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Test Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Is A Spirited Family Sedan


2010 Ford Fusion

2010 Ford Fusion

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Not only has the Fusion been a huge sales success but it also happens to be the most reliable car that Ford builds. And now that Ford quality routinely meets or beats Honda and Toyota in that regard you can rest assured that the Fusion’s reliability ranking actually means something.

 Styling

The styling of the 2010 Fusion is rather angular and conservative but like khaki slacks it has a relaxed yet somewhat formal style that you know will make it fit in no matter where you park it. The three chrome bars on the front of the vehicle give it a neat visual flourish that sadly is lacking in the rear tail-lights. That is the only missed opportunity on the exterior styling front.

Inside the Fusion is all business with a very formal and blocky dashboard which thankfully is swathed in plenty of soft touch plastic and comes in a number of perfectly judged colors. Although the design of the interior isn’t revolutionary that at least means you can count on it to work correctly. All of the switches, dials and controls are easy to understand, feel good to the touch and are within easy reach.

 Models, Price and Economy

Starting at $19,695, the 2010 Ford Fusion comes with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. EPA estimates for fuel economy with that engine mated to the six-speed automatic lead the family sedan class with 22 city/34 highway.

That $19,695 price will get you a Fusion S model with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, 60/40 split rear seats, stylish 16-inch aluminum wheels (Toyota uses plastic wheel covers on the similarly priced Camry LE) and a CD stereo with MP3 capability. Moving up to the preferable $21,225 SE trim nets you tons more options (including Sync) along with standard Sirius satellite radio, nicer trim and awesome looking snowflake-style 17-inch alloys.

The $24,655 SEL four-cylinder Fusion makes the optional and preferable six-speed automatic standard all the while giving you dual-zone automatic climate control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, auto headlamps, an auto-dim rear view mirror, standard Sync connectivity, eight-way power front seats and leather upholstery. That’s a great deal for a stylish, reliable and fully loaded American family sedan.

 Features and Utility

In addition to the four-cylinder engine you can optionally specify your Fusion with a hybrid powertrain or order it with one of the two V-6 options. Once you reach the SE trim level you can add a 240 horsepower 3.0 liter Duratec six-cylinder that is quite frankly not up to the standards of the competition. If you must have a six-cylinder then order the Sport Edition which is the only variant of the Fusion to get Ford’s world-class 3.5 liter 263-horsepower engine that is far quieter and refined than its 3.0-liter cousin.

Passenger room is ample with plenty of room for legs in the back seat even with a six-footer sitting behind another six-footer. It appears Ford learned its lesson from the Contour which was launched in this country with very little rear legroom and flopped as a result. The trunk is another strong point with the Fusion as 16.5 cubic feet ranks it as one of the largest in its class.

 What is it Like to Drive?

With its stellar fuel economy, charismatic engine note and ample power, it is hard to see why anyone would order their Fusion with anything but the outstanding 2.5-liter four-cylinder. When connected to the six-speed automatic they work together to dispatch passing situations with authority and the transmission is always a short downshift away from ample power.


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