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    Review: 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD


    • Was it better to go with the old one and not the new one?


    Being the car guy in the family is sometimes a difficult thing. Case in point is when someone asks for your help with buying a car. About a year or two ago, my dad asked me for some help with buying a new midsize sedan. He had two contenders in mind to replace his 2006 Ford Fusion - the new Fusion or the Nissan Altima. At the time, I had just reviewed the Altima and thought the four-cylinder powertrain needed a bit more refinement. The Fusion had its own set problems as the 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder - the engine my dad was considering - was having a number of reliability issues. There was also MyFord Touch which had a number of problems. At the time, I was leaning towards the Fusion when my dad threw a curveball; what about the last-generation Fusion? After giving it a few moments of thought, I thought it would be the best choice at the time.

     

    So fast forward to now when a 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD came in for a week’s evaluation and I found myself wondering if my dad had made the right call with going with an older Fusion. Well, let’s find out.

     


    2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD 1


    The Fusion has a number of items to help make it stand out in the crowded midsize class. The biggest one is the exterior design. The Fusion’s shape follows the trend of four-door coupes with a low roofline and a short rear end. The front end is very much like an Aston Martin with a low-slung front end and a trapezoidal front end. The overall look gives the Fusion an air of looking more expensive than it really is. However, I think the Fusion design is just trying a little bit too hard to stand out. Also, I think the Fusion must have mugged an Aston Martin to use its front clip.

     

    As for the Fusion’s interior, I wished Ford had done more in terms of design. Step inside and you find yourself surrounded by materials in black and sliver. While the company does deserve some credit for using high-quality materials throughout the interior, I wished Ford’s designers had taken some of the enthusiasm from the exterior and placed it inside.

     


    2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD 14


    Front seat passengers get power-adjustments, along with heat and cooling. I found the seats to provide excellent support and comfort. Rear seat passengers will find legroom is decent. Headroom is tight thanks to the sloping roof. When I put my 5’8” frame back here, I found my head to be touching the roof.

     

    My tester came equipped with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, This system has been criticized for a number of issues including non-responsive capacitive buttons, laggy performance, and a questionable voice recognition system. Ford has been ironing a number of problems and the good news is that some of the problems are gone. The capacitive buttons actually respond when pressed and a good amount of the lag is gone. But there is still a fair amount lag in the system. An example of this comes when going to my presets on the radio and it taking a few seconds to respond. Also, I found the voice recognition system not recognizing my voice. I tried using the commands the system provides, but it couldn’t understand anything I said to it. Just for a laugh, I swore at the system and the response it gave back was something to effect of ‘Do you need help?’

     

    For Powertrain and Handling Impressions, See Page 2


     

    Being the top-of-the-line Fusion, it means that it gets the turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic, and the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. My tester had the latter of the two drivetrains. Since this was a turbocharged four-cylinder, I was expecting it to be like other ones I have driven where power would come on instantaneously before running out of steam midway through the rpm band. In the case of the 2.0L EcoBoost, power doesn’t come on instantly. Instead it feels more like a V6, gradually building up power as the revs climb. It should also be noted the 2.0L EcoBoost is quite refined with barely any noise coming from the hood. The six-speed automatic is quick and responsive for any situation you throw at it.

     


    2015 Ford Fusion Titanium AWD 9


    Fuel economy is the biggest drawback with the 2.0 EcoBoost. Equipped with all-wheel drive, the 2.0 EcoBoost is rated by the EPA at 22 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the week was around 24 MPG. Although it should be noted that I was seeing around 20 to 21 when driving in stop and go city traffic during my first few days of testing.

     

    Driving around in the Fusion presented a mostly comfortable and quiet ride. I say mostly due to my tester being fitted with optional 19-inch wheels which do let in a few more bumps and imperfections. On the freeway, there is barely the hint of road and wind noise. Out on a twisty road, the Fusion handles quite well. The car barely has any body lean and is very nimble. Steering is quite hefty, but more exuberant drivers will wish for a bit more feel.

     

    So at the end my week, I felt a bit mixed about the Fusion. On one hand, Ford has done a lot to make the Fusion stand out with an upscale look, impressive powertrain, and a nice balance between comfort and sport. But there are some big downsides to the Fusion as well: MyFordTouch still has a fair amount of issues, the rear seat is kind of tight, and the optional AWD results in some poor MPGs. The biggest sticking point though is the price. A base Fusion Titanium starts at $30,390. With AWD and options equipped on my tester, it rose to $38,820. That price puts in the range of base and decently equipped compact luxury sedans, Drop AWD and the price goes to around $36,000. Still that's a lot of money for a midsize sedan, especially when many competitors offer a lot of the same features for less money.

     

    So when I think back about my dad and whether or not he made the right call with going the older Fusion and not the newer one, I can say now that he made the right call.

