$8,972 - $12,367

2013 Ford Fusion Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Ford Fusion was new.


Performance: 7.5

Most test drivers are happy with the 2013 Ford Fusion’s ample power and lively handling, and many say that for a family sedan, it is one of the more exciting cars in its class.

  • "Get behind the wheel, however, and there's nothing daring about the 2013 Ford Fusion. It goes about its business the way a family sedan should. It's quiet, efficient and pleasantly enjoyable to drive." -- Inside Line
  • "By the admittedly low standards of the class, it was fun to drive. We got no track time so we can't tell you at what point it starts to understeer but we did enjoy two days of driving these new Fusions all over the Santa Monica Mountains and came away unfatigued and mostly satisfied." -- AutoWeek
  • "Both Fusion models are excellent highway cruisers, and not just because they ride well or squeeze bladder-busting miles from each gallon of fuel." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

Ford took away the Fusion’s V6 engine option for 2013. The redesigned Fusion now offers only four-cylinder engines. The base 2.5-liter engine makes 175 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost produces more torque than the base 2.5-liter engine, but slightly less horsepower at 173. If you use premium gas, that number increases to 178 horsepower. This engine can be paired with either a six-speed automatic or manual. A start/stop fuel-saving system is optional with the 1.6-liter engine and automatic. The most powerful engine available is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost that makes 231 horsepower (240 with premium gas). A six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is mated to this engine, and this powertrain is the only one with available all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates range from 22/31 mpg city/highway for the AWD 2.0-liter EcoBoost model to 25/37 mpg for the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and manual transmission. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost with the automatic gets 23/36 mpg.

Most test drivers evaluated the Fusion’s EcoBoost engines. Many think the smaller engine is sufficiently powerful and smooth, though one reviewer says you really have to step on the gas pedal to feel the power. Reviewers also think the more-powerful EcoBoost engine gives the Fusion good acceleration. One test driver says the available start/stop system is smooth when it turns the engine off and gives immediate power once you take your foot off the brake.

  • "The 1.6-liter EcoBoost, though raspy and somewhat weak at the low end, offers plenty of smile-inducing grunt and attractive mechanical growls once the turbo spools above 4000 rpm." -- Motor Trend
  • "In this rather sporty configuration, the Fusion SE put a smile on our faces. The manual transmission was slick in operation and there was abundant torque at the bottom end to make launching simple (electronic hill-hold made easy work of starting on a slope). … Don't expect a stoplight racer, but power is more than adequate (again, much of the credit goes to the torque, which is the one substitute to cubic inches)." -- Autoblog
  • "The two cars I fooled around with most were the 1.6L manual and the 2.0L AWD. The 1.6-liter is expected to be the volume car, followed by the 2.0. Neither car is slow, yet neither is particularly fast. … the engine feels lively; power is linear and you aren't left yearning for more. … the engines feel buttery smooth and acceleration solid." -- Jalopnik
  • "The starting and stopping were accomplished with almost no lurching or clunking at all - you barely feel the transition from on to off. The engine starts as soon as you take your foot off the brake." -- AutoWeek (on the available start/stop system)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers consider the Fusion one of the more athletic handlers in the class. The 2013 Fusion doesn’t change that status, and reviewers say it’s engaging and confident through tight corners. Its suspension is a bit more rigid than rivals', but auto critics don’t seem to mind. One test driver says the brakes are strong. Several reviewers talk about the 2013 Fusion’s power steering, and they agree that its accuracy is excellent. One even says the Fusion’s steering is among the top in the industry. All-wheel drive is optional on the top Titanium trim, and reviewers like the added grip it provides when they hit a sharp turn.

  • "Much of that on-road responsiveness is thanks to Ford's electric power-assisted steering, one of the best in the industry, providing a confident weighting and progressive effort while dampening the excessive feedback from tortured roads." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "Guardrails, rocks in the road and cliffs passed us by in a blur without a worry or even a hint of stability system intervention. Steering weight was moderate and the overall feel was precise. It's easily one of the sportier midsize sedans in the class, even with the smallest of the three engines." -- Inside Line
  • "No matter which Fusion I tested, it took curves with sports car aplomb. … Steering feel on all the cars is exceptional: precise during dynamic turns and on point on straight stretches." -- Cars.com
  • "Ford's vented front and solid rear brake discs were never truly challenged on the mountainous roads through the canyons of Malibu. But what they did provide is great feel, along with sharp but not grabby response. And, although I never had a chance to truly punish them to discover any potential underlying complaints, what stopping I did do was good." -- Jalopnik
  • "The new Fusion might be large and somewhat heavy, but its body motions are more tightly controlled than those in competitors. There's no float, no imprecision, and a decidedly upscale feel. … This said, the Fusion's suspension (essentially the same with all engines and trims) is firm and doesn't filter everything out." -- The Truth About Cars

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