2013 Ford Fusion

S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 auto trans

2013 ford fusion Reviews and News

Family Sedan Comparo Final Four Volkswagen Passat Vs Honda Accord 1
Welcome to the second round of Automobile Magazines Midsize Madness, our comparison test of the kind of car you see on American roads every day, the midsize sedan.
As we noted in our Day One introduction, we've gathered eight of the best front-wheel-drive midsize sedans with fuel-efficient engines, and our mission is to sort them out in a way that will let their whole characters be revealed. We've driven all these cars at the same time on the same roads, and we've made our notes and organized our facts and then argued about the results.
To our way of thinking, these are the best midsize sedans available in America right now. We've tried to ensure that our test cars represent a practical level of features - nicely equipped, as they say - yet don't cost too much. Given the challenges of acquiring so many test cars at the same time, they aren't priced exactly the same, but they all cost within $7800 of each other.
We've gathered here eight of these American-market midsize sedans that speak to the priorities that we have at Automobile Magazine: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Passat. Some have style, some have speed, and some have reliability, yet all have a unique, definable character. By choosing one of them as the best, we hope to not only define the current state of the American midsize sedan but also define the character that those of us who read Automobile want in a practical, everyday kind of car.
During our first round of competition yesterday, some favorites went down and some outsiders prevailed:
  • The Toyota Camry lost to the Honda Accord, as the Camry's unimpressive style made the Accord seem like a luxury car, plus the Toyota's easygoing usability didn't prove as compelling as the Honda's refinement and energy.
  • The Volkswagen Passat unexpectedly trounced the Kia Optima, as the Passat delivered an interesting combination of American practicality and European driving dynamics, while the Optima didn't entirely deliver on the sporty message sent by its styling.
  • Meanwhile, the Nissan Altima seemed like a large luxury car with its styling, passenger space, and freeway comfort, yet we preferred the even more stylish and fun-to-drive Mazda 6.
  • And finally the Hyundai Sonata, a 2011 Automobile Magazine All-Star, was knocked out in the first round by the Ford Fusion, a reminder that the choices in the midsize-sedan segment have dramatically improved in the last few years.
As the tournament continues, the competition involves less driving and a lot more arguing, as the comments below indicate. It's not just about whether these midsize sedans excel in one way or another - because they all do - but instead it's about finding the right kind of combination that meets our expectations about daily transportation. It's also clear to us that our preferences are falling into two categories, comfortable overall usability and everyday driving enjoyment.
As the tournament continues, here are the match-ups for our semifinalists:
  • Honda Accord vs. Volkswagen Passat
  • Ford Fusion vs. Mazda 6

Honda Accord vs. Volkswagen Passat

2013 Honda Accord Sport
  • Executive editor Todd Lassa: "There's a lot of road noise." West Coast editor Michael Jordan (sarcastically, as always): "No, in a Honda?"
  • "Somehow Honda has managed to counter the suck-tide of cheapness that's been dragging down the company for a decade," says Jordan.
  • Road test editor Christopher Nelson says, "For a little under $25K, you get a car that feels more expensive than it is."
  • The hard plastics don't look as cheap as they do in comparable cars, and the leatherette on the doors is extremely soft. "Honda is learning how to grain plastics," says associate editor David Zenlea. "No more elephant skin."
  • The side mirrors are a bit small and the B-pillars are a bit big, but lots of glass helps make up for it. Forward and rearward visibility is phenomenal.
  • Good cargo opening but not a lot of usable cargo space, Nelson discovers. Oh, did we mention the rear seats don't split? You'll turn your family sedan into a two-seater anytime you go to Home Depot.
  • "The steering is light but precise," says managing editor Amy Skogstrom. "There's also a bit of body roll when taking fast corners."
  • "Great powertrain, with smooth, impressive power throughout the rpm range, plus a nice sound when you reach redline," copy editor Rusty Blackwell says. "CVT works with surprising harmony."
  • "The gauge cluster looks wonderful at night," says deputy editor Joe DeMatio, "and the center stack - while admittedly a bit cluttered - is clearly marked with big, easy-to-read buttons."
  • Skogstrom: "The two, contrasting black fabrics on the cloth seats look and feel great." DeMatio: "I could live with a sofa made out of this material."

