ˆThose who like the looks of European cars will find lots to appreciate in the new 2013 Ford Fusion. That’s because it can trace its roots to the Europe-only Mondeo, a car designed by Ford of Europe. It’s a good-looking car, helped in part by a grille that looks much like a current Aston Martin.
But styling isn’t the only attractive feature that has made the jump over the Atlantic — it also gets European fuel economy and performance.
For the first time in the car’s history, no V-6 will be available — buyers have a choice of three four-cylinder engines instead, a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre, a turbocharged 1.6-litre and a turbo 2.0-litre. The last two get Ford’s EcoBoost moniker attached to the engine.
We tested a SE — the middle-of-the-road model — equipped with a 2.0-litre and a six-speed automatic.
With 231 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, the turbo four makes one quickly forget about the V-6. Power is smooth and there is very little turbo lag. Those who consider themselves enthusiasts will immediately take to the Fusion’s steering-wheel paddle shifters and sport setting in the transmission.
Drivers with Scottish blood aren’t forgotten either. The 2.0 turbo’s frugal 9.2 litres/100 km city and 5.9 highway fuel consumption compares favourably with the 3.0-litre V-6’s 10.6 and 7.0 numbers.
The previous-generation Fusion was no slacker, but the new car’s road manners are — dare I say it? — very European. Handling is above par for twisty roads. But just leisurely cruising on the highway, the Fusion has a quiet and subdued ride.
European makes such as Volvo come to mind because of a handy storage cubby located behind the instrument stack. Ideally sized for a purse, this storage space can be accessed from the front and either side, which means it can be used by either the driver or front passenger. The Volvo S60 has a similar feature.
The cabin has undergone a major redesign. There are a lot of soft-touch materials around the driver. There are more brushed aluminum highlights and less bright chrome, the staple of most North American designs.
>See FUSION, page E2
© Copyright 2013