The Ford Fusion is a large and luxury sedan that recently arrived in South Africa. Promising latest technology, clever engines and a reasonable price tag, the Fusion sounds like the real deal. Here's how we got on with the entry-level 1.5 EcoBoost.
Firstly, there's that name. Ford Fusion. This is an all-new title and a lightbulb will probably come on if I rather said Mondeo. This is essentially a new Mondeo, a car that didn't fare too well in terms of outright sales in SA back in the day. It's a shame really, as the ST220 was a marvelous machine. Fast forward to 2015 and I'm sitting with this very smart-looking executive sedan. It's a modern and suave sedan. The Ford Fusion won many admiring glances during its time with us and a disbelieving few had to be told this was in fact a Ford.
PowerplantThe entry-level Ford Fusion comes with a 1.5-litre Ecoboost engine. Now, before you laugh and mock the engine size, consider the international downsizing trend. Small turbo engines are all the rage and Ford has joined the bandwagon. No longer do you need a brawny V6 to power a big sedan.
If the Volkswagen Jetta can make do with a 1.4 TSI motor, then Ford will be just fine with an EcoBoost 1.5. With 132 kW and 240 Nm, the Ford Fusion has sufficient oomph to get around. Power drives through the front wheels and through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy for this EcoBoost engine is claimed at 7.4L/100km, but I could only get around 9L/100km...
Incredible Interior & TechEconomy aside, the Ford Fusion is a really impressive product, thanks mainly to its interior, build quality and standard features. The boot is enormous and just for a laugh I climbed in. There was enough room for a second full-size adult to join me! Talk about carrying everything and the kitchen sink. Want to carry more? Then simply fold the back seats down in a 60:40 split.
The rest of the cabin and interior is a class act. The front and passenger seats for instance, are heated and are quite easily one of the most comfortable I've ever sat in. Think comfortable as in sitting in your favourite armchair after a day at work...
The Ford Fusion comes with a whole host of cool tech. I have to point out that this particular press unit came with the optional Trend pack (R26 820) which adds in a superb Sony radio with nine speakers, two USB ports, Aux input, SD card slot, Bluetooth as well as the intuitive Sync 2 infotainment setup. Also thrown into the mix is a reverse camera and rear parking sensors. I'd insist on speccing the Trend pack as it just adds a lot more value and technology as well as visual goodies.
The DriveDriving the Ford Fusion is an experience to be relished. If you're a fan of technology and the basic need to be comfortable and insulated from the outside hustle, then the Fusion is a wonderful place to be. The road and wind noise have been considerably muted, and the Fusion glides along magnificently.
There's no fireworks in the performance department but the Fusion can show a turn of speed if you're in a hurry. The key word here is refinement. Handling wise, this is no barge which wallows around. Despite its small engine, the Fusion can be entertaining to drive with almost no noticeable body roll. You can put a fair amount of its handling prowess down to an all-new multi-link rear suspension. With the extra power the range-topping 177kW/340Nm Fusion has on offer the it must be an awesome drive.
Conclusion and SummaryFord is playing the Fusion against the popular German models and despite trends that show preference to crossovers and SUVs, the boys from the Blue Oval have belief that Fusion will do well. Given what a solid offering the Ford Fusion is, and how much cheaper it is in comparison to an entry-level BMW 320i for example, there's very little to fault this car.
Ford Fusion Price in South AfricaI tested the Ford Fusion 1.5 EcoBoost which retails for R349 900. The Trend option pack comes in at R26 800. The Ford Fusion comes with a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/80 000km service plan, three-year roadside assistance with unlimited mileage as well as a five-year corrosion warranty.
Second OpinionThe Ford Fusion plays in a difficult market where buyers progress out of hatchbacks and either decide to go the German sedan route or the compact SUV direction. That doesn't mean the Fusion is not worth your time or money, it's a good car with a great interior and stylish exterior. The engine range is good too, but let's see if Ford has done enough to revive the D-Segment sedan market. -Ashley Oldfield
We Like: Fresh looks, huge space, technology, value for money
We Don't Like: Not as fuel efficient as claimed. Other than that, this is a hard to fault vehicle.
Also Consider: Volkswagen Jetta, BMW 3-Series, Mazda6, Honda Accord