I've been coveting the Fusion from afar for some time and have stopped everyone who had one in parking lots to ask if they liked theirs. Always got a resounding yes.
I finally bought the SEL. I have to say I've gone from having a crush to a committed relationship with plenty of spark! You get a lot of car for the price.
I'm actually disappointed when I arrive in my driveway because I want to keep driving it. I've outlined some drawbacks, but I honestly would buy this car again and again.
It's a fun car to drive, great features, great turning radius, so quiet when idling I thought it had stalled. Beautiful styling. The many features you get for the price are useful and fun--Sync, adjustable steering wheel, seats on the SEL have multiple adjustments, dual temperature zones (useful when I drive with my teenager who wants everything the opposite of the way I have it), key pad entry on door--you'll never lock yourself out of the car and it saved me once when my 3 year old locked herself inside with the keys. Handling is responsive, love the weight, it doesn't feel light and flimsy like toyotas. Interior lighting options are great. Smart air bags, side air bags, feels safe.
Things to consider: some have mentioned the dashboard items are difficult to see. Agreed, they go low but once you memorize them, it's not a problem. The steering wheel is textured which irritates the palms of my hands after about 30 minutes-no big deal but I'm going to cover part of it. Dashboard reflects on windshield, not noticeable after a while.
The fan is much too loud. Shifting is more noticeable than on my Mercy Sable, but I expected that. Voice quality for calls on sync not the best. I hear fine but those I'm talking to state it's a bit muffled. Visibility out the back window is limited, my car beeps which saved me from hitting a car that rushed past me while I was backing up.