2017 Ford Fusion Review
Pros & Cons
- Great mix of sharp handling and composed ride
- Turbo engines provide punchier acceleration compared to most competitors
- Quiet and elegantly designed interior with high-quality materials
- Available all-wheel drive
- Base tech interface far more frustrating to use than rival systems
- Real-world fuel economy may disappoint
Edmunds' Expert Review
When the current Ford Fusion came out five years ago, it was considerably better than the car it replaced and became an immediate hit. The handsome Aston Martin-esque grille, attractive interior and multiple engine choices ensured there was something for everybody. Now in 2017, this appeal hasn't waned, yet key updates this year assure that the current-generation Fusion remains fresh, desirable and a step beyond most rivals.
Chief among the updates for the 2017 Ford Fusion is the new Sync 3 infotainment system, which replaces the generally unloved MyFord Touch interface. Sync 3 is quicker and easier to use thanks to its large, smartphone-style menus and virtual buttons. It's not as colorful or as visually interesting as before, but it works much better.
All 2017 Fusions feature a tasteful styling refresh, push-button ignition and a rotary shifter that frees up space for more useful cupholders and bins. There are also some new options such as LED headlights and an enhanced automated parking system that can now perform parallel and perpendicular parking. A luxurious new Platinum trim includes nearly every option available and is slathered in top-shelf leather to create an environment that's ritzier than those of several entry-level luxury cars.
If you're interested in old-school horsepower, Ford has you covered with the new Fusion V6 Sport trim. It boasts a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 capable of cranking out 325 horsepower and an eye-popping 380 pound-feet of torque. If those specs sound familiar, that's because the engine's similar to the one found in the Ford F-150 — yes, a full-size truck engine in a midsize family sedan. For outright power, no other midsize family sedan can come close to the V6 Sport.
That's not the case with the rest of the Fusion lineup, though, which must contend with many capable other family sedans. We also highly recommend the Honda Accord, which is as much of a well-rounded and sensible choice as there is. Should you appreciate the Fusion's emphasis on style and driver engagement, the all-new Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda 6 are also worth a look as they go by similar playbooks. There are certainly other sedans as well, but the 2017 Ford Fusion's ability to be both sensible and aspirational makes for a wonderfully well-rounded and cool family hauler that's quite frankly tough to beat.
The 2017 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 cellphone. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for secondary drivers such as teens or valets.
Optional equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a drowsy driver warning system, a combined lane-departure warning and intervention system, a frontal collision warning system with brake priming, and inflatable rear seat belts.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Fusion Titanium stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this class of car.
The government awarded the Fusion five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fusion the highest possible rating of Good in its moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact and roof strength crash tests. In the small-overlap front-impact test, the Fusion earned a second-best rating of Acceptable. Its head restraints and seat belts earned a Good rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
2017 Ford Fusion models
The Fusion S comes standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, full power accessories, a rearview camera, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, audio and phone voice commands (Sync), Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone app integration and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
Moving up to the Fusion SE gets you 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, exterior keypad entry, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a six-way power passenger seat, rear heat ducts, a rear center fold-down armrest and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
Optional for the S and SE is the Appearance package, which features 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and special cloth upholstery. The SE is also available with the Luxury package (Equipment Group 202A), which adds the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, LED headlights and foglights, keyless ignition and entry, remote ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and driver-side mirror, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings and heated front seats.
Opting for the SE's Technology package equips the Fusion with rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 11-speaker sound system, the Sync 3 technology interface (with an 8-inch central LCD touchscreen and two configurable gauge cluster displays), enhanced voice controls and an additional USB port.
The Fusion Titanium comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, 18-inch wheels, upgraded taillights, a rear spoiler, ambient interior lighting, sport front seats, eight-way power adjustment for the passenger seat, 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 parking system for parallel and perpendicular parking, and adaptive cruise control with frontal collision warning and stop-and-go traffic capability. For the SE and Titanium, Ford additionally offers the Driver Assist package, which includes automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, a 110-volt power outlet, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist system. A sunroof is optional for both the SE and Titanium, and the Titanium can be had with 19-inch wheels and ventilated front seats.
