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STYLING | 8 out of 10
A gargantuan love-it-or-hate-it three-bar chrome grille sits out front
Substantial without being too flashy, though there's an awful lot of chrome up there
Ford's SmartGauge instrument cluster... can display a dizzying array of information
Considerably improved interior and exterior styling
Car and Driver
...the interior is filled with nice materials. It may not be that snazzy to look at, but everything just feels nicer than the stuff they've been putting in the Camry and Accord.
The Ford Fusion now has one of the more aged designs among mid-size sedans, yet it's readily apparent that styling remains one of the reasons the Fusion remains so popular.
With a clean, crisp look, framed by its thick-barred grille and squat taillamps, the Fusion still looks smart. The Fusion owes some of its style to the Ford 427 concept that was out on the auto-show circuit years ago (and went on to influence styling in the larger Taurus), and the Fusion isn't proportioned like every other front-drive mid-size sedan. With its cabin somewhat more hunkered back, and front fenders bowing out from some front angles, there's more than a hint of sport sedan. Yet from the side, the Fusion's pretty traditional, almost plain.
Inside, the Fusion also hits a sweet spot between functionality, austerity, and just a touch of flamboyance. It's way less extroverted than the wild collection of curves inside the new Hyundai Sonata--or even that of the new 2012 Ford Focus--though we're apt to think the Fusion's interior will wear better over time. If you order the optional navigation system (included on all Fusion Hybrid models), you get a large, clear LCD display that still stands out as among the better in this class.
The look of the 2012 Ford Fusion is dated, but it's holding up well; and the no-nonsense look of the interior still has plenty of appeal in a field of increasingly busy designs in rival models.