2018 Ford Fusion

2018 Ford Fusion Review

Great on-road manners and a sleek look make the Fusion a standout among midsize sedans.
7.9 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 Ford Fusion hasn't changed dramatically in the last few years, and that's a good thing. The Fusion is in a highly competitive class of midsize sedans, but it continues to impress us with its comfortable interior, user-friendly tech and great driving dynamics.

The 2018 Fusion would also be lost in this class if it weren't for its high-quality interior and abundant available safety equipment. Available items such as adaptive cruise control, an automated parking system and forward collision mitigation should definitely appeal to the safety-conscious, while Sync 3's excellent controls should satisfy the tech crowd.

The Fusion has a few flaws, but most of them are related to base versions of the car and they can be dealt with via a few upgrades. For instance, the base 2.5-liter engine doesn't have much power, but three available options offer improved performance. So while the 2018 Ford Fusion may look relatively similar on the outside to Fusions from years past, the rest of this midsize sedan has been continually updated to assure that it remains a top competitor in the class.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Ford Fusion as one of Edmunds' Best AWD Sedans, Best Midsize Sedans and the 2018 Ford Fusion Sport as one of the Best Sport Sedans for this year.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Ford Fusion carries over unchanged.

We recommend

The 2018 Ford Fusion offers a wide range of trim levels and features, but we think the Fusion SE with one of the optional engine upgrades is a good start for most buyers. The optional 1.5-liter engine offers a slight increase in power over the standard 2.5-liter engine along with improved mileage. For even more punch, there's the optional 2.0-liter engine, which can also be paired with all-wheel drive. One additional option worth considering is the Technology package with Sync 3. It gives you Ford's latest, most user-friendly technology interface that includes numerous useful features.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Fusion is a four-door, five-passenger midsize sedan available in five trim levels: S, SE, Titanium, Platinum and V6 Sport. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid (known as the Fusion Energi) are reviewed separately. The base trim levels (S and SE) of the Fusion have a good amount of standard equipment including features such as Bluetooth connectivity, power front seats and satellite radio. On upper trim levels, there's a long list of available comfort and convenience features such as ventilated seats, adaptive cruise control and premium sound systems.

The base Fusion S comes standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (175 hp, 175 lb-ft), front-wheel drive, a six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, a rearview camera, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, 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 4.2-inch center screen, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

For a few more creature comforts, the Fusion SE adds 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, exterior keypad entry, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), 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 (181 hp, 185 lb-ft) with automatic engine stop-start to help save fuel, 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 charging port.

The Fusion Titanium gets all of the SE's optional features, plus it comes standard with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (240 hp, 270 lb-ft), 18-inch wheels, LED 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 and HD radio.

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 borderline luxury-level Platinum trim includes all of the above features in addition to a unique grille insert, upgraded leather trim and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

If you're looking for a sporty version of the Fusion that still has some top-end features, the V6 Sport starts with features from the SE with the Luxury package and adds a turbocharged V6 engine (325 hp, 380 lb-ft), 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) is about as high up as you can go in a Fusion, and it includes most of the features from the Titanium trim. It is also available with the Driver Assist package and the stand-alone options listed above.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2017 Ford Fusion SE EcoBoost (turbo 1.5L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.9 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration6.0 / 10
Braking8.5 / 10
Steering6.0 / 10
Handling8.0 / 10
Drivability7.5 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

8.0 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Driving position8.5 / 10
Roominess8.5 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality7.0 / 10

Utility

8.5 / 10

Small-item storage8.5 / 10
Cargo space9.0 / 10

Technology

8.5 / 10

Audio & navigation7.5 / 10
Smartphone integration9.0 / 10
Voice control9.0 / 10

Driving7.5

The Fusion isn't as dynamically impressive as it once was, but it's still a likable car that puts up some solid numbers in braking and handling. Not many cars in this segment are focused on driving enjoyment, but the Fusion remains entertaining despite lackluster acceleration.

Acceleration6.0

The optional 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine gets the Fusion moving at a decent clip, but it's far from quick. In Edmunds performance testing, the 1.5L Fusion went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, which is slower than average for the segment.

Braking8.5

The brakes on the Fusion inspire confidence, they're easy to modulate in traffic, and performance at the track was very consistent. In a simulated-panic stop from 60 mph, the Fusion (on all-season tires) needed only 116 feet, which is very good for the class.

Steering6.0

The Fusion's steering is nicely weighted, and it returns to center willingly. Though low-speed parking is a breeze, there's almost no feeling of connection to the road through the steering during spirited driving.

Handling8.0

Despite the steering's lack of driver-to-road connection, the Fusion handles and maneuvers quite well. The chassis feels solid, the suspension minimizes body roll, and it isn't upset if it encounters a bump midcorner, so curvy mountain roads pose little drama.

