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ToniCipriani

2007 Ford Fusion SE V6

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Was on vacation to New York for the weekend, got a rental Fusion to play around with. Originally I was looking for another G6, but they didn't have one.

Exterior

I was given an SE V6 model, the base model with an upgraded engine, and paired with a boring silver colour. But the car still looked good, as commented by my friends. For one thing it does look better than the dark side (read: *cough* *cough* Camry *cough*).

Interior

At first I was worried about the size of the car affecting the interior, but I was proved wrong throughout the trip. The capacity is amazing on this car. With me and my friend both being 6 foot, we both sat comfortably in the same column, with tons of legroom. Trunk capacity is generous, we packed 4 small suitcases, and there was still plenty of space for our sleeping bags and stuff (it was a backpack trip).

Maybe because I'm used to the lower stance of the G6, the driving positions were a bit off for me when I first got it, but I quickly got used to it. One thing that we seemed to notice with the car, is rear visibility is pretty bad. The way the glass slopes seemed to have created a massive amount of glare in the rearview. And yes, I know how to use dimming rearview mirrors, so that wasn't it.

The interior controls were, um, stupid. I guess Ford figured they can save a few bucks by eliminating a switch for the dome light, and a fog lamp button. To turn on the dome light it was back to the way the early-90s car did it. Fog lamps were the same knob as the headlamps. And did I mention there were no automatic headlamps? Kind of expected something like this would be standard these days. Another thing I noticed was the turning signal stalk. It's positioned too high, and it's very stiff for some reason. At first I always by accident turned on the high beams when I signal.

Just like my G6, there were cupholders behind the shifter knob that obstructs your arm, although to a lesser extent since the holders were deeper, but they made up to that by putting one in door, which works much better.

Another point to notice was the radio. Sound was average, but I have to say the quality of the radio itself was pretty bad. Yes, it had loads of features: Sirius, CD, MP3, Aux input, really anything you can think of for a typical base model car. But the uber-fun part? A radio with software that crashes. We tried using the MP3 CD feature, but then it resets itself for no apparent reason, and gave us a test LCD pattern.

Mechanical

It seems like all the pedals were "digital", and by that means it's either on or off. They're way too sensitive, like a slight tap would almost be like flooring it. It was just really hard to get a smooth control, tapping on the gas means everyone in the car jerking into the seat. It's not a loosen up or break-in thing, since there's already 13k on the odometer when I picked it up. It really did make the driving a bit uncomfortable.

One thing that does deserve compliments is the engine. It did really pack a punch. Floor it down, and you get all those rampaging horses running on and on, or as my friend calls it, "tons of stamina". But the 6-speed wasn't that great. Shifts were smooth, but the tuning seems to be a bit weird. It made the engine very rev-happy, a little annoying during cruise. Maybe it's tuned that way to appeal to the import people. It just didn't feel right for me, coming from cars that don't rev high.

Stiff seems to apply to the steering, too. Again, it maybe just me coming from the EPS in my car. But my friends did comment on the steering being too sensitive as well.

Other than the weird tuning coupled with poor controls, it made an OK car. Noise was barely noticeable, and the chassis felt strong under high-speed conditions.

Verdict

It's a great car, it really is. It works, but just a few years too late. If you're looking for a great rental car for long distances, look no further. Otherwise it's an 90's car with a refreshed look. I just can't see myself owning one. It's just those little things that add up to make the car annoying. Polish up and put some thought to the interior, tune the controls for more refinement, it'll be a strong competitor.

EDIT: The SE model doesn't have auto headlamps optional. It's not available at all.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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SE is midlevel, not base, S is base. A lot of what you say, I agree with as an owner, especially rear visibility. The dome light turns on with the dash light brightness switch, same as with every other car I've ever driven, the dome lights have rather ugly switches.

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There's no Fusion S in Canada. SE is the base model. As for the dome switch thing, the last car I had that did this was my old 2002 Cavalier, but we all know mechanically it's a 1995.

I just think having to turn on the dome light without messing up the dash brightness setting is more natural.

Edited by ToniCipriani
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