regfootball

2013 Ford Fusion 2.5 SE

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DRIVEN

2013 Ford Fusion 2.5 SE, MSRP, a little north of 25g (no MyFordTouch)

HIGHS

Aston style on the cheap!

A very welcome new look for those weary of the old Fusion

Big bodacious car!

Feels wide, large and safe, long wheelbase

Many trims and price levels, and with discounts and incentives, can be a hell of value

2.5 is tuned well for this new platform, doesn't really fall on it's face even with it being slightly aged. Tranny manipulates the car well and shifts quick, stays in powerband and doesn't hunt or any reprehensible behavior.

A very nice balance of open cabin with visibility and seclusion. Views out are pretty well done mostly.

Interior plastics and switchgear, what looks cheap on first impression in photos and through the glass is actually nicer than you would think

Non MyFordTouch car still has nice expensive looking switchgear and displays

Switches, controls, and buttons and touch points in general all feel really nice, especially for price

Steering wheel in particular and it's button layout are fantastic

C/D was right, the car indeed feels German and it even SMELLS like a German car also

Once adjusted, the seating feels nicely contoured for mid-girth individuals

SE non sport has probably the best balanced feel of any of the cheap midsizers, not loud inside, not a harsh ride, well weighted steering which in this trim is not too quick....i.e. very good ride and handling, good NVH, and a more premium feel than you'd expect in the class

Really kind of like that open lower center console

Bitchin cupholder setup

Like a good Buick Regal turbo with extra room for many thousand less, or oppositely, like a 2014 Impala you saved about 8 grand on.

LOWS

Aston style ripoff! Busy design, will it be a flash in the pan?

If you like the old Fusion, it will be a huge adjustment to this

You feel the extra wheelbase and size sometimes, maybe for more than a few a shorter wheelbase car like a Malibu or Regal would drive nicer. To some the car might actually feel too large and too ponderous.

Low end trims are a huge value but loaded up with options the Fusion has very ambitious pricing

2.5 engine does the job but you can tell in a few instances it is working hard

Manual shifter control is slow to respond so a bit of a joke

Side mirrors are not designed the best, the split face and size and shape overall not my cup of tea

Monroney sticker is a helluva blind spot, takes up the whole rear window

Switches and controls are hard to find and get used to at first, doesn't fall to hand the way you'd expect sometimes

power seat was hard to dial in, but once i did then it felt ok

Center console controls fall away a bit from natural reach and have some fussiness

Tilt / telescope wheel adjuster is impossible to find and once found is still a headache to use (this is one of the two biggest bitches of the car)

Center console is a leg knocker (but not near as bad as a Taurus)

Really kind of don't like that open center lower console

Malibu interior center stack etc. might feel more driver oriented to most

Not sure if a sport package is available but that would be the way to go to inject a little extra quickness in the steering and tautness in the susp

Suspension as it was managed to get upset a few times by broken pavement and did not seem to respond well that, bounced around, sort of unrefined

More back seat than a Malibu but seriously for this large a car, the back seat should be larger. This is rather embarrassing compared to the Passat

HORRIFIC SEAT CLOTH (the other big bitch). Seriously terrible seat cloth. Looks like $h!, feels like $h!, will probably wear like $h!. I could care less if it is green or not.

Not sure why the Taurus exists now. Will have to try one again to find out and remember.......

SUMMARY

Waited a while to test this and have driven most all of the others. If you like a Malibu and had never drove the new Fusion, you would be entirely happy with your Malibu purchase.

Once you drive the Fusion, it becomes evident why the Fusion will probably kill the Malibu in retail sales. It's just overall a more well done package.

I like the Malibu myself, but the Fusion is the 2013 version of the most well thought out package in the midsize class. And not having driven the 1.6t (that one was out on a demo :( ) which presumably has a little more grunt and smoothness, I will assume is an acceptable offering in lieu of any of the minor weaknesses of the 2.5.

Fusion does not have:

The loud and unrefined interior sound level of the Accord

The cheap drab feel or crappy base engine of the Passat

The cheesy 'fake luxury' and milquetoast aura of the Altima

The dated proportion and tiny rear of the Malibu

The compromised everything of the Camry

The slightly off the mainstream feel of the Mazda6 (plus its quieter and feels snappier than that car does also

I did not look in the trunk, I hear it is small, but I don't care as a few others in this class are about the same size. The biggest thing dynamically Ford needs to fix about the car is the rear suspension losing its poise a few times and maybe for those want it, to make it feel smaller and nimbler. That is picky though....REAL PICKY. I think the intended market will LOVE the large car feel and balanced, secure ride and handling this car has.

