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Autoweek reviews the Fusion

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2006 Ford Fusion V6
World Beater? Ford says its new Fusion will take on the Accord and Camry


WES RAYNAL
Published Date: 9/5/05
2006 FORD FUSION V6
ON SALE: Now
BASE PRICE: $21,995
POWERTRAIN: 3.0-liter, 221-hp, 200-lb-ft V6; fwd, six-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 3101 lbs
0 TO 60 MPH: 8.0 seconds (est.)
FUEL MILAGE (EPA COMBINED): 24.6 mpg

Behold the new Ford Fusion, the car that is going to knock the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry out of their positions atop the midsize-sedan sales charts. That’s not us doing the talking, it’s what Phil Martens says. At the new car’s launch Martens, Ford’s group vp in charge of engineering, said that with the Fusion, Ford is “going at the Japanese auto­makers’ throats.

“We want to go after the midsize car market,” he continued. “That means Accord and Camry, and we think we have a winner here.

“This is not to say we’re trying. This car is us saying we’re back, back in the car business.” Martens said he thinks the Accord and Camry are nice cars and all, but Dearborn figures the midsize segment needs some attitude. For Ford, that means Fusion.

Pretty strong words. Does the car back them up? Having spent time driving Ford’s latest back to back with its Japanese rivals, we’d say the Fusion has got a shot, especially against the Camry.

For starters the Fusion looks good. Ford says the three-bar chrome grille and smooth front fascia were inspired by the 2003 Ford 427 concept. That car was built on a stretched Lincoln LS rear-drive platform and had a massive 427-cubic-inch V10 under the hood. Fusion makes do with two available engines, a 2.3-liter 160-hp four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter V6.

We only drove the V6 Fusion, which produces 221 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. You can get the four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic, while a six-speed automatic comes standard with the V6.

The V6 isn’t a bad engine—it feels about on par with Camry’s 190 hp in terms of power and smoothness, but the Accord’s 3.0-liter V6 feels smoother, revs more freely and sounds better. At 240 hp, the Accord has the edge on power, too.

The Fusion rides on a slightly bigger (two inches longer) Mazda 6 platform, a great starting point. Front suspension is a short/long-arm arrangement with a multilink setup in the rear. The steering is slightly heavier than the competitors’, and the car felt thoroughly at home on some North Carolina twisties, with good control of body motions. The standard four-wheel disc brakes (ABS is optional) do a good job stopping the car, even after a hard day’s work.

The interior is nice-looking if a bit unremarkable. At least it looks well-assembled, and the seats are comfortable. Even on the prototypes we drove, material quality looked competitive with what’s out there (well, except for Volkswagen—it’s still at least one step ahead).

The Fusion replaces the Taurus, on the retail side anyway—Taurus will soldier on for fleets and rental-car agencies. The Fusion will be built at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant, which can churn out 300,000 Fusions a year. An all-wheel-drive version will come in 2007, Martens said. Other rumored spinoffs include a hybrid and a tallish six-seat wagon.

Prices start at $17,900 for the base four-cylinder model, $18,995 with the automatic. V6 models start at $21,995. To compare, a base Accord starts at $16,295 while Camry starts at $18,445.

So is Martens right? Will the Fusion topple the Accord and Camry? We’ll see. On our day in the Fusion, words such as competent and credible came to mind. Earth-shattering it ain’t, but the Fusion is a solid midsize contender and Ford hasn’t had one of those in a long while. Not since an earlier Taurus routinely battled Camry and Accord for honors as America’s bestselling car.
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Well, it looks like Ford is taking the car business seriously for the first time in 15 years. Ford, GM, DCX, & Hyundai seem to be out to massacre Japan's Big 3. I'd say that by 2015 the Detriot rebirth will make way for new US independent automakers,basically the American equivalents of Hyundai, Kia, & Suzuki. Well, this story sounds good enough that I hope its true.
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Too bad it has a Mazda engine . Losers .

