….no????

    Tell you the truth…I didn’t even know the Accord or Camry offered AWD….and according the the EPA site where I tried to compare AWD vs AWD…only the Fusion had it.
    And even as such…the EPS list the Fusion AWD EQUAL to the Camry FWD.
    So…um, I dunno, but this seems like a good thing????

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Interesting point as to the median driver who never gets the RPMs above 3500 vs. an auto journalist/enthusiast who has no problem winding out a V6.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      That torque difference is about proportional with the extra weight of the Fusion, especially in AWD form. So it won’t be noticeable in acceleration.

      A Camry V6 weighs around 3400 pounds. A Fusion Titanium AWD is closer to 3900.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        well…that then brings me to my thoughts as to why, then, do an AWD vs FRD comparison. The weight difference can be found in the AWD hardware.
        The point is they are completely wrong going against each other.
        FWD to FWD would place the early power of the 2.0 ecoboost well ahead as an option.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          A FWD 2.0T Fusion is a solid 250 pounds heavier than a Camry V6. The platform is just porky, end of story.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            AWD 2.0 ecoboost 3682 lbs
            FWD 2.0 ecoboost 3427 (automatic)

            Accord 4 door FWD 4cyl. 3254 lb.
            FWD 6 Cyl. 3554 lb.

            From True Delta.

            Now what in heck are you talking about and why the nonsense and talk of being porky?????

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I was a bit off, but not as much as you say. (I was going off European weights, which seem to be heavier.) Car and Driver weighed a Fusion 2.0T AWD at 3743 lbs. Still over 300 pounds heavier than a Camry V6 and about 200 heavier than an Accord V6.

            http://www.caranddriver.com/ford/fusion

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            just sayin it is not the end of story as you so firmly state.
            The Ford Fusion FWD weighs LESS than the Accord V6 FWD.
            Less weight and more low end power…hmmm.
            That is the end of the story.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            And yet the Accord demolishes the Fusion to 30, to 60, and in the quarter mile. Is it the dumb Ford transmission, an underrated Honda motor, or something else?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My money is on a seriously underrated power rating. People have been dynoing the latest V6 and EarthDreams 4, and both have been basically putting down their crank rating at the wheels. How else would the “185” hp Accord Sport sprint to 60 in 6.6 with the stick shift?

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            OK…so now you ignore my points about errors in your earlier data.
            Now you are expecting me to go find the zero to 3o/60 numbers and likely to find yours are all trumped up wrong…when even the author was explaining the Fusion was a better car at all around daily driving and get-up n go…
            Forgetaboutit…

            leave you with your hate

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice review. I see these being big headaches for owners after a few years on US roads.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Based on what?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thin wheels and “sport” suspension, also who knows how thick the control arms, tie rods, and other underbody components happen to be.

        I’m not sure where you live, but here a tight ride is harsh on our decaying roads.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          The sport suspension is vastly less harsh than the standard suspension on a Altima.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t speak for Altima or this Fusion exactly, but I think most of the cars of the past ten years were not built well to handle rough roads in terms of factory undercarriage parts.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            28 cars, I’m glad to see other B&Bers that are interested/concerned about things like suspension design and durability, it’s a facet of automobiles that I find very interesting. However I wouldn’t necessarily say that cars from the 1990s or 1980s are inherently sturdier than their modern equivalents. Hondas now use simpler and more durable macpherson struts up front rather than their more fragile double wishbones that some people worship. I say give me the struts, meanwhile you enjoy replacing your balljoints if you drive on rough roads, as is increasingly the case as our underfunded infrastructure erodes. To me, that was the defining difference between older Hondas and Toyotas. I liked the ergonomics and layout of Hondas more, and they were more fun to drive. But older Corollas and Camrys have absolutely nulcear undercarriages. It wasn’t considered surprising, it was EXPECTED that these Toyotas would make it through 150k on original bushings, balljoints, and tie rod ends, and they sure did. We’ll see if that holds as the current ones get older. Likewise, in my experience, older Toyota axles are gluttons for punishment, and will keep working fine long after the boots tear. Hondas start to ‘click-click’ much sooner, and the boots seemed to tear earlier as well.

