Vital Stats

Engine:
Turbo 1.6L I4
Power:
178 HP / 184 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
8.0 Seconds (est.)
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,421 LBS
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
16.0 CU-FT
MPG:
23 City / 36 HWY
Blue Oval Goes All-In On The Family Sedan War With Style and Variety



An Aston Martin Rapide followed us in traffic for nearly 20 minutes immediately after we climbed out of the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion. With the attractive styling of America's latest four-door sedan still very fresh in our mind, we couldn't help but stare as the exotic sedan's distinctive snout filled our rearview mirror. The resemblance was uncanny.

It is no coincidence that Ford's new mid-size sedan shares many styling cues with arguably the world's best-looking four-door sedan – styling motivates sales. But to lead a volume segment, and move in excess of 250,000 units annually, the Fusion must distinguish itself as a leader against best-sellers from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia.

Aiming to deliver head-turning styling, utility, value, technology, performance and fuel efficiency in one midsize package, and aligning with its "One Ford" proclamation (a business decision to sell global automotive platforms), Ford crossed the Atlantic for guidance. The result is a fashionable four-door built on a fresh platform with heavy European influence.
2013 Ford Fusion side view2013 Ford Fusion front view2013 Ford Fusion rear view

The all-new second-generation Ford Fusion debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year. Like most of its competitors, offering multiple powertrains and trim levels, there are many options for the consumer – maybe too many choices. In a nutshell, there are five different models, five different powerplants and two different drivelines all mixed-and-matched beneath one four-door chassis.

In a nutshell, there are five different models, five different powerplants, and two different drivelines.

Ford calls the range's new entry-level models the Fusion S (base price $21,700 plus $795 destination). As this trim is most likely to take up residence among rental car fleets, it is motivated by a returning naturally aspirated 2.5-liter iVCT four-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 175 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission (6AT). Standard cloth seats, automatic headlights and 16-inch wheels are more functional than elegant.

The upgraded Fusion SE (base price $23,700 plus $795 destination) may also be configured with that base powertrain. More likely than not, it will be upgraded with a more powerful direct-injected and turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder rated at 178 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm or a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder rated at 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 270 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. For those who prefer to row their own gears, a six-speed manual gearbox (6MT) is offered with the 1.6-liter mill. All other engines are mated to the six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive is standard. Other standard equipment at this trim level includes a power-operated driver's seat, rear climate control vents, body-colored exterior trim panels and 17-inch alloy wheels.

2013 Ford Fusion engine

The range-topping Fusion Titanium (base price $30,200 plus $795 destination) is equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission as standard equipment, but buyers are offered a choice between front- and all-wheel drive to tackle more challenging climates. The premium trim is configured with standard equipment like dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, push-button start (with remote ignition on the key fob) and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Lastly, the Fusion Hybrid (base price $27,200 plus $795 destination) combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor for a total of 185 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive, is standard. (Pricing for the upcoming Fusion Energi, a plug-in version of the Fusion Hybrid expected to arrive in 2013, has not been announced.)

In addition to the aforementioned standard equipment, Ford has placed its voice-activated SYNC with MyFord and AppLink infotainment on all models. Other available technology (offered on most models for a price) includes a rear camera, lane-keeping system, driver alert system, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, pull-drift compensation and blind spot indicator system with cross-traffic alert.

2013 Ford Fusion headlight2013 Ford Fusion grille2013 Ford Fusion wheel2013 Ford Fusion taillight

To differentiate your Fusion from the one in your neighbor's driveway, there are ten different exterior colors (including Ginger Ale, Bordeaux Reserve and Deep Impact Blue) and three interior colors (black, gray and dune). Keeping the family safe, meanwhile, is a long list of safety equipment including dual front airbags, dual front knee airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags and side air curtain airbags.

Those counting inches will find the Accord and Passat are both roomier for second row passengers.

Instead of pounding out another two thousand words on equipment, options and packaging, let's cut right to the chase: driving impressions.

