Introducing the first ever Fusion Platinum
I first saw the new Fusion Platinum trim package this past January at NAIAS in Detroit and I was impressed. From its unique mesh grill to the all premium leather interior I knew this car was going to be special. Flash forward to this past week and I got to drive this new car and marvel at the leap forward this redesign has for the car in terms of driving experience and pure luxury that the Platinum Trim delivers.
First up walking towards the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum you notice that it has an all new grill and headlamp fascia. Sleeker and more refined with the iconic trapezoidal grill opening intact and as fashion forward shark-like as ever.
Opening the door is where you know that this is going to be a much different car than even the now mid-level Titanium. Rich quilted Venetian leathers with beautiful real satin finished wood trim welcome you on first sight. Everything, door panels, dash, steering wheel, and rear shelf are trimmed out in a rich cocoa leather that contrasts with the beige leather seats. Its taking the Fusion which is a nicely equipped in its own right to the entry level luxury category. Truly the most luxurious, tastefully done interior for has ever put in one of its cars. None of its competitors offer a trim as nice and luxurious.
Slipping into the seats its possible to dial in the perfect position with the 8 way power seats. Too hot or cold for you...they're heated and cooled in the Platinum. Even the gear shift is missing this year in the Fusion, its a decidedly luxurious rotary dial for gear selection now with standard paddle shifters on the leather wrapped steering wheel.
Driving the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum is comfortingly familiar yet quieter than the outgoing generation. Especially so in the Fusion Platinum where even wheel thump is deeply muted. The standard 2.0l Ecoboost of the Platinum makes it a quick performer that still yielded 25.6 mpg over the 20 mile loop that consisted of free flowing freeway, jammed crawling freeway, and urban driving. This compares favorably to the EPA estimate of 21 City, 31 highway and 25 combined.
Handling is noticeably tighter and crisper with the Fusion Platinum and its standard 19" wheels compared to the base Fusions 17 inchers.
I also drove the new Fusion Platinum Energi version. This plug-in hybrid was nothing short of amazing compared to the last version of the Energi I drove a couple of years ago. The off throttle regenerative capture is much more aggressive than in the past. Driving the car its definitely noticeable that you aren't just coasting when you lift your foot from the throttle and the live driving coach even notes for you the increased electricity returned to the battery. I left for my 20 mile loop with an indicated range of 16 miles and figured I would have to switch from EV mode to hybrid before I got back to my starting point. I was wrong. Between understanding how to brake to recoup lost energy via the regenerative braking coach and using the same on a long downhill grade I ended back with an indicated 2 miles range left. Add in the new all electric top speed of 85 its possible to do more in all electric mode than in the prior generation.
Worth noting is that this new generation Fusion has available Sync 3. I really liked it and it is a noteworthy advance over the outgoing MyFord Touch system. Getting around the screens is faster and easier than before. The touch screen isn't as picky on precision pokes and reacts fast to your manual commands. Even voice commands seems to be much more intuitive and fast reacting. I really liked this new version of Sync.
Lastly, not available at last weeks Open House at Motor City hosted by Ford was the new Fusion Sport. That should be available next fall and will be a leap ahead of its competition as well. It will be equipped with a twin turbo 2.7l Ecoboost pumping out around 325 horsepower through all wheel drive and a specific sport tuned suspension. Can't wait to drive that one!
Overall I have to admit I am totally smitten with the new Fusion and Fusion Platinum in particular. That high end trim is understated pure luxury, and the standard 2.0L Ecoboost making 245 horsepower has ample power and a cheaper alternative than the Audi A4 I looked at recently.
For the Press release form NAIAS on the new for 2017 Fusion on sale now make the jump!