My gripes: terrible seat cloth (I know, buy leather)....and if my biggest gripe about any car being the tilt wheel adjuster and where to find it and use it, then the car should get an A. I'll leave some room for improvement and give it a solid A-. The Fusion is a car I would pretty much tell everybody to buy, regardless of who they were, which is quite a turnaround. I never liked the previous Fusion at all. Completely different, complete and total turnaround.

This car is going to sell huge, it deserves to, and despite the Mazda6 more or less being an equal in terms of total all around goodness, I would put the Fusion at the top of the class because I think it's feel and the minor differences compared to the Mazda is where the broadest swatch of buyers are in the mid size segment. If the Fusion is 1, then the Mazda is 1A. The Accord I can see how the likes of C/D will probably put it atop the list due to bias but Honda needs to fix the interior noise issue first. and the fact that the Accord still has that Honda cheapness feel to it. In no way at all does the Ford feel cheap like that. The Ford does indeed feel more like a German car than the Passat even.

The Malibu turbo is a big upgrade in overall feel over the base Malibu and if they ever adjust the price will be definitely considered more competitive. Regal is a super nice car but Fusion feels a lot like the much more expensive Regal and I really wonder if a base Fusion you can buy for under 20 off the lot will essentially still feel nicer than the soon to hit and the same size 014 Impala which will a lot more expensive. Basically, I consider the Fusion and Impala to be more alike than the Malibu and Fusion now. This is a huge problem for GM.

note: sales guy said Fusion + stick was special order only....... hmmm, also has a 2.0t Fusion and say the gas mileage, not great......not the one to get if you like MPG....

Edited by regfootball

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The 2.5 can now be had with the Sport Appearance package that was previously 1.6T or 2.0T-only. Gives you eco seat fabric which is way nicer than the base cloth, 18" wheels, and leather wrapped steering wheel--stuff that really "completes" the look and feel of the car.

It would be difficult for me to choose between Fusion and Accord in this segment. Accord appeals to your rational side, and it's the sort of car you'd recommend to your mother. Better outward visibility, more interior space, better fuel economy (27 mpg city vs 22 mpg), and likely better resale value and reliability. But Fusion is more attractive to look at and feels like a more expensive car inside--Germanic indeed. And with rebates and discounts, a Fusion SE 2.5 with Appearance Package ends up selling for the same price as a base Accord LX CVT.

If I were leasing, I'd get the Fusion. If I were buying, I'd probably get the Accord.

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Honda definitely improved the Accord, but it still has a lot of old typical Honda traits, lack of solidity and NVH issues. Typical Honda / Japanese car fans will be used to those and in that regard, the Honda is better.

Honda's mpg advantage is indeed a very real advantage and on second thought, might be enough to heavily lean buyers and maybe even place it atop the heap for Joe Average buyer.

Mazda6 is a great car but it probably ends up competing for Honda's buyers with less marketing muscle.

They had to put the sport appearance package on the 2.5......if you wanted a Fusion with it that wouldn't catch fire.

Edited by regfootball

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New Fusion is really good looking with that Fiesta grille.

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I prefer the Taurus to the Fusion because of the 290 hp standard V6 and over 20 cubic foot trunk. Also the Taurus, to my eyes, looks like a modern version of the big Fords of the 1960's. With the popularity of crossovers, I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation Taurus is the last one.

Edited by ehaase

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next taurus to be on fusion chassis i guess. true that the taurus trunk is a huge asset.

current taurus can be had for under 24g in places....still a screaming deal.....

buddy with a fleet taurus says 25mpg no problem, 27-30 on trips no problem....

Edited by regfootball

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As appealing as the Ford and Honda are for family sedans.. I think I would end up going with the other car I would put in the top 3, the Mazda6 so as not to end up with a car I see every 30 seconds on the road within a few years or walk towards in a parking lot then realize it's not my car.

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Honda definitely improved the Accord, but it still has a lot of old typical Honda traits, lack of solidity and NVH issues. Typical Honda / Japanese car fans will be used to those and in that regard, the Honda is better.

Honda's mpg advantage is indeed a very real advantage and on second thought, might be enough to heavily lean buyers and maybe even place it atop the heap for Joe Average buyer.

Mazda6 is a great car but it probably ends up competing for Honda's buyers with less marketing muscle.

They had to put the sport appearance package on the 2.5......if you wanted a Fusion with it that wouldn't catch fire.

Non-manual 4cyl Accord = CVT. Instant deal-breaker. (Same with all trims of the Altima, which is a shame.)

If you want a Fusion that "wouldn't catch fire," there's always the 2.0T which was unaffected by the recall.