Last week, we spent a day in the Los Angeles basin driving two of Ford's new mid-size sedan models: a Fusion SE with the turbocharged 1.6-liter mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and a front-wheel-drive Fusion Titanium with the turbocharged 2.0-liter and automatic transmission (our photo car is an automatic-equipped SE).

While some would incorrectly assume that a midsize sedan slotted below the full-size Taurus but above the compact Focus would be cramped, that simply wasn't the case with the new Fusion. Your author's six-foot, two-inch frame found plenty of room in all four primary seats with generous shoulder and headroom (the fifth seating position, in the middle of the second row, is slightly raised). However, those counting inches will find the Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat roomier for second row passengers.

2013 Ford Fusion interior2013 Ford Fusion front seats2013 Ford Fusion rear seats

The primary instrument cluster is traditional in layout, but a bit more innovative in execution. Standard models, such as our SE 6MT, feature an analog tachometer and an analog speedometer with a multi-function screen situated between the two. Premium models place an analog speedometer in the middle, with multi-function digital gauges on each side (an analog tachometer may be digitally represented on the left part of the panel). The center cluster is also unique, again based on trim and options. Standard models have single-zone climate control, with four ergonomic and easy-to-use round dials; premium models feature a touch-sensitive panel and an integrated fixed color touchscreen at the top (our screen was marred with greasy fingerprints after just an hour). While the base setup was pleasing to the eye, we wished the more expensive of the two consoles was a bit more stylish.

The as-tested price of the Fusion SE we drove was a very reasonable $26,040.

Our test vehicles were both pre-production, meaning fit-and-finish wasn't up to production standards. Nevertheless, we found nearly all of the materials and upholsteries to be of high quality. Nothing glaring caught our attention, although we did find fault with the gloss black trim between the seats (a high use area surrounding the cupholders) as it was already showing fingerprints and surface scratches after just a few thousand miles of use.

First up for driving was a Fusion SE with the 1.6-liter engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. While it's possible to pour on the options and drive the price of this particular model upwards to nearly $35,000, our sedan was wisely optioned. The interior featured comfortable cloth upholstery and full power accessories, but it was lacking the larger infotainment screen on the center stack. A quick glance at the options list revealed only equipment group 204A (18-inch wheels, rear decklid spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lamps and back-up sensors), bringing the as-tested price to a very reasonable $26,040 (including destination).

2013 Ford Fusion gauges2013 Ford Fusion climate control display2013 Ford Fusion shifter2013 Ford Fusion door speaker

Ford offers an optional start-stop system bundled with some aerodynamic aids with the 1.6-liter 6AT model.

In this rather sporty configuration, the Fusion SE put a smile on our faces. The manual transmission was slick in operation and there was abundant torque at the bottom end to make launching simple (electronic hill-hold made easy work of starting on a slope). The engine willingly ran to redline, buzzing away happily in typical four-cylinder fashion until the next gear was selected. Don't expect a stoplight racer, but power is more than adequate (again, much of the credit goes to the torque, which is the one substitute to cubic inches).

While it was no sports car, the Fusion's European-tuned MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension with stabilizers at each end made easy work of the canyons. Probing the limits, we pushed pretty hard on very familiar roads and could barely get the tires to protest. The lightweight 1.6-liter buried in the nose helps to keep the curb weight low (it is listed at 3,333 pounds) and the sedan felt eager and agile from behind the wheel. The electric steering felt good and the brakes predictable. It didn't take long to realize that we could easily live with this configuration, especially after taking a look at the Ford's fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined (those numbers drop to 23 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined when mated to the 6AT). It is interesting to note that for those seeking even greater fuel economy, the automaker offers an optional start-stop system bundled with some aerodynamic aids with the 1.6-liter 6AT model, the first application of the fuel-saving technology in a Ford equipped with an automatic-transmission. It is good for another couple miles per gallon, but unfortunately is not available on the 6MT variant.