[post="11473"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


It's not strictly a Mazda engine anymore...the Duratec 30 was derived from the Mazda AJ but has been modified and has become the ubiquitous V6 engine for Ford products. It's made in Cleveland and is spread from Mazda to Jaguar...horsepower is horsepower, and the Duratec does a pretty good job pumping out 221-hp out of a little 3 liter engine.
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The Duratec V6 is not based upon the old Mazda V6 (1.8L and 2.5L). It is strictly a Ford design, although I remember (from car magazines in the early 1990's) that Porsche helped with the design. The Fusion's 4 cylinder is a Mazda design, but it is used in many Fords worldwide.
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The Duratec V6 is not based upon the old Mazda V6 (1.8L and 2.5L).  It is strictly a Ford design, although I remember (from car magazines in the early 1990's) that Porsche helped with the design.  The Fusion's 4 cylinder is a Mazda design, but it is used in many Fords worldwide.

[post="11528"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


was it porsche or cosworth?

one or the other, i think cosworth, basically led the duratec family design.
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It's the old M6 motor , Ford replaced the timing covers from plastic to Aluminum . same old Mazda leaker . Just because the jokers at ford , not content with running Ford into the ground , also have Mazda buried , can't design any kind of engine to save it's life , stealing cruddy Mazda engines and sticking the blue oval on it . Oh yeah and the really cool timing covers made from aluminum . Ford used to be seven years behind GM . Now they are about twelve behind .
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It's the old M6 motor , Ford replaced the timing  covers from plastic to Aluminum . same old Mazda leaker . Just because the jokers at ford , not content with running Ford into the ground , also have Mazda buried , can't design any kind of engine to save it's life , stealing cruddy Mazda engines and sticking the blue oval on it . Oh yeah and the really cool timing  covers made from aluminum .
Ford used to be seven years behind GM .
Now they are about twelve behind .

[post="17953"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You are full of it.

The Duratech V6 was a clean sheet design. They have never had leaking problems, and have actually been very durable and reliable engines. 221hp from a 3.0L V6, while not THE best output out there, is more than respectable. How much hp is that 3.4 making these days???

Neither Ford, nor GM are doing too good these days. Spewing lies just makes you sound bitter. The Fusion has gotten excellent reviews from pretty much every publication. Why can't we all just cheer on the home team???
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It's the old M6 motor , Ford replaced the timing  covers from plastic to Aluminum . same old Mazda leaker . Just because the jokers at ford , not content with running Ford into the ground , also have Mazda buried , can't design any kind of engine to save it's life , stealing cruddy Mazda engines and sticking the blue oval on it . Oh yeah and the really cool timing  covers made from aluminum .
Ford used to be seven years behind GM .
Now they are about twelve behind .

[post="17953"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You might want to naming some cars, bro.

If see quite a few late model Mazdas around....
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How much hp is that 3.4 making these days???

[post="19696"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


its hard to tell, you don't wanna rev it over 3000 rpm to find out because its sounds like its gonna explode. Assuming you haven't lost all your dexcool by then.

-GM 3.4 owner
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6 Cylinder
All three V6 Duratecs are evolutions of the same design. It is a modern aluminum DOHC V6 with a 60° bank angle. The primary engineering input came from Porsche, who were developing a similar V6 before selling the engineering to Ford, and Cosworth, who helped with cylinder head manufacturing.

The Jaguar AJ-V6 engine is similar but adds variable valve timing. Mazda's AJ version also has this feature

source here Edited by regfootball
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Their engine technology is so far behind. They need to get with the program. I mean look at all the other V6s out there they are above what the output of the Ford engines are. They can't have a world beater when they are already beaten. Hell even the Chinese are coming out with better engines than Ford! Ok maybe thats a stretch but, hey c'mon Ford! What is the difference between the Fusion and the 500 a few inches and some chrome?
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[b]Behold the new Ford Fusion, the car that is going to knock the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry out of their positions atop the midsize-sedan sales charts. That’s not us doing the talking, it’s what Phil Martens says. At the new car’s launch Martens, Ford’s group vp in charge of engineering, said that with the Fusion, Ford is “going at the Japanese auto­makers’ throats.

[post="9628"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Good luck with that, Marty. You'll need it.

The Duratec 3.0L. V6 was not in any way, shape, or form designed by Mazda. It's been around for about a decade now, perhaps longer, in Ford products. Mazda simply took the Duratec engine from Ford when they designed the Mazda6 and tweaked it to crank out more horsepower. Now, Ford is using the Mazda-tuned version of the Duratec in the Fusion. Mazda tuned, not Mazda designed. The old Mazda 2.5L. V6 that was used in the 626 is now totally defunct in the N.A market. If you can find anything that says otherwise, I'd be delighted to see it.

