I am getting serious about buying a Fusion, and I am comparing it to the Accord and a couple of other cars in its class. One big disappointment is the steel wheels on the SE model. The base S model has aluminum wheels, and then the next model up has steel? This is a first I think, and I can't figure out why they would go that route. Even 16 inch aluminum would have been a better alternative. Anyone have an idea why Ford chose this route?
It is not the end of the world, but I really like aluminum wheels over steelies. The Accord comes standard with aluminum once you get above the base LX model. In fact, every other brand pretty much comes standard with aluminum once you get past the base model. And no, I don't feel I should have to drop $1,500 for a set of wheels on a brand new car. They don't even offer an upgrade option for this. Guess the shopping isn't quite done yet.
I'm not a huge for Ford fan, but the Fusion looks so much better than the Accord. The Accord is kind of ugly.
I think the Fusion is a great looking car too. I hate the packages though. You have to get a fully loaded up car to get the things you want on it instead of just picking out a few things here and there. Many of the companies are doing this now though, so I can't just complain about Ford only.
A headline in today's paper caught my eye. It read "Ford passes Honda in value index". It stated that the car-buying public now perceives Ford as a better value car, with the Fusion the tops in its class. Since the demise of Toyota, "quality" is no longer a term that applies to it.
As the owner of a 2006 Fusion I can attest to their superior build quality and bullet-proof reliability. I'm not easy on cars and drive at speed over speed bumps and potholes. After 5 years, my Fusion has not a single squeak or rattle and has not had a single repair (not even brake pads). I own a 4 and a family member owns a V-6. My 4 averages 27 mpg in mixed driving and the 6 averages 19. For that reason I would avoid the 6. The 4 has ample power, and as of 2010, the newer ones have 20 more horsepower than mine. Our V-6 Ford products have never gotten the EPA rated gas mileage, while our 4's have exceeded it. Our 4 gets as high as 36 mpg on the highway and virtually never drops below 25, even in all city driving.
Be careful what you believe though. I agree Ford is up there along with Toyota and Honda, but things are still a bit on the tricky side with the ratings and such. American companies are definitely padding the edges to make themselves look as good as they can. I am not saying they are outright making things up, but if you pick and choose your facts, you can make any car look good. Consumer Reports still ranks Toyota as one of the top companies even with all the recalls. Imports in general are still ranked above domestics in most every category. That is the fact of it. It still doesn't mean the Fusion isn't a great car though.
I am the one who is thinking about a Fusion. There are a couple of annoying things in the packaging though, like the aforementioned steel wheels on the SE cars. That to me is a ridiculous move. Even a Focus SE has aluminum, and the Fusion S base model does as well.
Also, I was sitting in a Fusion Sport, which was nice overall, but I pushed the button to pop the top panel of the dash open, and nothing happened. I had to pry it open with my fingernail just to see what it looked like inside. I know that isn't anything major, but it makes me wonder what other little annoyances I will have down the road with interior components. This was a brand new car, after all.
I am still up in the air, as I have owned a 2008 Accord. It was an amazingly high quality car all around, and it held its value better than any car I have ever owned. The Fusion keeps forecasting its high value, which means absolutely nothing. The Accord has proven it, as I got real cash value when I traded it in. In fact, it was the first time I had ever gotten more than I owed on ANY trade in. KBB had it listed higher than I paid for it new when I traded it in, which is amazing. Unless you have personally experienced this trading a Fusion in, don't bother countering it. Forecasting anything in the auto business is purely marketing hype, and has nothing to do with reality.
I do like the Fusion still, as it has the look and it is an all around nice car. I am probably going to get a deal written up for an SEL and see where they come down to. I'll get the wheels I want, plus a few other nicer options. I will then compare the deal to the Accord EX-L, and go from there.
My boss owns a 2008 Honda Accord. He insists on us taking my Fusion on business trips because it so much smoother, quieter and gets much better fuel mileage. He plans to trade for a 2011 Fusion this spring.
"Anyone have an idea why Ford chose this route?"
Yes. Aluminum wheels weigh less than steel. The S model is made for fuel economy, and the less weight that needs to be turned, the better the fuel economy. Ever wonder why hybrids all have aluminum wheels?
Yeah, but this has no bearing as to why Ford chose to put steel wheels on their mid line Fusion, when virtually every other car in their line has aluminum wheels on the SE models, including the Focus. It is just a strange thing, but could be a deal breaker as their competition ALL have aluminum wheels on their comparable models. Steel wheels are outdated, and are just a poor idea for a car at this level.
There are dozens of very sharp and fairly inexpensive wheel/tire packages available for the Fusion. I'd opt for a set of after-market wheels rather than buy a lower quality, worse performing car.
Not really. A lot of companies offer wheel and tire packages for less than $1200. That's a pretty good deal.
Yeah, but even $1K extra on a new car just to get something the competition has standard is just annoying to me. I just think Ford cheaped out on this one thing. Now even the new Focus has steel wheels on the SE models. It's like stepping backwards. I can see on a base model, but you have to go to the SEL now to get standard aluminum, which is at least a couple of grand more than the SE. Ehhhh, I'll make the decision when the time comes. There are a lot of new exciting cars coming out later this year, so I am waiting anyway.
I was pleased to note that J.D. Powers now ranks the Fusion as the world's most reliable mid-sized car. Of course those of us who own them knew that all along. My 2006 is as solid and dependable as the day it was built. Not one single problem. As for the engine choices, Ford needs to drop the gas-hungry V-6. The I-4 provides more than ample power for any driving need. My 4 is very fast and gets up to 38 mpg on the highway. Another family member has the V-6, and it averages only 19 mpg, and doesn't feel much more powerful at all.