Like most of the Ford products we’ve tested over the past year, the Fusion is solidly bolted together and was pleasantly rattle free. Unfortunately some of the interior plastics are of the cheap and shiny variety, undermining what would otherwise be a more upscale appearance. The shift lever and some of the interior controls also have a chintzy, econobox feel and are out of place at this price level.
Our test car featured a charcoal black interior with elegant leather trimmed seats that are also quite comfortable. Interior room is excellent, with plenty of legroom for backseat passengers and a decently sized trunk. Ergonomics are excellent and the dashboard layout is intuitive and relatively uncluttered, although some of the controls are fairly low and thus a bit hard to reach.
Our test car featured a nice selection of options, including heated seats, dual zone climate control, power moonroof, Ford’s excellent Sync system, a premium audio system with surround sound, and a nifty rear view camera that displays the image in the rear view mirror. Although a bit more Spartan and sparsely optioned than a full-blown luxury sedan, the Fusion is still quite well appointed and would make a perfectly comfortable commuter car.
For 2010 the Fusion received a substantial exterior makeover. Most noticeable are the much more aggressive 3 bar chrome grill and redesigned front and rear lights. Although the redesign gives the Fusion a bit more visual oomph, the overall design has become somewhat mismatched, with the sides and rear of the car much more conservatively styled than the front. The Fusion is by no means unattractive, but compared to the competition it still lacks the visual cohesion and distinction that makes for a classic design.
With buyers moving away from expensive, gas-guzzling SUVs, the market for mid-sized sedans is as competitive now as it has ever been. Almost every manufacturer puts out a pretty decent product in this segment and there are many standouts. With the Fusion, Ford faces an uphill battle trying to convince Americans to take a chance on a relatively new car with an unfamiliar name and somewhat unproven track record.
Luckily, the revised Fusion is pretty darn good, especially for the money. Our test car stickered at just over $28,000 and that’s with the optional V6 engine and some attractive luxury features. You can buy a Fusion for a lot less, especially if you go with the 4-cylinder engine and fewer options. Although not quite the Camry and Accord killer that some had hoped it would be, the new Fusion is nonetheless a nice car at a nice price that should appeal to a nice portion of American car buyers.
|Official website for Ford cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs – www.fordvehicles.com|
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