2010 Ford Fusion

Four Cylinder Fun?

Thanks to both significant revisions and a new transmission range, a four-cylinder Fusion should be much more fun.

Starting with the same Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter I-4 found in the Escape Hybrid, engineers added a new head, intake manifold, and cam lobe. That last piece plays well with the new variable cam timing system, which is quicker to engage than previous systems

All in all, the revised motor now produces 175 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, increases of 14 hp and 16 lb-ft, respectively. Fuel economy is further improved by adding electric power steering, adaptive spark ignition, and a new fuel cut-off system, which activates upon deceleration.

It may be frugal, but we think the new power may be fun to play with, especially if you enjoy driving a manual transmission. The 2010 Fusion is part of Ford's mandate to install six-speed transmissions in everything by 2015, and as such, the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic are replaced by six-speed manual and automatic transaxles. We've enjoyed previous examples of the I-4 Fusion when equipped with a manual, but with a 0-60 mph time of 9.5 seconds, the automatic model isn't a complete slouch.

V-6 Reigns Supreme

When it comes to configurations and power, there's still no trumping the V-6 Fusion. These models are available with either front- or all-wheel-drive, and are equipped with Ford's SelectShift manu-matic transmission controls for the six-speed automatic.

The 3.0-liter V-6 may seem familiar to Fusion owners, but it's been completely redesigned from the cylinder heads on up. Now equipped with variable cam timing and E85 capability, it's also throwing down 240 hp - nearly 20 hp more than before. Lest you think the power eats into fuel economy, Ford says it will return 2 mpg better than the current engine.

If that isn't enough power to whet your appetite, you'll want to spluge for the Fusion Sport model, which receives the same Duratec 3.5-liter V-6 found in the larger Taurus sedan and Flex crossover. Though it seems sluggish in heavier vehicles, its 263 hp should move the Fusion Sport from 0-60 mph in seven seconds.

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