2011 Ford Fusion Des Moines
2011 Ford Fusion Design
The Ford Fusion has established itself as a leader among midsize sedans. The Fusion matches or surpasses its Japanese competitors in various quality surveys, and leads the class in fuel economy. It offers contemporary styling and a first-class driving experience. How times have changed.
For 2011, Fusion comes several new features, including rain-sensing wipers, HD Radio and Ford's MyKey system, which allows parents to limit top speed and audio volume when teens are driving the car.
Also new for 2011 are styling tweaks for the Fusion Sport model.
A wide range of models includes a standard four-cylinder engine, two upgrade V6s and the Fusion Hybrid. All the Ford Fusion powerplants are competitive in power output and technological features, and all deliver impressive fuel economy. Even the lower-trim Fusion models are smooth and quiet.
Powering the 2011 Ford Fusion
For 2011, Fusion comes standard with Ford's MyKey feature, and parents with teenage drivers will appreciate it. MyKey allows owners to designate a key that can limit the vehicle's top speed to 80 mph, and audio volume to 44 percent of the maximum level. MyKey also raises the low-fuel alert from 50 miles to 75, and it doesn't allow deactivation of the traction control system.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 175 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, and we found it's strong enough for most driver's needs. We think the base engine with the standard 6-speed manual transmission makes one of the most enjoyable Fusion combinations when it comes to driving, particularly when the car is equipped with the inexpensive sports suspension.
Clutch operation and the manual shifter meld nicely in the Fusion, and those who enjoy driving will like working through the gears to maximize performance from the standard engine. This package comes close to what we'd call a sports sedan. Its reflexes and steering response are good, yet the ride is anything but stiff. If anything, we'd like a slightly firmer suspension, because the Fusion is solid, quiet and capable enough to handle it, without a significant payback in ride harshness.
2011 Ford Fusion Interior
The driver is greeted by a sequence that almost makes it seem as if the Fusion is coming to life. Gauge needles sweep back and forth as the interior lighting and chimes come on. The optional ambient lighting system subtly illuminates the footwells and front cup holders in a choice of colors.
One of our test cars was upholstered with handsome black leather. The Luxury Package in particular, new for 2011, has a rich, quality feel, but even the base upholstery is appealing. The seats have contrasting piping and inserts with a different print scheme. The fabric seems easy to clean and sturdy but not burlap utilitarian. Black pebble-grain texture on the dash gives things a well-furnished glow, and the plastic dash trim has a nice, metallic silver finish. The weak link might be the vinyl at the top of the door panels. It's soft to the touch, but a hint too shiny.
The driver's seat has decent lateral and lumbar support and proper elevation at the cushion's front to inhibit submarining (slipping forward under the belts) in hard stops. A sturdy chrome-trimmed shifter provides a businesslike grip. Storage space for odds and ends is not a Fusion high point, other cars in this class offer more.
The steering wheel features cruise control buttons on the left side of the hub, audio and media controls on the right, and they're far enough away from typical hand placement points to avoid accidental radio station changes. Switches are neither showy nor cheap, with a straightforward utility appropriate to this car. The arrangement is aesthetically appealing, and we'd call it one of the most effective designs in midsize sedans.
2011 Ford Fusion Line Up
Fusion S is powered by a 175-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with the manual transmission. It comes with cloth upholstery, AM/FM/CD audio with four speakers, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, speed-sensitive wipers, cruise control, power locks with remote entry, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. For 2011, Ford's MyKey system, which lets parent limit top-speed and audio volume for teen drivers, is standard. The only option for the S is the 6-speed automatic.
Fusion SE adds six-speaker audio, Sirius satellite radio, steering wheel audio controls, fog lamps, six-way power driver seat, a folding rear seat, body-color mirrors and 17-inch steel wheels. It also allows more options, including a 3.0-liter, 240-hp flex-fuel V6 with the automatic.
Fusion SEL comes with the four-cylinder and automatic. It upgrades from the SE with leather-trimmed heated seats, power-adjustable passenger seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, SYNC, auto-dimming rearview, heated outside mirrors, and keyless entry pad on the driver's door. All-wheel drive is optional, including the 3.0-liter V6. For 2011, the SEL is offered with a Luxury Package that adds Ginger or Charcoal Black premium leather upholstery, machined aluminum pedals, illuminated door sills, premium floor mats with logo, polished 17-inch aluminum wheels, and chrome mirror caps and door handles. The SEL Rapid Spec grouping adds a high-wattage Sony sound system with CD changer, 12 speakers and Dolby surround sound processing, Ford's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), rear view camera, rain sensing wipers, and rear park assist.
Fusion Sport is powered by a 263-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine with the automatic. It includes the sports suspension, 18-inch wheels with performance tires, chrome trim, rear spoiler, and unique side rocker sills. All-wheel drive is available. Rapid Spec for the Sport model includes the moonroof, Sony sound system, dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated front seats, power passenger seat, color-adjustable ambient lighting, universal garage door opener, BLIS, heated exterior mirrors, puddle lamps, rear view camera, rear park assist, rain sensing wipers and keyless entry pad.
Fusion Hybrid comes fitted with a 156-hp version of the four-cylinder engine, integrated with a 40-hp electric motor, continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission and a regenerative braking system to capture energy and charge its battery pack. Unique hybrid-specific LCD instrumentation and the rear park assist are standard. Rapid Spec for the Hybrid adds the moonroof, Sony audio, a voice-activated navigation system, BLIS, rain sensing wipers and the rear view camera.
Offered with a range of power systems in multiple trim levels, the Ford Fusion is a compelling midsize sedan with catchy looks, lots of room and trunk space, agile handling and excellent fuel economy. Even the Fusion Hybrid, which leads all midsize cars, can be fun to drive. The Fusion also has some of the highest crash ratings in its class, and it has quickly risen to the top of the charts in familiar quality and consumer satisfaction surveys.
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com