2008 Ford Fusion Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Fusion Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Fusion Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Fusion

  • Although the 2008 Ford Fusion gives up some speed and refinement to the class leaders, this midsize family sedan is worth considering if you're looking for a roomy and sporty sedan with styling that doesn't get lost in the crowd.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy interior, athletic handling, smooth ride, available all-wheel drive, competitive price.

  • Cons

    Engines are down on power and refinement, stability control not available, some mediocre interior plastics.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Ford Fusion gains a number of standard and optional features. Among the former are antilock brakes for all trims and a keyless-entry keypad for the SEL version. New options include a reverse parking sensor, the late availability of the Ford "Sync" system (which integrates devices such as cell phones and MP3 players into the vehicle's controls), upgraded interior ambient lighting (also late availability) and a Sport Appearance package that adds 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and special interior and exterior trim.

Full 2008 Ford Fusion Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Ford Fusion gains a number of standard and optional features. Among the former are antilock brakes for all trims and a keyless-entry keypad for the SEL version. New options include a reverse parking sensor, the late availability of the Ford "Sync" system (which integrates devices such as cell phones and MP3 players into the vehicle's controls), upgraded interior ambient lighting (also late availability) and a Sport Appearance package that adds 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and special interior and exterior trim.

Introduction

Ford's midsize family cars have typically been comfortable and safe, although not up to the class leaders in terms of performance and refinement. A few years ago, the company brought the Fusion to market, intent on improving its competitiveness in the segment. Based on a larger version of the Mazda 6 platform, the Fusion combined the 6's athleticism with more passenger room than its Japanese cousin.

As such, the 2008 Ford Fusion is defined by its handsome styling, sporty handling character and spacious cabin. The availability of all-wheel drive gives it an advantage for those who live in climates prone to frequent rain and snow. There are a few upgrades for '08 to be aware of as well. Notably, the Ford Sync (no, it's not the carmaker's in-house boy band) is a system that integrates personal devices into the Fusion's center stack controls and display. With Sync, drivers and passengers can access and operate their cell phones, PDAs, USB storage devices, iPods or other MP3 players using voice commands. The cell phone's address book is also wirelessly and automatically transferred to the vehicle.

However, a couple of weak areas continue to keep the Fusion from getting to the head of the class. Stability control, a key safety feature, is not offered. And although decent performers, neither the base four-cylinder nor the optional V6 can challenge the competition in terms of all-out acceleration and refinement. As such, all-star sedans like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry are still better and more polished cars. But they do cost more. When compared to more similarly priced models like the Chevy Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, Hyundai Sonata and Saturn Aura, the 2008 Ford Fusion ranks quite well and breaks Ford out of its midsize sedan funk.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Fusion midsize sedan is offered in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL. The base S features 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 player with auxiliary input jack for MP3 players, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. The SE adds alloy wheels, foglights, a six-way power driver seat, an upgraded six-speaker stereo with CD changer, audio controls on the steering wheel, faux carbon-fiber trim and a fold-down front-passenger seat. The range-topping Fusion SEL adds 17-inch wheels, keyless-entry keypad, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors (with puddle lamps), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a compass and unique interior accents.

Option highlights for the Fusion include a moonroof, leather upholstery, a Scion-like interior ambient lighting scheme (late availability -- it allows one to switch among seven colors for the footwells and console's cupholders), heated front seats, the Ford Sync system (also late availability), an upgraded eight-speaker stereo, a DVD-based navigation system, satellite radio and a rear spoiler.

Also available is the Sport Appearance package that includes a black chrome grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tips and red cabin accents (including leather seat inserts and stitching on the seats, console and steering wheel).

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on all Fusions is a 2.3-liter, 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine that runs so clean that it meets Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle certification in California. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. The SE and SEL trims offer a 3.0-liter, 221-hp V6 whose sole transmission choice is a six-speed automatic. Although the latter provides an impressive number of gears, it doesn't allow the driver to shift manually -- there are only two forward-gear gates ("D" and "L"), neither of which has much effect on the tranny's behavior.

Front-wheel drive is standard on all Fusions, while V6 trims also offer optional all-wheel drive. For a midsize sedan, the Fusion puts up respectable fuel economy numbers. The four-cylinder/automatic 2008 Fusion posts 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, while the V6 version rates 18 and 26, respectively. The V6 with AWD earns one mpg less in each category.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags are standard on all Fusions. Traction control is optional on front-wheel-drive V6 models, but stability control is not available at all. A reverse parking sensor is optional.

In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration frontal-impact crash tests, early-release 2008 Ford Fusions earned four stars (out of five) for driver and front-passenger protection. Later models earned five stars. In side-impact testing, all 2008s earned five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for rear occupants. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset and side-impact tests, the Fusion scored "Good" ratings -- the highest possible.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the stylish cabin, ergonomics are a mixed bag. Most controls are easy to use, but the instruments are a bit small and there's no display for the automatic transmission, forcing the driver to look down at the shifter to confirm gear selection. Depending on the trim level, accents of faux carbon-fiber, wood tone and piano black are sprinkled throughout, and the SEL model offers leather seating with contrasting stitching, an analog clock and steering-wheel-mounted audio and climate controls.