     

    Disclaimer: Ford Provided the Fusion, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Ford
    Model: Fusion
    Trim: Titanium AWD
    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
    Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 5500
    Torque @ RPM: 270 @ 3000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
    Curb Weight: 3,821 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hermosillo, Mexico
    Base Price: $32,600
    As Tested Price: $38,820* (Includes $825 Destination Charge and $490 Sync and Sound Discount)

     

    Options:
    Driver Assist Package - $1,200.00
    Adaptive Cruise Control - $995.00
    Active Park Assist - $895.00
    Navigation System - $795.00
    19-Inch Aluminum Wheels - $695.00
    Heated and Cooled Front Seats - $395.00
    Ruby Red Tinted Clearcoat - $395.00
    Rear Inflatable Seatbelts - $190.00
    Premium Floor Mats W/ Trunk Mat - $175.00
    Heated Steering Wheel - $150.00

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    Great write up, I too am wondering how many of the mid size sedans from some of the base players can be priced at Luxury level and if it is worth it. This seems to say no for the Ford Fusion Titanium. Nice car but a bit pricey.

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    OK.. $40K for a mid-size when I got my full size Impala LTZ for less with almost everything except the AWD option (WTF Chevy even tho I don't want). Let me say again.. there is a reason why Lincoln is a Dead Car Walking and it has a lot to do with Ford brand itself

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    I just don't like these cars. They drive okay, but I never was a fan of the looks, and the 2.0T is underpowered. And 38K?!? Lol, they're nuts. You can buy a really nice Avalon or Impala for that. I'd buy a Charger RT, personally.

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    I had almost the same car, minus AWD, Adaptive Cruise, Active Park, and NAV, just last week.

     

    I mostly agree with Williams write-up.  I'd put money on the Fusion being one of the best in the segment for blending ride and handling.  The steering is fantastic and a class above its station.   A 6-speed auto now seems rather quaint, though this particular one goes about its business with no fuss. Still, there is enough torque from the 2.0T that a higher 7th and 8th gear would be useful on the highway.  

     

    The 2.0T is smooth and torquey, feeling much like a V6 in power delivery.  The notable exception is when you call down to the engine room for "All Ahead - Full" and then you get a decidedly 4-cylinder unpleasant sound.  It's not enough to be a deal breaker, but it won't fool you into thinking it is a V6.

     

    After 250 miles of driving, fuel economy was around 27mpg  in 80/20 Highway/City. That sounds decent until you realize there are more powerful V6es in bigger/heavier cars that can do better.  (Camaro, Charger, Accord, Avalon to name a few)

     

    MyFordTouch/Sync is absolutely abysmal and dated.  The voice recognition got it right exactly ZERO times.... in fact sometimes it got it laughingly wrong.   Me saying "Tune XM 51" would result in "Tuning AM 430" or "Tuning XM 220", as just an example. MyFordTouch/Sync is so bad that it makes me avoid Ford vehicles in general. I only took this one because it was the newest car on the National Car Rental lot and I've already had the Chrysler 200 (a car that I like) a bunch of times. My other choice was a new Sonata, but I was already pretty tired so I didn't want to go into a coma or a Neu Beetle, but that didn't have a USB input.

     

    William is also correct about the system lag.  This extends to the physical buttons as well.  I accidentally activated the front heated seat via the touch screen and noticed it a minute later.  I tried to shut it off via the physical buttons, yet repeated taps did not change the setting. It took more than 6 taps to get a reply.

     

    The sound from the Sony audio system is great.  Better than the Bose that GM puts in Chevy and Buicks, but not quite to the level of the Fender system available in some VWs (my personal favorite in the "family car" segment).

     

    Much ado has been made about the Titanium trim level, but I just don't see it. The quality of the materials isn't improved over lesser Fusions. Titanium on a Fusion does not a Buick make.

     

    In the end, the Fusion is a fantastic car for long distance, high speed travel with a bit of spirit. Yet the experience is terribly hobbled by the horrendous MyFordTouch/Sync system.  At $38,820 (William's car) or $31,460 (estimated MSRP of my car), there are any number of excellent alternatives to consider too.

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    From what I have read, the Fusion seems like a good car, but $39k for one is crazy.  Even if you drop the fancy paint, 19" wheels, premium mats and inflatable belt bags, you are still at $37k.  Seems like a lot for a Fusion.

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    OK....I ABSOLUTELY CANT STAND when someone says the Fusion looks like an Aston Martin...

     

    I give passes to non-car guys and gals as they dont know any better and to internet car guys that want to give Ford a hard time because they are GM or Mopar or Honda fanbois...

    Ill always correct the latter...

     

    But Im fuming with informative articles like this one...especially when the author is a car guy himself...

     

    2013 Ford Fusion

     

    2013-ford-fusion-front-end.jpg?w=552&h=3

    2015 Ford Mustang

     

    2014%2B-%2B1

     

     

    OK...you say that this looks like an Aston Martin...

    Fair enough...

    2009astonmartindB9.jpg

     

    Except in 1968....

    67929487.DBNfzbQ0.IMG_5682.JPG

    Ford+Shelby+Mustang+GT500KR+Convertible+

     

    The trapezoidal effect is less apparent...but its there..

    ford-fusion-10_600x0w.jpg

     

    Just for reference...1960s Aston Martin

    7289359_orig.jpg

     

    Why do we keep on banging that false message?