            A lot of fwd compact/subcompacts use torsion beam rear axles, which are very simple and durable setups, I like that.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @gtemnykh

            How would you ever know that a Toyota suspension was worn out? They feel that way off the showroom floor! Except for that one magic Camry SE Jack drove, I guess. And even if that one had a suspension BMW and Jaguar would be proud of, it was still bolted to a Camry…

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “And even if that one had a suspension BMW and Jaguar would be proud of, it was still bolted to a Camry…”

            This is beauty. I have a working hypothesis that a number of autojournalists and enthusiasts have such a deeply ingrained Pavlovian response to Toyotas that one could simply drape Camry sheet metal over a BMW and they’d still hate it. I couldn’t ask for a better supporting data point.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @gtemnykh

            I do care because I run cars for a long time. The roads in the area in which I grew up are starting to resemble the Sea of Tranquility, and it looks like a I need a new Lunar Rover. Actually in all seriousness Western PA roads look atrocious this year and despite now having the highest gasoline tax in the nation nothing will change in Harrisburg and the roads will continue to deteriorate here and probably most other places in the US. GM really beancounted my Pontiac and I have had to replace a number of tertiary systems (master cylinder, power steering rack) and undercarriage components in the past five years with better aftermarket parts. I can’t go back in time to confirm, but I wonder if in general your 80s and 90s cars simply had a higher quality of factory suspension components than what has been sold since the bailouts (for some marques). In the case of Toyota, it certainly sounds like they did/do.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @krhodes1

            “How would you ever know that a Toyota suspension was worn out”

            When they start sounding like a 70k mile BMW or Audi when going over a bump :)

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Now if we could only get a Honda V6 under that hood, we would have one hell of a car!

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Three model years in and some of the polish is starting to wear off the Fusion, but I still think it is a very attractive car in many ways. I’d be tempted by a new 2.0T SE or lightly used Titanium. They seem to depreciate quite rapidly based on some used car searches I’ve done. Powertrains are the weakness; I’d have a very hard time passing up a V6 Camry or Accord for the 2.0, so the rest of the car would need to be far more appealing.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Sparring partner on a message board spoke to the futility of these overloaded turbo 4s long ago. It’s KILLING ME to see that he’s right. A 4 banger Honda Accord is faster with the CVT. A stickshift Accord 2.4 would leave this behind. The V6 would disappear and STILL get better gas mileage. The “agility” of a ~3,800lb car is kind of an oxymoron. At that mass I’d prefer more grunt.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The problem isn’t the turbo four, it’s a combination of a dimwitted transmission (seriously, the Ford 6-speed is terrible) and about 250 pounds too much mass.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Ford needs the 9F ASAP.

        The 6F55 is less dumb than the 6F35 that’s in the Fusion. Whoever calibrated the 6F55 connected to the 3.5EB on the Flex/Explorer/MkT did a lot better job than the guy who was tasked with the same job on the Fusion’s 6F35.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I’ve never driven a Flex EcoBoost, but I find the 6F50 in the regular Flex only marginally better than the Fusion box. The Fusion box feels actively hostile and is my least favorite thing about the whole car. The Flex box doesn’t fight me, but it feels dull, slow, and dimwitted.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6F55 is even better. It’s not the best transmission ever, but I actually think it’s acceptable. Maybe the linear and significant delivery of power from the 3.5EB is what makes it better. Unlike in the 1.5T Fusion I drove a few weeks ago, I always feel like my wife’s MkT is in the proper gear. It could be quicker to shift, but I say that about everything that isn’t a DSG/DCT.

  • avatar
    arj9084

    Realistically, if you want AWD with some sport in a mid size you should today look at the Chrysler 200. 300 HP, AWD (optionally decoupled), basically the same shape as the Fusion, faster entertainment system, and can be had for dealer invoice pretty easily w/ 4K or so in rebates (in S version that’s around 26K). In the “real world” this handles better, accelerates a lot better (pentastar v6 version) and gets better fuel mileage, without any turbo lag etc. Plus it cruises at around 1800 RPM down the highway getting better long term fuel economy there too without turbo worries.

    MKZ (3.7) and 200 are the real world non-CVT competitors in this space (goodbye Subaru), and the MKZ is another 5K or so I’d guess up from the Fusion Titanium AWD (to add the “acoustic” windshield and I presume some snobbery).

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      If we’re talking new, you make a good point on Chrysler 200 because you’re going to get murdered in resale on all three. If were talking used, its Zephyr FTW (but I would avoid MY13 due to the early issues with it, MY10-12, 14+).

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    This car seems all snaz, little substance. Not sure how I feel about the new direction of Ford. They’re injecting style into their cars, no disputing that, but above 30k for a Fusion is too much. If I needed a family car I might consider an SE with the 2.5 liter (skeptical of the 1.5t and of ecoboost in general) but definitely not the titanium trim.

