2012 Ford Fusion Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 263 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Ford Fusion

  • The well-rounded 2012 Ford Fusion is one of our top picks for a midsize family sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious interior; engaging handling; comfortable ride; abundant high-tech features; good fuel economy from Hybrid model; available all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    So-so power and fuel economy from midgrade V6; button-heavy audio and climate controls; Hybrid's price premium.

  • What's New for 2012

    There are no significant changes for the 2012 Ford Fusion.

Full 2012 Ford Fusion Review

What's New for 2012

There are no significant changes for the 2012 Ford Fusion.


Two years ago in a family sedan comparison test, we declared: "How about that, folks? The best family sedan can now be found at a Ford dealership." It wasn't a close contest, as the Ford Fusion received universal praise from us for a well-rounded nature that included an engaging driving demeanor, comfy ride, ample features and a spacious, well-built cabin. Of course, two years can be a lifetime in the car biz, but the 2012 Ford Fusion continues to stand tall as a top choice nevertheless.

It all starts with a vehicle architecture that gives the Fusion a great balance between a comfortable ride and agile handling. You feel connected to the road, but this doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort the way it can in so many other cars. The Fusion's interior isn't especially flashy, and its climate controls are mounted too low, but quality is strong both in terms of materials and construction. The spacious cabin is also filled with all the expected bells and whistles in this class, plus a few high-tech extras.

Under the hood, the Fusion is a tad different from its competition. Its base 175-horsepower four-cylinder is pretty much the norm, but there are two V6 engine upgrades available rather than the typical one. The more common 3.0-liter V6 produces only 240 hp, which is considerably less than its rivals. The Fusion Sport, however, gets a more competitive 263-hp V6 that gets nearly the same fuel economy as the smaller six-cylinder. In other words, if you want V6 power in your Fusion, we'd suggest the Sport.

The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, meanwhile, comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor that, combined, generates 191 hp. The EPA estimates you'll get 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, excellent numbers for midsize hybrid sedan segment. The Fusion Hybrid is also notable in that its driving dyanmics are pretty much vice-free; it drives pretty much just like a regular Fusion.

Despite our high praise for the Ford Fusion, we still recommend checking out the new 2012 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Kia Optima; both offer strong value, available hybrid models, distinctive styling and hard-to-beat engines. Those interested in the Fusion's available all-wheel-drive capability would also be wise to check out the 2012 Subaru Legacy or 2012 Suzuki Kizashi, as neither one requires a thirstier six-cylinder in order to get all-weather traction. Summed up, the Fusion isn't quite the runaway champ it was a couple years ago. But a truly great family sedan can still be found at a Ford dealership.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Ford Fusion is a five-passenger midsize sedan available in S, SE, SEL and Sport and Hybrid trim levels.

The base Fusion S comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, integrated blind-spot mirrors, keyless entry, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a four-way manual driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Stepping up to the Fusion SE gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, foglamps, an eight-way power driver seat (with manual lumbar adjustment) and a six-speaker audio system with steering wheel controls and satellite radio. Optional is Ford's Sync system, which allows you to control Bluetooth phones, iPods and other media players through voice commands and the car's controls. The Sun & Sync package bundles Sync with a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Fusion SEL adds to the SE's standard equipment different 17-inch wheels, a security code keyless entry pad, heated mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable driver seat lumbar, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting and Sync. The Luxury package adds unique wheels, extra chrome exterior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, contrasting stitching, unique interior trim and aluminum sport pedals.

The Fusion Hybrid is equipped similarly to the SEL, with the main differences being that the Hybrid has a specialized gauge cluster and leather seating as an option.

The Fusion Sport reverts back to the SE's standard equipment but gains a sport-tuned suspension, sport-tuned steering, 18-inch wheels, the top-of-the-line V6 engine, unique exterior and interior trim, a deck-lid spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, power-adjustable driver lumbar, Sync and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Comfort package adds most of the SEL's extra luxury and convenience features.

The Monochrome Appearance package available on the SE and SEL includes a sport-tuned suspension, a body-colored grille, a rear spoiler, unique interior trim and special cloth upholstery. You can also get this package with the regular chrome grille.

There are several options available on both the SEL and Sport. The Moon & Tune package adds a sunroof and a 12-speaker Sony surround-sound audio system. The Driver's Vision package adds a blind-spot warning system, a rearview camera and automatic wipers. A navigation system is optional and includes HD radio, digital music storage and Sirius Travel Link (real-time traffic, weather and other information). Rear parking sensors are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Ford Fusion comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 175 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on every Fusion except the base S, which gets a six-speed manual standard and the automatic optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a Fusion with the four-cylinder went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds -- an average time for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the automatic is 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.

Optional on the SE and SEL is a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 240 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes standard with front-wheel drive (like all Fusions), but all-wheel drive is an option. In performance testing, a front-drive SEL with this engine hit 60 mph in 7.3 seconds -- a tad pokey for a V6-powered midsize sedan. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20/28/23, while adding all-wheel drive drops that to 17/24/19.

Standard on the Fusion Sport is a 3.5-liter V6 good for 263 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is an option. With front-wheel drive, a Fusion Sport hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is quick for the class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18/27/21 with front drive and 17/24/19 with all-wheel drive.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid utilizes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 156 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an electric motor that helps bump power output up to 191 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels through a specialized continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The result is acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill in 8.7 seconds, which is reasonably quick for a hybrid. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 39 mpg combined.


Every 2012 Fusion comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which allows parents to set speed and stereo volume limits when their kids drive the car.

