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2020 Ford Fusion Performance Review


Performance: 7.4

The 2020 Ford Fusion may not be the most athletic car in the class, but it's certainly in the top half. It offers three powertrains, with the two turbocharged engines delivering ample power for most drivers. The Fusion rides smoothly, and it's agile enough to handle winding roads with ease. Gas mileage estimates are meager for the midsize car class.

  • "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 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. With this powertrain, the Fusion doesn't feel that quick.

You're better off springing for one of the more potent engine options, which you can get in anything beyond the base trim. Those options are a 181-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four. These engines are more energetic and deliver noticeably quicker acceleration. They don't turn this sedan into a speed demon, but they make it more enjoyable to drive.

The Fusion gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with its base engine. It gets the same ratings with the larger turbo-four. The most fuel-efficient setup is with the smaller turbo-four. This Fusion gets 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Many rivals are more fuel-efficient.

We review the Ford Fusion Hybrid and plug-in-hybrid Fusion Energi 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)
  • "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 rides smoothly, absorbing most road imperfections easily. By midsize sedan standards, the Fusion also provides a lot of athleticism. It feels buttoned-down around turns, and there's not much body roll. Winding roads pose no problems, and the brakes provide plenty of stopping power. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The brake pedal, though, inspires confidence. It's easy to modulate in traffic and provides shorter-than-average emergency stopping distances. The Fusion feels solid as you drive it around turns. The suspension minimizes body roll, and it isn't upset if you drive over a bump midcorner. Curvy mountain roads pose little drama. The Fusion's steering wheel is nicely weighted, and it returns to center willingly. Though low-speed parking is a breeze, there's almost no feeling of connection to the road through the steering during spirited driving." -- Edmunds
  • "Unlike … 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)
  • "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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2020 Ford Fusion

MSRP: $23,170 - $36,450

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