  • avatar
    340-4

    There is no AWD Camry or Accord. Please compare apples to apples.

    Such as, for instance, the 200C AWD.

    Or, perhaps, the Charger AWD.

    I own one of those, and interior color, options, etc. aside its performance has been flawless. It’s much heavier and larger than the Fusion but in 15k of driving returns a consistent 19-20 in town in 2wd mode, 17-19 in AWD mode, and on the highway 30 or higher in 2wd, 27 in AWD. Plus, I’m somewhat sure it’s faster to 60.

    I think Ford dropped the ball with this model and the EB engines. I love the red interior and the reports of the driving dynamics, however.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Whenever anyone dynos the 2.0T EcoBoost, the power at the wheels is way down vs the specs or a VW or BMW 2.0T. Ford has overrated the output since day one. Couple this engine to a near 2-ton midsized ‘monster’ like this Fusion and you’ve got slow 0-60 times and SUV-like fuel economy…No thanks on this setup.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Well, no, VW and BMW have severely underrated their 2.0Ts. I’ve seen Focus STs on the dyno, and they hit their stated numbers. The biggest problem is the transmission. VW and BMW are using either a DSG transmission or a almost brand new 8 speed. The Fusion uses the 6F trasmission that was designed in 2005. The Fusion needs the 9-speed.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    It’s a good looking car, but who really pays an “out the door” price of $40k for a Ford Fusion?

    And 0-60 in 7.3 seconds is pretty mediocre, we’re taking early 90’s Ford Taurus territory.

    My shoot from the hip guess would be it’s a $25,000 car. Who do they sell these to?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      You can buy a lot of AWD car, SUV or CUV for $38K+.

      To market a Fusion in this category is just pretentious.

      No doubt, the rental agencies will scoop them up. By the time these platinum-gilded AWD Fusions hit the used-car market, they may actually be a pretty good deal for buyers of used, after two years of rental abuse, 24K miles of wear and tear, and a $28K retail price to the potential buyer, which includes the remainder of the factory warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Early 90s Taurus 0-60 in 7.3? maybe the SHO with the Yamaha V6, but otherwise I don’t think so, not even close.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Yup.

        0-60 Times says: “1994 Ford Taurus LX 0-60 mph 9.2” seconds; perfectly believable.

        The SHO is under 7.

        • 0 avatar
          Crosley

          I was referring to the SHO model. 220hp, hardly an exotic supercar of the time.

          I would think a turbo and nearly 30 years of technology would have tipped the scales a little bit more in the Fusion’s direction. guess not.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The SHO wasn’t comparable to a mass-market product today.

            When it came out, the SHO was one of the fastest sedans in existence. The Camry V6 had 150 hp, the Accord didn’t have a V6 yet, and most of the domestic competition had pushrods. The SHO V6 was the sort of engine usually found in high-dollar sports cars. In the late ’80s, the only sedans that were faster were true exotics with three-figure sales numbers: the Lotus-engined Spirit R/T, the Galant VR4, and the M5.

            Also, the SHO’s base price adjusted for inflation would be in the low $40k range depending on year. Loaded it would be closer to $50k.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        The normal 1992 Taurus tipped the scales at 3131lbs and had 140hp/160lbft through a 4-speed automatic.

        According to the February 1992 Popular Science, The V6 version hit 60 in 10.4.

        If you’re curious, it was tested against the Accord EX, the Camry XLE, and the Acura Vigor GS, which turned in times of 9.5, 8.8, and 8.8 respectively.

        Oh, and for what it’s worth, that Taurus, inflation-adjusted, cost about $35k.

        I’m not sure what cars were hitting 60 in 7.3 back then, but I’m pretty sure they cost a lot more than this Fusion does.

        Cars are a *lot* better now.

        • 0 avatar
          Crosley

          So a 1989 Ford Taurus SHO with a naturally aspirated V6 and 220hp beats this car. 0-60 in 6.6 seconds.

          Pathetic in my opinion.

          It doesn’t mean its slow, just not exactly a performance car people will be lining up for.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Worth noting that your 6.6 second time is for the manual with a 4000 rpm clutch drop. The ’93+ automatic was around 7.3 to 7.5 depending on test.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            That SHO wouldnt pass any kind of regulatory muster today. Also had a stickshift and weighed about 500lbs less. Try not to be so ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            So what about comparing it to a early 90’s Nissan Maxima? Still too exotic for a fair comparison?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The ’92 Maxima SE (which was the only one with the 190 hp engine) was more or less a response to the ’89 SHO. Again, it was faster than anything else in its segment save the SHO. Garden-variety automatic, 160 hp Maximas got to 60 in the low eights.

