For 2013, the Ford Fusion was completely redesigned in hopes that is could not only match, but exceed the competition.
The Fusion starts out with an Aston Martin-inspired grille and headlights.
The rear end is not ugly either with integrated exhaust pipes and hexagonal LED taillights. Top it all off with gunmetal and 18” wheels, and you have arguably the most attractive family sedan since the 1960s.
Our test car was equipped with the top-of-the-line Titanium package that had an equally impressive interior.
The front seats were wrapped in a supple, glove-like leather and had the right combination of comfortable and supportive. The rear seats also proved comfortable enough for long trips with comfortable backs and legroom that is on par with the rest of the competition.
The gunmetal color of the rims carries to inside across the dash and down the center console that gives the Fusion a sporty look.
The interior also has quality materials throughout with hard plastics being in the minority.
My only gripes with the interior was with the faulty, hard-to-use MyFord Touch system and the plastic paddle shifters that are too small to use. The 2 1/2 inch paddle shifters are mounted right in the middle of the steering wheel and are useless if your hands are at 10 and 2.
Ford did away with the V-6 for 2013, and, instead, the Fusion is available with a trio of four bangers. The standard engine is the carry-over 2.5-liter that makes 175-horsepower and 175 lb/ft of torque.
For an additional $795, you can get the turbocharged, 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine that is good for 178 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque.
However, our test car with the Titanium package came standard with the 240-horsepower, 270 lb/ft of torque turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (a $2,465 option on the SE model).
The engine proved to be plenty powerful, taking 6.8 seconds to get to 60 mph with a moderate amount of torque steer. Our test car was front-wheel drive but all-wheel drive is available for an extra $2,000.
The Fusion’s performance at the pump is not too shabby either with an EPA-rated fuel economy of 22-mpg city, 33-mpg highway and 26-mpg combined. For those hyper-milers out there, a 47 mpg hybrid is available along with a plug-in hybrid.
The only transmission available is a six-speed automatic with a manual mode via the horrible paddle shifters.
The transmission is a smooth operator with no jerks or pulls, and you will even forget its shifting.
But in manual mode, the transmission doesn’t want to hold the gear all the way to redline that will hurt your chances at the red-light drag race after you drop your kids off.
However, it does have a satisfying rev-match feature on down-shifts, so if you do lose on the straight, you’ll catch up in the corners.
The Fusion has a very sporty driving experience as well.
The electric power-assisted steering gives decent feedback and doesn’t feel too heavy or light. The independent front and rear suspension is agile with only moderate body roll.
The base price of the Fusion SE with 2.5-liter engine is $21,700. Our test car with the Titanium package started at $30,200. Add in white metallic paint ($495) and moon roof ($895), and the total as-tested price comes to $31,590.
Overall, the 2013 Ford Fusion is a great package. It has an attractive exterior, premium interior and a fun driving experience, making it one of the best in the midsize segment.
Test car provided by Belk Ford in Oxford.
This column is the final in a series by Matthew Bishop. Dealerships that provide test cars do not sponsor these columns.