On The Road

Fusion offers good mileage, smooth ride

04 04 18 OTR FordFusion fmt
Courtesy of Ford
The new Ford Fusion gets 42 mpg in combined driving.

In a world that seems filled with SUVs, trucks, sports cars and other specialty vehicles, we often are surprised when we get a mid-sized sedan for review.

When we do, we frequently discover that a basic four-door automobile with a comfortable back seat and nice trunk that offers good gas mileage may be a satisfying all-around choice for a family.

The 2018 Ford Fusion is such a car. We drove the top-end hybrid version, Platinum trim level.

Ford hasn’t made any major changes to this car in recent years, and there are rumors that the Fusion model series might be discontinued by 2020. For the buyer, that likely means no surprises and plenty of incentives for dealer-price discounts, which can make the Fusion a cost-effective choice.

What we drove: A four-door, five-passenger mid-sized sedan with hybrid inline 2-liter four-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive.

By the numbers: When buying a hybrid, the most important number is fuel economy, and the Fusion scores with 42 mpg in combined driving. Horsepower really doesn’t matter with that kind of fuel economy; acceleration to highway speed is a leisurely 9 seconds, about average for this type of car. With the extra hybrid batteries, trunk capacity is only 12 cubic feet, but the rear seats fold down for cargo hauling.

Cost and trim: The Platinum trim level we drove, with a recommended price of just under $40,000, includes every feature Ford offers on this car – from convenience items like heated and ventilated front seats to an excellent audio system, back-up camera and navigation system all controlled by Ford’s much-improved Sync touch screen and voice recognition interface. In addition, the Platinum includes all of Ford’s Driver Assist options, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, collision mitigation and perpendicular-parking system.

What we liked: In addition to the good fuel economy, this is a pleasant car to drive, with solid handling, a smooth ride and excellent steering response. Exterior styling, even though a few years old, is still current in appearance. The interior trim, complete with quilted leather, is nicely designed and provides a feeling of luxury.

What we would change: We would like to see a sporty mode with much faster acceleration.

What you should consider: The uncertainty of the model’s future could hurt resale value, so go for the best deal you can get on it.

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