2013 Volkswagen Passat SE
  • Jordan says. "When I got in this car, I found myself asking it to take me to the Berlin train station. It's very spacious, yet it's also very austere in a way that reminds me of a European taxi, which ironically makes it more like a traditional American sedan than any other car in its segment."
  • Volkswagen does Bauhaus-style minimalism here - simple, handsome design, both inside and out.
  • The seats have flat-bottom cushions and don't offer much lateral support. DeMatio: "The driver's seat is made for fat Americans." Lassa: "Fat Americans of German descent."
  • We love the upright windshield (minimal reflections), the low dashboard, and the slim A-pillars, which combine to deliver great visibility and a feeling of safety in congested traffic.
  • "This car's styling should age extremely well, like a Brooks Brothers suit," says DeMatio.
  • The radio is rudimentary, so it fits in well with the humble interior.
  • By far the best trunk in this competition.
  • "Plain and simple, this is a German Camry," says senior web editor Phil Floraday.
  • "While not inspiring, the Passat drives like a confident car," says Skogstrom.
  • "For all the cost-cutting that went into this car, it has good dampening and good brake-pedal feel, both of which you'll appreciate every time you drive," says Floraday. DeMatio continues, "It's refreshing to be in a midsize car with Germanic capabilities, even if they have been watered down for American buyers."
The Volkswagen Passat combines a surprisingly space-efficient package with very capable driving dynamics, and it proves more energetic than we expected. Even so, the Honda Accord surpasses it when you factor in convenience and entertainment features, a sense of spacious interior luxury, smooth-riding freeway comfort, and a notably more fuel-efficient powertrain. These cars are playing the same kind of game, but the Accord is simply better.
Winner: 2013 Honda Accord Sport. The Honda Accord moves into the final round.

Ford Fusion vs. Mazda 6

2013 Ford Fusion SE
  • "The Fusion drives like a car that's just stopped in this category for a courtesy cup of coffee on its way to an Audi A4 comparison test," says Jordan. "Actually, I think it might win a comparison like that."
  • Pudgy and obtrusive styling corrupts the airy cabin we want, the tallish Christopher Nelson says.
  • Absolutely great cargo capacity; now if only it were more usable. Try to reach deep into the trunk and the bumper holds you back. Maybe if you had a stick to move things around.
  • The Fusion's sleek exterior doesn't wow us any longer. "It looks slab-sided in profile, what with all the metal below the high beltline," says Skogstrom.
  • "MyFord Touch needs more attention than I can give it," says Blackwell. "For instance, just adjusting the climate control takes my eyes off of the road for longer than I'd like."
  • "Well, at least MyFord Touch actually looks good," says DeMatio. "I'm surprised by how comparatively ugly the screens are in other cars in this class."
  • There's a solid quarter-inch gap where the door panel meets the instrument panel at the A-pillar, Lassa discovers. Maybe Ford's build quality isn't as good as some of its competitors'.
  • The way the doors shut and the trunk closes reminds you that you're driving, well, a Ford. "The execution is slightly half-assed," says Nelson.
  • It's stylish and good to drive - but neither stylish enough nor good enough to drive that it should shrink the view from the driver's cockpit the way it does," says Zenlea.
  • For a car that's all about sport, there's an extreme focus on form over functionality. Everything you touch tries too hard to be stylish rather than usable.
  • A little heavy and underpowered compared with the competition, even though it feels very sporty and alert. And it's not that comfortable and quiet on the freeway, is it?

