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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
The problem is that the touchscreen's buttons are too few, too small, and too confusing to navigate. We repeatedly had to pull over to figure out how to get back to the menu we wanted or find the right command.
One frustration with the manual-equipped model is that the dash only features a dinky digital tachometer to the left of the speedometer.
Car and Driver
The Fusion carries a price premium in this class to get a competitive engine under the hood.
In nearly all Fusions, the HVAC is also a flat-panel, haptic-touch affair. As always, the workarounds are the steering-wheel controls or voice activation, but we’d rather have physical controls that don’t demand so much eyes-off-the-road time.
The new Fusion makes a play for premium-price buyers and for bargain shoppers too. It offers plenty of luxury and entertainment features, but keeps many of them bundled in packages or limits them only to certain models or powertrain combinations.
Still, the base Fusion S ends up about $1,000 more expensive than some of the cars you may be shopping at the same time--that is, if you can find a Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata or Kia Optima without any options. The Fusion S is priced from $22,495, and includes the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission; power windows, locks, and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack; 16-inch wheels; cloth seats; SYNC with Bluetooth audio streaming; capless fuel filler; tilt/telescoping steering; cruise control; and steering-wheel audio and phone controls. Among the few options are remote start; an ash tray; portable DVD entertainment systems; and floor mats.
The $24,495 Fusion SE also comes standard with the normally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and automatic; it adds standard satellite radio; more speakers (two more, for a total of six); a 10-way power driver seat; and 17-inch wheels. This Fusion can be outfitted with either the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 2.0-liter turbocharged four; the latter can be ordered with either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, while the 2.0-liter turbo four comes only with the automatic for a higher base price of up to $26,745.
Options on the SE include 18-inch wheels; a spoiler; a sunroof; memory seats; front heated seats; premium cloth upholstery or leather upholstery; a navigation system; an 8-inch LCD touchscreen with MyFord Touch voice, steering-wheel, touchscreen controls for vehicle systems; remote start; automatic stop/start; reverse parking sensors; active park assist; and safety tech like blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings and lane-keeping assist.
The $30,995 Fusion Titanium comes only with the 2.0-liter turbo four and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. It has almost all of the above equipment standard--including parking sensors; rearview camera; a Sony audio system; MyFord Touch; power front seats; HD Radio; pushbutton start; automatic climate control; 18-inch wheels; aluminum interior trim; and remote start. A moonroof, 19-inch wheels, navigation, and the safety-tech add-ons are among the few options that can lift this model's price to $39,340, once each of the most expensive, non-conflicting options is chosen. At those prices, it's clear that Ford considers the Fusion a step up from its competitors, and expects that you will, too.
Hybrid drivetrains, active park assist, voice-controlled navigation--the Fusion bristles with features and options, which explains its premium price.