The Ford Fusion family is now free of V-6 engines; and with a new lineup of naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines--plus a Hybrid model and a plug-in Energi model, you have plenty of options if driving green is a priority.
The base engine in the Fusion S and SE is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, carried over with minor improvements from other model lines (a version is found in the Mazda5 minivan, too). It's combined with a six-speed automatic, and generates fuel economy figures of 22 miles per gallon city, 34 miles per gallon highway, or 26 mpg combined. The city number's very low, but the highway number rivals vehicles like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, and beats the base Chevy Malibu.
The standard engine on the Fusion Titanium is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four with direct injection. Teamed to a six-speed automatic and front- or all-wheel drive, it's good for gas mileage of 22/33 mpg, or 26 mpg combined, Ford says. Those figures haven't been certified yet, but they put the Fusion in the same space as the Sonata 2.0T and Optima Turbo, as well as the Malibu Turbo, while significantly outpacing the Nissan Altima V-6 and its 22/30-mpg figures. With all-wheel drive, it loses 1 mpg on the combined cycle.
In between was our previous recommendation, the 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four. It's being replaced with the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which will include engine stop/start with the automatic transmission. Gas mileage with that previous engine was 25/37 mpg, or 29 mpg combined with a six-speed manual, or 23/36 mpg and 28 mpg combined with the automatic. Ford says that the new engine will deliver the performance of the 1.6 but with better fuel economy.
Will buyers pay the premium for fuel economy? It's been a mixed proposition so far in other Ford products, but the Fusion could prove otherwise.
There's also a Fusion Hybrid, with sky-high 47-mpg ratings across the board, and an Energi plug-in hybrid version with a higher 100-MPGe figure than that of the Chevy Volt--but we're handling those separately due to the technology differences with the gas-only cars.