$15,984 - $26,897

2017 Ford Fusion Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Ford Fusion was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

The 2017 Ford Fusion’s responsive steering, comfortable ride, and composed handling make it one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. For satisfying highway acceleration, you’ll have to skip the base engine and opt for one of the available turbocharged engines, which also help the Fusion earn better fuel economy estimates than it does with the base engine. Keep in mind that regardless of engine choice, the Fusion's fuel economy is low for the class.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 2017 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 a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 245 horsepower. New for 2017 is the Ford Fusion Sport, which comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that generates 325 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models.

The base 2017 Fusion earns an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which are on the low end for the class. The most efficient choice is the 1.5-liter engine, with which the Fusion returns 23 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, though even then, a number of rivals are more fuel-efficient. Opting for all-wheel drive lowers fuel economy more.

The base engine offers decent power, but it's somewhat underwhelming when compared with the available engines. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is smooth and provides strong acceleration along with its improved fuel efficiency. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers potent acceleration and will please drivers seeking V6-like power.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

Handling and Braking

With sharp, communicative steering, good agility, and strong brakes, the Fusion delivers one of the strongest performances among midsize cars. While the Mazda6 offers even sharper driving dynamics, it comes at the expense of a stiffer ride, while the Fusion achieves both comfort and athleticism. Take note that models equipped with 19-inch wheels suffer from some harshness over rough patches of road.

Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available in SE and higher trims and standard in the V6-powered Fusion Sport.

  • "The Fusion really likes to carve through corners and feels planted on its low-profile tires; the 18-inch tires are just fine, and the optional 19-inch tires are good, too, but might be a bit much for some drivers." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The drive route offered plenty of time on curvy roads in the mountains near Malibu, Calif., and that gave the Fusion a chance to show off its best attributes. Its steering feel is excellent and the suspension offers enough feedback to give the driver confidence, while still being comfortable in everyday driving and on the highway. There is a sweet spot (for this class especially) between ride quality and dynamic ability and the Fusion found it for me." -- Cars.com
  • "The suspensions of the Fusions I drove (with 18- or 19-inch wheels) soaked up most road imperfections; the car feels solid on the road but not as sporty as the Mazda6." -- Motor Trend

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