Autoblog Short Cuts: 2013 Ford Fusion

The hard-working yet diminutive and efficient 1.6-liter is pretty darn good.

Next we jumped behind the wheel of a Fusion Platinum with the 2.0-liter engine and 6AT. With upscale leather upholstery and nearly every option (it lacked the radar-based cruise control), the sticker was a more precious $34,280. There was unquestionably more power going to the front wheels and more attractive exhaust tips under the rear fascia, but it also felt as if it had a lot more mass up front to deal with. We played with the standard paddle shifters, but they didn't heighten the driving experience or seem to make quicker work of acceleration. The heavier sedan was plenty stable (we estimate a curb weight of about 3,550 pounds) but it also felt noticeably less nimble in the corners. Fuel economy expectedly drops with the more powerful engine and slushbox (Ford estimates 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined). While the turbocharged 2.0-liter easily replaces last year's six-cylinder option, after two hours behind the wheel we weren't entirely convinced that it was the better engine – the hard-working yet diminutive and efficient 1.6-liter is pretty darn good.

Both Fusion models are excellent highway cruisers, and not just because they ride well or squeeze bladder-busting miles from each gallon of fuel. The sleek styling cheats the wind with a .27 drag coefficient (a 10-percent improvement over last year's model) and the twin exterior mirrors have been moved to lessen turbulence. The result is a nearly silent passenger compartment at speed; the only noise that permeates the cabin is the familiar buzz of a four-cylinder engine coming through the firewall under heavy acceleration (there is no exhaust note audible from the cabin). Tire noise has also been kept in check, meaning all passenger conversations can be comfortably kept at low living room levels.

2013 Ford Fusion rear 3/4 view

Ford has completely side-stepped the pack with a five-passenger sedan that is both really exciting to look at and genuinely fun to drive.

Back at the hotel, we mulled over the segment and tried to figure out exactly where the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion fit in its particular universe. More specifically, how does it compare to the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, Subaru Legacy, Mazda Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima? Even though we have spent countless hours in each of these vehicles, it became nearly impossible to stack rank the segment without physically comparing each in similar trim with equivalent powertrains – something we had no access to.

But we did come to a conclusion, mostly after reminding ourselves that the mid-size family sedan segment has largely been bland and boring for decades ("styling" to many of these automakers has meant nothing more than rearranging the lights on the fascia and "sport packages" are chock full of useless cosmetic goodies). We are pointing out the obvious when we say that most of the sedans in this segment have evolved into dull five-passenger appliances.

