Wednesday, December 16, 2015
2016 Ford Fusion SE
Living with a Fusion SE for a few days turned out to be the most pleasant surprise in while for me. Not that I didn't already know this generation Fusion was a solid competitor in the Mid-size market, I just never lived with it for several days where niggles and problems arise. Spoiler alert...for me there were none.
Redesigned a few years back and a global platform for Ford this generation was more style forward than the departing model with an entirely new face of Ford introduced with the car. The trapezoidal grill stands out and snarls I'm different in a good way in a crowded playing field.
This car was equipped with the 1.5l Ecobooost and was a pleasant surprise. When I first read that the 1.5l was being used instead of the every so slightly more powerful 1.6l I questioned the logic. No worries, its thoroughly competent and runs on par with its competition in normal driving. Even slight grades and uphill on ramps aren't an issue for this tiny 4pot turbo as boost comes on fast and early and it has a broad torque curve to motivate you into traffic. I liked it.
Build quality on this version with 11K miles was still as shiny as the brand new models I get to drive and test. Not a quibble, shake or rattle even when driving around Chicago's horribly potholed streets and freeways. Even the worst holes were absorbed with a solid thump and no jittery, bottoming out or bouncing afterwards. Controlled suspension was greatly appreciated on those freeways.
This was a moderately equipped SE with the leather trim package. The seats were marvelously comfy though I would have liked just a bit more side bolster. The driver's seat was 8 way power with power lumbar adjustment. Made it really easy to dial in a comfortable driving position. The passenger side only got a 4 way power adjustable. Both seats were heated which is a nice touch in a cold climate.
Trunk space was adequate. Easily swallowed in our 2 large-ish bags, carry-ons and camera gear. Interior space up front was really nice. The sunroof did eat up a bit of head room, but not objectionably so. The rear seat leg room was appreciated by my 6' 2 1/2 inch son who traveled with us. Even head room was good for him with that fastback style sloping rear roof line and window.
The real surprise for me with this car was its mileage and that is courtesy the 1.5L Ecoboost. This was the first time EVER that I really beat the the mpg performance significantly with an Ecoboost engine. Our 330 mile of heavy urban traffic, city bump and go, free flowing freeway between our hotel, Chicago and The Navy Base yielded an impressive 30.2 MPG. Not even three quarters of a tank of gas in 5 days of constant on the move. That compares very favorably with the EPA estimates of 24/28/36.
This car was equipped with the easy to use simple version of MyFord with Sync. It didn't have navigation but you could send directions to it via the Ford Sync App that I have on my Iphone and get turn by turn to your destination. Not as easy as a map display but adequate and it works. The other functions were smooth and user friendly stupid easy to access and do with voice commands.
My wife took a turn driving the car and she had one complaint. Let me preface it with her 2010 Milan has the 240bhp V6 and sport suspension and felt that the Fusion lacked power and finesse compared to what she was used to. Fair enough, since she's used to more torque and horsepower than the 181bhp that the 1.5L ecoboost puts out. For me its a fair trade off if mileage is more important than get up and go. If you want more power there is an options 240bhp 2.0L Ecoboost optional in the Titanium that would solve that problem.
My 5 days with the Fusion SE really confirmed what a great car this really is. With 255K already sold this year through October it tells me a lot of consumers agree with me.
All the information on optional and standard features as well as being able to build your own can be found on the Ford.Com web site.