Check what tires you have, and then research them on the Internet and find out how they rate. It could be just the tires and nothing else that makes the car so bad. I have a Focus, and it too is horrible in the snow. I have Khumo tires on it and they have a really lousy tread pattern that you can tell isn't a good all season tire just by looking at them. I have had cars that were so bad in the snow, and then switched tires and it was like night and day.
Unfortunately it is an expensive thing to just try out to see if it works for you. If you love the car otherwise, I would go and get a set of really good snowtires to swap out when you need them and keep on loving the car. Car makers tend to buy the cheaper tires in bulk to put on as new OEM equipment. They definitely are not the best choice for the cars in most cases.
Original reviewer here -
Car now has 73,320 miles on it, and is still pretty solid. I have installed new all-season tires that are very good, although the fishtailing is still there. It is less apparent, but still noticeable. The reason? A slightly bent rim. When I put my new tires on, the tires "grab" the road much better than my old tires did, and the slight tweak in the rim became noticeable. I actually took my car back to the shop where I had my tires put on, because I thought the tires were the culprit. They took each tire and rim off the car, inspected them, and found one rim to be ever so slightly out of balance when it was put on the balancing machine. I am not sure if it was me or the previous owner who put the tweak in the rim, but I can say that I have babied this thing, and never hit any type of object that should have caused this. So, I guess if I really want to, I can go buy a rim for it, or just swap out all four altogether. Not sure yet. I will also see how rotating it alters performance on slick/icy conditions.
One other complaint I have is torque converter shudder. I started to notice it about 2,000 miles ago. Since then I have changed transmission fluid (to the recommended Ford Premium ATF), and it has made it a little better, but I can still tell it is there. I will be honest, this is really disappointing. For a car with only 70K and all highway miles, this shouldn't be going on. I have heard that Ford can flash it and it may help, but that was for 2010's on up; if anyone knows about this issue, I would really appreciate the info.
Aside from these two big issues, everything else on the car had held up nicely. I feel like things like sturdy rims and automatic transmissions/torque converters should be damn near perfected at this day and age, and I shouldn't have to worry about them, yet I am.
Both our rear-drive vehicles are better in snow than our front-drive Fusion. I plan to replace the tires on the Fusion soon, but our experience over the years has shown us that rear-drive vehicles just do an all-around better job on snowy or icy streets.
Like everyone else, we fell for the myth that front-drive cars were better in bad weather. Ours haven't been. We currently own two rear-drive cars and the Fusion. When we replace the Fusion, we will get a rear-drive car to replace it. Rear drive cars are also far cheaper and easier to service and work on.
With that said, the Fusion (which is now 6 years old) has been absolutely flawless with never a repair, as have all our Ford vehicles.
Actually physics would dictate that a front drive car is better in the snow. You have the weight of the engine over the drive wheels, and they also are the steering wheels, so control is improved. I have been in snow up to the bumpers in two different front drivers that would stop a rear drive car cold.
The tires make a huge difference, so if you are running the stock "all season" treads on your Fusion, that is likely the problem. Ford has been using really lousy tires on their vehicles. I have a Focus, and it has Khumo's on it. They are crap, and they are absolutely the worst tires I have had in the snow. I am putting 4 Continental Winterforce tires on it this week though, and I am sure it will be like night and day. Try going with a narrower all season tire or a winter tire, and then you will see how good your front driver is. They tend to put these really fat tires on cars as stock nowadays, which makes winter driving more dangerous. It looks good though! I've even seen big 4X4 trucks that slide all over, due to the fat tires they are running.
When all is said and done, AWD is the best for winter driving. You can run standard tires all year round without the need for switching, and on a car, an AWD system will run circles around any SUV. Your next Fusion should be an AWD version. Too bad you can only get it on the V6 models.
Thanks for keeping us informed on your Ford Fusion. Many of us that went away from Ford years ago are keeping a watchful eye on Ford and its products. Since the Fusion is a relatively new car, many of us are still on the sideline, waiting to see what happens as it nears the 100,000 mile mark.
Also keep us up to date with that converter issue... if it gets better or worse.
So far it seems like Ford is turning the corner on its products and reliability. Hope that stays true...
To us there was never a "corner to turn" with Ford's quality. It has always been top notch, as has the company's attention to their customers safety. Our 1975 Ford was driven over 300,000 miles over an 18-year period. Total repair costs were less than $500. None of our Ford trucks or cars ever had any repairs in less than 100,000 miles. Our current Fusion is 6 years old, and has not had so much as a brake job yet. The same is true of our 5 year old Mustang.
In the 90's we received a letter from Ford stating that we might have had trouble with an ignition part on our 1985 Ford, and that if we had we would be reimbursed for the repair and any other costs incurred by the part failing, such as hotel rooms or meals if we had been stranded on the road. As it was, we had never had any problems, and at that time the car had well over 100,000 miles. We drove it to a Ford dealer, and they immediately replaced the part at no cost, and we were on our way in 15 minutes. Later we received a notice that an interior trim part on that same might warp in the Sun, and if it had, Ford would replace it. It had not warped, and we ignored that recall.
Can you imagine a Japanese company such as Toyota showing that level of concern for their customers?