Ford's solution, while not particularly pioneering in any one particular area, arrives as a welcome surprise. Instead of just pushing the bar up in anticipation of the competition's next move, it has completely side-stepped the pack with a five-passenger sedan that is both really exciting to look at and genuinely fun to drive. The all-new 2013 Fusion possesses authentic European dynamics, class-leading technological innovation and mold-breaking stylish flair. Last year's Fusion was plenty good, but its all-new successor appears bold enough to chart its own course out of a traditionally lifeless category.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 341 Comments
      Pixelwiz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why no trunk photos?
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pixelwiz
        Might not be 100% finished as it is a pre-production vehicle.
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looking at the rear I just realized what it looks like. A Ford Contour!
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      One word comes to mind here- overrated.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        [blocked]
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        You should accept Sean Connery as your lord and savior.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        Is that your website or something? You spam it in a lot of your posts here. Why didn't you just link Motortrend?
        fefifofum
        • 2 Years Ago
        Worse on the skid pad .... And not anywhere near as gorgeous.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @fefifofum
          That would matter if the Accord was a sports car. Spoiler: it isn't.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        GuyClinch
        • 2 Years Ago
        This is less awesome then you think. Of course the manual hondas are quick. But no one buys them - so you can forget about those stats in the real world
        ClementZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        It might be best to post the MT site, rather than something containing the name of an automaker. Not only do you come off as biased, but people will be angry just to see those names. But you're right. MT has the same numbers, and the Accord I4 MT is as fast as the turbo 2.0 Fusion.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ClementZ
          SPOILER: the 2.0L EcoBoost replaces the 3.0L Duratec, NOT the 3.5L Duratec.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ClementZ
          SPOILER: the 2.0L EcoBoost replaces the 3.0L Duratec, NOT the 3.5L Duratec.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        Look at the Honda trolls that rolled in here. -10, really?
        Greyhairedpete
        • 2 Years Ago
        Why put MT in your name Aaron, weren't you banned from there some time ago?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mobis21
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford has changed the paradigm of what a family sized hauler should look like-not boring. This has mega hit written all over it.
      GRR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Driving this should feel like driving a cheap disproportioned Lamborghini replica with 4 cylinder engine, but forget how it feels, it will make you look dumb and be a testament to your bad taste. This looks as vulgar as any of those chinese lookalike cars, you know the ones that look like cool cars but are cheap imitations. If you cant afford a Rolex you dont go around wearing an imitations made of plastic with gold paint, it'll just be worst. This thing is tacky for sure, I mean how dumb would it look if VW came out with the new Golf and it had the front end of a Porsche??
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GRR
        Let me guess, they should be driving a Honda instead?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GRR
        [blocked]
        The_Zachalope
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GRR
        I think you posted your comment on the wrong article. This is about the new Fusion.
        Tom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GRR
        Some one JUST saw the episode of Top Gear where Jezza and May went to China, and then he had a revelation and felt the need to tell the world.
      Sir Duke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Hyundai: This is what the Sonata could have been. Not the overdone piece of cheap costume jewelry that is today.
        dohc73
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sir Duke
        .....and sells quite well .....and is forcing Hyundai to add more factory hours to meet the demand for the Sonata .....and still looks better even in base form compared to the Fusion's too small wheel package and lackluster entry-level interior with its drab appearance.
        Awhattup
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sir Duke
        Hyundai : LOL? NOT!
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a ford man through and through. But I can see how American cars are so cheap. When it comes to build the thing, the nastiest, cheapest, interior plastics are sort after. That grey is awful. The charcoal colour from the show cars was much more appealing to the eye.
        Solider 95B
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        I agree with the plastic interior of this car. My sister has a Ford Edge, and the dashboard is like a sea of plastic, and it's hard.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Solider 95B
          She obviously has the pre-MMC Edge. New one is incredibly nice.
        OnTheRocks
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        For a Ford man it sounds like you haven't been in a Ford car in the last 5 years. How can you even say that when comparing them to the competition?
        Tom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        My 2006 Fusion has soft touch plastic everywhere...
      egcm2
      • 2 Years Ago
      22/31/25 combined with 240 hp isn't anything too special. The Sonata delivers 22/34/26 combined with 274 hp. Ford is still playing catch-up.
        Yang Xi Gua
        • 2 Years Ago
        @egcm2
        237 hp
        libertedelacroix
        • 2 Years Ago
