2012 Ford Fusion Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Reviewers praise the 2012 Ford Fusion for its crisp handling and powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine. Overall, the auto press thinks the Fusion is a great day-to-day performer because it’s fun to drive, accelerates smoothly and has good power for passing and merging. The Ford Fusion also offers all-wheel drive on select V6 models, which is a rare feature for the class. For 2012, Ford made the six-speed automatic transmission standard on SE models.
- “True to its name, the Sport has the best handling.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Test drives in the SE and Sport confirm that Ford has raised the Fusion's game considerably. The athletic chassis is still there, but now it's complemented by more power and a far more friendly automatic." -- Motor Trend
- "With 175 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, the four-cylinder Fusion is hardly a sports sedan, but that doesn't mean it's not a fun drive." -- Autoblog
- "With increased power and torque plus advanced six-speed transmissions, even four-cylinder … Ford Fusion models have plenty in hand to cope with all normal city/highway traffic demands." -- Kelley Blue Book
Acceleration and Power
Most auto reviewers like the Ford Fusion’s three engines, but a few say the base four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 don’t provide enough power. The 3.5-liter V6 is the reviewer favorite for its additional power.
The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, which comes standard on S, SE and SEL models. The four-cylinder produces 175 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is optional. Reviewers are somewhat divided on the Fusion’s base engine. Most are impressed with its power for a midsize car, while a few say it is noisy and only provides adequate power.
Although test drivers like the mid-level Fusion engine, a 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 240 horsepower, they love the top-of-the-line 3.5-liter V6, which produces 263 horsepower. Both V6 engines are paired to a six-speed automatic with manual mode. The 3.5-liter V6 is only available on the Sport model, while the 3.0-liter V6 is optional on SE and SEL trims. The 3.0-liter V6 is also flex fuel capable, which means it can run on E85.
The EPA rates the fuel economy of the four-cylinder 2012 Ford Fusion at 23/33 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, while the manual achieves 22/29. The 3.0-liter V6 gets 20/28 mpg, the 3.5-liter V6 engine gets 18/27 mpg, and the all-wheel drive version gets 17/25.
- "The base four-cylinder offers adequate performance, but it can make unpleasant droning noises under a heavy foot." -- Edmunds
- "The 3.0 V6 doesn't feel as strong as its 240-horsepower rating would suggest, but it still accelerates smoothly, furnishing good passing and merging power." -- Consumer Guide
- "Not surprisingly, the Fusion Sport, with its 263-hp 3.5-liter V-6, proved the most enticing. Our sample was also equipped with all-wheel drive, a rarity in this class and, as before, available only with V-6-powered Fusions. As such, the engine's 249 lb-ft of torque propels the 3800-lb sedan (3600 pounds with front-wheel drive) with little trouble. Ford claims a 7.0-second 0-60 time, which seems a touch pessimistic from the seat of our pants." -- Car and Driver
- "Those willing to forego a bit of fuel economy will find the Fusion even more appealing when equipped with the 3.0-liter V6, while the 3.5-liter makes the Sport variant downright quick." -- Kelley Blue Book
Handling and Braking
Previous generations of the Fusion have earned a reputation as relatively tight handlers for family cars. Test drivers say that the 2012 model is still well-behaved and composed through tight corners. Reviewers also like how the Fusion handles a bumpy road with ease.
The Fusion’s brakes do well in tests, measuring typical distances for a midsize car in a panic stop. However, some complain that the brake pedal didn’t feel as firm as expected when pushed.
- "You feel connected to the road, but this doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort the way it can in so many other cars." -- Edmunds
- "Fusion feels compliant and controlled over sharp bumps and patchy pavement." -- Consumer Guide
- "A well sorted suspension with perfectly balanced spring rates to provide a decent ride over nasty roads, along with great damping and good roll control. The lighter (four-cylinder engine) and manual gearbox also means less mass on the front axle for better overall balance compared to the six-cylinder models." -- Autoblog
- "On the road, we also noticed that the Fusion's steering quality, while comfortably weighted immediately off-center, gets rubber-bandy the further the wheel is turned. Not helping matters are brakes that lack feedback during the first half of pedal travel." -- Car and Driver