Bought an '08 Fusion SEL AWD recently to replace an '05 Focus that met its maker as a result of a red light runner. Though I walked away with only a few bumps & bruises, after seeing the aftermath in the light of day, I decided then and there that I wanted a larger car for my next one. Wanted to stay with Ford as the Fords I've owned in the past have never given me issues so the Fusion was the logical choice as a "step up" Went with the AWD model because the weather up here in Canada tends to vary widely and in Canada only the SEL trim has the AWD option.
The driving dynamics, while not as sharp as the Focus are top notch considering the car's size. The controls are all laid out in a logical fashion for the most part and the SYNC system is a godsend, making using my digital media a snap.
The heating & vent controls are absolutely buried at the bottom of the centre stack. I would never have bought a model of the Fusion that didn't have automatic heating & cooling controls, trying to adjust the manual dials while in motion looks like an accident waiting to happen.