2007 Fusion New Car Test Drive
The 2007 Ford Fusion is an excellent choice among midsize sedans and should not be overlooked. The Fusion was introduced as an all-new vehicle for 2006 and it's a superb car. It handles well, looks purposeful, it's comfortable, and it delivers good value.
All-wheel drive is a new option for 2007, and we found the new, all-wheel-drive Ford Fusion extremely stable on wet pavement.
The 2007 Fusion models come standard with side-impact and curtain airbags, an upgrade over 2006. The 2007 models offer Sirius satellite radio and DVD navigation. A front passenger seatback that folds down comes on 2007 Fusion SE and SEL models, making it possible to haul extra-long items, and the 2007 Fusion SE has been upgraded with fog lights and 16-inch wheels.
The Fusion offers a choice of V6 and four-cylinder engines. The four-cylinder offers a five-speed automatic, an impressive feature that offers smoother, more fuel-efficient operation. And the V6 comes with a six-speed automatic, a feature associated with top-end luxury cars. A five-speed manual gearbox is available with the four-cylinder engine.
The cabin is comfortable and well designed with controls are intuitive and easy to operate. The center dash is not spectacularly beautiful, and the interior looks classier in the lighter colors.
Crisp lines, big headlamps and a bold, chrome grille give the Fusion a distinctive appearance that we find attractive.
The Fusion has earned plaudits from consumer surveys. It was the most appealing midsize car in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which surveys owners on product features. The Fusion was second in the Midsize Car category in the 2006 Ideal Vehicle Awards survey conducted by AutoPacific, beaten out by the nearly identical Mercury Milan; the survey focuses on how close automakers came to meeting the desires of the vehicle's target audience. The Fusion won in the Medium Car segment, beating out the Honda Accord and new Volkswagen Jetta, in Strategic Vision's Total Quality Study, which looks at things gone right, things gone wrong and dealership experiences after 90 days of ownership.
The 2007 Ford Fusion comes with a choice of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Fusion comes in three trim levels, the S, SE and SEL. The standard engine for all of them is the 2.3-liter four-cylinder Duratec rated at 160 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, a five-speed automatic transmission is optional ($850). A 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 221 horsepower coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission is available in the SE and SEL trims.
The Fusion S ($17,295) comes standard with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, AM/FM stereo with four speakers and a single CD/MP3 player.
The SE ($18,155) adds a six-way power driver seat, a front-passenger seatback that folds down to handle long cargo, two additional speakers, redundant speed and audio controls on the steering wheel, dual illuminated mirrors in the sun visors, fog lamps, premium six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player and carbon fiber center stack applique. The SE is available with the V6 ($20,888) or V6 and all-wheel drive ($22,730)
The SEL ($19,250) adds automatic headlights, 17-inch wheels, automatic temperature control, upgraded cloth interior, upgraded wood or piano black interior trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and an analog clock. The SEL is also available with the V6 ($21,975), and with the V6 and all-wheel drive ($23,825).
Leather seating ($895) is available for the SE or SEL. Other options include a DVD-based navigation system ($1,895), satellite radio ($195), heated front seats ($295), and a power moonroof ($795).
Safety features include side curtain airbags for head protection in both rows and seat-mounted side-impact airbags for thorax protection for the front seats. That's in addition to the mandated frontal airbags. LATCH child-seat anchors and rear-door child-safety locks are standard. Three-point belts are provided for all five seating locations, so be sure to wear them because they're your first line of defense in a crash. Optional safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes ($595). Traction control ($95) is available for front-wheel-drive models with V6 engines.