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#6

in Affordable Midsize Cars

MSRP: $21,970 - $32,600
Invoice: $20,488 - $30,074
MPG: 22 City / 34 Hwy
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Ford Fusion Performance

Most test drivers agree that the 2014 Ford Fusion is one of the more stimulating performers among affordable midsize cars. They like the abundant power from the available EcoBoost engines and the Fusion’s athletic handling.

  • "If there is one area in which the 2014 Ford Fusion shines, it's the car's athletic driving character." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the highway, the 2014 Ford Fusion offers a comfortable and controlled ride. It's also remarkably quiet." -- Edmunds
  • "By the admittedly low standards of the class, it was fun to drive. We got no track time so we can't tell you at what point it starts to understeer but we did enjoy two days of driving these new Fusions all over the Santa Monica Mountains and came away unfatigued and mostly satisfied." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "Both Fusion models are excellent highway cruisers, and not just because they ride well or squeeze bladder-busting miles from each gallon of fuel." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

All Fusion models have four-cylinder engines. The base engine in the 2014 Fusion is a 2.5-liter engine that makes 175 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is available, which produces 177 horsepower (182 with premium gas) and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. New for 2014 is a turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost that makes 181 horsepower and is mated to the six-speed auto. The most powerful engine is the turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost that makes 231 horsepower (240 with premium gas). This engine is paired with a six-speed auto with paddle shifters. This powertrain is the only one with available all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates range from 22/31 mpg city/highway for the AWD 2.0-liter EcoBoost model to 25/37 mpg for the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and manual transmission. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost’s estimates are great for the class.

Test drivers agree that the base 2.5-liter engine delivers adequate power, though they prefer the EcoBoost engines, saying they produce impressive power while still returning good fuel economy. Some reviewers say the six-speed manual transmission will make performance-minded drivers happy because it amps up the fun factor and shifts smoothly.

  • "The base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder isn't going to win you any drag races, but even at that level, the Fusion's excellent suspension setup gives it small-car handling in a big package. Move up to the 1.5-liter and 1.6-liter turbo engines and your inner enthusiast will be most pleased, especially considering you can still get a manual transmission on the SE model. But, it's the 2.0-liter turbo with its 240 horsepower that will make the most ardent V6 fan capitulate to this engine's superiority." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's impossible to go wrong with any of the 2014 Ford Fusion's engine choices. Even the base 2.5-liter engine offers competitive power, while the optional turbocharged engines provide an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and performance. The 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines are likely the best bets for most buyers, and they make the Fusion feel quicker than our acceleration testing numbers indicate." -- Edmunds
  • "Under the hood, the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is a serviceable workhorse, but it's a carryover from the previous-generation Fusion, so you're not getting the latest and greatest. The two pint-sized turbo engines (1.6-liter and 1.5-liter) are more in tune with the times, delivering both satisfying fuel economy and decent punch. The Titanium's 2.0-liter turbo is saucier, no doubt, but the Titanium also packs some extra pounds, so the difference is more like going from mild to medium salsa, especially with the weighty all-wheel-drive system aboard." -- AutoTrader
  • "In this rather sporty configuration, the Fusion SE put a smile on our faces. The manual transmission was slick in operation and there was abundant torque at the bottom end to make launching simple (electronic hill-hold made easy work of starting on a slope). … Don't expect a stoplight racer, but power is more than adequate (again, much of the credit goes to the torque, which is the one substitute to cubic inches)." -- Autoblog (2013 with 1.6-liter EcoBoost)

Handling and Braking

Auto critics say the Ford Fusion is one of the sportier handlers in the class, adding that it is poised through turns, and its steering is very accurate. They also like that the Fusion’s brakes are strong. All-wheel drive is available on Titanium models.

  • “Driven through turns, the Fusion is confident and composed, and the steering is remarkably communicative." -- Edmunds
  • "On the road, the Fusion impresses with its athletic demeanor, shrinking around you at speed like a sport sedan." -- AutoTrader
  • "No matter which Fusion I tested, it took curves with sports car aplomb. … Steering feel on all the cars is exceptional: precise during dynamic turns and on point on straight stretches." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "Ford's vented front and solid rear brake discs were never truly challenged on the mountainous roads through the canyons of Malibu. But what they did provide is great feel, along with sharp but not grabby response. And, although I never had a chance to truly punish them to discover any potential underlying complaints, what stopping I did do was good." -- Jalopnik (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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