Oh, and the Duratec is hardly durable. Do a search for Taurus or Windstar problems, and you'll see what I mean.
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Good luck with that, Marty. You'll need it.

The Duratec 3.0L. V6 was not in any way, shape, or form designed by Mazda. It's been around for about a decade now, perhaps longer, in Ford products. Mazda simply took the Duratec engine from Ford when they designed the Mazda6 and tweaked it to crank out more horsepower. Now, Ford is using the Mazda-tuned version of the Duratec in the Fusion. Mazda tuned, not Mazda designed. The old Mazda 2.5L. V6 that was used in the 626 is now totally defunct in the N.A market. If you can find anything that says otherwise, I'd be delighted to see it.

Oh, and the Duratec is hardly durable. Do a search for Taurus or Windstar problems, and you'll see what I mean.

[post="20226"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


the ford with the problems is the old pushrod v6 3.8 litre. not the duratec. the duratec has existed since 95 in the contour and 96 in the taurus.
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Their engine technology is so far behind. They need to get with the program. I mean look at all the other V6s out there they are above what the output of the Ford engines are. They can't have a world beater when they are already beaten. Hell even the Chinese are coming out with better engines than Ford! Ok maybe thats a stretch but, hey c'mon Ford! What is the difference between the Fusion and the 500 a few inches and some chrome?

[post="20078"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I know............. I mean, how dare they make a 4 valve per cylinder, DOHC 3.0 V6 that ONLY puts out a sh*tty 221hp. What the hell were they thinking !!!!! Hell, a 1950 Chevy made more than that !!!! (yes, this is sarcasm mixed with a liberal dose of exageration).

PS, the Fusion and 500 engines are tuned completely differently. The 500 version makes more torque, at a lower rpm, where the Fusion version makes more hp. Also, this is not like the Mazda version either, as the Mazda version does not make nearly as much torque as the Fusion version...... and does so at a higher rpm.

PSS, have you driven one??? I suggest you drive one back to back against the Malibu........... then come and talk. Oh, and you should know all about Chinese engines.......... "cough" Equinox "cough" Torrent "cough"

BTW, this really has nothing to do with being a slam against GM at all. Its just when someone posts something this ridiculous, it deserves an equally ridiculous answer. I have driven the Fusion, and know just how fine its driving dynamics are. Paint me surprised in Payson.
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I know............. I mean, how dare they make a 4 valve per cylinder, DOHC 3.0 V6 that ONLY puts out a sh*tty 221hp. What the hell were they thinking !!!!! Hell, a 1950 Chevy made more than that !!!! (yes, this is sarcasm mixed with a liberal dose of exageration).

PS, the Fusion and 500 engines are tuned completely differently. The 500 version makes more torque, at a lower rpm, where the Fusion version makes more hp. Also, this is not like the Mazda version either, as the Mazda version does not make nearly as much torque as the Fusion version...... and does so at a higher rpm.

PSS, have you driven one??? I suggest you drive one back to back against the Malibu........... then come and talk. Oh, and you should know all about Chinese engines.......... "cough" Equinox "cough" Torrent "cough"

BTW, this really has nothing to do with being a slam against GM at all. Its just when someone posts something this ridiculous, it deserves an equally ridiculous answer. I have driven the Fusion, and know just how fine its driving dynamics are. Paint me surprised in Payson.

[post="20865"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


i had to double check to make sure that wasn't me that posted that. :blink:
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So is Martens right? Will the Fusion topple the Accord and Camry? We’ll see.


If I had a damn dollar for everytime I heard this MEDIA domestic "status quo" phrase I'd be a damn millionaire by now.

Can they get any more SCRIPTED????

words such as competent and credible came to mind. Earth-shattering it ain’t,


What a surprise!!!!!!

In this world of "EARTH SHATTERING" Camrys and Accords apparently this much more attractive and generally BETTER Ford just doesn't cut it. What a way to END the review negatively and set us up for many biased articles to "write off" this TOO competitive Ford.

Idiots.
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FOG, no one called the Camry and Accord earth shattering. The Fusion is far from earth shattering, which should be obvious. It might do many things good but it doesn't do many things great, if you get what I'm saying. The Fusion is a well designed, safe midsize sedan.
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You are full of it.