    Because the grill has some sort of billet grill and the Fusion mimics that?

    Mustangeleanor.jpg

     

     

    Oh look...this Camaro also looks like an Aston Martin...because the the little grill lines are horizontal...

    4731-640x460.jpg

     

     

    The point Im trying to make...is that the Fusion looks like a Ford...

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    I drove a 2014 Fusion SE 2.0EB last year at a driving event (which I posted about in member reviews). The car is hit and miss with me on a number of aspects.

     

    - I'm not a fan of the exterior styling, it's not that I think it's ugly or anything, I just lose all interest if something is strongly derivative.

     

    - I also wasn't impressed with the interior. Particularly the MFT center stack, which is a cheap looking matte plastic that has no physical landmarks for your hand to follow so you're constantly forced to take your eyes off the road. "But it has voice recognition" you say. That's a lame excuse for a bad looking, non-functional central control panel for all of the interior functions. Every other midsize car does it better. All of them.

     

    - There's also the manual mode, which offers paddle shifters. If you're using this in any sort of spirited fashion, you'll find yourself fighting the car's automatic shifts every time you push higher in the rev range.

     

    - I'd rather have a duratec V6 than the 2.0L Ecoboost.

     

    Now as far as the good:

     

    + The Fusion has excellent steering and handling. You can put the car where you want even at 9/10ths and feel complete control. The ride/handling trade off is great. Very little body roll without any sort of punishment from the suspension.

     

    + One of the best brake pedals I've ever used. Great feel and easy to modulate.

     

    + Good seats. Sporty and attractive, yet comfortable.

     

    + Fairly quiet. Not the most isolated inside, but in the upper part of the class, and plenty refined.

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    About that manual mode...

    My Acura has it...I never use it. I hate these things more than I do actual manual transmissions. But at least my TL has paddle shifters....at least with other manual mode cars its the automatic gear shifter itself that you could toggle up and down with...but with my wife's Fusion...its just two useless little buttons on the gear shifter....how confusing and stupid is that???!!! :stupid:

     

    Makes you wonder what genius thought that a sporty feature that mimics manual changing of gears necessitated buttons? :retard:

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    After reading William's, Drew's and CP's take on the Fusion, I will attempt to give my personal take of my wife's 2013 base 1.6 ecoboost SE.

     

    Engine:

    1.6 liter ecoboost.

    The infamous 1.6.

    Nothing scary about it. My wife's Fusion was built in June 2013 and we bought the car in December of that same year. I guess all that recall work was made on the assembly line.

    There is no turbo lag in this car. Or very little. I am used to driving 6 cylinder engines so obviously I sometimes mash the throttle when I want to merge in on the highway and yes...if driven this way, one experiences turbo lag, but if one gradually increases throttle pressure and lets the turbo spool up, in no time you can feel the surge of energy and the car lunges forward.

    At highway speeds, it seems like the turbo is always spooling and passing power is always there for you to use.

    Ive owned and driven my fair share of GM's value pushrod V6s - 1989 2.8 V6 Firebird - 1994 3.1 V6 Grand Am GT - 1999 3.4 V6 Alero -  and this 1.6 liter ecoboost has about the same feel of acceleration as these V6s from GM. 

     

    Exterior design. I feel like the Fusion, along with the Optima, are the most beautifully designed cars today (in their class). Ive yet to see the new generation Malibu in person so lets just leave it at that.

    However, after owning the Fusion for a year and a half, I could see why some folk dont take to the Fusion's look. The Fusion has some gorgeous lines and with certain angles, the Fusion is a knock-out, but in other angles, she looks awkward.

     

    Interior. Keep in mind that I am basing this view on a base SE 1.6 ecoboost. $26 000 Canadian. I guess this is about 22 000-23 000 American.

    You cant really ask for anything more in this price range. The seats are very comfy and look like a million bucks, with the french stitching and all. The materials, for a sub $25 000 dollar, are top notch. Very durable for family hauling needs. The plastic piano black trimming seems fine to me. The quality of the seat material is course, but durable. Soft touch arm rests and dashboard a plenty...

     

    That little opening underneath the radio is cool. My wife has stuck pictures of our children there, so its cool. My Acura TL has no place for me to place pictures of my family. I like that. Yes its corny, but I do love my family....

     

    The bad:

    The C-Pillar chrome trim has fallen off. Both sides. The dealership replaced free of charge...acknowledged earlier Fusions have that problem.

    Airbag module is under recall, needs to be replaced.

    Another recall regarding some nuts and bolts on the steering wheel system. Might corrode and fail. That also needs to be replaced. Made an appointment so when the parts come...

     

    My wife and I dnt really use SYNC. The radio and HVAC system have buttons...so we use those. The buttons are well placed and large. There is also the sterring wheel buttons...So...I dont know how well the base version of SYNC works.

     

    Fuel Economy:

    My wife achieves anywhere from 10.6 liters/100 KM to 11.1 liters/100 KM from the summer to the winter. Mostly city and urban driving. Hilly areas to boot.

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      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

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