Ford Fusion

FRONT 3/4 VIEW

1. Roof profile is really coupelike, but Ford has achieved the look without loss of vital headroom, unlike some of the stylish European luxury makers.

2. Glass roof panel is an agreeable option that costs a little headroom, but there is still plenty because the front part of the headliner is above minimum specifications.

3. This hard line, derived from the base of the A-pillar, diverges toward the upper corner of the grille, adding a bit of perceived length to the nose without excessive overhang.

4. Slightly raised center portion of the hood is useful to the driver, although the edges of the car are not visible.

5. Having the upper nose panel integral with the complete forward fascia makes restyling easy, but repairs will be extremely expensive for an owner.

6. It's hard to put a finger on it, but to many observers, the Fusion grille evokes Aston Martin, even without the outer wings. J Mays insists that he doesn't see it and is puzzled by the many who said so in Detroit. Doesn't matter; it looks really good.

7. By breaking the lower portion of the frontal air intake into two sections, slightly dissociated from the upper grille, stylists have added interest and avoided the excessive size embraced by Audi.

8. This lower slot somehow makes one think of racing cars, fighter jets, and other high-performance machines. And it allows development of interesting lower surfaces.

9. Elliptical surround for the lower lamps is so obvious a solution that it is downright disappointing. Something angular, like the surrounding hole and the headlamp cluster, would have been better.

10. Headlamp cluster is agreeably slim. Mays has been vociferous in condemning "big headlamp blobs that aren't needed anymore." He walked his talk here, to good effect. 11. There's a lot of fakery in the look of the car. The painted portion of the A-pillar is slim, the actual daylight opening is much smaller than the covering glass. Look at the hugely obtruding pillar opposite for confirmation.

REAR 3/4 VIEW

12. Check the really tiny transparency in the apparently large rear quarter window as more proof of the fakery. At least we know the top is superstrong with its massive supports.

13. The roof profile peaks over the front occupants' heads, allowing the swooping, sporty, near-fastback roof.

14. After a mixture of clashing lines on some recent Fords, this strong linear crease through the door handles is a welcome lengthening element.

15. The rising line of the stiffening crease helps the visual stance of the car, which is really remarkably sporty for a mainstream family sedan. The simplicity of the body side is modified by two strong creases, the whole unblemished by extraneous trim.

16. Not only are the exhaust outlets elegantly shaped, the whole lower rear section is enveloped in a surrounding elliptically ended frame. Very nice indeed.

17. This cliche skirt, on the other hand, is too common and finally boring.

INTERIOR VIEW

18. Seats are slimmer and better-shaped than we are used to seeing in mainstream sedans, and they are very comfortable.

19. Bright exterior color on the mirror fairing points out the devastatingly dull gray of the total interior. It's high time for some interior decorating and fantasy, as in the Fiat 500.

20. Steering wheel is unremarkable except for the multitude of at-hand controls. Ford is good at ergonomics and convenience for the driver.

21. Center stack is clean, but it's a cascade of grayness. The handgrips at the lower corners are excellent.

22. The entire passenger side of the dashboard is featureless and boring, more like an old truck than a new car.

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David Conroy
see what I mean about editing?..they gave me 5 minutes to fix things,and I don't work quite that fast
David Conroy
I agree with everything that Cumberford said,except for the elephant in the room that he left out of his critique: the deal breaker for me are those hideous tail lights,an error greatly compounded by making the shape of the deck conform to the ugliness of the tail lights.These tail lights are not only bug-eyed and too rounded vertically (like was the dull norm in the '90s),but talk about "fakery",the whole second half of the tail lights pasted onto the trunk are only cosmetic,non functional. I've seen many of the new generation Fusions on the street,and not one time,even during breaking,have I seen the tail lights fully lit...Look,if Ford isn't shy about stealing a little from Aston Martin,then they should steal a little from the Audi A7 to fix what IS an intolerable backside...This is a frustrating habit among all automakers,design sabotage,where they create a form that is 90% excellent,then they add one or two features that destroys their effort. Like a stupid  mustachio on the Mona Lisa -- imagine if da Vinci actually had done that.                                                                                                            What was destined to become the most popular painting in the world would have been dismissed and forgotten a long time ago.With all the money and jobs that's on the line,along with a car maker's image,everything matters,you cannot screw up anywhere...Don't car makers have design reviewers and editors like publishers and movie makers do?..There is no way that a large group of people are going to maintain objectivity all the way through a big and multi-year project like the creation of an all new car.They need fresh eyes to come in and take a look before production begins when it isn't too late to make changes.The very first time I saw the new Fusion I zeroed in on the back of the car and was sickened,not only because of what i was looking at,but knowing also that it was too late for Ford to do anything about it without costly after-the-fact retooling.I will hereby offer Ford or any car maker my services as a design crime scene investigator.Use me toward the end of the development process to help fix what is broken,and I won't touch what isn't broken.contact me at Michael.Newman29 AT aol DOT com or Harley91605 AT yahoo DOT com or Mike90210 AT roadrunner DOT comI will sign whatever proprietary agreement you want. I won't share your secrets with anyone. I will take your bad ideas to the grave,I swear.

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