- Exterior still graceful in fifth year
- Taut driver's handling
- Updated cabin interior
- Highest MPG costs more
- Rear seat room only average
- Rearview camera optional on Fusion S
The 2017 Ford Fusion blends enduring good looks, a wide variety of powertrains, impressive interior space and comfort along with all the latest electronic safety systems and a few design upgrades.
The 2017 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan remains a comfortable, spacious, and good-looking entries in a competitive glass. It competes with the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and a brand-new and much improved Chevrolet Malibu.
It’s also supremely comfortable, athletic, space-efficient, and packed with technology. We named it our Best Car to Buy in 2013, when this current generation launched, and it continues to earn high ratings.
For its fifth year on the market, the Fusion gets a light refresh that includes mildly updated styling front and rear, some upgrades to the interior, a new Platinum top-end trim level, and an added performance model called the Fusion V6 Sport.
The profile, stance, and details of the Fusion continue to make it one of the more attractive cars among mid-size sedans. The fastback shape looks especially dashing in darker colors. This year, the grille is slightly wider and sleeker, and new LED headlamps join the LED taillamps. A new chrome strip at the rear adds “elegant imagery,” and there are new wheel designs as well.
For 2017, the Fusion adds a fifth powertrain option, a new twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 in the Fusion V6 Sport model that puts out 325-horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, and is considerably more powerful than larger V-6 engines in the Accord and Camry. It gets continuously controlled damping that detects potholes and adjusts the damping to reduce their impact.
The base powertrain remains a 178-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission, with only adequate performance that doesn’t live up to the rakish design. Then there’s a 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo four coupled to the same automatic transmission; offering a more rewarding drive that can deliver great real-world gas mileage. The 1.5-liter engine comes with stop/start system as standard.
The previous top-of-the-line engine was the 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four, which puts 270 lb-ft of torque and substituted well for the V-6 of similar output that it supplanted. This is the engine you’ll get if you want the Fusion with optional all-wheel drive (unless you go for the hot-rod Fusion V6 Sport, on which it’s standard).
Finally, the fuel-efficient (but still responsive) Fusion Hybrid and its plug-in sibling, the Fusion Energi both earn ratings of more than 40 mpg combined from the EPA. They’re covered by separate reviews here.
The ride and handling of the Fusion is top-notch. The taut, absorbent steering is well-tuned, and the car corners in a firm, flat, and reassuring manner. But ride quality isn’t hurt by the handling, and most versions feel eager and nimble—unlike many mid-size sedan competitors.
Inside the Fusion, the interior conveys an impression of quality. The materials look and feel substantial, the noise is well damped and vibrations are suppressed, and subtle cues like the sound and feel of the doors as they open and close combine to indicate a solid, well-built, and high-quality vehicle.
Changes this year include a redesigned console with a rotary gear-selector knob, freeing up space for more storage, and Ford says the cupholders are more ergonomically place. Repositioned USB ports are now illuminated as well, and the 2017 Fusion is fitted with the latest Sync 3 version of Ford’s interactive infotainment system.
Even the manually adjusted front seats in the base model are comfortable and supportive, and rear legroom is sufficient for four adults to ride comfortably, or five in a pinch. Headroom is good as long as you avoid the sunroof, which cuts significantly into vertical space, especially in the rear. And Ford has provided ample and useful storage space in the doors and center console.
Previous models of the Fusion have received good, if not quite top-tier, ratings from safety agencies. For 2017, Ford has added a slew of new electronic safety systems, bringing the Fusion up to par with its most advanced competitors.
These include adaptive cruise control that works down to a full stop and back up to speed; pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection; a lane-keeping system; driver alerts for drowsiness; and an enhanced Park Assist that now includes perpendicular as well as parallel parking. It continues to offer the innovative inflatable rear seatbelt system that's been offered on some of Ford's crossovers.
The Platinum trim gets hand-wrapped leather for its steering wheel, instrument panel, and door trim. It has its own grille, as well as special 19-inch alloy wheels.
The new Fusion V6 Sport gets some unique styling to set it apart from more pedestrian Fusions. Those include a black mesh grille, deeper front air intakes, a rear spoiler, dual exhaust outlets, and its own 19-inch wheels.
Fusion prices for 2017 start at around $23,000 for the base S trim level, and move up through a top end of roughly $42,000 for the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid in the new Platinum trim level. A heavy hand on the options list can push even a mid-level model well into the $30K-plus range, if you add items like the moonroof, navigation, upgraded wheels, and the expanded range of new safety-tech items.
Other options of note include an Appearance Package to dress up the base Fusion S model with 18-inch alloy painted Ebony black wheels, fog lamps, and a rear spoiler, and a Cold Weather package for the SE that bundles remote starting, heated cloth seats, and floor mats. The best value is probably the Fusion SE, which offers a reasonably well-equipped model for about $30,000.