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2015 Ford Fusion REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Electronic interfaces are less intuitive to use than some rival systems.

Interior: Cabin design and execution of the 2015 Ford Fusion echoes that of its exterior. There's a cool and urbane style to the seats and dash, a tone set largely by the high-quality finishes and, of course, the lack of center-stack buttons afforded by the optional MyFord Touch touchscreen system. The emphasis is on having large, nicely textured surfaces and removing extraneous clutter, and it mostly works.

Rear-seat headroom is a smidge tight, but otherwise the 2015 Ford Fusion has a spacious, adult-friendly backseat.

Nonetheless, Ford interior designers got all the basics right, with a driver seat that's easy to adjust into a just-right position and good sight lines out the front and sides. It's harder to see through the sloping rear window, so it's good a rearview camera now is standard.

The roof's rearward slope also cuts into rear seat headroom, though not so much as to make most average-height rear passengers uncomfortable. The front seats also are mounted high enough off the floor that those in the rear can at least partially fit their feet under the front seats. Trunk space, at 16 cubic feet, is comparatively generous for the midsize sedan segment.

The MyFord Touch interface allows you to customize various functions to your liking. But the learning curve is steep.

Any review of a contemporary Ford must also address the optional MyFord Touch infotainment interface. Without it, the base radio and climate controls are still somewhat complicated to use and less aesthetically pleasing. You get a much sleeker look with MFT, thanks to its 8-inch touchscreen. And backed by many redundant voice commands, it can be a powerful tool for configuring and controlling the car and your smartphone. But there can be a steep learning curve for getting accustomed to even basic functions. And even though the system works significantly better than when it debuted, it can still be sluggish to operate at times.

Body: The 2015 Ford Fusion is a four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan available in three trim levels: S, SE and Titanium.

The Fusion S comes standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, an integrated blind-spot mirror, keyless entry, a rearview camera, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, the voice-activated Sync audio and cell phone interface, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and a USB port/iPod interface.

Leather upholstery and the MyFord Touch interface are optional in the Fusion SE and standard in the Titanium.

Moving up to the Fusion SE gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, exterior keypad entry, heated mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a six-way power passenger seat, rear air ducts, a rear center fold-down armrest and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The SE is also eligible for additional optional equipment. The Appearance package (Equipment Group 201A) adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and special cloth upholstery. The Luxury package (Equipment Group 202A) adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror and driver-side mirror, leather upholstery, driver memory settings and heated front seats.

Opting for the SE's MyFord Touch Technology package equips the Fusion with rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (with 8-inch central LCD touchscreen and two configurable gauge cluster displays), an upgraded version of Sync, two USB ports, an SD card reader and RCA video input jack.

The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, sport front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the passenger seat, a premium 12-speaker Sony sound system, HD radio and all of the SE's optional features mentioned above.

The Fusion SE (with the Technology package selected) and Titanium can also be equipped with a navigation system, an automated parallel-parking system, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control with frontal collision warning and automatic braking for frontal crash mitigation. For the SE and Titanium, Ford additionally offers the Luxury Driver Assist package, which includes automatic high beam control, a 110-volt power outlet, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist. A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium, and the Titanium can be had with 19-inch wheels and ventilated front seats.

Driving: There's a comfortable and assuring tautness to the way every Fusion rides, and the standard electronic power steering accents the fine ride with accurate and nimble-feeling steering that isn't too darty or over-assisted. It all comes together to make the driver immediately feel comfortable with its responses. Highway cruising is commendably quiet and composed, and the well engineered seats make the Fusion a good companion for all-day interstate hauls.

Although it's fully competitive with similarly sized engines from Chevrolet and Honda, for instance, the Fusion's base 2.5-liter engine isn't very inspiring. Perhaps it's because we think the "pop" from optional turbocharged engines is markedly more entertaining. The 1.5-liter and 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinders are smooth and eager and provide an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and performance, even if their absolute performance isn't eye-opening. Not so for the turbocharged 2.0-liter four, which noticeably ups the performance aspect and works quite nicely with the optional all-wheel-drive system.

What’s New: The Ford Fusion heads into 2015 with only minor changes. Most notably, a rearview camera is now standard equipment. Midway through the model year, Ford discontinued the available manual transmission for the Fusion SE.