            If you’re going to cherry pick the fastest and most expensive one or two sedans from mainstream brands today, and go up to that kind of pricing territory, you’d have to go with the Charger Scat Pack or Taurus SHO. Both are around 5 seconds, give or take a tenth or two, from 0-60. Just as with the SHO in 1989 or the Max in 1992, everything else is far behind.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It just occurred to me that I can make this comparison entirely within my own car ownership history, and show you just how different 7.3 in 1989 was from 7.3 today.

            I owned an ’89 SHO. It did 0-60 in the high sixes (one mag got 6.4, but that was known to be a brutally abusive launch). It did the quarter in around 15.1 and topped out at 143 mph. That made it the third fastest sedan on the market in 1989, behind the BMW M5 and the Galant VR-4. For that, my car’s first owner paid about $49,000 in today’s dollars. The typical family sedan did 0-60 in the nines and couldn’t break 120 mph.

            I bought a Pontiac G8 GXP new in 2009. It does 0-60 in the mid- to high fours, does the quarter in the very low 13s, and would top out around 170 mph without a limiter. That made it only something like the tenth fastest sedan on the market in 2009, behind a Bentley, three different Mercedes, a BMW, a Cadillac, an Audi, a Chrysler, and a Dodge. For that I paid about $47,000 in today’s dollars. The typical family sedan does 0-60 in the high sevens and tops out at a 130 mph limiter.

            Different times.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “Worth noting that your 6.6 second time is for the manual with a 4000 rpm clutch drop. The ’93+ automatic was around 7.3 to 7.5 depending on test . . .”

            . . . with a 3000 rpm full throttle brake torque! The clutch dump is more practical. Less set-up time, and you can even do it while rolling.

            Was 4000 rpm really the fastest launch rpm with street tires on those things? I’ve never dropped a clutch on a FWD vehicle anywhere near that without excessive wheel spin.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The very fastest times (like Car and Driver’s 6.4) came from a high-rpm clutch slip. Tremendously abusive, especially since the car had a notoriously weak clutch.

            Other fast times came from a high-rpm clutch dump. Still pretty abusive. On summer tires with grippy pavement, you’d get a ton of wheel hop but if you were lucky it wouldn’t turn into spin.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “0-60 in 7.3 seconds is pretty mediocre, we’re taking early 90’s Ford Taurus territory.”

      LOL.

      Either the Vulcan or Essex V6 was good for 0-60 times in the low to mid 9-second range.

      The SHO automatic was right around the low 7s (the manual in the high 6s)… but that was a unique performance variant.

      0-60 in the sevens is quick for a mainstream sedan today with the regular engine, but a bit behind for a performance engine option.

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        Oh please, an SHO was hardly some sort of crazy performance car for Ford.

        It’s no more exotic than the turbocharged, EcoBoost engine choice for the Ford Fusion.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Yes, yes it was quite a bit more exotic then than an Ecoboost is now, and yes the SHO WAS a crazy performance car for Ford, that Yamaha V6 with those individual intake runners was very hot stuff, not to mention the SHO-exclusive manual transmission from Mazda. Just look at the mix of Fusions on the lot now, most are EcoBoosts (either 1.6T or 2.0T). The SHO with the Yamaha V6 was definitely a much rarer bird than a Vulcan or Essex OHV V6.

          • 0 avatar
            Crosley

            I guess the 1989 Ford just was more cutting edge than today’s Ford by your reasoning. A 1992 Nissan Maxima was getting around the same numbers, 0-60 in 6.6 sec. But no fair, I guess I might as well be comparing it to a Ferrari.

            A new 2015 Tahoe does 0-60 in 6.7 according to Motor Trend.

            It’s embarrassing for Ford, and I’m a Ford fan.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Keep movin’ those goalposts, I have absolutely no love for EcoBoost Fords. I just hate hyperbole like “it’s no faster than an early 90s Taurus” where it turns out said Taurus is an incredibly limited edition version with a high performance engine farmed out to a specialist firm for development.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Please.
        This 4 is way more powerful than the 2.0 of the Tiguan of my daughter.
        I have both the Tiguan as well as a 13 Escape. They are in no way close.
        The VW is a lag bitch and the Escape is plenty quick and peppy…without the lag AND extra push.