In government crash testing, the Fusion scored an overall score of four stars out of a possible five, with three stars for front protection and four stars for side protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fusion received the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Fusion SEL came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet -- a bit longer than average for this segment. The Fusion Sport fared a bit better with its 123-foot stopping distance.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2012 Ford Fusion's cabin features soft-touch materials and solid build quality. The center stack is a bit busy, however, with a lot of similar-looking and low-mounted buttons. The available Sync system works great, integrating audio and Bluetooth functionality with voice-recognition technology to provide hands-free operation of cell phones and portable MP3 players. Its functionality improves with the optional navigation system and its touchscreen, which we've found easier to use than the newer MyFordTouch system found in the Edge, Explorer and Focus.

The Fusion Hybrid gets a distinctive gauge cluster dubbed SmartGauge, featuring a pair of color display screens flanking a traditional speedometer. There's a wealth of information displayed and the graphics are pleasant and modern. There's even one that shows animated leaves and branches -- the more economically you drive, the fuller and greener your shrubbery becomes.

There's plenty of room for passengers in the Fusion. While Ford's midsizer isn't the largest car in its class, its generous interior dimensions prove you don't really need much more. The driver seat is especially friendly for tall drivers, the rear seat is roomy enough for a pair of adults and storage space is adequate. The 16.5-cubic-foot trunk is one of the largest around, and the split-folding rear seat enables larger items to be carried inside the car. Because of its battery pack, the Fusion Hybrid has a smaller truck, with 11.8 cubic feet of capacity.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Ford Fusion is one of the more engaging family sedans from the driver's perspective. Even with the Hybrid model, body control through corners is impressive, yet the ride remains comfortable and hushed. The Sport model feels particularly buttoned-down thanks to its sport-tuned suspension, though ride quality is never remotely harsh. We've also found the Sport's hydraulic power steering to be more responsive and natural-feeling than the electric power steering found in all other Fusions.

The base four-cylinder offers adequate performance, but it can make unpleasant droning noises under a heavy foot. While the revised 3.0-liter V6 is down on power compared to its rivals, it's plenty capable for most shoppers in this segment. Should you find the 3.0-liter unit lacking, the 3.5-liter V6 is a good match for competing V6s and doesn't suffer a significant fuel economy penalty compared to the smaller 3.0-liter V6.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Great job ford!

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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I traded my 2002 Lincoln LS V8 with 189k on the clock, and I must say I've always been a Ford fan. I love my 2012 Ford Fusion SEL. Bought the car used with 49k now 54k on it. I needed something a little more fuel efficient and that's what I got. The car achieves 22+ mpg city and 29+ mpg highway. I average about 24-26 mpg in mixed driving. The car is absolutely comfortable, and is very quiet. I like to drive my family and friends around, and they've all complimented how great the car is. My favorite feature is the SYNC system. Honestly, everyone who has had issues with it need to check themselves. It's a pretty easy system to use. The 2.5L I4 has very good power, all in all a great car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

My priority with this latest vehicle purchase was comfort. I've always driven fairly sporty cars (Ford Probe GT, SVT Focus, Lexus IS300), and this time around I wanted a quiet vehicle that wasn't a complete slug. I'd rented a Fusion in FL last year and was favorably impressed. So when a typical idiot MI driver rear-ended and totaled the Lexus a few weeks ago, I looked into a used 2012 Fusion and got everything except Nav & AWD, neither of which I need. It's comfortable, quiet and the V6 has plenty of power. I was even surprised by the fuel economy: 26+ city, 33+ why. Now if I want to go tear about the countryside, I jump in the Miata.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

What a disappointment

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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

I recently purchased a CPO 2012 Ford Fusion SEL with the 3.0L V6 FWD and the piece of crap gets 14 to 14.5 mpg in the city. I've taken it to two dealerships and they've told me that I need to drive it like grandma in order to get better mileage. Believe me I am NOT driving aggressively - I wouldn't be able to afford it! I'm taking off from a light so slowly that people behind me are getting angry with me. The EPA estimates for this car (FWD) are 20 City and 27 Hwy with 23 combined. One dealership ran a computerized mpg test and got 20.5 mpg combined Hwy and City driving. So by Ford's own admission, even when you drive the car like grandma, you don't get the EPA estimated averages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Unacceptable sounds

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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I am getting very tired of the high pitched whistling sound that I have been told is from the fuel pump. I have complained about this but the dealership says its normal for a fusion. Additionally, at 1500 rpms, it makes what I would describe as the sound of a small motor boat. This sound is most notable while turning the car or on non-level ground. The dealership and my husband both say, this is normal. Also, there have been issues with the gas cap housing and filler pipe that have had to be fixed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Nice american sedan

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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The overseas market is going to lose its edge if the American car manufacturers keep building models like these. I trade a bad Japanese model for this one and made my life much better. The Fusion has power, great handling, comfort, and a great sound system. Very pleasing to drive all around car. The only downside is the ridiculous headrest system which does not work well and failed and the passenger side. I would see replacing these headrests over time if frequent adjustment is required.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great comfortable car

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Vehicle: 2012 Ford Fusion SEL 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

My wife wanted a car with a sunroof. We found this car used with 3000 miles a few months ago. Heated leather seats, Sony sound system, sunroof and appearance package. What a great, comfortable car and fun to drive. We have the 3.0 V6 but it is not AWD and that option is not shown on the list. We love the car and the mileage. we typically get 22 around town, but have been up to 30 to 31 on the highway. not bad for a V6

Talk About The 2012 Fusion

Read more about the 2012 Ford Fusion

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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