The Fusion S and SE come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 175 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

For the SE, there are three engine options. There's a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 182 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission only. Note that this engine and transmission were discontinued midway through the model year, however. A similar-sized engine, a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, comes matched to a six-speed automatic. Power output is 181 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

Those looking for maximum thrust should consider the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It also comes only with the six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters). The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

If you want all-wheel drive -- available for either the Fusion SE or Fusion Titanium -- you must opt for the 2.0-liter engine.

In Edmunds track testing, a 2013 Ford Fusion with the 1.6-liter and automatic transmission (a combination no longer available) went from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is average for four-cylinder family sedans. We'd expect similar performance from the 1.5-liter engine coupled with the automatic transmission. A Fusion Titanium with the turbo 2.0-liter and all-wheel drive accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, about average for a midsize sedan with all-wheel drive.

All-wheel drive is a rare option on a midsize sedan. Equipped with AWD, the Fusion is EPA-rated at 25 mpg combined.

EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2015 Ford Fusion are pretty solid across the board.

For the base 2.5-liter engine, EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at a combined 26 mpg (22 city/34 highway), average fuel efficiency for this class. The 1.6-liter engine -- the one with the manual transmission -- amps up fuel economy to 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway).

The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can be had with optional automatic engine stop-start functionality to optimize fuel economy; it improves on all of the fuel economy ratings versus the same engine without the stop-start system. The 1.5-liter with stop-start delivers a combined 29 mpg (25/37), while the 1.5-liter without stop-start is rated at 28 mpg combined (23/36).

Front-wheel-drive 2.0-liter-equipped Fusions earn 26 mpg combined (22/33), while the AWD version rates 25 combined (22/31).

Safety: The 2015 Ford Fusion comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags. The Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers.

Optional equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver drowsiness detection and lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, frontal collision warning with brake priming, and inflatable rear seatbelts.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Fusion Titanium stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this class of car.

The government gave the Fusion five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fusion the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength crash tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Fusion earned a second-best rating of "Acceptable." Its head restraints and seatbelts earned a "Good" rating for their whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Pro: Fuel-efficient turbocharged engines; sharp handling; composed ride; quiet cabin; advanced technology and safety features; eye-catching style; available all-wheel drive.

Edmunds Say: With solid power, excellent fuel economy, distinctive styling and a huge array of tech features, the 2015 Ford Fusion is a great choice for a midsize sedan.

Introduction: Ford really upped the game for family sedans when it unleashed its redesigned Fusion to showrooms in 2013. Stylish, sporty and packed with features, the new Fusion was an immediate hit with car shoppers. Two years later, Ford has revised the Fusion with only minor fiddling of equipment, and that's OK, as the Fusion remains one of our top choices in the highly competitive midsize sedan market.

The 2015 Fusion's appeal goes well beyond its eye-catching design. You'd be hard-pressed to find another family car that provides a sharper driving experience or as great a variety of configurations. The 2015 Fusion offers three trim levels, four different engines, front- or all-wheel drive and a broad enough array of option packages that you can craft anything from an affordable family workhorse with a combined fuel economy of 29 mpg to an Audi-baiting luxury sport sedan.

The 2015 Ford Fusion comes in S, SE and Titanium trim levels. All-wheel drive is available on the SE and Titanium.

We didn't mention Audi solely because the Fusion is one of the few mainstream sedans available with all-wheel drive; the Fusion is also available with an array of high-tech safety and convenience features that rival just about any true luxury car. Everything from blind-spot warning and adaptive cruise control to automatic parallel parking can be had on the 2015 Fusion -- and that's before you get to the ever-expanding capabilities of the current MyFord Touch driver interface system. Although it still has quirks, the latter does offer some very useful customization and voice control functionality.

Of course, the 2015 Fusion hasn't cornered the market for midsize sedans that combine stylish design, clever packaging, plenty of high-tech content and outstanding fuel efficiency. Efficiency has long been an attribute for the Honda Accord, a brilliantly executed sedan in almost every sense, even if its sheet metal might not be quite as edgy as the Fusion's. Hyundai's 2015 Sonata is redesigned, and it will no doubt still be a great car for the money. The well-rounded 2015 Nissan Altima is another one of our family sedan favorites, and all of these cars are top recommended in our 2015 Sedan Buying Guide. Overall, though, the 2015 Ford Fusion is right there at the top for shoppers desiring high levels of practicality, technology and style.

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