Ford Fusion - A Reliable Sedan for 2019 and 2020
Ford first introduced the Fusion sedan for the 2006 model year. It's been a remarkably stable model from that time: just two major generations have been presented to the American car-buying public.
At its introduction, the Fusion became the first vehicle to showcase the bold three bar grille which Ford had dubbed its "new face". The second generation, which became available for the 2013 model year, came with a much different appearance, the grille in particular prompting comparisons to Aston Martin.
First Generation Ford Fusion - 2006 to 2012
Gas, Hybrid, AWD, and More
The first Ford Fusions offered various trim levels, starting with the basic S and progressing all the way up to SEL. The SEL trim was later replaced by the much more marketable Titanium trim level.
The first models offered a very serviceable 2.3L four cylinder engine as well as a more potent 3.0L V6 option. The car outgrew the capability of the initial inline four, and it was soon replaced with an upgraded 2.5L engine. The short-lived Sport edition added another option with a 3.5L V6 engine.
The 2010 year introduced the first hybrid version, promising a very respectable 41 mpg in city driving. Later models added plug-in charging to the hybrid.
All Wheel Drive (AWD)
The Fusion has always been available primarily as a front wheel drive (FWD) car, but in 2007 the Fusion made all wheel drive (AWD) an option on some V6 models.
Second Generation Ford Fusion - 2013 to present
Ford Fusion Second Generation - a Major Face Lift
In 2013 Ford gave the popular midsize sedan a dramatic face lift. Drawing comparisons to Aston Martin for the front grille, it breathed new life into the platform with a host of new features on offer to complement the new look.
The engine offerings continued to evolve throughout the next several years, but with only minor changes to size and power.
Ford Fusion - a Popular and Reliable Vehicle
The Fusion has in some ways been a quiet success for Ford. Following the impressive redesign for the second generation, the car won praise for its striking good looks and solid capability.
In automotive press comparison tests, the Fusion has held its own, frequently coming in the top three places when compared against strong competitors like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. It's been noted for its quality, reliability, and in 2010 was named the Motor Trend Car of the Year. The positive reception continued through the years, and it has been noted as a great family car.
The hybrid model has also won acclaim, being lauded by publications like cars.com, Car and Driver magazine, and the Green Car Journal.
Recalls and Other Problems
The Ford Fusion has not been entirely trouble-free. There have been a few recalls which have mostly been for engine or transmission problems. The most recent recall which has affected many Fusions is for potential airbag problems.
Beyond significant problems like these, there are some known points of failure which can be annoying but are mostly easy to fix. The interior door handle and lock mechanism, in particular, is prone to wearing out. The most common symptom is the interior handle doesn't spring back into place when released and the lock button stays unlocked.
If you have a car with this problem, a dealer will quote around $100 to $150 to fix it. But because it's so common a problem, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials telling you how to fix it yourself. The part costs less than $20 on Amazon and can be replaced in less than half an hour, even if you're not at all mechanically inclined.
Ford Fusion Interior Door Handle
I had this common problem on my 2011 Ford Fusion. After being quoted $120 by the dealer, I did some research online and watched some YouTube videos, and decided to try it myself. I'm not at all handy, but this was trivial to do. The part looks just like new, and fits all first generation Ford Fusion models. Make sure you get the correct handle for your door! This is for the driver side; if you want to replace the passenger side you need a different product.
I also bought a door panel upholstery remover after seeing it recommended by some tutorials, but ended up not needing it. The door panel is easy to pull off with your fingers or a large flat bladed screwdriver.
Ford Fusion Discontinued
When is the Ford Fusion Being Discontinued?
The first sign of the Fusion's demise was the confirmation in early 2019 that the Sport model would not continue. This was no surprise; it had never been a strong seller, and Ford announced they would look to emphasize the more affordable and popular SE, SEL, and Titanium models. But this was quickly followed by a news release that the Fusion would be entirely discontinued after the 2020 model year.
Ford's Move Away From Smaller Vehicles
The writing had been on the wall for a few years. Ford had made it clear they would essentially abandon the traditional car market, choosing to discontinue the compact Fiesta and Focus models, with only the Mustang remaining. Ford's strategy has been clear: they see the company's future as being tied to profitable SUVs and pickup trucks, with the iconic Mustang being the sole survivor of the sedan wars.
It's easy to see the plan for Ford. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks has said cutting the Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion models will save $11.5 billion.
The low profit margins combined with legal headaches over the PowerShift transmissions used in the Fiesta and Focus have made this segment a losing proposition for Ford.
The Ford Fusion is a Reliable and Capable Family Sedan
I've been very happy with my 2011 Ford Fusion SE. It's smooth, reliable, and is comfortable for up to five people. It serves well as a family sedan with reasonably good gas mileage and a comfortable ride.
If you are looking for a new or used car in this segment, make sure to take one out for a test drive.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.