By on June 3, 2019

2017 ford fusion sport

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but it still hurts to learn that Ford’s modern-day take on the ’60s family performance sedan will die with the 2019 model year.

While the automaker’s doomed Fusion nameplate will live on for 2020, the brawny, all-wheel drive Sport variant will not. The automaker confirmed the model’s discontinuation on Monday, meaning performance-minded Blue Oval breeders must now turn their attention (and lust) to the brand’s ST-badged crossovers.

Ford dropped the Focus and its warmer variants in May of 2018, with the pint-sized Fiesta and its ST hot hatch alter ego meeting the same fate last month. There’ll still be some 2019 models kicking around for some time, no doubt. However, if your lifestyle demands called for real seating for five, the Fusion Sport offered serious performance and under-the-radar looks for an after-delivery price of $41,010.

Indeed, that’s nearly six grand more than a loaded Titanium model, but twin-turbocharged V6 horsepower and AWD comes at a cost (current offers show a $1,500 lease incentive, btw). And the Fusion Sport, despite its outdated interior, was indeed a blast to drive.

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

CarsDirect noticed the widely expected discontinuation while poring over 2020 Fusion order guides. When contacted, a Ford spokesperson confirmed that the Sport goes the way of LaserDisc for MY2020. Like other automakers, the company says it wants to simplify its lineup by reducing build configurations. With that decision comes painful eliminations like this. Models like the Fusion Sport and Taurus SHO may not have been very popular, but they did enliven an increasingly dull, utility-centric vehicle landscape.

Appearing for the 2017 model year, the Fusion Sport borrowed the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 from its F-150 stablemate, sending its 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque to all four (19-inch) wheels through a six-speed automatic. The setup was a potent one for the midsize sedan, though Ford chose not to go way out and wild with the Sport’s outward appearance. Maybe it flew too far under the radar.

Certainly, the Fusion Sport will be an item for hunters of used performance car deals to seek out in the coming years. As for the Fusion itself, the flagging model may stage a limited return for 2021, but the sedan as we know it is toast at some point that year. Ford claims the company might re-use the nameplate in the future, but don’t get your hopes up for a vehicle with a trunk.

[Images: Ford, Steph Willems/TTAC]

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39 Comments on “Farewell, Sleeper: Ford Pulls the Plug on the Fusion Sport...”


  • avatar
    mdanda

    Ford killed all the cars I liked and kept the vehicles I have ZERO interest in.

    Without sedans, Ford is dead to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Jean-Pierre Sarti

      Here is an example: my neighbor just bought a F-SuperDuty with 4×4 with the diesel AND the King Ranch package. Says he got a great deal at 70k drive out! This guy doesn’t even tow/haul/carry a damn thing. I would love to know what goes through his mind at purchase time.

      Now it’s his money etc etc etc I get it.

      can you blame Ford for catering to these fools errr customers?

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        Jean-Pierre Sarti-

        It’s his money. If he can afford it-he is NOT A FOOL. If he can’t-then you are right he is a fool.

        He may not like the ride of the Super Duty after a while-if he doesn’t plan on using it’s capabilities.

        BTW-that is a great deal compared to a regular half-ton.
        Keeps us posted.

        • 0 avatar
          Jean-Pierre Sarti

          Sadly he is one of those 84 month loan guys we hear about.

          My neighbor, more like my friend, is a good dude but a sucker for the modern YOLO advertising and has absolutely no head for money matters.

          But it is still his money so all I can do is shake my head and hope it works out for him …

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            84 month loan? I had no idea that was available for a vehicle! 7 years of payments, I don’t care how awesome the vehicle is, unless you are a trust fund baby you aren’t showing your kids any kind of prudent money management.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            I just did the math… 7 years, and he just committed to give or take a thousand dollars a month.

            If at the end of the loan his truck is worth a generous $40 large, that’s still over four thousand dollars a year depreciation for seven years straight.

            The mind boggles.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        In fairness to your neighbor:

        -$70K OTD for a loaded 6.7 King Ranch is in fact a pretty good deal. Sticker on that bad boy likely starts with an 8 and there aren’t many factory rebates on Super Duty.

        -10 years from now it will probably be worth 50% or better of that, which is unheard of for more traditional luxury vehicles.

        -The King Ranch interior is pretty darn nice.

        -Driving a vehicle with a ton of torque is intoxicating, truck or not.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “10 years from now it will probably be worth 50% or better of that”

          I seriously doubt that.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Not quite 10 years old yet, but look at 2011 King Ranch diesels with under 100,000 miles (first year of the 6.7 PSD). You’re pretty well guaranteed to be in the mid-high $30s and these trucks were about $60K new on the sticker, with out the door pricing being lower or course. I purposely excluded 2009-10 trucks due to the poor reputation of the 6.4 diesel.

