The mid-size 2009 Ford Fusion sedan shares its basic architecture with the last-generation Mazda6, but the styling, both inside and out, and features lists are significantly different. The combination of upright, creased sheetmetal, the distinctive chrome front end, and the airy greenhouse with plenty of window space is, even several years after the Fusion's debut, a refreshing departure from mid-size sedan styling convention.
The Fusion is powered by a 221-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 or 160-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. V-6 models of the 2009 Ford Fusion can be specified with either front- or all-wheel drive, while four-cylinders come only with front-wheel drive. However, the four comes with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, while automatic transmissions are featured on the rest of the line.
The 2009 Ford Fusion surprises with its sporting intentions in terms of handling, a rarity in the family sedan market. The styling also holds an aggressive appeal, although many consumers will be disappointed with the Fusion's fuel economy compared to the competition. The other major disappointment is that the V-6 Fusion doesn't have a manual transmission or even a manual-shift option for the automatic.
Inside, the 2009 Ford Focus has a pleasing design that dips a bit in execution. Materials quality can be hit-and-miss depending on the trim, though the driving position is nice and front seats are quite comfortable and supportive. Backseat space is a low point, with the Fusion ranking near the bottom of its class here (although it is a bit shorter than most rivals).
The base four-cylinder S trim is quite spartan, but the rest of the Ford Fusion SE and SEL trims--in four- or six-cylinder models--come well-equipped. The options list includes a DVD-based navigation system, a moonroof, and an Audiophile eight-speaker sound system.
Safety remains a mixed bag for the 2009 Ford Fusion. It's achieved some very respectable ratings in crash tests, with almost top marks across the board, and both front side and full-length side-impact curtain airbags are standard, but electronic stability control is only offered as a $495 option--even on the top-of-the-line SEL.
The Bottom Line:
The 2009 Ford Fusion is a great choice for those who place their priorities on style and handling, but if interior space matters to you, look elsewhere.