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BioDiesel and CNG would be good alternative for this little baby.

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The Fusion needs the diesels and the hatchback bodystyle from its Euro market Mondeo sibling...

... presuming they'd sell.

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The Fusion needs the diesels and the hatchback bodystyle from its Euro market Mondeo sibling...

... presuming they'd sell.

True...more choice is a good thing, but if it doesn't sell....kind of a chicken and egg problem. I'd love to see wagons and hatchbacks and coupes in many different model lines, but would they sell... A Fusion coupe could be an interesting idea.

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I test drove a Passat SE TDI, Fusion 1.6 SE Appearance, and Mazda 6 Touring today. It was difficult to pick a winner; each were solid in their own way.

Passat: Quirky powertrain. Turbodiesel is non-linear; a bit of turbo lag, a surge of torque AFTER an upshift, and you can feel the clutch engaging and disconnecting at low speeds. Airy, spacious interior. Bland, but because of its sheer size, it's a somewhat classy looking car. Drives well on the highway. Loose brake feel.

Fusion: Felt the most isolated and refined of the group. Nice German-feeling build quality. Dark and cramped compared to the airy Passat. 1.6 turbo is smooth but sounds strained and needs to be worked hard. Weighty steering and good brake feel.

6: Sporty driving position. Excellent steering. Feels connected to the road. Firm ride. Engine is coarse sounding at high revs. Smallest back seat. Average interior quality.

For ultimate driving enjoyment, the 6 is best. The Fusion is the most refined. The Passat is most accommodating.

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I feel nearly completely the same way you do. I haven't had the fusion turbo out yet though. Amazing the weaknesses the Passat has with the powertrains, and bland interior. The 5 is useless and the diesel is not all that and a box of rocks.

What did you think of the Mazda engine and tranny?

Fusion I think is the well balanced safe bet for the broadest swath of buyers.

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I feel nearly completely the same way you do. I haven't had the fusion turbo out yet though. Amazing the weaknesses the Passat has with the powertrains, and bland interior. The 5 is useless and the diesel is not all that and a box of rocks.

What did you think of the Mazda engine and tranny?

Fusion I think is the well balanced safe bet for the broadest swath of buyers.

Mazda6 powertrain is as you would expect from a large-displacement four cylinder and auto. It's fairly perky and responsive, but I wouldn't describe it as smooth or pleasant. A 2-liter turbo would be nicer.

The chassis, despite being tuned sporty and firm, is actually very livable. It's just that the coarseness of the powertrain, combined with the slight claustrophobia from the high beltline and low roof, amplify the NVH you get from the chassis, which in itself is fine and 3-series like.

I would say Accord or Camry are best for most family sedan buyers; shame they're so bland and common.

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http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/chart-of-the-day-full-size-sedan-freefall/

"Speaking of the Taurus, another rumor making the rounds right now is that the Taurus won’t be back after this generation. Poor margins and difficulties during the development process meant that the Taurus has been scrapped part way through the development process, and Ford is content with the Fusion acting as its flagship sedan. If this situation holds true, that leaves Chevrolet and Chrysler as the vanguards of the large American sedan."

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I don't buy that completely. I do know the next Taurus was supposed to come out on the new Fusion chassis. Unless they expect Lincoln to take over the premium sedan role.

THere will still be old timers and police departments that will want more room and more roof than the Fusion has.

Or they will build the current Taurus as is forever, ala Crown Vic.

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I feel nearly completely the same way you do. I haven't had the fusion turbo out yet though. Amazing the weaknesses the Passat has with the powertrains, and bland interior. The 5 is useless and the diesel is not all that and a box of rocks.

What did you think of the Mazda engine and tranny?

Fusion I think is the well balanced safe bet for the broadest swath of buyers.

Mazda6 powertrain is as you would expect from a large-displacement four cylinder and auto. It's fairly perky and responsive, but I wouldn't describe it as smooth or pleasant. A 2-liter turbo would be nicer.

The chassis, despite being tuned sporty and firm, is actually very livable. It's just that the coarseness of the powertrain, combined with the slight claustrophobia from the high beltline and low roof, amplify the NVH you get from the chassis, which in itself is fine and 3-series like.

I would say Accord or Camry are best for most family sedan buyers; shame they're so bland and common.

accurate on the Mazda. The turn off for me on the mazda was the claustrophobia, the upright dash as opposed to fallaway, and in particular it was loud inside (not as loud as the Honda though).

I don't think the Accord works well for typical dumbed down buyers either. To me, the Fusion, Sonata are great blends that would still please the milquetoast crowd.

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