The Duratech V6 was a clean sheet design. They have never had leaking problems, and have actually been very durable and reliable engines. 221hp from a 3.0L V6, while not THE best output out there, is more than respectable. How much hp is that 3.4 making these days???

Neither Ford, nor GM are doing too good these days. Spewing lies just makes you sound bitter. The Fusion has gotten excellent reviews from pretty much every publication. Why can't we all just cheer on the home team???

[post="19696"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



The 3.8 in the Lucerne is making 190 HP! :CG_all:
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Until Ford makes something that stands out, they won't do anything to get people out of the camcords. The Fusion looks to bland, no matter how competent to attract much attention.
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FOG, no one called the Camry and Accord earth shattering.  The Fusion is far from earth shattering, which should be obvious.  It might do many things good but it doesn't do many things great, if you get what I'm saying.

The Fusion is a well designed, safe midsize sedan.

[post="21559"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yep. Much better designed than the tallish Camry or bug eyed Accord. This is a great attempt at breaking into this cut throat market. Looks wise, it's clean and very sophisticated. That also goes over into the interior. The powertrain is on par with many, though it's outclassed HP wise by some (Altima, Accord). But in this class, HP isn't EVERYTHING. I've never been a fan of Ford sedans, but I wish them all the best. I hope they can do what the Malibu seems unable to do.
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Until Ford makes something that stands out, they won't do anything to get people out of the camcords.  The Fusion looks to bland, no matter how competent to attract much attention.

[post="22000"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


You've got to be kidding me... as compared to what? I thought we were comparing the Fusion to the Camry and Accord. Based on looks alone, I'd take the Fusion in a hearbeat. But then, beauty's in the eye of the beholder, so I guess neither of our subjective opinions matter TOO much, huh. In this class, I think it'll be a matter of product reliablility, content, and price, as much as it is looks. Hopefully, Ford has made a solid sedan. We alread know that they've stuffed it full of standard equipment, and the price is definitely right. So, we'll have to wait and see if the "looks" alone are so bland that it won't warrant the interest of atleast a look from midsize car buyers. This class of car is full of bland product; until cars like the Aura are finally introduced, the segment will continue to not have many standouts. I think the sheetmetal alone is more than enough to warrant atleast a trip to the dealership, IMHO. Edited by titan
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You've got to be kidding me... as compared to what?  I thought we were comparing the Fusion to the Camry and Accord.  Based on looks alone, I'd take the Fusion in a hearbeat.  But then, beauty's in the eye of the beholder, so I guess neither of our subjective opinions matter TOO much, huh.  In this class, I think it'll be a matter of product reliablility, content, and price, as much as it is looks. Hopefully, Ford has made a solid sedan. We alread know that they've stuffed it full of standard equipment, and the price is definitely right.  So, we'll have to wait and see if the "looks" alone are so bland that it won't warrant the interest of atleast a look from midsize car buyers.  This class of car is full of bland product; until cars like the Aura are finally introduced, the segment will continue to not have many standouts.  I think the sheetmetal alone is more than enough to warrant atleast a trip to the dealership, IMHO.

[post="22028"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Hmmm.....has anyone noticed that it's interesting Ford isn't listing Malibu or G6 as competitors it's going after? Seems they are shooting for Camry and Accord...

Doesn't sound like they are too worried about GM's entries.....

GM will have turned the corner when GM's products themselves are the benchmark that other auto manufacturers put their bullseyes on...
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Thank you Titan, I was about to say basically the same thing. Dsuupr, have you actually seen the car in the flesh??? The design is very striking, especially in SEL trim (there are driving lights which have the chrome surrounds), which really finishes off the front. As someone who has driven the car, many are going to be surprised. The driving dynamics are better.............. I would say better than the Mazda 6 (the extra length and width, along with a stiffer chassis allowed a more compliant ride, without detracting from the handling). NVH control is also better than the Mazda (my mom has a 6, so I do have a direct comparable available). Even the heavily flogged test units, at the Ford Innovation Drive, were still very quiet inside. There was not so much as a sqeek or rattle in either the one I drove, or the one my husband drove. You could almost forget that it was a FWD car.
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