Although the upholstery is neatly tailored and build quality is above average, some of the interior's plastics feel cut-rate. The standard "brick" stereo faceplate with its tiny green readouts is outdated and looks cheap. In its favor, the Fusion's spacious cabin offers plenty of room for all passengers. A pair of adults will be content in the back of a Fusion, and storage space is adequate. An unexpected measure of utility is provided by the Fusion's 15.8-cubic-foot trunk, split-folding rear seat and fold-down front-passenger seat (SE and SEL models only), allowing bulky items to be transported inside the car.

Driving Impressions

With its responsive steering and refined ride, the 2008 Ford Fusion is one of the more entertaining vehicles in the family sedan segment. Wind and road noise are muted at highway speeds, and both automatic transmissions perform competently. Unfortunately, neither engine offers much off-the-line grunt, and both get a little noisy at higher rpm. More horsepower and an automatic transmission with manual-shift capability would certainly lend support to the Fusion's sporty aspirations, but thanks to its communicative steering and well-planted demeanor, it's still an enjoyable car to drive by family sedan standards.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Great car for the money,

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion SE 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

Now owning this car for two years, and I am very satisfied. It currently has 92,000 miles. Pros: The V6 engine performs very well with the 6-speed automatic, the exterior ages really well, it's not that expensive compared to the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, etc., and I'm averaging 26.5 MPG (80% highway, 20% city). Very quiet interior, comfortable and smooth. Cons: The interior, imo, is a bit vanilla to my taste, also the door handle (on the driver side) is peeling . Another flaw is that the interior material under the airbag is starting to warp. Other than those flaws, it's a very nice car, and I would recommend it.



3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion SE 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

Purchased a 2008 Ford Fusion for my daughter for her 16th birthday. Have had the car 3 years and we're now working on tranny #3! Contacted the dealer and FMC with no help from either. Was actually told that the Fusions are "throw away" cars and that most people only keep them for a year or two before trading them in. Drove the car to work because mechanic said it was "drivable" and from 1st gear the car revved at 4000rpms before kicking into 2nd gear. The interior is very shabby, the drivers wheel is cracked and the door handles are peeling to the point where we cut our hands on them. Had to use duct tape to cover them so no one else would get hurt.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Ok

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion S 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

i average 27 both city/highway and its ok to drive. but the temp sensor is screwy throws engine lite.




Economical and reliable

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion S 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

I've been driving my 2008 fusion for about 2 years, purchased in Sept. 2010 from the dealer at 38k miles. It now has about 60k miles on it. I judge a vehicle based on number of maintenance issues. I have had 0 issues during my time of ownership, therefore the car has met my expectations. It's a very nice sedan and gets about 31 mpg on the highway. I would recommend the Fusion to a prospective buyer.




Not what i expected

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

When I saw this car come out in 2006, it stole my heart! Traded in my 2007 ford focus for a 2008 fusion. The first three years of having the car was great. By the fourth year things started going on the car. The leather was ripping and noticed harsh shiffting. Come to find out there is a problem with the valve body which is inside the transmission. Then my ac went in the car. Had to replace the air temperature sensor, evaporator core, and heater core. In Florida you can't be without ac. Total cost was $1600.00. Now looking for a diffferent car and it won't be a ford. Thats why they nicknamed Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily)!




Best car i've ever owned!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Fusion SE 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

We got this car new in 2008. Ford was so confident in the car's performance they gave us a 5 year or 100,000 mile warranty on it! My wife put over 20k miles on it a year and it never had a problem except battery went out at 80k miles. The car is awesome on gas 30 mpg highway and like 27 city. Even with 89,000 miles we got 8k for trade in. I am not typically a big fan of American sedans but this car was roomy, reliable, inexpensive, maneuvered well, and out-performed my expectations! I would def buy another someday :)



Talk About The 2008 Fusion

2008 Ford Fusion Discussions See all Started By

severson
severson
02-08-2008
2008 Fusion SE... Redfire ext./ beige int. color purchased at Apple Valley Ford, Apple Valley, Minnesota on 1/25/08. Automatic transmission. Stickered at $19,370 ... bought for $15,654 after rebates ...


ANT14
ANT14
06-12-2006
2008 as a 2009 model. Although, it's a 3rd generation system, rather than the Fusion/Milan which will be 2nd generation system....


mtnman1
mtnman1
01-19-2013
car. Though I am chomping at the bit for a new Fusion or an Optima SX. Promised my wife that I would run it for 8 years since we just bought a new 2012 Highlander Limited AWD back in May of 2012. Got...



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Gas Mileage

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  • 20
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  • 29
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