Drivability7.5

The Fusion comes up short in some performance areas, but overall it's an enjoyable car to drive. In the city it's easy to maneuver, and it has excellent brake responsiveness. The standard six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly but leisurely.

Comfort8.0

Though the Fusion has some minor issues with comfort, they're relatively easy to forgive. The ride is generally smooth on the highway, road noise is kept to a minimum, and the front seats are a particularly nice place to sit, even for hours at a time.

Seat comfort8.0

The standard cloth seats are nicely padded and offer a great balance of support and comfort that lasts for hours. But we found it harder to be comfortable in the optional leather seats, which feel taut and stiffer. Nice adjustable front headrests; outboard rear seats are set at a pleasant angle.

Ride comfort8.0

The Fusion feels planted in most scenarios, and it isn't upset by most small imperfections in the road. Out on the highway, the ride can feel a bit floaty without passengers or cargo, but it's not bouncy or uncontrolled.

Noise & vibration8.0

The 1.5-liter engine rumbles a little under full acceleration, but otherwise the cabin is relatively quiet, especially on the highway. A minor amount of wind and road noise makes its way into the cabin.

Climate control7.5

Automatic climate control isn't standard, but it did come on our midlevel SE test car. The system performed adequately in hot weather, but the climate control buttons are small and laid out in a somewhat unconventional way. It takes some time to learn the system.

Interior8.0

Almost everyone should find the Fusion's interior pleasant and accommodating. It's easy to get in and out of, the driving position is nicely adjustable, and the cabin offers a good amount of space. Tall passengers might take issue with the sloping rear roofline when getting into the backseat.

Ease of use7.5

The cabin features a rotary transmission shifter that takes some getting used to. But most cabin controls are nicely grouped and easy to operate at a glance, though a few of the buttons are on the small side. Steering wheel buttons make it easy to sort through the comprehensive dashboard screen.

Getting in/getting out8.0

Most occupants will find it easy to climb in and out of the Fusion thanks to wide-opening doors, generous door openings and seats that are set at an inviting height. The only exception is the sloping rear roofline, which might prompt those over 6 feet tall to duck as they slide into the backseat.

Driving position8.5

Driving posture is comfortable and readily adjustable. Tilt-and-telescoping wheel has a generous adjustment range. Cloth and leather seats both offer height adjustments, but tall drivers should know that the 10-way power mechanism doesn't allow the leather seats to go as far down as the cloth ones.

Roominess8.5

The Fusion feels spacious, and its front and rear seats provide above-average levels of head-, leg- and hiproom. Rear headroom is impacted somewhat by the sloping rear roofline, but only those over 6 feet tall should notice. The optional sunroof takes a bite out of headroom.

Visibility7.5

Outward visibility is good despite fairly thick windshield pillars, but the rear blind spot is larger than average due to a broad rear roof pillar and a smaller than average rear-quarter window. A rearview camera is standard, and parking sensors are optional, which is typical in this segment.

Quality7.0

No significant squeaks or rattles, but several panels on the inside and exterior were slightly misaligned on our test car. The quality of materials is acceptable for the price, but the higher trim levels help the Fusion feel less like a rental.

Utility8.5

A large trunk and plenty of cabin storage for small items make the Fusion good for storing lots of your stuff on a daily basis or for family road trips.

Small-item storage8.5

Storage spaces include a large bin under the front armrest and a spacious tray under the center console. Both front and rear center armrests have two cupholders, and there's one in each of the wide door pockets. None will hold anything larger than an average-size water bottle or a coffee cup.

Cargo space9.0

A wide trunk opening with a low liftover height and standard 60/40-split folding rear seats give you easy access to the Fusion's very large trunk. With 16 cubic feet of volume in the trunk alone, the Fusion has more cargo space than the Accord, Camry, Malibu and Mazda 6.

Technology8.5

With the new Sync 3 infotainment system and the advent of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Ford Fusion is one of the more approachable and tech-friendly vehicles on the market. It's easy to connect devices, execute voice commands or navigate to a destination without a steep learning curve.

Audio & navigation7.5

Sync 3 and its onboard navigation are much better than the old MyFord Touch system. Like a smartphone, Sync 3 has big virtual buttons and the ability to swipe through menus. Satellite radio signal was often dropped, though, likely due to a weak antenna, and high-volume audio quality isn't very good.

Smartphone integration9.0

All Fusions with Sync 3 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and a second USB port. If you don't utilize these systems, you can still pair your phone via Bluetooth, which is a nice option to have.

Voice control9.0

As always, Ford's voice controls, now via Sync 3, are excellent. Natural language and simple commands do wonders to play music, change radio stations, input navigation destinations or place calls. And you have the option to hold the voice button longer to access Siri on your paired smartphone.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.