On the heels of Consumer Reports coming out with the Ford Mustang as the Best Sports Car of 2012, this post is late, about two months late. No, seriously, at least two months late.
The new Ford Fusion debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January.
Everyone that I talked with expressed interest in this car. It also helped that Ford was the first press conference of the show and they did it in nearby Joe Louis Arena where the Red Wings play.
The Fusion looks fantastic. The love child of an Aston Martin and an Audi A7 was the running joke, but everyone liked the exterior styling. Even Europe rejoiced because they could see the lines of the new Mondeo. The lines are sharp, sexy, and just about irresistible.
The best part of the new Fusion is the engines. There is a large selection. Two Ecoboost choices, a hybrid, and then there's the 100mpg equivalent plug-in electric.
Ford says the 1.6L Ecoboost will achieve 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway and comes with a start stop system. Turning off the engine when stopped and smoothly turning it back on when it's time to go. The 2.0L Ecoboost will be matched up with a six speed shiftable automatic, which means there will be paddle shifters (I'm still not a fan of paddle shifters.) and will be the performance option for the Fusion. My suggestion was the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost, but no one listens to me. You might be the only one reading this in fact.
The new Fusion Hybrid is getting new lithium-ion batteries helping it to stay on electric-only power up to 62 mph. The previous top speed for electric-only was 47 mph. The new engine for the hybrid is a 2.0L Atkinson cycle four cylinder engine. The smaller engine is still able to achieve the same performance as the old 2.5L engine. Ford lists the new hybrid as outperforming the 2012 Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and also states that the new Fusion Hybrid gets 12 mpg better in the city and 4 mpg better on the highway than the 2011 Sonata Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid should get 47 mpg city and 44 mpg highway. Those numbers are impressive especially in it feels powerful, but we'll see.
The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is aiming to be the most fuel efficient car In The World (Hopefully you heard Jeremy Clarkson). Ford has released a 100 mpge number for the Energi. This is 8 mpge better than the Volt, which had production halted this week, and 13 mpge better than the projected efficiency of Toyota's plug-in Prius.
Pricing hasn't been released yet, but I expect it to land between the Focus and the Taurus. That puts it competitively in the range with Camry's, Accords, Optimas, and Sonatas. This is about to get real interesting for the Japanese manufacturers.
Local dealers are hoping to have the new Fusions by this summer with the Energi not arriving until the late fall.
The old Fusion was in need of a redesign to update its styling, but the rest of the car is still fantastic. Fusion owners are rabid in their love of the older models. If you are looking for a family sedan in the next six months, a 2012 Fusion would be a great place to look. As the 2013 arrival gets closer, you might even get a great deal on one. The sales associates at Dick Smith Ford or Olathe Ford would love to talk to you about any of the Fusions. Neither of them paid me to say that; I just enjoyed the interactions I've had with both dealerships.