            I think aluminum trucks will only hold their value better in the salt states and the 6.7 is only more proven out. I’d be shocked if resale on a new 2019 is worse than a 2011.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            gtem,

            check how Raptors hold value. Amazing

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            7-8 years vs 10 years old, okay I’m splitting hairs. I just don’t see a 10 yr old truck with 120k (given avg 12k miles) begin mid $30s, but hey we’ll see. I know certain configs of Cummins Rams are insane even with 200k miles.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @gtem,

            Yeah I figured by the time those 2011 trucks are 10 years old they would settle right around the high $20s (50% of an assumed high $50s OTD price). And no, I don’t get it either. Even if the engines are sound (dubious IMO with emission controls), the frames, bodies, and electronics have had to deal with a 10 year life already.

            Basically no reason to buy a used HD truck in my opinion, unless you’re getting something very old.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I just don’t see a 10 yr old truck with 120k (given avg 12k miles) begin mid $30s, but hey we’ll see. I know certain configs of Cummins Rams are insane even with 200k miles”

            Don’t forget that the dollar of 2029 will be worth 60 cents if we’re lucky, and that mid $30s trade in will buy you a new Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “Ford killed all the cars I liked and kept the vehicles I have ZERO interest in.”

      How many have you bought? Maybe you didn’t buy enough of them or were not willing to pay a high enough price…like everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        That’s what I was about to say. If there were sufficient demand and profits to be had, they wouldn’t be discontinued.

        “FORD/GM/FCA NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO BUILD CARS SO I CAN CONTINUE TO NOT BUY THEM!”

        Almost as bad as

        “IF ONLY THEY BUILT A CAR AS GOOD AS TOYOTA!” Because their cars arent dropping in sales and propped up by rental fleets? Because their utilities arent outselling their sedans? Because most, if not all, of their profits come from vehicles without a trunk?

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          John the thing is, there is a very good chance that Toyota makes a decent profit on even these discounted/fleet Camrys/Corollas. Yes the sales are decreasing, but we’re still talking 300k annual sales for both. With the TGNA platform, it’s possible to reconfigure the plants for even more Ravs if need-be is my understanding.

          There’s a lot of dislike about modern Toyota (ugly styling, decontenting in chasing to keep high-volume cars both cheap and profitable), but they’re on VERY solid ground compared to just about any other car company in the US or globally.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Raise your hand if you thought the Fusion was already off store shelves.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Pretty sure that was just you. And possibly anyone else who hasn’t read the 2020 date being given multiple times, and/or lives on a Easter Island.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think these (and the SHO) were a decent option for those that lived in frozen hellscape climates. However my general feeling was always that in stock form the Ford V6T sedans were a little too crazy for BoysTown and a little too much of a boy for CrazyTown.

    • 0 avatar
      TheDutchGun

      Well it sounds like Ford agrees and are theoretically chaining said sedans up in the attic.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      +1, ajla, for invoking one of my favorite Simpsons lines of all time. “A routine soul smear confirmed the presence of pure evil.”

      You may be right about the SHO and Sport, too. I just finished a road trip with a relative in her 9-3 Aero convertible. Not a blisteringly fast car by 2010s standards, but pretty darn quick for the ’00s and broadly analogous performance-wise to the Fusion Sport and Taurus SHO (at least adjusted for era). My general takeaway was, “This car is really fun, but had I been spending my own money back in ’06, I would’ve opted for the less expensive 2.0T and its more pothole friendly suspension/wheel/tire combo.” I had to pass a semi at one point, and I barely had to get into the throttle to whiz by it at extra-legal speeds. Really getting into it would’ve had me at go-to-jail speeds very quickly.

      Conversely, someone who tracks his or her car (or who is really into bench racing) might think, “These cars aren’t fast enough.”

      I’m glad Ford made the SHO and the Sport, and I think they both have a niche following. But it probably wasn’t that broad a market.

      As the era closes, let’s tip our caps to Ford for making a performance Fiesta AND a performance Focus (two, actually) AND a performance Fusion AND a performance Taurus. That’s something in my book.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    I am an enthusiast. I have always been an enthusiast. In my youth I raced cars. Then I raced motorcycles into middle age. Now in my mid seventies I still enjoy driving rapidly on country roads. I am a little more cautious now since my eyesight and reflexes are both diminished. What percentage of drivers are enthusiasts? Is it ten percent? Or is it less? I ask this question because we enthusiasts keep asking car companies to build cars for us. Some companies listen and do build what we enthusiasts ask for. However, the cars we ask for almost always fall in the marketplace. Why is this a fact? Are there just too few enthusiasts to make a car aimed at us a success? Or is there another reason? Is it just that enthusiasts refuse to support a company that builds a car for enthusiasts unless it is perfect for them. That is, the car offered is built for enthusiasts, but each enthusiast has a slightly different idea of what is right about the car. And no enthusiast will compromise at all on the car. This is what I have noticed reading the comments here on TTAC. There are enthusiast cars being built and offered to the public. Enthusiasts, the people the car is built for, will not buy it. Is it any wonder that auto manufacturers are turning away from the enthusiast automobile?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t know. I guess the editors could do a survey, but despite the common refrain I think most commenters on TTAC put their money where their mouth is when buying a vehicle.