The luxe Platinum trim includes all of the above features in addition to a unique grille insert, upgraded leather trim and a power-adjustable steering wheel.
The range-topping V6 Sport (late availability) starts with features from the SE with the Luxury package and adds a turbocharged V6 engine, all-wheel drive, a different grille, 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, adjustable suspension dampers, leather and simulated suede upholstery, and a nine-speaker audio system.
The V6 Sport Upgrade package (Equipment Group 401A) includes the features from the Titanium trim. It is also available with the Driver Assist package and the stand-alone options listed above.
The Fusion S and SE come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 175 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 25 mpg combined (21 city/32 highway), which is average for this class.
For the SE, there are two additional engine options. The first is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 181 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic and includes paddle shifters and automatic engine stop-start to help save fuel at stoplights. Fuel economy stands at 27 mpg combined (23 city/34 highway).
Also available on the SE (and standard on the Titanium and Platinum) is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. Front-wheel-drive versions earn 25 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway), while AWD brings the rating down slightly to 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway). In Edmunds performance testing, a Fusion Titanium with this engine and AWD accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, a little slower than average for a midsize sedan with an upgraded engine.
Unique to the V6 Sport is a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine that develops 325 hp and a whopping 380 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive and the six-speed transmission are standard. Expect 20 mpg combined, assuming you drive with restraint.
Much like the interior, the 2017 Ford Fusion's driving experience is a convincing impression of an entry-level luxury car. There's a comfortable and assuring tautness to the way every Fusion rides, demonstrating a sophistication that betters its family sedan rivals. Its handling is also stable and controlled, and the accurate steering provides reassuring confidence to the driver. Whether puttering around town, hauling down the highway or losing yourself on a meandering back road, the Fusion shows impressive capability and poise.
Those impressions apply to every Fusion, but from there, things get a bit more complicated given the unmatched variety of available engines.
Although it's fully competitive on paper with similarly sized engines from Honda and Toyota, the Fusion's base 2.5-liter engine isn't very inspiring. Perhaps it's because the optional turbocharged engines are markedly more entertaining. In spite of its small size, the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is smooth and eager and provides an appealing blend of fuel efficiency and performance. It's the engine we'd recommend to most shoppers.
That said, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four noticeably ups the performance aspect and pairs well with the Fusion's optional all-wheel-drive system. We haven't tested the V6 Sport yet, but with that much power, all-wheel drive and the Fusion's already impressive dynamic abilities, we expect an exceptionally capable sedan.
Cabin design and execution of the 2017 Ford Fusion echoes that of its exterior. There's a cool and polished style to the seats and dash, a tone set largely by the high-quality, class-leading finishes and the sleek look created by the optional Sync 3 touchscreen system and its consequent button reduction. Really, the Fusion's basic cabin is so nice that when slathered in rich leather, the Platinum trim level does an honest-to-goodness impression of a luxury car. Those considering paying extra for an Acura, Infiniti or, yes, a Lincoln may want to consider the Fusion Platinum.
We highly recommend opting for the Sync 3 system (available on SE models with the Technology package and above) since the basic infotainment controls are a bit clunky compared to rival systems. Sync 3, on the other hand, is one of the better tech interfaces out there and is considerably better than the MyFord Touch interface it replaces. It's more responsive to inputs, and its large virtual buttons are easy to press when on the move. The optional navigation system offers pinch-to-zoom and swiping motions, effectively mimicking a smartphone interface.
The supportive driver's seat offers one of the best adjustment ranges in the segment along with good sight lines out the front and sides of the car. It's harder to see through the sloping rear window, so it's helpful that a rearview camera comes standard. The roof's rearward slope also cuts into rear headroom, though not so much as to make most rear passengers uncomfortable. The front seats also are mounted high enough off the floor that those in the rear can at least partially fit their feet under the front seats. Trunk space, at 16 cubic feet, is about average for the midsize sedan segment.