$14,132 - $19,717

2016 Ford Fusion Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Ford Fusion was new.


Performance: 8.3

Reviewers report that the 2016 Ford Fusion handles athletically for a midsize car, with excellent steering feel and a composed ride. However, they recommend skipping the base engine for one of the turbocharged options, noting they offer noticeably more power and better fuel economy.

  • "For a family sedan, the 2016 Ford Fusion is surprisingly fun to drive in either front- or all-wheel-drive (FWD, AWD) forms. Even when saddled with the pokey 2.5-liter base 4-cylinder engine, the suspension setup offers unexpectedly good handling for such a large family sedan." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2013)
  • "The Fusion drives exactly as Ford advertised. It's fun. It's well-balanced, and it puts a smile of your face. … Grip level is relatively high and body roll is very low compared to its competitors." -- Jalopnik (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Fusion comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 175 horsepower. A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 181 horsepower is available, as is the top-of-the-line turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 231 horsepower (240 with premium fuel). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models, and paddle shifters are available on the top trim. The base 2016 Fusion earns an EPA-estimated 22/34 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end for the class.

The Ford Fusion's base engine feels somewhat low on power, according to test drivers. They say the 1.5-liter turbo engine adds some power while increasing fuel economy, and that the 2.0-liter turbo engine provides markedly more punch. Critics note the automatic transmission has well-timed, smooth shifts.

  • "The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder offers more thrust along with better fuel economy, but if you're really looking for power, the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo will satisfy all but the most ardent V6 fans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although it's fully competitive with similarly sized engines from Chevrolet and Honda, for instance, the Fusion's base 2.5-liter engine isn't very inspiring. Perhaps it's because the optional turbocharged engines are markedly more entertaining. In spite of its small size, the 1.5-liter turbocharged four is smooth and eager and provides an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and performance, even if its absolute performance isn't exactly eye-opening. On the other hand, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four noticeably ups the performance aspect and pairs well with the Fusion's optional all-wheel-drive system." -- Edmunds
  • "Under the hood, the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is a serviceable workhorse, but it's a carryover from the previous-generation Fusion, so you're not getting the latest and greatest. … The Titanium's 2.0-liter turbo is saucier, no doubt, but the Titanium also packs some extra pounds, so the difference is more like going from mild to medium salsa, especially with the weighty all-wheel-drive system aboard." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "Let me start by saying the automatic gearbox is solid. It never left me cursing, wishing it would change down, or pouring my hot Starbucks on my ride partner's crotch in grievance that it changed up before I was ready. It's a good six-speed automatic." -- Jalopnik (2013)

Handling and Braking

Auto journalists praise the 2016 Fusion's handling prowess, saying it feels agile for a midsize car and has a well-controlled ride. They also say the Fusion has precise, well-weighted steering, and strong brakes. Front-wheel drive is standard on the base model and all-wheel drive is available on higher trims.

  • "There's a comfortable and assuring tautness to the way every Fusion rides, and the standard electronic power steering accents the fine ride with accurate and nimble-feeling steering that isn't too darty or over-assisted. It all comes together to make the driver immediately feel comfortable with its responses." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The 2015 Ford Fusion backs up its looks with a dynamic driving experience, at least, for a family car. … The suspension setup gives it surprisingly good handling for such a large family sedan." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "On the road, the Fusion impresses with its athletic demeanor, shrinking around you at speed like a sport sedan." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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 (2013)

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