      However, IMO when it comes to “enthusiast cars” making a compromise on engine configuration, drive wheels, or transmission type is pretty big deal and I don’t think complaining about those things is nit-picking or “requiring perfection”.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        As Ajla said making a compromise does not make an enthusiast car. There may be people that want TurboV6 sedans but how many are willing to settle for FWD based drivetrain to get it?

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        I put my money where they pay me a 6% dividend, thanks Ford. Shorting TSLA has just added to the party. I have plenty of fun driving my Civic with the ECO button turned off, but it’s useful to drive to the casino and I get 43 MPG.

        Ford, just keep on kicking out F-Series trucks and making bank. Stop buying stupid buildings and trotting out robots to pump the stock price. If it gets to $8.50, I bail. Life in the fast lane, at least they aren’t the sham that GM has become.

        My Aspergers son is starting his 3rd year in the School of Architecture, and I’m glad he’s surrounded by the steel and airbags of the LS-460 I gave him.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        does an enthusiast include someone who turns off the ECO button on his Civic and buries the gas pedal while enjoying a nice untraveled 2-lane highway?

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      And of those, how many want 2 pedals? …and if it’s a Honda for instance, can you deal with most/all the options you want being available in grey or black? If you consider enthusiasts to make up 10% of the market (continuing the example) now maybe you’re down to only 40% of your 10% niche. The other 60% says hey, I can find damn near what I’m looking for on the used market for half the price since “cars USED to be made for enthusiasts!” and in 7 years when THIS CAR is the used market, well, you can see where we’re headed.

      I’m no different. I wanted a Grand Cherokee to build and off-road, but I wanted one with a solid front axle, so I had to go back to the WJ’s of 99-04. The public spoke and they wanted independent front suspensions so Grand Cherokees handle like cars on the road. I’m lucky enough to have the wrench skills necessary to keep an old Jeep running. If you truly will not compromise on your vehicle, it’s an increasingly challenging automotive landscape out there and we don’t have the numbers to make a difference.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Hey, old timer. If there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasts, there wouldn’t be Mustangs, Camaros, bmw-M, AMG, Mini, ’86, etc on every corner. + “enthusiast” could also mean 4Runner, Wrangler, and even Raptor P/u

  • avatar
    chris724

    I love my ’18 Fusion hybrid so far. It fits my needs perfectly, and the mpg is honestly amazing. It’s a shame that Ford is cancelling the Fusion.

  • avatar
    brn

    If they’d called it the SHO, they’d have sold twice as many.

    Maybe still not enough, but…

    • 0 avatar

      Agree – “Sport” is a boring name to have. I wonder what Ford was thinking.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I have trouble remembering which brands use Sport as a euphemism for base model (Mazda and Jeep?) versus which actually give some go faster bits or suspension in return for the Sport moniker.

        Is it only the Focus that suffered from cheapening of materials over the generation, or did the Fusion suffer as well. My 2013 Focus SE felt like it had better material quality versus the 2017 Focus SE my mom drove.

  • avatar

    I have ’18 Fusion AWD Titanium with 2.O EB. It drives pretty fast and BTW suspension is pretty stiff as well. I like to drive it fast and Fusion I have is already damn fast. And it costs less than Sport. That’s my answer to your question. Does someone need even faster car? Well you may want something like Mustang or Porsche then. Why to settle for less?

    BTW Fusion Sport has distinctive gloss black mesh grill so it is easy to tell from front that it is not your regular Fusion. I’ve seen few of them driving around so there are buyers apparently. Ford really does not care how many buyer there are. They cancel the whole thing which was a popular choice esp in hybrid form at least here in California.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    For me, any kind “sport” without MT is DOA

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Did this single model have some sort of anti-pothole absorption / skip over thing on it? I seem to remember that being discussed when it was released.

    The car sounds cool, but I’d actually like to hear some experience with this suspension system.

    Anyone here have any input? Why (again to my knowledge) is it not available on any other Fords?

    I like the Fusion. A lot. I also get where Ford is coming from on the business case. So go such things.

    • 0 avatar
      Pkolby

      Jerome, I have a 2018 Fusion Sport IG name is @18FusionSport. The suspension is absolutely amazing. It very much like the MagneRide from the Mustang and the GT350. It’s extremely smooth and when people ride with me its one of the first things they notice.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Really no loss. Ford doomed this car from the start. It was a very poor effort and was severely let down by the garbage transmission. Nothing about this car was worth the price charged and in almost every aspect was disappointing. Just like the Ranger, the only good thing about this car was the engine.

    • 0 avatar
      S197GT

      but that ranger engine though!

      i am so tempted to buy a four-door RWD version of the ranger xlt (with LSD) and then get an engine tune. that 2.3 is putting down crazy hp with just a tune and premium fuel.

      still have to sort out that suspension though. s197 ownership experience all over again…

  • avatar
    geo

    Our close friends have always driven SUVs and crossovers. They’re driving sedans now because they feel more nimble and versatile.

    My wife now wants a sedan, saying she feels more like a “car person”.

    I believe people will soon be shifting en masse back to cars, and the domestic manufacturers, yet again, will be caught with their pants down.


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