The 2018 Ford Fusion

The 2018 Ford Fusion is a feast for the senses, a rarity among family sedans.
The Ford Fusion’s a winner.  We picked it as our favorite new car in 2015, and today the Fusion still brims with confident ride and handling, pretty proportions, and lots of tech gadgetry.

Ford sells it in S, SE, Titanium, Sport, and Platinum trims.

2018 Ford Fusion

 

The 2018 Ford Fusion

From the back, from the front, seen in profile, the Ford Fusion is as good-looking as family cars get. The stance and proportions remind us of expensive German machinery, the revamped front end of Ford’s past fling with Aston Martin. Inside, the Fusion could put more of that inspiration to good use, but the versatile Fusion can game out scenarios for cloth-seat drivers and for those who won’t have anything less than quilted leather.

The Fusion’s performance bona fides start off on a “meh” note with a low-aspiration 4-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic, but snap to attention through a procession of turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinders. The 1.5-liter turbo-4 copes well with commuter tasks, while the 2.0-liter turbo-4 busts out some of the most reasonably priced performance moves. Step into a twin-turbo V-6 Fusion, and the power won’t overwhelm its standard all-wheel drive.

 

2018 Ford Fusion

 

The 2018 Ford Fusion

Ford revamped the Fusion’s interior last year, and it’s quieter and nicer,  rear-seat space is good on head room in back for taller folks. Ford fitted more storage in the Fusion, amid all the bins and cubbies and ample trunk space, it’s also made the USB ports more prominent.

The Fusion earns good crash-test scores, and Ford makes the latest forward-collision warning systems available on all but the base model. Every Fusion has Bluetooth audio streaming, power features, and a rearview camera. The features list tops out with active park assist, high-grade leather trim, a moonroof, 19-inch wheels, Sony audio, navigation, and inflatable rear seatbelts. The best value remains a Fusion SE, now outfitted with the optional adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning system.

Graceful and gently sporting, the Ford Fusion has an appealing body and a middling interior.
The current Ford Fusion made its debut in 2013. Five model years later, its lean and well-proportioned body still draws approving glances.

From a few steps back, especially at the rear, the Fusion has the lovely silhouette of a more expensive car. The stance and proportions are some of Ford’s best work as of late.

Last year Ford revisited the shape and applied some mild updates to the grille and taillights. The new front end has a whiff of Aston Martin with its low oval-ish intake, while the rear LED lights now are bisected by a chrome strip.

 

2018 Ford Fusion

 

The 2018 Ford Fusion

Inside, Ford has cleaned up the Fusion’s functionality with a rotary shift knob, more storage bins, and better trim. The cockpit doesn’t have the swoopy extravagant lines of the inexpensive Focus and Fiesta. Instead, it’s content with simple metallic rings around its controls and gauges, with better trim relieving its lack of drama.

With either the available turbo V-6 or turbo-4, the Ford Fusion unspools plenty of power and a charming, taut blend of ride and handling.
A tightly controlled ride, strong acceleration, and well-tuned electric steering make the higher-spec Ford Fusion one of our favorite family sedans to drive.

The Fusion taps four engines and a single transmission for power. The base engine is a forgettable 175-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. Peak torque arrives high at 4,500 pounds, and it’s down on horsepower versus all its Fusion counterparts. You’ll find this engine in most price-leader and rental models.

The Fusion does better when it’s upgraded to a 181-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbo-4. Tuned for low-end torque, the small-displacement engine has excellent performance from an engine half the size you’d expect in a family sedan from a decade ago.

The 245-hp turbo-4 found in upmarket Fusions has a quick-revving feel, and Ford has damped out most of its vibration. It steps smartly off the line, and works well with the paddle-shifted version of the 6-speed automatic.

The priciest Fusions sport a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. All that power shuttles through the 6-speed to a standard all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration is brisk, Zero-to-60 mph times hover in the low six-second range. It may not be as quick as expected, but the V-6 sounds great and reels off long highway passes without hesitation.

 

2018 Ford Fusion

 

The 2018 Ford Fusion

The Fusion has electric power steering, an independent suspension composed of front struts and multiple links at the rear, and tires that range from 16 to 19 inches. The result: a vast gap between the economy-minded base Fusion and the flat-cornering Sport model.

In general, the Fusion has well-sorted steering and an absorbent, firm ride. In lower trim levels it never forgets its first mission is as a family sedan. The reassuring handling doesn’t cut too much into ride quality, and there’s an eagerness to the steering that’s absent in most other mid-size sedans. Its steering has a consistent feel across its travel, without much feedback, but with good weighting and highway tracking.

The 2018 Ford Fusion suits four adults fine, with lovely plush touches on higher models, Ford wraps a sleek set of curves around its Fusion sedan.  At 192 inches long, with a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the Fusion is mid-pack in the mid-size sedan category. The EPA says it’s almost full-size, and so does its 16-cubic-foot trunk.

Inside there’s a more nuanced picture to paint, so allow us to grab some brushes. In front, the Fusion balances leg and head room with its pretty shape pretty well. The padded front seats don’t feel as meager as those in the Escape or Edge, and they’re comfortably bolstered. We wouldn’t mind a bottom cushion tilt adjuster on base cars. Tall doors make it easy to get in, and 6-footers will have enough head room in front.

In back, the Fusion comports itself well against the likes of the Altima, Sonata, Impala, Accord, and Passat. Small-item storage abounds thanks to a rotary gear dial. The Fusion’s console houses a bin with a lighted USB port, a slot for vertical smartphone storage, and a deep covered console.

 

2018 Ford Fusion

 

The 2018 Ford Fusion

Ford spends more money on the more expensive Fusion interiors. Sport models have sueded seats and aluminum pedals and they brim with burbly sport-exhaust sounds. Platinum models have quilted leather seats and door panels, and more leather on the dash and armrests. Base cars have a cloth upholstery and tougher plastics below elbow levels. It’s not visibly cheap, but it’s enough of a prod to spend into the ritzier trim levels.

The Ford Fusion comes in S, SE, Titanium, and Platinum editions. While Ford works on the inevitable Rhodium edition, it fits all Fusions with a fair amount of standard and optional features.

All Fusion sedans come with power features, cloth seats, cruise control, air conditioning, a rearview camera, keyless ignition, a USB port, 16-inch wheels, steering-wheel audio and phone controls, and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD player with a 4.2-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth audio streaming.

The SE Fusion gets power front seats, 17-inch wheels, satellite radio, and LED exterior lighting. Options include the turbo-4 engines, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, heated front seats, leather, navigation, remote start, Sync 3 infotainment (Ford’s latest, and a clean and marked departure from the terrible MyFord Touch environment), automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, and safety gear like lane-departure warnings, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors.

Fusion Sport models add adaptive shocks, all-wheel drive, shift paddles, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, leather and suede seats, a nine-speaker audio system, and active noise cancellation.

Fusion Titanium sedans have heated front seats, leather, 12-speaker Sony audio, HD radio, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, and ambient lighting. Options include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, inflatable rear seatbelts, and 19-inch wheels.

At the top of the Fusion peak, the Platinum gets a sunroof, automatic high beams, ventilated front seats, navigation, nicer leather, 18-inch wheels, and all the safety technology optional on other models.

 

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