That's good that the 4 is enough for you. I'd prefer the 6 myself, as it is quieter, smoother and you don't have to wring it out to get any performance out of it. Since the newest V6 is 240 HP over your 175, I'd say that is more than slightly more powerful. The gas mileage would be easily in the mid 20's on it as well if you aren't driving it hard, which I wouldn't need to do with the extra power. I wouldn't think any V6 that is newer would be getting 17 mpg in a car on a regular basis. If so, she should have it checked out. Our 269 HP Toyota SUV routinely gets around 25 mpg with mixed driving.
My family's V-6 Lincoln MKZ (same car as the Fusion) never tops 20 mpg and routinely averages between 16 and 17 mpg.
This is all about driving style really. If I am getting 25 mixed in a 269 HP SUV there is no reason that you shouldn't do better in any car that is lighter. Do you floor it at every light and drive above 75 on the highways? Many times people don't realize how inefficient they drive and this can have major impacts on their mileage.
I see many people with Focuses like mine saying they get 36-40 mpg on the highway. I average like 32 with mine but I drive at 75+ on the highways. Funny thing though, I did about 80 on my last trip with my Toyota and I was still getting just under 25 mpg. The V6 turns at about 2200 RPMs at that speed.
The subject of this review was originally my wife's second car, but she didn't like sitting low (her main car is a big SUV), so I have basically inherited the car now and drive it most of the time to save miles (and gas) in my customized Mustang.
I have really fallen in love with the Fusion. It is smooth, handles well, is very solidly built and offers great performance for a 4. Once the 5-year extended warranty was out, I modified the air intake by adding vent holes to the air filter box and eliminating the air intake tube in the fender well. This, along with a high-performance K&N air filter, gives as much of a boost in power as the after-market cold-air package at much less cost. It has the same very pleasing intake roar as the after-market system, and I didn't have to change the computer setting.
Since I had just filled up with premium right before making the modifications, I can't really judge the increase in real power until I run a tank of cheap gas in it. Just using premium alone in the I-4 Fusion results in 8-12 more horsepower, as well as a much smoother running engine. When fuel prices drop below $3.70 a gallon, I opt for premium.
Back with a 60,000 mile update. At this point the Fusion has had absolutely zero repairs or problems. I'm still running the original brake pads with tons of wear still left on them.
Gas mileage is awesome. Never under 27, and up to 38 on the highway. The 4 provides all the power I could ever need for any driving situation. I've found that running mid-grade or premium fuel increases power noticeably, and gives a tiny but measurable increase in mileage. All I have done is change out the air filter for a high-performance K&N million-mile filter, and replace the battery when the warranty was up on it, which is standard practice for me on all my cars. I'll probably be replacing the tires in 6-8 months.
75,000 mile update. Well, I encountered a problem this morning. It was cold and raining, and I hopped in my Fusion to meet a friend for lunch. Immediately I knew there was a problem. It was obviously missing on one cylinder. Since it was raining and I was on a tight schedule, I decided to make the 15 mile freeway trip to the restaurant anyway. The car performed amazingly well to only be running on only three cylinders. I also observed that my temperature gauge appeared to be inoperable. I knew something out of the ordinary had happened. At only 75,000 miles and 7 years old, there was no way the car should be having any problems at all. Tune-ups are only recommended at 100,000 mile intervals.
When I reached the restaurant, the rain had stopped so I popped the hood and looked inside. To my surprise I found horribly chewed wires on top of the engine. One spark plug's coil wires had been totally gnawed off and the heat sensor wires had been eaten. Even the rubber cover of the heat gauge sensor was half eaten. Another spark plug had gnawed wires, but was still carrying current.
After dining, I spent a couple of hours soldering in new segments of wiring, and soldering and taping many gnawed spots. I made a temporary cover for the heat sensor out of a milk bottle cap. Everything is now working good as new. I am urging my dog to eat all the squirrels in our yard, and I'm seeking an effective squirrel repellent to put under my hood. Any suggestions?
I never thought I would be giving the "Fusion Guy" advice, but in the spirit of the new year, buy a bottle of peppermint oil and smear it under the hood, especially on the sound deadening insulation on the underside of the hood. (The Fusion does have this, doesn't it?) I use a 1" paint brush and dilute the peppermint oil 50/50 with water.
Rodents hate the smell of peppermint oil, but be prepared to repeat the process once a month during the cold weather.
Look at the bright side, you never have to spend money on an interior air freshener. You get the pleasant "Candy Cane" aroma.
Okay, that's my good deed for the year, when it comes to the Fusion Guy.
Back with an eight-year update. Still totally flawless and getting awesome mileage. I am now stuck with driving the car forever because of the minor accident on CarFax and the Knarly-looking squirrel chewed wires (which work find but look horrible). Since I like the car, I'm not overly upset with having to keep it. To keep from getting bored with it, I'm doing some custom work on it and minor performance mods. Oh, and thanks for the recommendation on the squirrel repellant. Thus far no more squirrel attacks. Unfortunately they attacked my nephew's truck and did so much damage he ended up junking it out.