I was in attendance for the debut of the 2013 Fusion at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January. I’ve waited over a year to drive this car and it was definitely worth the wait.
Base Price: $23,830
As Driven: $30,975
Engine: 1.6L 4 Cylinder EcoBoost (turbo-charged), 174 hp
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic with Auto Start-Stop
Curb Weight: 3,427 lbs.
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
MPG Rating: 23 city/ 36 highway
The driver’s area is surrounded by technology. Lots of HD displays and touch sensitive areas on the center console. I like the look, but not the functionality.
The space in the back seat is acceptable. The rear legroom is listed at 38.3 inches, which isn’t the most in the segment. The amount of legroom in the Fusion is two inches more than the Malibu and five inches more than the Accord. The space in the back made sure that my youngest son wasn’t able to kick the back of my seat. I know eventually he will outgrow the space and I’ll be doomed, but I’m still thankful for the space now.
The children LATCH system was set further back into the seat. It frustrated me at first, but I found out that it is one of the easiest setups I’ve used when it comes to getting the kids’ car seats in and out. The ability to latch the hook and the ease I was able to depress the latch to get it back out was quite easy. Normally I end up with at least one banged knuckle and three to five curse words. None of that took place in the Fusion.
I couldn’t get the rear headrests out. The top of the headrest hits the ceiling before the ends would clear the holes to take them out. I’m sure there is a way to get them out, but I became frustrated and didn’t take the time to actually figure it out… My bad.
The trunk is huge. The single stroller fit with ease. The double stroller was a little awkward through the opening, but once it was in, there was more than enough room.
The old Fusion was a good looking car. Today’s Fusion is very good looking, almost gorgeous. It isn’t “Angelina Jolie,” but more of “Eva Mendes;” curves in all the right places and a smile that kills.
I’m not ever getting hired to write about cars or women again…
The backend of Fusion is just as good looking as the front end (we’ll get there, don’t worry). The rear end is rounded with sharp edges. The tail lights add emphasis to the corners with LED lights. I like the back end of the Fusion, but not nearly as much as I like the front.
The front end is all you need to see of the Fusion. This car shares some design language with Aston Martins. If the two were put side by side, there would be no comparison. The Astons are ridiculously gorgeous. The Fusion is very good looking, but they are not in the same league. There are hints of Aston on the front end, and this design is one that Ford has since adapted to the C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, and a less-aggressive looking version on the Taurus.
The lines of the Fusion are distinct. You will not find a better looking sedan for the money in this segment. There is the Camry; snooze. The Accord; yawn. The Malibu with the same style tail lights as when I was a kid in the late 80’s-early 90’s. Only the Charger has some really attractive styling. The Fusion is the best looking. Just look at NASCAR races now. The race cars actually look like the road cars they’re styled after and the Ford is the best looking by far. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday can be a mantra again.
Rant first: Please do not take away the analog buttons from the center stack of controls; the media and climate control. I get that My Ford Touch is touch screen and there has been enough negative things said. I can adjust to My Ford Touch, but making all of the analog buttons into touch sensitive areas on the dashboard is infuriating. I would have to press everything, except the power button on the radio (an actual button), multiple times.
There were times when I had to press a button three to five times to get it to finally work. The whole time glancing up and down to make sure I didn’t plow through a turkey (the turkey population is way up this year out here…). Technology for the sake of technology is not progress. Please leave some analog buttons.
Some of the technology was awesome though. All four windows were one touch Auto up/down. I love that. It is a simple feature and adds value to the car for me. I get frustrated when a car has auto down, but not auto up windows. The Fusion has all four auto up/down and it was great!
There is the Active Park Assist (Automatic Parallel Parking), the Rearview camera, the parking sensors, which tell you when you’re about to hit something or if there is a car coming as you back out. All of it was very helpful. I liked all of this. I think that in the next five years, the car will not need me at all to park. Just select the parking space on the monitor and the car will do the rest. You won’t even get to shift or use the accelerator.
My Ford Touch is the same as before. I used the navigation which was pretty straight forward and easy to use. The phone syncing is very simple. Both of my boys (4 and almost 2 years old) loved being a part of all my phone calls as they would holler their "Hello's" from the back seat.
There were times when the My Ford Touch got confused while playing songs from my iPod. I was listening to “J!$z in my Pants” by The Lonely Island. When I switched to another song, the display continued to read “J!$z in my Pants” and did so for the next four songs. The 12 year old in me thought it was hilarious. The adult was underwhelmed. This happened a couple times with different songs and podcasts. It is something that I would expect from any other form of technology and disconnecting the iPod and plugging it back in helped. “Have you turned if off and on again?” Always the first question asked when getting technology help!
The SE model had the optional 1.6L 4 cylinder EcoBoost engine. This engine makes 174 horsepower and 184 ft. lbs. of torque at 2,500 rpms. This is why the Fusion felt the most athletic around 3,000 rpms.
There is a trick to getting the best performance out of this car. You had to find the sweet spot for acceleration. If you accelerated the Fusion too quickly or not enough, then the transmission would feel confused and unwilling. If you got it just right, then the Fusion would feel athletic, light, and ready for anything. It’s all about balance.
The mpg numbers have me a little worried. The 1.6L 4 cylinder should be getting some pretty good numbers. The weather was fairly warm and the humidity levels were down, so I thought I’d get some great mileage from this car. I averaged 25.5 mpg over the whole week. That includes city, highway, idle, and the Auto Start-Stop. Ford lists the 1.6L at, using the Auto Start-Stop, 24 city, 37 highway, and 28 combined. Most days I would be around 27 for the morning commute and then back down to 25 for the trip home. I think over 30 is achievable on the highway, but I didn’t take any trips far enough away on the highway to see if that was true.
The chassis and suspension make the Fusion feel “grounded to the ground” to steal a line from a Camry commercial. I took the Fusion up my favorite curvy road and really gave it the business. The Fusion responded well. The torque coming in at 2,500 rpms means that the car is ready to jump with one down shift. This was my favorite time with this car.
The torque from the 1.6L engine is enough. It measures 184 ft. lb. of torque at 2,500 rpms. The torque really helps the Fusion want to go. It seems ready to roll off the line. There is no hint of it being sluggish. When you get higher up the tachometer then the 1.6L gets airy, light, and a little gutless. When you’re whipping the Fusion the transmission shifts around 4,000 rpms, keeping you in the high area of the torque curve. If you put it in S mode the transmissions holds the gears longer, which make the car feel less athletic.
I have history with this car. It’s the first debut at an auto show I’ve ever seen in person. I’m not a major automotive journalist, but I do plan to play one on TV. This car is one of my “firsts.” I rarely forget a first and I will never forget the 2013 Ford Fusion. It looks soooo good.
I built my own Fusion on Ford.com. I picked the same engine; the 1.6L Ecoboost. I also picked the 6 speed manual transmission. I have a feeling I would have to order the manual from the factory, since this is America and only the car nerds want a manual anymore. The 1.6L is the only engine that comes with a manual. I also switched to the 18” Premium Painted Sport Wheels for $650. This package also gets me Eco Cloth seats made from 100% recyclable materials. The hippie in me lives on, for now…
The price for my Fusion was $26,070, which is a lot, but not as expensive as my tester. I didn’t click the package with My Ford Touch… I like Sync, though, and I really like the Fusion. Go drive one!