2019 Fusion New Car Test Drive
The Ford Fusion has anchored the automaker's sedan lineup for a decade-it elbowed aside the Taurus to do so. But as sedans have made way for crossover SUVs, so will the Fusion. Ford will soon stop making the Fusion as it trims its passenger-car lineup.
The current Fusion's styling was groundbreaking when it came out in 2013, and it remains lean and handsome. Mechanically there isn't one thing wrong with it, including a choice of four good engines plus two hybrids, a smooth ride, secure handling, and great safety scores.
For 2019, the Fusion bodywork is tweaked and all models gain automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. The lineup is slightly changed to S, SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport models. The Hybrid can be ordered in SE and SEL trim, while the plug-in hybrid Energi comes in Titanium trim only. It has a 25-mile all-electric range, an increase of 3 miles over last year.
There are four available engines plus the hybrid: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, 1.5-liter turbo-4, 2.0-liter turbo-4, and 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6. The hybrids use a 2.0-liter inline-4 with two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack All Fusions use a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The base 2.5-liter engine makes 175 horsepower and is totally ordinary, with less power than rivals' base engines.
The 1.5-liter turbo-4 only raises the horsepower to 181, but it has more torque and better fuel economy, marginally helped by stop/start technology. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 breaks the 200-horsepower barrier with 245 hp.
The 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 325 horsepower and a relative earth-shaking 380 pound-feet of torque. It comes in the Sport model with all-wheel drive. All other Fusions are front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive optional.
Both Hybrid sedans blend a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with twin electric motors, having a combined output of 188 horsepower. Tucked into the hybrid sedans' trunks is a lithium-ion battery pack-1.4 kwh in the Hybrid and 9.0 kwh in the Energi. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) shuttles power to the front wheels.
From a totally depleted battery, recharging takes 3 to 4 hours, using a Level 2 (240-volt) charging station. Plugged into a 120-volt household outlet, charging takes about 7 hours.
EPA fuel mileage for the base 2.5-liter engine is 21/31/25 mpg. The 1.5-liter turbo 4, with start/stop technology, gets better mileage, while still on regular fuel: 23 mpg city, 34 highway, 27 combined.
The 2.0-liter turbo-4 with all-wheel drive is rated at 20/29/23 mpg, while the Sport's V-6 drops those figures to just 17/26/20 mpg. These two engines need premium fuel.
The Fusion Hybrid is rated at 43/41/42 mpg, while the Energi plug-in hybrid is rated at 103 MPGe, or 42 mpg combined. Some hybrid competitors do better, especially the newest Toyota Camry, which is EPA-rated at 52 mpg combined.
Safety scores are great. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Fusion its top Good scores in every crash test. The standard automatic emergency braking system earned the top 'Superior'? rating. Still, the headlights are rated “Poor.'?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Fusion five stars overall, including five stars for side-impact but only four for frontal crash protection and four for calculated rollover. .
Fusion S ($22,840) comes with the 2.5-liter engine, front-wheel drive, cloth seats, cruise control, air conditioning, rearview camera, pushbutton start, SYNC infotainment, Bluetooth, 16-inch wheels, steering-wheel controls, and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD player. For 2019 all models get standard automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. All-wheel drive isn't available. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Fusion SE ($24,120) comes with the 1.5-liter turbo engine, and adds power front seats, 17-inch wheels, satellite radio, and LED exterior lighting. All-wheel drive ($27,775) comes with an option package that includes other features, namely the 2.0-liter turbo engine.
The front-wheel-drive SEL ($28,580) comes with the 1.5-liter turbo engine and more equipment than the SE. The all-wheel-drive SEL ($32,065) comes with the 2.0-liter turbo engine.
Fusion Titanium ($34,340) has the 2.0-liter turbo-4. Also standard are heated front seats, SYNC 3, dual-zone automatic climate control, sport seats with leather surfaces, 12-speaker Sony audio, HD radio, 18-inch wheels, and ambient lighting. All-wheel drive adds $2,000.
Fusion AWD Sport ($40,015) gets the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6, adaptive shock absorbers, shift paddles, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and fog lights, leather/suede seats, nine-speaker audio, aluminum pedals, and active noise cancellation. All-wheel drive is standard.
Fusion Hybrid SE (about $27,000) has power front seats, satellite radio, and LED lighting.
Fusion Energi Titanium has a plug-in hybrid powertrain, 18-inch wheels, leather seats, heated front seats, SYNC 3 infotainment, satellite radio, 12-speaker Sony audio, ambient lighting, and rear spoiler. .