The traditional mid-size sedan segment is definitely not known for its grin-inducing performance attributes, but the 2010 Ford Fusion isn't a traditional mid-size sedan. Instead, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the newest Ford Fusion is actually engaging to drive—well, at least more so than its competitors.
The 2010 Ford Fusion offers a range of engines that vary in power and displacement according to trim level. ConsumerGuide says a "175-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder replaces [the] 160-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder" on today's base model, while a "240-hp 3.0-liter V-6" is available on uplevel models. ConsumerGuide also notes that the Ford Fusion Sport has "a 263-hp 3.5-liter V-6," and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid pairs "a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor for 177 hp total."
Both engines win praise for their spirited performance, even the base four-cylinder. Autoblog claims, "for driving enthusiasts, the Fusion of choice might actually be the four-cylinder, six-speed manual version," since the lighter powertrain makes it the "lightest, least nose heavy" version of the Ford Fusion. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid also takes significant strides in terms of hybrid performance, with Motor Trend remarking that it "can operate in all-electric mode at a cruising speed of up to 47 mph."
The available transmissions fare decently well in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, but the automotive enthusiasts understandably pine for a manual on the higher-output engines. They will have to wait for another iteration of the Ford Fusion, however, since ConsumerGuide says that "V-6 versions [will] only have a six-speed automatic," while the base four-cylinder gets "a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission" and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid offers "a continuously variable automatic (CVT)." Autoblog does offer some consolation for enthusiasts, reporting that the V-6 offers "a manual select shift gate," and while they're "generally not a fan of these manual mode automatics," they do give the Ford Fusion points for getting "the orientation of the sequential shift gate in what [they] consider to be the correct position. Tap backwards for an up-shift and forwards for a down shift." As for the CVT on the hybrid, the Detroit News comments that it "provides smooth acceleration and helps with the car's extremely quiet ride."
Fuel economy for the 2010 Ford Fusion is much improved this year, according to Ford. While official EPA numbers aren't out yet, Jalopnik claims that the four-cylinder "gets at least five miles per gallon better fuel economy than the outgoing 2.3 liter," while the V-6 "gets a one to two MPG bump in economy."
The ride and handling aspects of the new Ford Fusion are better than most competitors, according to reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. Autoblog testers note that the Ford Fusion "still understeers at the limit as would be expected, but overall it was much better balanced" and significantly better than the Toyota Camry. The brakes work well, according to Automobile Magazine, which says that "the brakes simply stop the car without calling attention to themselves... unlike the hard-to-modulate brakes in some other hybrids." Automobile Magazine also reports that the new Ford Fusion features a "tighter turning circle," which is a welcome improvement for those who spend a lot of time navigating parking lots. Finally, Jalopnik reviewers find that "the suspension gets tweaks to improve ride and handling."