Performance » 8
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Somewhat sporty, especially with the four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual
Car and Driver
One of the few midsize sedans to offer all-wheel drive
Ride quality is as good as any car in the class, save perhaps the Toyota Camry
The 2009 Ford Fusion proves a surprising hit among reviewers for its handling prowess and compliant ride, but the overly thirsty engine options ultimately prove a disappointment.
The available engines on the 2009 Ford Fusion aren't exactly deal breakers, but few reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about the Fusion's powerplants. ConsumerGuide says that "a 160-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, and a 221-hp 3.0-liter V-6 is available," although neither engine is sufficient to overcome the full brunt of the Fusion's curb weight. AutoWeek warns that the "160-hp inline-four will disappoint some," and ConsumerGuide affirms that by claiming those versions "are adequate, though they feel slower than our test car's 9.2-second 0-60-mph time would suggest." As for the V-6, Cars.com says it "feels comparatively less impressive," although it is "certainly stronger than the four-cylinder, and it moves quickest when revved hard," but it simply can't match the V-6s available in competing sedans. MyRide.com reports V-6 Ford Fusions "can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.0 seconds," which they characterize as "reasonable performance."
The 2009 Ford Fusion represents a big step forward for Ford in terms of transmission offerings, as all three of the Fusion's gearing setups prove successful. The four-cylinder versions of the 2009 Ford Fusion come standard with a five-speed manual, while a five-speed auto is optional, and V-6 versions come exclusively with a six-speed automatic. ConsumerGuide reviewers are pleased to find that "the manual transmission is pleasant to use," and AutoWeek praises the "nice-shifting five-speed manual transmission." The automatics fare well also, as MyRide.com remarks that "the six-speed automatic transmission is very smooth" and "it's one of the few six-speed automatics in this class." Unfortunately, several reviews read by TheCarConnection.com lament the fact that, as MyRide.com says, "it does not offer a semi-manual shifter." On the positive side, Car and Driver reports "it has the added benefit for people who live in the Snowbelt of being available with all-wheel drive," which is an option for the V-6 Ford Fusion.
Despite the relatively low displacement of its engines, the 2009 Ford Fusion is not very frugal when it comes to downing gasoline. Cars.com calls fuel economy a "disappointment," noting that "among its major competitors, it's the only car that can't manage 30 mpg on the highway." The official EPA estimates for the 2009 Ford Fusion are 20 mpg city and 29 highway with the manual-transmission four-cylinder versions, while the five-speed auto returns 20 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway. Front-wheel-drive V-6 versions should get 18 mpg city and 26 on the highway, and the all-wheel-drive models incur an expected penalty, returning just 17 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.
Ride and handling are definite pluses for the 2009 Ford Fusion, a welcome departure from the American sedan stereotype. AutoWeek says that, of all the Fusion's attributes, "the solidity of this car is the most impressive part." MyRide.com agrees, contending that the "ride quality is as good as any car in the class, save perhaps the Toyota Camry." The steering features "a light touch but stops short of feeling overly assisted," according to Cars.com, which adds that "the precise turn-in will impress anyone used to driving a family car." ConsumerGuide attests that, "in a straight line, all [Fusions] feel solid and well-planted," although unfortunately "a wide turning circle frustrates in close quarters."
The 2009 Ford Fusion steers and handles better than most mid-size sedans.