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#1

in 2009 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,089 - $12,082
Original MSRP: $19,035 - $25,605
MPG: 20 City / 29 Hwy
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2009 Ford Fusion Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Ford Fusion is often praised for crisp handling that makes it a joy to drive. The Fusion's acceleration is solid with the V6 engine. Though the four-cylinder option is a bit more sluggish, its fuel economy makes it a better choice for many buyers.

  • "On the road, the Fusion rides and handles very well, again thanks to the sound Mazda platform. Steering feel is fine, brakes are excellent, handling is good, but limited by the 16-inch tires."-- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Fusion's ride quality is as good as any car in the class, save perhaps the Toyota Camry." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "When equipped with the Sport Appearance Package (and ideally a manually transmission), the Fusion can be justifiably described as fun to drive." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Ford Fusion is offered with a pair of engines: a base 2.3-liter four-cylinder that puts out 160 horsepower, and a more powerful 3.0-liter V6 that delivers 221 horsepower. The six-cylinder option is adequate, with enough power to make passing at highway speed easy. But several sources claim it trails newer competition in performance and doesn't add much in the way of fuel economy. That engine manages an Environmental Protection Agency rating of 18/26 mpg city/highway. 

The four cylinder option may be more appealing to buyers today.  The smaller engine squeezes out a 20/29 EPA rating -- nothing special in this class. The trade-off in performance is clear.  Consumer Guide, says, "Four-cylinder Fusions are adequate at best."

  • "Both engines provide adequate power and fuel economy though they are outperformed by the engines offered by several competitors." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Unfortunately, the 2009 Fusion comes with the same engines as the outgoing Mazda 6: four- and six-cylinder units that are short on power and fuel economy compared to the litany of tough competitors." -- Edmunds
  • "V6 versions furnish good passing and merging power, even with the additional weight of AWD. But these models require large throttle inputs for best performance and lack the solid around-town response of other V6 rivals." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The Fusion offers more driving enjoyment than many of its rivals, and that attribute comes out strongest in the corners. Reviewers consistently praise the 2009 Ford Fusion's handling as one of its strongest attributes. Kelley Blue Book says the car's "handling that rivals a European sports sedan." The Ford's four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes earn high marks with most reviewers as well.

  • "Underneath the Fusion is a stretched chassis originally developed by Mazda, which imbues in this sedan a sporty character not usually associated with family vehicles." -- Edmunds
  • "Overall, the Fusion is engaging. It tracks steady and true on twisty roads and flatters the driver in a way that the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry can't." -- Road and Track.
  • "Sharp handling, road-gripping ride ... surprisingly tight for a car aimed at the very center of the car-buying public, where mild blandness can be the unhappy side effect of attempting not to offend anyone." -- Business Week
  • "While there's no such thing as a perfect suspension that will please all of the people all of the time, there are times when a suspension is right for a vehicle. We found the Fusion's underpinnings to be just that." -- Boston Globe
  • "Where the Fusion shines, though, is on twisty roads. ... It's also well controlled over bumps and irregularities and compliant enough to offer a comfortable ride; in addition, steering is linear and predictable." -- Motor Trend
  • "Brakes are excellent." -- Orlando Sentinel

All-Wheel Drive

Ford offers all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option on V6-powered Fusions, but the AWD system is not available on four-cylinder models. Auto writers are impressed with the road manners of Ford's AWD system, but some warn that it is an expensive option that isn't necessary and may waste gas.

  • Available all-wheel drive and a new sport package make fine handling even better." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Stay away from it; AWD can be a terrible gas waster. The Fusion handles well enough in the front-wheel-drive version." -- About.com

Next Steps: 2009 Ford Fusion

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