Try to find a better-looking family sedan at the price--the 2013 Ford Fusion is it, above the likes of the Buick Regal with a svelte, dashing body and hints and cues of much more expensive cars in its profile and nose. It looks most like Ford's Evos concept from a few years back, with a trapezoidal nose and grille that straddle a line somewhere between the latest Hyundais and the Aston Martin lineup. Follow the slim headlamps along the top of its slim-shouldered doors, and the Fusion rolls out an Audi A7-like roofline that tapers off into LED taillamps. A transformative step beyond the old Fusion, the new one looks every bit as convincing as a design statement as the original Taurus was in 1986. Does that mean Ford's come full circle to the oval?
Inside, the 2013 Fusion's cabin strips out some of the angled, nonsensical buttons that trim out the Focus and Fiesta, and frames all the center stack of controls in a simple metallic ring that leaves a strong graphic imprint on the cabin. On lesser models, there's a small LCD screen for radio and SYNC displays, flanked by a small battalion of hard buttons; it's undersized for the allotted space and looks it, while the rest of the controls are almost flush--capacitive controls run the climate control systems and some audio functions, with only a couple of actual knobs in place.
On versions with MyFord Touch's voice, wheel, and touch controls, the vitals are reduced to an elegant LCD touchscreen panel and to a minimum of breaks on the surface of the dash. It's a striking effect obviously influenced by Ford's work with Volvo--down to the storage bin under the climate controls that's left open at the sides, to leave some visual air moving throughout the cabin. Our chief complaint inside is the use of gloss black plastic on the dash and door panel armrests; it's prone to scratch and swirl, and doesn't look as good after only a few thousand miles as it does before a single use.