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Ford Fusion long-term test

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16,000 miles? Fusion barely felt it

By Bill Griffith | October 14, 2006

Sixteen thousand miles later, the big question was: Has it been reliable? A quick peek at the service records shows it hasn't been in the shop at all, except for scheduled oil changes.

And consumers seem to be impressed. ``You can't keep the SEL model on the lot," a salesman at Walls Ford in Salisbury said of our test vehicle.

After driving it for a week, we understood why this car is so popular. The Fusion's handling remained agile and the suspension taut. Steering was on the stiff side, the better to feel the road and notice how well the suspension works.

The 3.0-liter V-6 delivered acceleration that was more than acceptable, along with 25-miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency in 400-plus miles of driving.

These aren't great days for the auto industry, especially in Detroit. But Ford people say the Fusion-Milan-Zephyr trio has restored faith inside the company that things are done right. More important, the Fusion is doing the same in the marketplace.


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Awesome. The Fusion/Milan/Zephyr trio is the only car I'd consider from FoMoCo.

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not even the Edge or MKX?

I'd also take an Explorer/Mountaineer. Those are victims of a changing market...there is nothing wrong with the vehicles themselves.

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I gotta say I WANT to like the Fusion. I think it is gorgeous. I love the look of it. I rented a base Fusion, a 4 banger with an awesome black interior and lots of toys, but I was disappointed.

First of all, the 4 cylinder didn't feel as strong as the Malibu's. It may have been a tad quieter, but the shifts were more noticeable and it seemed a little more labored.

The biggest disappointment came when I tried to clean up the vehicle - after a few days of use, every piece of lint, every errant dust molecule in the Province had stuck to it! Everyone knows black is a hassle, but this velour-like material was a magnet for lint and dust!

What struck me the most is the dichotomy between the upscale appearance of the car and the low-rent handling and performance of it. At least the LS Malibu is cheap to buy, lease or whatever. It would make more sense to save the uplevel interior for the power and performance of the 6 cylinder.

Next time, I want to hold out for the 6 and see if it lives up to the interior.

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