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2018 Ford Fusion Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Ford Fusion was new.


Performance: 8.4

Outside of its base iteration, the 2018 Ford Fusion features very good overall performance for the class. Though its base engine is unimpressive, its optional turbocharged engines dole out more power. Handling is somewhat sporty, and the ride quality is calm and serene in most situations.

  • "The Fusion isn't as dynamically impressive as it once was, but it's still a likable car that puts up some solid numbers in braking and handling. Not many cars in this segment are focused on driving enjoyment, but the Fusion remains entertaining despite lackluster acceleration. " -- Edmunds
  • "It is, however, a genuinely fun-to-drive midsize sedan." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "We just like driving the Ford Fusion, whether it's in a crowd on the Ventura Freeway here in L.A. or up in the Santa Monica Mountains on Mulholland Drive. Several times during our drive, we considered for a second whether we would have preferred to be in an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, or Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We doubt that the Germans would approve of our answer, but at least Mom would." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The 2018 Ford Fusion comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 175 horsepower. A turbocharged, 181-horsepower EcoBoost 1.5-liter four-cylinder is optional, along with a turbocharged, 245-horsepower EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The Ford Fusion Sport comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 325 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models. With its base engine and front-wheel drive, the 2018 Ford Fusion gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

The Fusion's base engine delivers underwhelming power, and both turbocharged four-cylinder engines are only slightly more capable. The Fusion Sport’s turbocharged V6 provides thrilling acceleration with power that's among the best in the class.

  • "The Fusion has a few flaws, but most of them are related to base versions of the car and they can be dealt with via a few upgrades. For instance, the base 2.5-liter engine doesn't have much power, but three available options offer improved performance. … The optional 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine gets the Fusion moving at a decent clip, but it's far from quick." -- Edmunds
  • "Ford, however, was not content to let the Japanese brands sit atop the performance heap, especially not when midsize sedans have got to do more than ever to appeal to customers that are leaving in droves for crossovers. So what's the solution? As always: more power. And the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 definitely delivers in that department, churning out 325 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque with a deep, bass-heavy thrum and a wave of pure acceleration." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "The 181-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the SE felt underwhelming, but I expected that to a degree. You really have to lean into it to get it to move. The 231-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost Platinum surprisingly felt much the same. It's not that either engine is short on power on the spec sheet, but neither really likes to get up and go – even with Sport mode engaged on the Platinum. In the Platinum, it also felt like the all-wheel-drive system was slightly hesitant and bogged down the engine at times." -- Cars.com (2017)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard in the Fusion, and all-wheel drive is optional. The Fusion features composed and balanced handling; it takes turns with confidence and rides smoothly over uneven pavement. There is good feedback from the road, but some have noted that steering can be vague.

  • "Despite the steering's lack of driver-to-road connection, the Fusion handles and maneuvers quite well. The chassis feels solid, the suspension minimizes body roll, and it isn't upset if it encounters a bump midcorner, so curvy mountain roads pose little drama." -- Edmunds
  • "Unlike the Toyota Camry and other competitors, the Fusion doesn't feel like it's floating when going over bumps, and it maintains its composure over less than perfect pavement. Although the suspension does a nice job at keeping road impacts and imperfections out, vibrations still get transmitted into the cabin, and occupants will feel it through the seats. There are also times while driving over rough surfaces that the ride can get busy because of the suspension being tuned slightly toward the sporty end of the spectrum." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

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