2010 Ford Fusion Review and Prices
The Ford Fusion is the best car for you if you’re itching for a fight with the Chevrolet Malibu over the top American-brand midsize car – and want the newer-looking of the two.
Ford gives the 2010 Fusion an exterior facelift and an interior that finally incorporates some imaginative shapes. It’s a fitting new wrapper for a sedan that gains its first gas-electric hybrid model as part of plan to position Fusion as the most fuel-efficient car in its class
Should you wait for the 2010 Ford Fusion or buy a 2009? Hold out for the 2010. Demand figures to stay healthy for 2009 models right to the end, so even clearance-sale savings aren’t likely to be compelling. Waiting for the 2010 Fusion gets you a car that won’t cost significantly more than the 2009, and won’t smack of stale styling or technology.
2010 Ford Fusion Changes back to top
Styling: Key dimensions and the roofline are unchanged from the 2006-2009 Fusion. But most sheet metal forward of the windshield is new, bringing a sleeker front end with a bolder grille and tapered, chrome-trimmed headlamps. The rear is subtly reshaped and looks fancier. Dominating the center of the dashboard is a huge new screen for available navigation and Sync features. This dash favors function over form but, along with the new center console and interior door panels, banishes the square-cut drabness that made the previous cabin feel as if it had been inspired by East German apartment complexes. The 2010 styling will carry Fusion to its next full redesign, which should come for model-year 2013.
Mechanical: Ford wants to advertise the 2010 Fusion as America’s highest-mileage midsize car, which means beating the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda’s planned diesel-engine Accord. Tough assignment. Fusion’s claim to the title will hinge on a hybrid powertrain, likely the same four-cylinder gas-engine/electric-motor/continuously variable automatic-transmission system used in the Ford Escape SUV. Look for around 135 horsepower. The 2010 Fusion will also seek to eek the most mileage out of its carry-over four-cylinder gas engine by dumping a five-speed automatic transmission in favor of a more efficient six-speed automatic. Figure around 155 horsepower. Fusion will again be available with a V-6, though at around 230 horsepower, it’s meek compared with the 260-plus horses of most top rivals. Fusion does continue among the few cars in its class to offer all-wheel drive as an alternative to front-wheel drive.
Features: Ford’s made some sales based on its Microsoft-developed Sync system of navigation, communications, and entertainment connectivity. It incorporates the latest in Bluetooth and iPod USB-port links. The 2010 Fusion hammers Sync home by shaping its new dashboard around an LCD screen designed to take full advantage of the system’s graphic interface. Even base Fusions come nicely equipped with key safety and convenience features, though you’ll still likely have to move up the model line or tap the options list to get an antiskid system and traction control.
2010 Ford Fusion Prices back to top
This is a price-sensitive segment, so Ford can’t risk inducing sticker shock. That means front-drive, four-cylinder Fusions should start just under $19,000, with uplevel models starting around $22,000. Base prices for V-6 versions should cover a $23,000-$25,000 spread. You’ll pay a premium for the hybrid; a base price of close to $27,000 isn’t out of the question. All-wheel-drive will remain the province of V-6 Fusions and adds about $1,900. Sync should remain a reasonable $400 or so, but may not be available on the least-expensive Fusions. These price estimates include destination charges, and options packages can boost them by thousands.
2010 Ford Fusion Fuel Economy back to top
Four-cylinder models with manual transmission should again rate around 20 mpg city/29 highway. With the new six-speed automatic, they should better the 20/28 of the five-speed auto by a couple of miles per gallon, at least. V-6s should rate 18/26 with front-wheel drive, 17/25 with AWD. Like most hybrids, including Escape’s, the gas/electric Fusion is likely to be more fuel efficient in city driving than on the highway. Look for a rating in the neighborhood of 34/32.
2010 Ford Fusion Release Date back to top
The 2010 Ford Fusion is due in showrooms during January 2009.
2010 Ford Fusion Competition back to top
2010 Chevrolet Malibu: The best domestic-brand midsize car – unless the 2010 Fusion knocks it off. A good blend of comfort, performance, roominess, and styling, though not quite a champ in any of them. Best rated fuel economy is 22/33 with the four-cylinder engine, 17/26 with the V-6, and 26/34 for the hybrid. Next full redesign: model-year 2013.
2010 Honda Accord: Still the all-around quality, engineering, and fun-to-drive leader, though its margin is narrowing. With sedan and coupe body styles, four- and six-cylinder engines, and a coming diesel alternative, there’s plenty variety at prices that lose relatively little value over time. Rated fuel economy is around 21/30 for four-cylinder models, 19/29 for V-6s, and an expected 31/41 for the diesel. Accord’s next full redesign is likely for model-year 2013.
2010 Nissan Altima: Sacrifices some refinement in the name of sporty looks and lively road manners, but it’s not a bad trade-off. Coupe and sedan, four- and six-cylinder engines, and a hybrid model are available – though the hybrid is for limited sale only in selected states. Typical fuel economy ratings: 23/31 with the four-cylinder, 19/26 with the V-6, 35/33 with the hybrid. Look for Altima’s next full redesign after model-year 2012.