The redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion engine lineup is not as powerful as the old car's, but better fuel economy and a slick new look mean it's a better car overall.
There's been a quiet revolution within Ford in recent years. The reinvented 2013 Fusion is a perfect example. Sharing most of its parts with the highly regarded European Ford Mondeo, the new Fusion is an all-out assault on the midsize sedan segment. The previous Ford Fusion was certainly a decent car, but the 2013 Fusion is a remarkable midsize sedan. It's Ford's best attempt at taking down Camry and Accord, and we won't be surprised if it does exactly that.
The new Fusion is more fuel efficient. Starting with the standard engine -- a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission -- fuel economy ratings are 22 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway for a combined 26 mpg rating that is identical to the old Fusion when equipped with an automatic transmission.
An all-new 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which packs 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, is optional on the SE. Yes, that's barely more thrust than the base engine, but the 1.6 is considerably lighter, so the Fusion is quicker this way. It's also more refined: Turbo lag was imperceptible during our test, and the 1.6 speaks softly, unlike the gruff 2.5.
A 6-speed manual is available with the 1.6 and it returns the best fuel economy of any non-hyrbid Fusion: 25 mpg city/37 mpg hwy. The 6-speed automatic drops to 23 mpg city/36 mpg hwy, though Ford says that the optional auto stop/start system (exclusive to the 1.6 automatic) adds one mpg on each side. A word on that stop/start option: We like that it saves fuel, but there's a palpable shudder every time it does its thing, so we're glad Ford includes a prominently placed off button on the center console.
The Fusion Titanium comes with its own engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. That might seem like a huge leap forward from the 1.6, but the Titanium packs some extra pounds. The difference is more like going from mild salsa to medium. It's especially subtle in the all-wheel-drive (AWD) Titanium (the only Fusion offered with AWD), which is the heaviest model of all at nearly 3,700 pounds. A 6-speed automatic with shift paddles is the only transmission here, and fuel economy estimates range from 22 mpg city/34 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive to 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with AWD.
But the new Fusion isn't just about performance. It's also a really slick looking car. From every angle, the Fusion looks great. The bold grille, the sleek roofline and high mounted, thin taillights all make the Fusion stand out in a crowd. However, some editors think outward visibility is compromised by the low roof.
The interior is also all-new and thoroughly modern. The dash, center console and gauges all have a clean, uncluttered look that makes the Fusion seem like a more expensive car than it really is.
The 2013 Ford Fusion is offered in four trim levels: S, SE, SE Hybrid and Titanium. Base price for the S is just over $21,000 while a top-of-the-line, front-wheel-drive Titanium version is just over $30,000.