The 2017 iterations of Fusion, Ford's fine mid-size sedan, increase with the addition of a line-topping and luxe-loaded Fusion Platinum edition and a performance version -- Fusion V6 Sport -- packing a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction.
In summary, Fusion's 2017 line includes four different gasoline-powered engines, plus a gas-electric hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid. This review focuses on Fusion's gas-sipping engines which work with five trims: S, SE, Titanium, V6 Sport and Platinum.
Marketeers at Ford describe the 2017 editions of Fusion as "the most technologically advanced mid-size car Ford has ever built in North America." It's the first Ford car marketed in North America equipped with Ford's pedestrian detection system: Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Fusion also offers Active Park Assist, Ford's hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking technology, plus additional driver-assist features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support and Stop and Go, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and the Lane-Keeping Assist system.
Fusion looks sleek and swift in 2017 guise with a broad yet thin hex-sided grille up front and new squinty LED headlamps, a muscular strafed hood and taut fender bulges over wheelwells.
The 2017 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 and SE FWD models stock a base gasoline-burning plant, Ford's 2.5-liter in-line-4 with dual overhead cams (DOHC) and sequential multiport fuel injection. It generates 178 hp with torque tipping to 170 lb-ft, and the sole transmission is the Ford 6F35 6-speed electronic automatic with SelectShift manual control.
Next, there are two optional EcoBoost 4-cylinder plants with turbo-charging and direct fuel injection. These 4-pack turbos apply as an option for Fusion SE or the standard for Fusion Titanium and new Fusion Platinum.
Ford's DOHC 1.5-liter EcoBoost 4-in-line with Ford's Auto Start-Stop technology delivers 181 hp and torque to 185 lb-ft yet fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway apply with the 6-speed auto-shifter.
Ford's powerful yet fuel-thrifty EcoBoost engine, a twin-cam 2.0-liter 4-pack with turbo-charging, is the standard plant for AWD versions of Fusion Titanium or Fusion Platinum and it serves up 240 hp plus 270 lb-ft of torque.
Then comes Fusion's new hot-shot: The performance-geared Fusion V6 Sport AWD totes Ford's twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which delivers a projected 325 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
Ford's option of AWD traction brings a smart traction system which distributes the engine's power between front and rear wheels selectively via an electromagnetic clutch -- the intent is to maintain a firm tire grip no matter what condition of wet/dry/icy pavement.
All Fusion '17 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 2017 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.
Top-trim Fusion Platinum edition loads up on premium leather. The gauge cluster and door trim panels are finished in antiqued Cocoa leather, while the steering wheel has hand-wrapped Venetian leather. On the Platinum prow the grille reveals a special paint coat as wheels upgrade to 19-inch polished aluminum.
The action issue Fusion V6 Sport AWD adds performance-boosting equipment such as instantaneous suspension tuning through a continuously controlled damping system. It also gets a performance-inspired body kit with larger air intake ports and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler on the tail plus dual exhaust outlets.
Fusion Titanium carries 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, a remote ignition starter, rear parking sensors, sport front seats with leather upholstery and dazzling electronic instruments.
Ford sets MSRP figures for 2017 Fusion models upward from a base price around $22,500. We estimate Fusion V6 Sport AWD tallies to $35,500 and Platinum AWD hits $38,500.