2013 Ford Fusion Is Most Efficient

By Casey Williams, MyCarData
April 1, 2013 10:03 am Last Updated: April 3, 2013 9:04 am

The Fusion mid-size sedan has been one of Ford’s most-popular vehicles since debuting for 2006. It combines refined handling, handsome styling, a roomy interior, and impressive fuel economy-all at a price that American families can afford.

It’s a great car and one of the best in its class. While the sedan has aged gracefully, it is time for an all-new model that takes all owners like about their Fusion to an even better place.

“The new Fusion is part of our plan to offer vehicles with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design, and value,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “We are absolutely committed to class-leading fuel efficiency as a reason to buy Ford vehicles, with customers able to choose the fuel-efficient powertrain that best fits their lifestyle.”

You’ll know from an ocean away that the 2013 Fusion is a new car. Ford once owned Aston Martin, which might explain the exotic grille that looks like it belongs on a supercar as much as a mid-size sedan. Styling details like ridges in the hood, multi-faceted grille slats, fastback roofline, and elegant taillamps belong on a car twice the price, but owners are going to love them on their Fusion.

As beautiful as the car appears, real drama resides under the curvy skin. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Fusion is America’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan. The hybrid achieves 47-MPG city and 47-MPG hwy. To enhance fuel economy, Fusion Hybrid has active grille shutters to smooth the front facia, can run up to 62 mph in EV mode for very short distances, and has an underbody with aerodynamically sculpted panels. Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide helps drivers use fuel wisely.

That’s not even the most advanced version of the Fusion. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, which can go short distances on electricity alone, is projected to exceed 100-MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent). If all of that sounds too high-tech, you can also get the Fusion with a 1.6-L EcoBoost (turbo) four-cylinder, 2.0-L EcoBoost four-cylinder, or 2.5-L four-cylinder engine. Without a hybrid system, they achieve up to 25/37-MPG city/hwy.

Ford engineers are putting some other pretty impressive technology inside their newest car. Unusual for a mass-market offering, Fusion will be available with Lane-Keeping System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Park Assist, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). Using a small camera behind the mirror, the Lane-Keeping System monitors the road and will vibrate the steering wheel and/or apply pressure to the wheel to keep drivers on-path. Adaptive Cruise uses radar to automatically maintain a safe distance behind vehicles in front. Active Park Assist identifies suitable parking spaces and steers the car in semi-automatically.

Beyond fancy electronics, the Fusion’s interior looks pretty good too. It is simple, but stylish in the European fashion. Up-level models use MyFord Touch(R), powered by SYNC, to let drivers use touchscreens, flat panels, and voice to control the audio, navigation, climate, and information systems. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but is really cool technology. Supportive seats (available in heated leather), sporty gauges, and soft-touch materials give the cabin an upscale feel.

According to Ford, the midsize segment is the fastest-growing vehicle class in America. Overall vehicle sales are up 15 percent while midsize sales jumped 26 percent. An all-new, stylish, high-tech Fusion comes at a great time. To increase capacity, Ford is adding 1,200 jobs and spending $555 million at its plant in Flat Rock, MI.

“Ford is bringing power of choice to midsize sedan buyers,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “More than 2 million customers this year will purchase midsize cars. Our new Fusion delivers the fuel savings people truly want and value, with technologies that cost two to three times the price on some German sedans.”

Re-designing and re-engineering your bread-and-butter sedan is always a challenge. Ford had to retain customers who were fond of their first-generation Fusions, increase fuel economy to meet impending federal regulations, keep pace technologically with industry benchmarks, and cut a handsome swath while doing it. We’ll know soon as Fusion hits showrooms, but I think they knocked it out of the park. A base price under $22,000 pits it against the Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, VW Passat, and Nissan Altima.