        @egcm2
        Once again, it is all about real world performance. My Audi A4 as "only" 211 hp. My cousins Hyundai has 274 hp. My car weighs 3900 lbs (I have the quattro wagon model), and my cousin's turbo sonata weighs in at around 3400 lbs. But when it comes to 0-60, I destroy his car. You read that right. My cousin's sonata, with ~65 MORE horsepower and 500 lbs LESS in weight, is slower than my car.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @libertedelacroix
          I am talking about launching the car from a stop, that's where it helps you. Go drive a FWD Fronttrac A4 and tell me if you don't have wheel spin from a launch. You can get wheelspin in a sub-200HP vehicle. You don't beat that Sonata from a roll, A4s are DOG slow once moving. Again, thank your heavy ass Quattro and parasitic loss from the AWD system. You are talking to an engineer. You also sound like you don't know very much about cars if you are saying you have to have high HP to get wheelspin at launch. Go drive a GTI, launch it with ALL traction aids off. Stage Two you will "demolish" cars from a stop, again, credit goes to AWD, but anything from a roll vehicles with the same HP or slightly more will pull on you. Many of my friends are in the VAG world, so I am not talking out of my ass. There are modifications for the 2.0T in the Hyundai as well, so your cousin could do the same thing. Those vehicles launch soft to prevent wheelspin, even with all traction aids turned off. FYI, I've NEVER seen a stock A4 2.0T trap in the mid 90's.
          libertedelacroix
          • 2 Years Ago
          @libertedelacroix
          Thank Quattro? LMAO, dude, besides the handling, my quattro does not provide benefit in accelerating (and in fact, hurts my acceleration from a roll due to drivetrain loss and more weight). AWD really helps with launching the car..... IF you have a lot of hp/tq (think GTR). But since I am in the under 300 hp club, even if my car as RWD/FWD, I doubt my tires would be losing traction at launch. Nowadays even FWD cars can launch without torque steer while still having close to 300 hp. Stock A4s trap mid 90s. And from 60-80, you are right, my advantage really decreases, but I still beat him. For $500 bucks I can go stage 1 (or add a HFC for another $300 and go stage 2) and demolish cars with over 300 hp, while "only" having around 265 hp.
          GuyClinch
          • 2 Years Ago
          @libertedelacroix
          Audi underrates their engines though. Dyno's show they make a good deal more then 211. Ford and especially Kia do not.. Audi and BMW both do the underated the turbo engine bit because they want to sell more expensive ones.. This car will not be very fast in the real world - espect 0-60 in the mid 7s... IMHO.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @egcm2
        Overrated engine...
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @egcm2
        There are those who say Hyundai has fudged their EPA numbers. I am not one of them, but I will say that fuel mileage alone does not sell cars (if it did, we'd all be driving Prii).
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's compare Fusion 1.6L and base Accord Fusion 1.6L turbo costs $24,495, 178 hp, 23 city 36 highway, has turbo lag Accord 2.4L costs $21,680, 185 hp, 27 city 36 highway, has no turbo lag I don't know about you, but it doesn't seem Fusion 1.6L can hold its own against base Accord
        Walt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        You know, I don't even have to read what you say anymore. I just see the name and vote you down. You're that pathetic.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        um, obviously you need to drive one, becaus eif you had is you will notice theres NO LAG.....
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Ford is betting its good looks will win buyers over. I think it can go either way. The Accord is cheaper, better equipped, has a seemingly better interior, gets better mileage and has a much better reputation for quality (important for first year models). Not sure if the Fusion's looks will be able to trump all that. It certainly didn't for me, but maybe I'm weird.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Famsert
          actually the Fusion has been rated tops in dependability in its class for a couple of years now......
        mitytitywhitey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        I didn't see the part where the AB crew mentioned turbo lag.
        libertedelacroix
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        See? This is what happens when morons like you post on here- you just fill the comments section with useless and biased misinformation. I doubt you are a car guy, but IF you were, you'd know a little more about forced induction, and how the power curve on the Fusion is much broader and flatter, producing much more torque over a larger area, making it a much better performer. And lag???? We are not talking about a GT35R turbo here with 500+ hp, we are talking a TINY turbo with very low peak powers, meaning that even though it makes sacrifices in the power department, it can spool almost instantaneously. Go die.
        domingorobusto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Yep. Because it's 1986 and absolutely no advancements in turbocharger technology have been made. Wait....
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        actually I cant answer these questions but does the base Accord come with a 6 speaker stereo, 10 way power drivers seat, 17 inch Aluminum wheels, rear ac ducts ,satellite radio, heated mirrors with signal indicators and puddle lamps and securicode keypad as standard equp ment?...are options such as Leather rear camera, sync lane departure auto high beams active park assist, upgrade 18 inch wheels adaptive cruise, reverse sensing even available?...they are on the SE, and thats even BEFORE one steps up to the Titanium....
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          I think it has rear seat A/C ducts, but the drivers seat 8 way power. Most everything you described is standard on the EX-L trim and everything, plus LED low beam headlights are standard on the 'Touring' trim.
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