Two years after it was completely redesigned, the 2015 Ford Fusion continues to shake up the midsize car segment.
The 2015 Ford Fusion is beautiful, with an exterior that has won awards and continues to stand out even after other carmakers have upgraded their looks to compete. The Fusion combines an eye-catching exterior with sporty handling and an excellent range of powertrain options. The 2015 Fusion can be configured to be anything from a low-cost rental fleet vehicle to a near-luxury car.
The 2015 Fusion comes in three trim levels, and has four different engine options. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
The exterior is the first thing anyone notices and with the Fusion, it’s one of the best-looking midsize sedans on the road. Styling begins with the Alfa Romeo-like grille and fascia, which is accented by sharp headlights. Ridges on the hood and fenders flow back, curving slightly to create a sporty and luxurious look. The coupe-like roof falls back toward sloped rear glass. The back end is tapered and well-proportioned.
Although other automakers are coming forward with similar design cues, the Fusion can be credited with forcing many of them to compete.
The interior of the 2015 Fusion is well-done in terms of ergonomics and comfort. The dashboard and console are plain in appearance, though made of quality materials. Those quality materials translate to a quiet ride, but leave little in the way of interest.
Seating is very comfortable, with good head- and legroom throughout the car. A good-sized trunk and thoughtful storage helps to make the Fusion a livable daily driver. Visibility in the Fusion is very good. The slanted and small rear window is captured well in the rearview mirror and the standard backup camera eliminates the negatives it might have otherwise had. Side pillars are relatively thin, which helps improve visibility.
In the midsize sedan segment, performance is less about speed and handling than fuel economy and everyday “get up and go.” The Fusion hits these points nicely, with its broad choice of engine and drivetrain options. The S and SE models come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 175 horsepower. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard.
The SE trim adds the option to change to a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower, but with only a six-speed manual transmission option.
A 181-horsepower, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine can be had with a six-speed automatic. We drove the latter in a week-long test drive and the outputs of the two engines are so close that it’s more about your choice of transmission than it is the engine.
The Titanium trim has, as standard, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 240 horsepower, which is on par with what most six-cylinder engines in this segment provide. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional with this engine. The Fusion SE is available with this engine and all-wheel drive as well.
Fuel economy with these engine choices is good. The base Fusion has an EPA rating of 25 mpg combined, which is about average for this class. Models with the 1.6-liter and 1.5-liter engines get combined ratings of 29 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively. An optional stop-start system boosts the 1.5-liter model’s combined rating to 29 mpg. Finally, models with the 2.0-liter engine return 26 mpg combined with front-wheel drive or 25 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.
All Fusion models come standard with a rearview camera, automatic headlights and Ford’s voice-activated Sync system, which includes Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a sunroof, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a Sony audio system, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a parallel-park assist system and proximity key with push-button start.
Most of the technology in the Fusion is in the MyFord Touch infotainment interface.
The 8-inch touch screen that is the hub for this system is well-placed and easy to read in most conditions. If you learn to use voice commands, the system becomes relatively easy to use for most common functions. However, there is a steep learning curve.
Physically touching the screen for menus is more intuitive, but can become daunting even for basic operations. This is especially true when the vehicle is in motion, as many of the controls are rather small. The occasional tendency of the MyFord Touch system to freeze is also an annoyance.
Once voice commands are learned, however, MyFord Touch becomes a powerful tool that is one of the easier systems to use on today’s market. It has its nuances and glitches, mostly revolving around those occasional pauses in response times, but it’s usable once you’ve learned it.
The 2015 Fusion received five out of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was also named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The Fusion comes standard with a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and a blind-spot monitoring system.
With a starting price of $22,500, the 2015 Ford Fusion is less expensive than the base Toyota Camry, but it also has a slightly higher cost of entry than competitors like the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Subaru Legacy. Still, the 2015 Fusion impresses with a strong list of standard equipment and a number of available technology features. It’s also one of the few midsize cars that offers an all-wheel drive option.
A top-tier Fusion Titanium starts at $30,780, but comes very well-equipped for the class.
The 2015 Ford Fusion is a trend-setter in the midsize segment and a vehicle which has seen a lot of consumer interest and market share growth since its redesign two years ago. Real strengths for the Fusion are its daily use ergonomics and its cost-effective nature. The Fusion should not be overlooked when shopping for a midsize car.