2016 Focus RS New Car Test Drive
The Ford Fusion is comfortable, roomy, detailed, high-tech, athletic, and last but not least striking. It looks like an Aston Martin, as intended. Even in a NASCAR field, its racy face emerges. Fusion competes with Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu and other midsize sedans.
Plenty of powertrains are available for the Fusion: three four-cylinder engines plus a hybrid gas-electric version and a plug-in hybrid.
The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that doesn't quite live up to the Fusion's dynamic profile or, for that matter, its name. The main attraction here is price. Rated at 175 horsepower, the 2.5-liter comes with a 6-speed automatic and gets an EPA-estimated 22/34 mpg City/Highway, or 26 Combined miles per gallon.
Stepping up to the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder brings slightly more performance and slightly better fuel economy, with 185 horsepower and 23/36 mpg City/Highway or 28 mpg Combined, or 25/37 mpg with the Stop-Start feature, 29 mpg Combined.
A more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder brings 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque and is rated 22/33 mpg with front-wheel drive, 22/31 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The Fusion Hybrid is EPA-rated at 44/41 mpg City/Highway, 42 Combined. Fusion Energi is rated 40/36/38 mpg and, because it can be plugged in for more electric drive, less gas-engine use, it also earns an EPA rating of 88 Combined MPGe.
The 2016 Fusion gets five stars in overall safety ratings from the federal government, NHTSA, with four stars for side crash. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it gets the top Good ratings in all the types of crashes except the small overlap frontal category, which mimics a telephone pole. Ford's latest safety innovation is inflating rear seatbelts for the crossovers.
The current generation Ford Fusion came out as a 2013 model. The 2016 Ford Fusion is essentially unchanged over 2015: A new 2016 Fusion S Appearance Package adds 18-inch black wheels, fog lamps and a spoiler. There's also a new Cold Weather package with remote start, heated cloth seats, and floor mats, important features on cold mornings.
Fusion S ($22,110) comes standard with cloth upholstery, SYNC with MyFord, rearview camera, AM/FM/CD with four speakers. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charges or incentives.)
Fusion SE ($23,680) upgrades to the 2.0-liter engine, 10-way power driver's seat, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and other features. Fusion Titanium ($30,630) features leather upholstery, Sony premium audio and other features.
Fusion SE Luxury Energi ($31,273) and Titanium Energi ($32,961) feature the plug-in hybrid engine.
Fusion S Hybrid ($23,942), Fusion SE Hybrid ($24,428), and Fusion Titanium Hybrid ($28,994) feature the hybrid gas-electric drivetrain.