It seems we were engaging in our standard debate, my “car guy” buddy and I. No, it wasn’t the first time.
He was trying to tell me that women will never give up their SUVs. Really? Us? Are we women the ones purchasing these gas-guzzling, high-centre-of-gravity, over-priced, poorly handling monstrosities that we never take off road anyway?
I guess it must be true, because I’m told women’s views are the deciding factor in 84 percent of the car purchases, and apparently SUVs are the fastest growing segment in today’s auto industry.
But whenever I hear a guy tell me “women like SUVs because they like sitting high up,” I feel compelled to dress him down with the perfunctory feminist rhetoric. I don’t need to compensate for my height, or the glass ceiling, okay buddy! I am secure.
During my test drive of the 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium I had an epiphany. It’s time for us powerful career women to get into sedans; and here is my modest argument for why.
Sedans are big too
Sedans are not compact cars. They are of a dignified length. You are completely safe in one.
Of course you sit lower to the ground than in an SUV, but a lowered centre of gravity helps the vehicle corner better and stop briskly with less drama. It is simply a better drive.
In the case of the Fusion, the visibility was excellent all around. The Titanium models come with blind spot alert, intelligent cruise control, a lane keeping system, and back-up camera so you really can see absolutely everything.
Surprise, surprise, you have the exact same number of seats, nearly the same amount of interior space, and nice big trunk that fits an equivalent amount of your junk in it.
Now that you’re in a sedan, in my humble opinion, you look less like a trophy wife or soccer mom, and much more like who you are—the boss. Oh yeah, and your husband retains his manhood and looks like he’s due for a promotion.
A little global context
The Ford Fusion is certainly prettier than many cars in its segment. It looks just as good in Europe, where it was designed, as it does here, but there it’s called the Mondeo.
How about a little brand context? In Europe, the Mondeo has been around for years, and is considered a luxury sedan.
The Fusion, the first model debuting Ford’s new design language, has been a smash hit. It is elegant, drawing comparisons to Aston Martin’s distinctive looks. Actually, Ford used to own Aston Martin, and still retains 8.7 percent of the company.
So many comparisons have been made between the two that in April, Ford announced a special Aston Martin coproduction of the Fusion later this year in the US. It’s a Fusion with tons of upgrades and an Aston badge.
The Aston Fusion will be sold as a Ford in North America, but as an Aston Martin in Europe.
It will have a 3.5L Turbo-charged EcoBoost engine and 6-speed manual transmission. Yep. It will be a bit of a monster.
The Titanium Fusion I drove had a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and turbo, delivering 240 hp with 270 lb.-ft. of torque.
Yes, that is a very fast small engine.
The Titanium model has upgraded wheels and brakes, and all-wheel-drive just like many SUVs, though larger wheels seem to have caused a harsher ride.
The Fusion Titanium has tons of excellent features: heated adjustable seats, individual front climate control, and Bluetooth connectivity that actually worked properly with my phone.
It’s very quiet inside so you can enjoy the upgraded Sony stereo, which is excellent. Often branded car stereos are still awful. For once I was not disappointed.
One of the big benefits of the classy sedan over the SUV is supposed to be lower maintenance and fuel costs.
The manufacturer suggests that the Focus Titanium’s fuel efficiency is 9.5 L/100 km city, 6.3 L/100 km highway. On my week with it I averaged around 12.1 L/100 km combined, and that’s not all that bad. But my city miles were around 16 L/100 km, which is less good.
Here’s my biggest problem. To get better fuel economy you can either drive your “sporty” car like an old lady (no thanks) with modest results, or choose the S models with smaller less powerful engines, or the very popular Fusion Hybrid (which won AJAC’s Green Car of the Year in April).
Personally, I wouldn’t enjoy this car with anything less than all the guts and glory the 2.0L engine provides, especially knowing that some American gal somewhere is driving the same car with a bigger engine and an Aston Martin badge.
If abundant common sense is what got you to the top, you probably want to save on gas and avoid speeding tickets, so just get the hybrid. If you want all the fancy upgrades, the Hybrid is also available with a Titanium package.
All that said, if a Fusion is not your sedan, be sure to at least try a few out before you ignore my advice completely and drive what Victoria Beckam just bought.
$27,321 – $48,678 CDN
Model tested Fusion Titanium $ 40,316 CDN