A worthy rival for Camry, Accord, and Altima
Stereo head unit backlight did not activate with headlights on. Defective when delivered, fixed under warranty.
The Fusion is by far Ford's most competitive family sedan since the original Taurus back in the mid 80's. I have been assigned one as a company car, and am responsible for upkeep.
Though passing and merging in any four cylinder family sedan could never be described as effortless, the 2.3 liter inline four provides ample power for any circumstances I have encountered -- and does so with minimal harsh or thrashy sounds. A V-6 is optional.
My vehicle is equipped with the optional 5-speed automatic transmission. I have never really used an automatic transmission that I actually like, but drivers accustomed to automatics will have no complaints. Shifts are smooth and, despite being a 5-speed auto mated to a four cylinder, it rarely hunts for gears. My only complaint is the lack of an overdrive button to facilitate up or down hill driving. The only option other than Drive is Low, or 1st gear -- far too low for use on long highway inclines. A 5-speed manual comes standard, and would be my preferred choice.
In 20,000 miles, I have had no visits to the service department, other than a minor defect with the radio faceplate lighting that was fixed under warranty.
The exterior styling is, in my opinion, quite pleasing. The lines are modern and subtle, though I have mixed feeling about the clear-lens taillights. At first I thought they looked like a cheap aftermarket bolt-on, but they are fairly subtle-- and the majority of the lens is filled by the red section. My vehicle has standard 16-inch steel wheels with full covers wearing "T" speed-rated 205/60/16 tires. The original equipment Continental ContiProContact tire is one of the more quiet and comfortable OEM tires in my experience, and provides reasonably responsive road feel and secure handling in dry and wet conditions.
The interior of the Fusion really shines. Fit and finish, even in my base model, is excellent... not just good for an American car, but on par with recent Japanese makes. Plastic dash surfaces are soft to the touch, and is finished with a foamy feel Chrome doorhandles are a nice touch. No Tupperwear-style hard plastic here of years-past.
Ergonomics are excellent, with the radio taking center position in the dash. Large rotary dials control HVAC, and are easy to use and well placed. The gauge cluster's lack of a PRNDL display was bothersome at first, though I soon became accustomed to selection by feel.
The seats are comfortable, very supportive and finished in a soft fabric. The manual height adjustment is by far the easiest I have used. Two large cupholders sit between the front seats, and the door pocket has a space to fit water bottles or larger containers. An irk to those who smoke is the lack of built in ashtray. I bought the smokers pack for a pricey $60, and it requires the sacrifice of one cupholder. This, however is common in many new vehicles with smoking becoming more taboo in society, but I prefer it to littering my butts.
Headroom and kneeroom is spacious in front and back. The back seat is quite comfortable for two, and the center armrest offers two cupholders. Three adults can fit in back, though would not be comfortable on long drives.
Overall, the Ford Fusion is a very capable, comfortable, and refined offering from Ford, and it my opinion, it's great to see a US automaker finally catching up to the competition.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th September, 2009