Most of us remember the Ford Mondeo of old, the sedan that wasn’t quite premium enough to fight with the German sedans and not quite desirable enough to make you upgrade from a big hatchback. It was a good car though, with loads of space, a comfortable drive and a sweet range-topping ST220 derivative. Unfortunately low sales dictated that the Mondeo be retracted from our market until now. The Mondeo has returned, but instead it has been branded a Fusion, we were at the launch to give it a quick spin and see what it has to offer.
Style-iciousIt’s a good looking car and I’ll have no arguments about that. The front end shares a lot of similarities with the new Mustang with its LED piercing forwards through slanting headlight housing. The grille might be a bit big, but it fits well with the overall sleek and sexy look of the front end. The rear end continues the impressive appearance with wrap-around taillights in thin slithery shape. In higher spec models the rear tailpipes are chromed and add a bit of attraction to the lower end of the rear. I can happily say that the Fusion is an excellent looking C/D segment sedan.
Techy CabinFord has really gone to town on the tech in the new Fusion. Sync2 is now available and it’ll take some form of Microsoft certification before I can get my head around all the capabilities of this system. Hopefully when we get it on test we’ll have some more time to figure it out. Let’s just say that if you spec your way to the full system you’ll have everything you could want from auto-parallel and perpendicular parking to having multiple USB devices plugged in at the same time and an audio/video device attached as well.
As for the interior, the Fusion has comfortable and endlessly adjustable seats in electric mode. The dash and surfaces, whilst being black throughout, are soft touch and well-designed to create a roomy environment. The driver’s binnacle is very clear whether you spec the fully digital layout or the entry analogue variant.
The Fusion sells itself well on space, there’s good legroom in the rear, even when the front seats are in six-foot plus positions. Then there’s the boot, it’s huge, I had to drop down to eye-level just to see the end. In total it’s 453-litres and the rear seats can be folded down. Standard spec for the Fusion is the seven-airbags that provide its five-star safety award as well as a new rear-seatbelt airbag that will be introduced soon.
EnginesThe Fusion is available in three petrol derivatives and a single diesel. The entry-level petrol is the new 1.5-Litre EcoBoost turbo that pushes out 132 kW and 240 Nm of torque. The small turbo dealt with the Fusion well and felt more than capable on the open road overtaking. The first of the 2-Litre turbo motors puts out 149 kW and 300 Nm, while the more powerful 177 kW 340 Nm feels suspiciously familiar to the engines in the Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF. Ford says the engine is a Ford only product and is unaware of any link between the Jag/Landy engines.
The diesel is a 2-Litre turbodiesel churning out 132 kW and 400 Nm. In a big sedan like this where most owners have families and maybe aren’t the most enthusiastic behind the wheel I recommend the diesel. It’s a fuel efficient engine that delivers on all fronts, it’s just a pity it’s also the most expensive model in the range.
PricingFord understands that the Fusion isn't as premium a name as the 3-Series or C-Class but it wants to compete with them on the tech front and desirability side of things. In reality the competition is more in the Honda Accord and VW Passat range, but this new Fusion may just be able to convince a few people into its driver’s seat. Option packs have been made available for those wanting to add something a little more to their Fusion and cost around R25k to bolt on.
Ford Fusion 1.5 EcoBoost Trend - R349 900
Ford Fusion 2.0 EcoBoost Trend - R369 900
Ford Fusion 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium - R424 900
Ford Fusion 2.0 TDCi Titanium Powershift - R449 900