- Top-notch turbo-4s
- Taut, inspired handling
- Hybrid drivability
- Graceful yet edgy exterior
- Great cabin design
- You pay a premium for the best mpg
- Just average rear sear room
- Good, but not top-tier safety ratings
- Gloss plastic interior trim
- No more manual transmission
The 2016 Ford Fusion is true to its name as an excellent fusion of graceful good looks, responsive, fuel-efficient powertrains, and impressive comfort and interior space.
The 2016 Ford Fusion manages to show that good, space-efficient design can also be very good-looking. This mainstream mid-size sedan manages to be comfortable, spacious, and very well-equipped, and even though it's no longer a new design it's still one of the most attractive in its class.
In profile, stance, and details, the 2016 Fusion remains one of the most attractive models in its class. It's handsome and athletic, supremely comfortable, and packed with technology. We named it our 2013 Best Car to Buy, when this current generation of the Fusion was released, and it continues to be one of our best-rated vehicles here, not counting luxury marques.
The 178-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-4, doesn't come close to performing as well as the rakish design suggests, but it's adequate with the 6-speed automatic. And on the other end, there's the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-4, which makes 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque and doesn't leave us missing a V-6. In the middle is a 1.5-liter turbo-4, coupled to an automatic transmission; that's still a nice-driving powertrain that should deliver great real-world mileage. And covered by separate reviews elsewhere, there's the especially fuel-efficient (yet still responsive-driving) Fusion Hybrid and its plug-in version, the Fusion Energy—both of which earn more than 40 mpg in EPA combined driving.
In all of its versions, the Fusion has some truly top-notch ride and handling, with well-tuned steering and a taut yet absorbent feel, it has firm, flat, reassuring cornering that's not to the detriment of ride quality, combined with a nimble, eager feeling that's missing from most mid-size sedans.
The Fusion has an interior that lends a feeling of quality, with good materials everywhere you look (and feel), great noise damping and vibration quelling, and satisfying sounds as you open and close doors. It's a little longer overall than before, with a much longer wheelbase, which adds up to better legroom all around. Thinner and firmer front seats also help bring a lot more back-seat space; and even the base manual front seats are quite comfortable and supportive. Provided you avoid the sunroof, head room is great, and there's ample storage space around the center stack and doors.
The 2016 Ford Fusion has very good—albeit not quite top-tier—ratings from both U.S. safety agencies, as well as a reasonably good set of standard features and safety options. Although a few safety items to stand out here—including the innovative inflatable rear seatbelt system that's been offered on some of Ford's crossovers.
Pricing for the Fusion is almost like that of a premium-brand model—as you can add a rather conservative number of items, including the moonroof, navigation, upgraded wheels, and the safety-tech items and end up with a sticker price around $40,000. That said, we think the Fusion is at its best value in SE trim, where you can end up with a reasonably well-equipped model for closer to $30,000.
For 2016 there's a new S Appearance Package that lets you dress up the base model with 18-inch alloy painted Ebony black wheels, front fog lamps, and a rear spoiler. Additionally, a new Cold Weather package brings remote start, heated cloth seats, and floor mats to the SE.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is the base powerplant for the Fusion S and SE. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic, and generates fuel economy figures of 22 mpg city, 34 highway, 26 combined, according to the EPA. You'll probably do quite a bit better in real-world driving with the 1.5-liter turbo-4, also paired with an automatic. Gas mileage is rated at 24/36/28 mpg—or 25/37/29 mpg when equipped with engine stop-start.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid are the fuel economy champs for Fusion, which we've covered elsewhere.