Reviews

2017 Ford Fusion Driving Impressions

The base 2.5-liter engine does okay, but a broader torque band would be nice. It doesn’t reach peach torque until 4500 rpm, so the 6-speed transmission has to work a lot.

If snappy acceleration is important to you, you need the 2.0-liter turbo, with its 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It revs quickly, and steering-wheel paddles sweeten the shifting. It’s also very smooth and silent, almost amazingly so for a four-cylinder. But the best choice might be the compromise, the 181-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbo four, for its lower price point.

Even at its heaviest, about 3700 pounds, the Fusion feels nimble and offers excellent handling. It’s up there with the Mazda 6, some Honda Accord models, and the strong new Chevrolet Malibu. Ford takes advantage of its European roots and connections, bringing sophistication to the ride and cornering that’s flat and reassuring. The steering is taut and well tuned, making the Fusion eager in a way you just don’t find in everyday midsize sedans. The steering isn’t perfect, but it’s consistent. There’s not much feedback when unwinding the wheel, and the ratio could be quicker, but it still feels sporty, at least with the larger wheels. Ride quality and handling changes between the 16-inch standard wheels and 19-inch available ones, as all cars will.

The suspension uses front struts and rear multi-links that Ford calls Control LInk. It’s absorbent while providing more firmness and composure than rivals such as the Nissan Altima. Still, the Fusion knows that it’s a family sedan and doesn’t try to pretend it’s a sports sedan. It makes the seat of our pants happy.

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