Ford's midsize Fusion was an all-new model when introduced in 2006. For 2007, Ford has greatly enhanced the Fusion with standard side and side curtain air bags and an optional all-wheel-drive system. Mid-line SE and range-topping SEL models get more standard equipment, and a DVD navigation system is now available as an option.
When the Fusion made its debut in 2006, it was the first Ford product in many years to pose a serious threat to midsize stalwarts like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima. The Fusion came to the party in the proper dress: a 4-door sedan body with unique (but not offensively radical) styling, a roomy trunk, 160-hp four-cylinder and 221-hp V-6 engines, front-wheel drive, three trim levels (S, SE, SEL), and an attractive price.
For 2007, Ford has made the Fusion even more competitive with features that either match its rivals (standard side and side curtain air bags, optional DVD-based navigation system) or exceed them (optional all-wheel drive for V-6 SE and SEL models). The all-wheel-drive system is especially notable; it's a feature that mainstreamers like the Camry, Accord, and Altima don't offer. Other new standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a 6-disc CD/MP3 changer, and a fold-down passenger seat for the mid-line SE, and heated side mirrors, a self-dimming rear-view mirror, and automatic headlamps for the top-of-the-line SEL.
The Ford Fusion is based on the same CD3 platform that underpins the Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKX (formerly known as the Zephyr), and Mazda6. Like the Mazda, the Ford is tuned for a firm ride and sporty handling. Transmission offerings include a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic for the four-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic for the V-6. Ford also sells a PZEV (partial zero-emission vehicle) version featuring the 4-cylinder/automatic powertrain combination for California buyers. And Ford isn't done yet: a hybrid version of the Fusion is in the works. It will most likely be released in 2008 as a 2009 model.
The Ford Fusion competes in the Midsize Conventional segment, which consists of 18 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, fuel economy, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Camry (397,630 units sold), Honda Accord (354,441), and Nissan Altima (232,457). The Ford Fusion sold 142,502 units in 2006, an increase of 739.1 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Conventional segment include the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, and Buick LaCrosse. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Saturn Aura.
|S I4 (100A)||5 speed manual||$17,430||160-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||23/31|
|SE I4 (110A)||5 speed manual||$18,360||160-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||23/31|
|SEL I4 (120A)||5 speed manual||$19,450||160-hp / 2.3L 4-cyl||23/31|