Full 2014 Ford Fusion Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Ford Fusion sees a number of minor changes. Chief among them are a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine option and some newly available features, including inflatable rear seatbelts, a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats.
When it was redesigned last year, the Ford Fusion was an instant hit with midsize sedan shoppers thanks to its handsome styling, accommodating cabin and engaging handling. We expect more of the same with the 2014 Ford Fusion, which picks up a new engine along with a few additional luxury and safety features.
There's a variety of powertrains available for the Fusion. Base Fusions are powered by a naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while a trio of turbocharged engines is available. New this year is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that joins the previously available 1.6-liter turbo-4. These two are the fuel economy champs of the 2014 Fusion lineup. In lieu of a V6 option, the Fusion also offers a muscular 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that earns a solid 26 mpg rating for combined city/highway driving. This engine is also available with all-wheel drive, making the Ford Fusion one of the few midsize sedans to offer this traction-enhancing feature.
Another Fusion strength is cutting-edge convenience and safety technology. Highlights include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, the Sync voice command system and even automated parking assist, which automatically steers the car into a parallel parking spot. There's also the latest generation of MyFord Touch, which utilizes a customizable touchscreen display to control many of the Fusion's electronics features. It's a cool feature in theory, but we've found MyFord Touch finicky and distracting to use.
That's really our only major complaint about the Fusion, though. Overall, the Ford's combination of classy styling, competitive fuel economy and useful features puts it right near the top of the midsize-sedan class for 2014. You'll see some familiar names here, including the Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat. Each of these cars has certain advantages, but shoppers looking for a family sedan that provides an engaging driving experience, high-end technology options and head-turning looks will be well served by the 2014 Ford Fusion.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 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 a USB port/iPod interface.
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 and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
The SE is also eligible for additional optional equipment. The Appearance package adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and special cloth upholstery. The Luxury package adds auto-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver memory settings and a four-way power front passenger seat.
Opting for the SE's 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. Keyless ignition/entry and rear parking sensors are also optional for the SE.
The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, remote start, sport front seats, a premium 12-speaker Sony sound system, HD radio and all of the SE's optional features mentioned above.
The Fusion SE (with the Technology package selected) and Titanium can also be equipped with a navigation system, an automated parallel-parking system, a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake intervention. For the SE and Titanium, Ford additionally 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. A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium, and the Titanium can be had with 19-inch wheels and ventilated front seats.
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, there are three engine options. There's a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 178 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission only. Considering that, we expect the more popular option to be the new turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which comes matched to a six-speed automatic. Power output is an estimated 178 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque.
Those looking for maximum thrust should consider the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It also comes only with the six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters). 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 prior Edmunds track testing, a 2013 Ford Fusion with the 1.6-liter and automatic transmission (a combination no longer available) went from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, which is average for four-cylinder family sedans. This year's 1.5-liter engine and auto should be pretty much identical. A Fusion Titanium with the turbo 2.0-liter and all-wheel drive accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is on par with V6-equipped AWD sedans in this price range.
Official EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the 2.5-liter engine, which is average for this class. Both the 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines feature automatic engine stop-start functionality (like a hybrid) to optimize fuel economy. The 1.6 earns 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway), while the 1.5 is just slightly less at 28 mpg combined (23/36).
Front-wheel-drive 2.0-liter-equipped Fusions earn 26 mpg combined (22/33), while the AWD Titanium rates 25 combined (22/31).
The 2014 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, collision warning (with brake intervention) and inflatable rear seatbelts.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Fusion Titanium stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this class of car.
The government gave the Fusion five out of five stars for overall crash protection, along with five stars for frontal protection and four stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fusion the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength crash tests. In the institute's new small-overlap frontal-offset test, the Fusion earned a second-best rating of "Acceptable."
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the 2014 Ford Fusion, tasteful style and high-quality materials abound. The dashboard and center stack are uncluttered and tastefully designed, although this down-to-business decor can also come across as 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. The Fusion's swoopy styling cuts down on rear headroom a bit, but it's still comparable to its competition, with enough clearance for normal-size adults.
Less appealing are both of the Fusion's center stack control arrangements. The control layout in lower-level Fusions can be confusing given the array of similar-looking (and poorly labeled) buttons. The optional MyFord Touch system has a much cleaner look, but this system has its own problems. The 8-inch main display controls various audio, phone and navigation functions via voice (Ford's Sync), touch controls or buttons on the steering wheel. It's a smart idea in theory, and it provides some nice customization and smartphone integration possibilities. Unfortunately, there's a learning curve for the user, and we've found the system prone to glitches and slow to respond. In addition, many of the touchscreen icons 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.
It's impossible to go wrong with any of the 2014 Ford Fusion's engine choices. Even the base 2.5-liter engine offers competitive power, while the optional turbocharged engines provide an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and performance. The 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines are likely the best bets for most buyers, and they make the Fusion feel quicker than our acceleration testing numbers indicate.
On the highway, the 2014 Ford Fusion offers a comfortable and controlled ride. It's also remarkably quiet. What's really nice, however, is that these qualities don't come at the expense of engaging handling. Driven through turns, the Fusion is confident and composed, and the steering is remarkably communicative.