        Man…this is one Ecoboost hating group.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          There are a lot of anti-American automobile haters on the site. If it is not Japanese it is junk to a lot of people on the site. Some of it maybe due to hatred to the UAW and some were just raised by anti-American families. I would say less then 20% actually have driven an American branded auto. Remember a few weeks ago TTAC posted a brilliant article about the Greenfield Village and the history of automobiles. About 20 people posted. Yet the next post down there was hundreds of postings mainly talking about a throw away four banger Acura Integra. It was funny yet sad at the same time.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “If it is not Japanese it is junk to a lot of people on the site. Some of it maybe due to hatred to the UAW and some were just raised by anti-American families.”

            What sort of complete nonsense is this? I’d say MOST people who switched to Camrys and Accords in the US were raised on Detroit iron in the 60s-70s-80s, and got burned, maybe multiple times, by malaise era domestics. They tried out a Toyota, liked it, and have kept buying them since, and will keep buying them as long as they don’t get a bad one. Now the US cars might be light years better than their predecessors, and might even edge out the Japanese/Korean competitors in numerous metrics. But for some people, it’s “once bitten, twice shy.” They will keep buying Toyotas/Hondas now like they once kept buying GM back in the day, until the Japanese brands slip up bad enough in quality or service that they will look elsewhere, just like they did with GM back in the day.

            As a younger person who never lived in that era of truly unreliable ‘malaise’ domestics, my main attraction to Toyotas and Hondas is their (generally) superior interior packaging, (generally) better outward visibility, quality of both major drivetrain components as well as the ancillary things (sensors, steering racks, water pumps, etc), and how logically and thought out the under-hood components are to make working on them easier.

            I respect the hell out of even the most spat upon GM cars (cavaliers, 1990s w bodies, etc) because despite just about every accessory failing and interior and exterior trim falling off, those damn cars just won’t quit running. The drivetrains are generally rock solid, and parts to fix them are dirt cheap and everywhere. I just prefer to drive something else myself. If I had more space and time to work on stuff, I’d definitely have a mid 80s Cutlass Supreme coupe on rallye wheels and Caprice Brougham in the garage, they just have such a presence on the road IMO that my beloved Japanese cars can’t match.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well said, gtemnykh.

            Boomers made the Japanese vehicle industry what is has become and we all started out in American rides. That’s what gave us our Spidey Sense for a leaking fuel line anywhere within 50 yards of us.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Gtemnykh, you are the exception on this site. Honda and Toyota does make great cars as does Ford, GM, and Chrysler. But for many the posts speak for themselves. Having a American brand means a inferior product. Which just shows a lack of knowledge towards autos.

  • avatar
    RHD

    19.3 MPG from a 4 cylinder engine??!! Sure it puts out a lot of torque, but that’s unconscionable.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Speaking of the SHO, the incentives Ford is putting on the current 3.5EB version puts it basically at price parity with a Fusion Titanium AWD.

    I have some issues with the interior packaging of the Taurus, but the SHO is a fast car, is offered with a real performance package, and gets similar real world fuel economy.

    I’d personally go for the Taurus.

  • avatar
    Joss

    To my mind a classic example of where AWD isn’t required. Over-priced rapid depreciation here. Keep it simple pop-in one of Tojo’s electric motors in the rear axle as traction assist. Forget the other applications in this pkg – not cost effective.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” a classic example of where AWD isn’t required.” Probably true for the overwhelming majority of Fusion buyers.

      But there are always a number of new-car buyers who will opt for AWD, “just in case” it should ever be needed.

      My daughter-in-law who lives near Brownsville, TX, chose to buy an AWD Sienna ($48K less trade-in). It didn’t make sense to me either until she told me that she occasionally drives off-road in beach-sand and river-bank mud.

      And this past winter she and the kids went Skiing at Telluride, CO, and had no problems plowing through all that snow getting there.

      Bottom line? Some people want an AWD sedan or minivan.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The loaded Legacy 2.5 Limited with all packages goes for a tick over $30k; the 3.6 +$3k (and minus mpg). Tell me why a Fusion goes for $5k more?

    The Legacy even looks like it’s from the Ford family….

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    What’s the best Fusion for $38,000? A Lexus ES or a whole lot of other real luxury cars. $38,000 for a Ford Fusion, hell no. You can call it titanium, palladium, platinum, whatever, no, no no.

