2019 Ford Fusion

Performance


#12 out of 19 in Midsize Cars

$22,840 MSRP
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2019 Ford Fusion Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

The 2019 Ford Fusion delivers better performance than most midsize cars, though a few rivals are more athletic. There are four engine choices; the four-cylinder options can't match the V6's power and acceleration, though the midlevel turbo-fours should have enough gusto for the average driver. The Fusion handles well despite its vague steering, and it generally rides smoothly.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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 Fusion comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 175 horsepower. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine feels underwhelming; it's basically like having the shoulder-shrug emoji under your hood.

A series of EcoBoost (Ford's term for turbocharged) engines are available. There's a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower, a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 245 horsepower, and a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that puts out 325 horsepower.

The turbo-four engines provide more speed than the base engine and offer ample power for most situations, but they don't make the Fusion feel especially quick. If you want the most engaging driving experience, you want the twin-turbo V6. It delivers outstanding acceleration, and few midsize cars offer engines to rival it.

Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2019 Fusion.

The Fusion Hybrid and plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi are reviewed separately.

  • 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 (2018)
  • "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

The Fusion delivers better handling and a sportier driving experience than most midsize sedans, but it's not perfect. The Fusion demonstrates good agility and exhibits little body lean around turns, although the steering gets mixed reviews for the amount of feedback it sends to the driver. The ride remains smooth even when the pavement does not. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "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 (2018)
  • 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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