Full 2013 Ford Fusion Review
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Ford Fusion is fully redesigned. Highlights include more dramatic styling, improved fuel economy and the addition of the MyFord Touch electronics interface.
The 2013 Ford Fusion first entices with its handsome styling. A bold grille, curvaceous sheet metal and a slightly longer and wider body give the new Fusion a sportier and more upscale look than its predecessor. Underneath, the Fusion is based on a new "world-car" platform from Ford that offers more structural rigidity for both enhanced safety and improved driving dynamics. And while the Fusion's exterior dimensions grow only slightly, the interior expands noticeably to better accommodate passengers.
Under the hood you'll find a choice of three engines. To keep the buy-in price low, the entry-level example of the Fusion carries the familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder from last year's Fusion. One step up is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that's rated at 36 mpg highway with the automatic transmission, which is quite impressive. But you'll also have to pay extra for this engine, so you'll want to crunch the numbers to see if it's worth it to you.
For maximum performance, Ford has replaced the Fusion's previous V6 engine with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 240 horsepower. The new turbo 2.0-liter is strong and returns an impressive 33 mpg on the highway. This engine is also available with all-wheel drive, making the Fusion one of the few midsize sedans to offer this traction-enhancing feature.
Technology is at the forefront of the 2013 Ford Fusion's redesign. Notable Fusion features include adaptive cruise control, automated parking assist, blind-spot detection, the Sync voice command system and the latest generation of MyFord Touch. The latter is a new addition to the Fusion and utilizes a customizable touchscreen display to control many of the Fusion's electronic features. It's a cool feature in theory, but we've found MyFord Touch to be finicky to use, although it has been improved in this newest iteration.
Overall, the Fusion's newfound combination of good looks, competitive fuel economy and features have placed it right in the mix of the top midsize sedans for 2013. You'll see some familiar names here, including the 2013 Honda Accord and 2013 Nissan Altima (both are also redesigned this year) plus the 2013 Kia Optima, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat. Each of these cars has certain advantages, but shoppers looking for a family sedan that provides a sharp driving experience, luxury car options and head-turning looks will make an excellent choice in the 2013 Ford Fusion.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Ford Fusion is a four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan available in three trim levels: S, SE and Titanium.
The Fusion S comes standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, an integrated blind spot mirror, keyless entry, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, the voice-activated Sync audio and cell phone interface, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and iPod integration.
Moving up to the Fusion SE gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, exterior keypad entry, heated mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), rear air ducts, a rear fold-down armrest, an enhanced audio interface and satellite radio.
The SE is also eligible for additional optional equipment. The Appearance package (Equipment Group 204A) adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and special cloth upholstery. The Luxury package (Equipment Group 205A) adds leather upholstery, heated power front seats (10-way driver, four-way passenger), seat memory settings and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Opting for the Technology package equips the Fusion with dual-zone automatic climate control, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (with 8-inch central LCD touchscreen and two 4-inch configurable gauge cluster displays), an upgraded version of Sync, two USB ports, an SD card reader, RCA video input jacks and a rearview camera.
The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition/entry, auto-dimming side mirrors, rear parking sensors, sport front seats, a premium 12-speaker Sony sound system, HD radio and the contents of the SE's Luxury and Technology packages.
For the SE and Titanium, Ford offers the Luxury Driver Assist package, which includes automatic high-beam control, a 110-volt power outlet, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning and lane assist. Remote ignition is standard on the Titanium and optional on the SE.
A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium. The rear parking sensors are optional for the SE, while the Titanium can be had with 19-inch wheels. With the Technology package selected, the Fusion SE and Titanium can also be ordered with a navigation system, an automated parallel parking system and adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake intervention.
Powertrains and Performance
The Fusion S and SE come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 175 hp and 175 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
For the SE, Ford also offers two additional engine options. The first is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The second engine available is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder generating 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic is again standard, though the 1.6-liter can also be had with a six-speed manual transmission. The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and automatic. All-wheel drive is optional for the Titanium as well.
In Edmunds track testing, a 2013 Ford Fusion 1.6T went from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is average for four-cylinder family sedans. The Titanium with its turbo 2.0-liter and all-wheel drive accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is also an average time for a sedan with a V6-equivalent engine and AWD.
Official EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 22 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined with the 2.5-liter engine. The 1.6-liter engine, which offers automatic engine stop-start functionality (like a hybrid), earns 23/36/28 mpg. Opting for the manual transmission improves fuel economy to 25/37/29. The front-wheel-drive 2.0-liter-equipped Fusions earn 22/33/26, while the AWD Titanium will lower by 1 mpg both highway and combined ratings.
The 2013 Ford Fusion comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags. The Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers. Optional equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver drowsiness detection and lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and collision warning with brake intervention.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Fusion Titanium stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this class of car.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fusion the highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side and roof strength crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the cabin, a stylish interior with high-quality materials shows Ford's continuing dedication to improving the passenger environment. The dashboard and center stack are uncluttered and tastefully designed, although this look can also come across as a bit stark and uninviting, especially with the all-black interior.
With the highly adjustable power driver seat, just about everybody should be able to find a comfortable driving position. The passenger seat is just as supportive, while the split-folding rear seats are well contoured and have plenty of legroom. One might think that the Fusion's swoopy styling would cut down on rear headroom, but headroom is comparable to its competition, with enough clearance for normal-size adults. Even outward visibility to the front has been improved thanks to the new Fusion's relatively slender front roof pillars.
The MyFord Touch system is new to the Fusion this year. As is the case on other Fords, this interface consists of a main display, supporting gauge cluster displays and the ability to input commands for various audio, phone and navigation functions via voice (Sync), touch controls or buttons on the steering wheel. It's a smart idea in theory, and it does provide some nice customization possibilities. Unfortunately, there's a learning curve involved for the user, and even with Ford's recent updates, we've found the system is prone to glitches, somewhat slow to respond and has icons that are difficult to locate and press while on the move.
Trunk space stands at 16 cubic feet, which is slightly above average for this class.
Within the crowded segment of domestic midsize sedans, we had always complimented the Fusion for the most European-flavored driving experience. The 2013 Ford Fusion raises the bar even higher, combining a comfortable and controlled ride with engaging handling.
Electric-assist power steering now comes standard on all Fusion models. While we've typically found these systems notably lacking in feel, the Fusion's example proves remarkably communicative, and it's one of the better versions of this new industry-wide trend. This sedan is confident and composed when cornering, and very much at the top of its class. The Fusion is also remarkably quiet on the highway.
It's impossible to go wrong with any of the Fusion's three engine choices (not to mention the hybrid models). Even the base engine presents competitive power, while the two turbocharged engines both provide an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and ample torque. The 1.6-liter is the best bet for most buyers and feels quicker than our acceleration testing numbers would indicate.