Ford Fusion mid-size sedan has 3 high-tech engine choices

2015, Ford, Fusion

MUSKEGO, Wisc. -- Just beyond suburban fringes of Milwaukee, we're following back roads in Racine County while skirting the lakes like Muskego, Fox and Wind which interrupt a prairie quilt of crop farms. The well-powered and smooth-riding vehicle we're steering over these Wisconsin back roads is Ford's fine mid-size luxury sedan, the 2015 Fusion in top-tier Titanium trim.

Fusion presents a muscular strafed hood and aggressive prow capped by a six-sided grille with chrome-beaded fins, squinty corner headlamp clusters, taut fender bulges over wheelwells and a crisp tail design with bisected LED lamps and the exhaust pipe protruding beneath smooth low fascia.

The 2015 editions of Fusion employ a stiff and strong front-wheel-drive (FWD) world-car platform that emerged with the second-generation Fusion of 2013.

Fusion's 2015 line includes three different gasoline-powered engines, plus a gas-electric hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid. Our review focuses on Fusion's gas-sipping engines which drop into three trims: S, SE and Titanium.

Fusion S and SE FWD models stock the base plant, a 2.5-liter in-line-four rigged with dual overhead cams (DOHC) and sequential multiport fuel injection. It produces 175 hp at 6000 rpm with torque tipping to 170 lb-ft at 4500 rpm.

Sole transmission is the Ford 6F35 6-speed electronic automatic with SelectShift manual control.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2.5-liter 4-pack amount to 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

Fusion SE offers two optional EcoBoost 4-cylinder plants with turbo-charging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing.

Ford's DOHC 1.5-liter EcoBoost 4-in-line delivers 181 hp at 6000 rpm and torque to 185 lb-ft at 2700 rpm yet fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with the 6F35 6-speed auto-shifter.

Ford's high-powered yet fuel-thrifty EcoBoost engine, a twin-cam 2.0-liter 4-pack with turbo-charging, is the standard plant for Fusion Titanium or optional for Fusion SE and it serves up 240 hp at 5500 rpm plus 270 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm.

Tied to the 6F35 6-speed electronic automatic, the 2.0 EcoBoost plant earns EPA numbers of 22/33 mpg (city/highway) in FWD or 22/31 mpg (city/highway) with optional AWD (all-wheel-drive) traction for Fusion Titanium and Fusion SE Appearance and Fusion SE Luxury.

All Fusion '15 models carry independent suspension components -- front MacPherson struts with stabilizer bar and a rear integral link plus stabilizer bar. Ford engineers tuned the Fusion suspension to deliver sporty handling characteristics, then added electric power assistance to the rack-mounted steering system to boost fuel efficiency.

Brakes on 2015 Fusion models consist of a disc at every wheel (vented front, solid rear) with linkage to an anti-lock brake system (ABS) plus Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability control (ESC) device.

Fusion S base model rolls on 16-inch sparkle silver aluminum wheels capped by 215/60R16 all-season tires and provides such standard equipment as air-conditioning, power controls for windows and door locks, automatic headlights, keyless entry system, cruise control, height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, tilting-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer and a 4-speaker audio system with CD deck.

Fusion SE adds 17-inch sparkle silver painted aluminum wheels with 235/50R17 all-season tires, heated exterior mirrors, 8-way power controls for the driver's seat, backseat fold-down armrest and rear air ducts, upgraded audio gear plus satellite radio service.

Fusion Titanium carries 18-inch polish-face premium aluminum wheels with 235/45VR18 rubber and suspension system sport tuning, a remote ignition starter, rear parking sensors, sport front seats with leather upholstery and dazzling electronic instruments.

A rearview camera is standard issue for all 2015 Fusion models, but Ford offers additional driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control and collision warning, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, active park assist and lane-keeping system.

Ford sets MSRP figures for 2015 Fusion models in a range from $22,500 for Fusion S/FWD to $32,780 for Fusion Titanium/AWD.

By Bob Plunkett

More Ford car reviews?

Images of the 2015, Ford Fusion

2015 Ford Fusion SE
2015 Ford Fusion SE
2015 Ford Fusion SYNC
2015 Ford Fusion SYNC
2015 Ford Fusion rearview camera
2015 Ford Fusion rearview camera
2015 Ford Fusion interior
2015 Ford Fusion interior