    • 0 avatar
      BrunoT

      With rebates they’re about $7700 off MSRP at truecar. Drop one or two options and you have a $29,000 car. A Lexus ES would be about $40K.

      • 0 avatar
        mechaman

        Then you’d have to look at the Lexus’ front, ah, grille, as well. As with the Camry, there’s the caveat. I could give up a little gas mph not to look at either teratogenic miscreation …

  • avatar
    derekson

    Bring us the damn wagon version:

    https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.warspeed.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F10%2Fford-mondeo-estate-3.jpg&f=1

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    Let me guess, the writer is under 40. Likely spoiled by modern cars’ power. “Wah, my awd sub $30K (in reality) family car only gets to 60mph in 7.3 seconds”

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      No the complaint centers around the 2.0T being the top motor in the Ford, meant to go toe to toe with the likes of the Camry/Accord/Altima V6, Chrysler 200 3.2 V6, as well as the Malibu 2.0T. 7.3 seconds is quite off the pace of the rest of the high-trim engine class, and the engine seems to guzzle fuel to boot, compared to naturally aspirated 3.5L V6s even. Now, I’ve seen that number being a bit better in some other instrumented tests, but still nearer than 7 second mark than anywhere close to something like the 5.8-6.2 that the rest of the midsizers manage.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Yes, I see the problem here. You should never compare a car to its modern competitors.

      “So what if it’s slower and thirstier than everything it competes against? 20 years ago this engine would have shown the world a thing or two”

  • avatar
    mechaman

    YAYYYY FUSION!!!

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    I feel this review is doing the thing Baruth says reviewers shouldn’t do. Why bother trying to put a rosy spin on a story about a vehicle with so many glaring issues? I feel like I am reading Motor Trend here.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    As an owner of a ’13 Fusion Titanium I feel that a comment is warranted. First of all, I don’t know why an AWD version of the Fusion is offered. It’s not needed. I live in the snow belt and with a good set of winter rubber it does just fine in FWD only.

    As for price, I got a leftover fully loaded 2013 in early 2014 for less than $30k. Has literally everything this one does sans AWD. Half of the options I don’t use, but some are surprising items I wouldn’t buy another car without. By comparison I cross shopped all the main competitors and aside from personal preferences on styling, fit and finish the only way to go cheaper for a reasonably equally optioned vehicle was the Malibu or 200…and they didn’t really have a true equal, at least at that time.

    Fuel economy is mostly about driving style. My trip computer over 1000 miles of city driving (basically the entire winter) says 24.8 MPG right now. Last summer I was on a road trip through IL, IN & MI and got as high as 34 MPG on reasonably flat land. Mileage does vary and speed (over 75MPH) and hooning obviously affects it greatly. I get on the boost to pass someone on a two lane or merge onto the expressway but otherwise I don’t hot rod it between stoplights. Sure, an Accord or Camry can do better with a V6 but in the class the difference is minuscule (just a few MPG’s). Arguing over 0-60 times is a little crazy for a large sedan like this. It’s an argument I would make before I had enough money to even buy a vehicle of this caliber. I wouldn’t consider running 1/4 mile drags in this car, nor a Camcord. Ford builds a perfectly fine Mustang if that’s your desire.

    That brings me to the fun to drive factor, which is subjective, but in all seriousness I left an Accord and went to Ford because the new Accords have become another “Buick”. My old Accord from the late 90’s was a standout in its class, today not so much. Not that the Fusion is the best vehicle ever, but it’s got a more youthful and sporting ride (and style) than most of its competition.

    Jury is still out on long term durability but overall fit and finish is nicer than the Camcords. Again subjective but this is not a 2000 Taurus by a long shot.

  • avatar
    fatalvenom

    @200k.

    I agree. I have a 2014 Titanium FWD and much of this is shit. I drive 7 miles to work each way, and I still haven’t averaged less than 24mpg. In town.

    The only time I took the car on the “highway” was when I drove from the coast to the middle part of Florida to go to the 12hrs of Sebring. Even having to pass old school buses full of migrant farm workers doing 45 in a 60mph zone, I still managed 32mpg average.

    I could achieve 14mpg in a Prius if I drove like an idiot too.

    Some people just wanna skew facts.

    Kinda like most car guys say a Miata isn’t an instant symbol for the love of cock.

    I’d also like to add that I have a 2010 Raptor, a 03 Mach 1, and a 1994 Cobra…so I know about bad gas mileage

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