This morning, I drove the all new 2013 Ford Fusion. My local dealer received this car yesterday; only one, and they had not put it inside yet. So, I asked if I could drive it. I have wanted to drive the Fusion since it was unveiled in Detroit earlier this year. It is a beautiful car, but good looks will not be enough in the competitive mid-sized sedan market. After spending a short time with this car this morning, I can assure you that the Fusion is a good car. There are some faults, but it is a good car nonetheless.
The first thing you notice about the Fusion is its looks. The exterior is very clean, but aggressively styled. Even though this car was the base model, starting at $22,500, it had a chrome grille and chrome trim. The European influence in evident in the cars lines, but the Fusion’s best feature is its face. The grille and headlights give the car an aggressive stance. The car’s styling has been compared to an Aston Martin, and there is definitely some Aston influence. While most automotive critics agree the car is good looking, the general public will have to decide if they prefer the Fusion’s bold looks over the Camry’s conservative exterior styling.
The interior of the car has been redesigned as well. While the interior feels a bit cramped, it is laid out well. The cloth interior of the car I drove was nice, but the front bucket seats are uncomfortable. There is too much lateral support for a car that you are not going to throw around a track. The rear seats were better, and have plenty of headroom and legroom. On the tech side, thankfully, the model I drove did not have MyFord Touch, but it did have Sync and a decent tech package for a base model, although the dealer was not able to figure out how to work the radio without pressing several buttons. But this has been Ford’s problem. Its infotainment systems have not been the most intuitive.
Driving impressions of the Fusion have been very positive. The ride is comfortable and very quiet. It may not be Cadillac quiet, but it much quieter than the Camry and Accord, which I find have too much road noise. What really impressed me about the Fusion was the suspension. It is not overly soft, nor it is not too hard. It feels sporty and gives the road feedback a driver will like. The Fusion performed well in town and on the highway. The transmission is smooth and there not a lot of engine noise – although, I really like a great exhaust sound.
The car I drove had the base 2.5 liter four-cylinder. It is a solid engine, but nothing exciting. And the car only comes with a variety of four cylinders and Eco-Boost fours. I think this is Ford’s biggest mistake. The car may look aggressive, but it does not have the power to back it up. Yes, people want fuel efficiency in a mid-size sedan, but the Mustang’s V6 gets 31 MPG, and the 300 HP would make the Fusion a very fun car.
Overall, the Fusion is a great car and steps up the mid-size sedan market in terms of styling. It is entering a very competitive market, but it should do well. The 2012 Fusion was the second best seller in the class, and this car is much better than the outgoing model. Will the new Fusion dethrone the Camry? Probably not yet, but it is going to force the others to make some changes to their cars. As Ford says, the new Fusion is, “Not just a new car model, but a new model for cars.”
Photo Credit: Autoblog