Driving Impressions

The Fusion is a credible four-door sedan that's priced reasonably, has appealing fuel economy and delivers satisfying road behavior. Performance with the V-6 is better than the midsize norm, and the Fusion's six-speed automatic functions capably. Some gear changes are virtually seamless and others are mildly noticeable, but none are awkward or bothersome. Though it's better with the manual transmission, the four-cylinder's acceleration is modest — definitely not as capable as four-cylinder versions of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which make up about 80 percent of those models sold.

This sedan maneuvers smartly through narrow, curvy roads and follows the driver's lead without much fuss. However, when a curve is especially tight and speed is relatively high, the Fusion does start to lose its confident sure-footedness. When the road gets bumpy, the sedan can transmit quite a few jolts to occupants, but overall the ride quality is one of the Fusion's strongest attributes. The brakes behave well in demanding driving and are easy to modulate.

Curious-looking gauges aren't the easiest to read at a glance, and the fuel and temperature gauges are tiny. Slipping into the front seat is a breeze, and space is abundant. Well-cushioned, supportive seats are installed. Backseat space isn't quite as ample as hoped in a midsize sedan; some passengers' knees touch the front seatback, and the center rear position is no pleasure.

Visibility is a little limited by the modestly sized back window and wide rear pillars, which makes the new rear sensing system appealing.

 

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