Ace of Base: 2019 Ford Fusion S

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

When the current-generation Fusion appeared for 2013, its Aston Martin styling was a cold glass of water in the face of milquetoast midsized family sedans. Part of Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” plan, the stylish car added zest to a bland segment.

Now, with recently minted CEO Jim Hackett having decreed the Mustang to be Ford’s only car worth keeping, the Fusion has been left to weather crushing competition from competitors that have undergone significant renewals – twice, in some cases.

In creating the Fusion, the Head of Advanced Design for Ford of Europe was commissioned as lead designer. Based in Detroit, under the guise of Exterior Chief Designer for Ford/Lincoln, his team received support from Ford of Europe studios in Germany and the UK. It is highly unlikely this would fly in today’s climate under the ministrations of Hackett.

Nowhere is the shift in thinking more evident than on the 11th floor of Ford HQ. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, a plaque dedicated to Mr. Mulally’s One Ford plan was removed from the executive’s main conference room several months after the new CEO’s arrival. This was done to clear the wall for use as a workspace to map out a new strategy. Hackett apparently said he didn’t feel the language “fit what we were trying to get across.” The plaque has been re-appointed in a common area on the same floor, a Ford spox explained. Hmm.

For now, the Fusion lives on. How much longer is up for debate. The base model for 2019 is, as in past years, simply called the S. Powered by the company’s 2.5-liter Duratec inline-four that’s been around in some form or another seemingly since the last millennium, drivers will find 175 horsepower and an equal amount of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission option.

Ford includes its Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features on the $22,840 base model Fusion. This packages lane keeping, pre-collision assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear-view camera. Adding to the safety net is the MyKey tech which allows parents to annoy teenage drivers by putting restrictions on speed and even radio volume. My parents simply had to rely on reports from nosy neighbors.

Outside, el cheapo 16-inch steel wheels with silver-painted plastic covers wear 215/60R16 tires. Natty LED taillamps adorn the rear. Color-keyed door handles and side-view mirrors won’t bely your thrifty ways. Fog lights don’t appear until the Titanium trim, four rungs up the ladder. The hue shown here is tasty Velocity Blue, a $0 option. I still believe this is a good looking car.

Buttons for the manual climate control reside on the dashboard, along with a couple of power points for accessories. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes while housing switches for the cruise and redundant audio controls. It’s pretty standard fare but a solid feature list. Sync3 is optional. My main gripe? The interior is only available in beige Medium Light Stone, a shade good for deflecting heat in hot climates but offensive to this author’s jaundiced eye.

Like so many other Blue Oval sedans before it, Lincoln LS and fourth-gen Taurus to name just two, it appears the company is content to let a once-great car wither on the vine until it is put out to pasture. Sure, all hands are hot for SUVs, but surely there remains a place at the table for the American sedan – even base models.

Right?

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Sep 06, 2018

    Ford Europe assisted as this was the replacement for the Mondeo (which in 1st gen form was brought to the US as the Contour). That's why the side profile looks very similar to the previous gen Mondeo. I have to say, I was sitting at lights earlier opposite a euro Mondeo (this Fusion) that had those Audi style moving indicator LEDs, it looked high spec (Vignale?), really looked nice. Sadly it looks like when the Fusion goes the Mondeo will follow, even Europeans are falling for the CUV fashion.

  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Nov 17, 2018

    I had a 2016 Fusion SE loaner last week. It said EcoBoost on the back but under the hood had no displacement on a decal like every single other car I have ever seen. Had to be the 1.5L though, because it was a total dog. There was also a very odd "bulge" below the accelerator that only let you push a very small amount on the gas - like barely push it. To really gas it you had to lift up your foot and like, jab at it with your toes - craziest design I ever saw, and made me darn certain I could never DD one. And that bizcard-size backup cam! Why even bother with such a worthless joke of a tiny screen! I got back in my Charger R/T and the backup cam is like being front row at a drive in. Come on Ford.......

  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.
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