2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
  • Nelson is hoping to discover a cut-price BMW 3-series but is disappointed to find just another midsize sedan. He says, "To say it's more exciting to drive than its competitors is like saying a bowl of Special K breakfast cereal with banana slices is more exciting than plain old Special K."
  • The direct-injected Skyactiv-G four-cylinder is lively but isn't powerful in the midrange. Good thing it's aided by a very good automatic transmission; we love that manual mode will hold gears to redline.
  • "The well-placed paddle shifters encourage you to use the manual mode, which makes the car really enjoyable," says Skogstrom.
  • The car looks gorgeous from the front-three-quarter view, but the exterior isn't so attractive that it puts the rest of the midsize pack to shame.
  • "What a likable personality this car has," says Jordan.
  • "Mazda can't make magic with its interior the way it has with its exteriors," says DeMatio. It's very dark inside the Mazda 6, and the rear seats are comfortable but a bit claustrophobic. Less overall legroom than the Fusion.
  • A wide trunk opening, lots of usable cargo space, and 60/40-split folding rear seats that go down almost completely flat.
  • "This is a great balance of style and usability," says Zenlea. "I like the sporty steering wheel, supportive seats, and even the handbrake."
  • Reassuringly tight feel to the structure, exceeded only by the Fusion, which is about 200 pounds heavier.
  • Better city fuel economy than the Fusion by 2 mpg; better on the highway by 1 mpg.
  • "Fine highway comfort although a bit more road noise than you'd like," Jordan says. "A cruising range of about 500 miles if you're up to it."
Ford and Mazda are playing the same sporty-sedan game, but the Fusion can't match the 6's poise or prowess. While Ford is pushing the boundaries of consumer preferences with a car that doesn't look or drive like the usual choices in this segment, the automaker didn't nail down this car's details. The Fusion has a great chassis and a good powertrain, but it doesn't feel like a put-together package. The Mazda does, and this makes it a friendlier, more usable car in daily life.
Winner: 2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring. The Mazda 6 moves into the final round.
We're down to our last two cars as the Honda Accord and Mazda 6 vie for overall victory. Check back tomorrow to read the head-to-head comparison of our finalists.
Family Sedan Spread
Welcome to Automobile Magazine's Midsize Madness, our comparison test of the kind of car you see on American roads every day, the midsize sedan.
As we noted in our Day One introduction, we've gathered eight of the best front-wheel-drive midsize sedans with fuel-efficient engines, and our mission is to sort them out in a way that will let their whole characters be revealed. We've driven all of these cars at the same time on the same roads, and we've made our notes and organized our facts and then argued about the results.
To our way of thinking, these are the best midsize sedans available in America right now. We've tried to ensure that our test cars represent a practical level of features - nicely equipped, as they say - yet don't cost too much. Given the practical realities of acquiring so many test cars at the same time, they aren't priced exactly the same, but they all cost within $7800 of each other.
These cars include: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Passat.
To make our comparisons as direct as we can, we've organized a different kind of scheme, matching the cars in brackets just as you would in an athletic tournament. Lacking a "regular season," we've randomly seeded the participants, pitting competitors against one another by drawing names from a hat. The losers will be knocked out one by one until the winner presents itself.
Today, we present a full accounting of each car, and the match-ups will cut the pack in half, going from eight cars to four. Tomorrow, we cut it in half again, going from four cars to only two. These two will go head-to-head in a comparison on Thursday, and we will declare the winner on Friday.
We start the tournament with four match-ups:
  • Ford Fusion vs. Hyundai Sonata
  • Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry
  • Kia Optima vs. Volkswagen Passat
  • Mazda 6 vs. Nissan Altima

Ford Fusion vs. Hyundai Sonata

2013 Ford Fusion SE
2013 Ford Fusion SE Vs 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE
The 2013 Ford Fusion SE is plainly the best athlete in this contest. The Aston Martin-style grille that this car wears shows you that Ford intends for the new Fusion to be a European sport sedan. In the same way that the Toyota Camry represents the extreme from the traditional side in this segment of midsize sedans, the Ford Fusion represents the extreme from the sporty side.
The 2013 Fusion is a great car if you're looking for a driving enthusiast's interpretation of a midsize sedan's mission, yet some compromises in utility are also required as a result. To give the 2013 Fusion a sporty roofline that still delivers adequate rear-seat headroom, the car's beltline gradually sweeps upward. Headroom is good, but the interior architecture makes rear passengers feel like they're in the back seat of an Audi TT. When it comes to driving, the Fusion has a sporty, alert instinct for a winding road, yet the car also lets you down somewhat in the daily slog because it feels heavy and the freeway ride is a little brittle.
Problem is, while everyone likes good styling, consumers also buy midsize sedans for their interior comfort and easy, low-cost operation. Problem is, while car people pay lip service to sporty driving dynamics, most people are just trying to get to work.
Nevertheless, if you're looking for a midsize sedan with sporty flavor, then the 2013 Ford Fusion SE should be playing for your team. The 178-hp, 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder engine seems small and underpowered on the specification sheet, yet as road test editor Christopher Nelson reports, "It feels like it has just the right amount of power." The six-speed automatic transmission even feels sporty as it helps deliver 24 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
The same goes for the chassis. "Perhaps the best chassis here," deputy editor Joe DeMatio says of the Fusion. "Excellent steering feel and accuracy. The car feels really nimble." Senior web editor Phil Floraday concurs and says, "Good suspension, accurate steering." At the same time, Floraday notes, "The car is heavier than the competition - in most cases by about 200 pounds - and it feels enormously heavy from the driver's seat in a bad way. Plus compromised visibility cramps the cabin."
As you'd expect in a sport sedan, the seats are top-notch, yet not just in a sporty way. Managing editor Amy Skogstrom says, "The seats are extremely comfortable. Ford took some lessons from Volvo, and it shows." (Well, she likes things that are Swedish anyway, as you can tell from her name.) "As for MyFord Touch," Skogstrom continues, "at least there's a knob to change the radio station. However, I accidentally brushed my fingers across the climate controls and suddenly the temperature was set at 60 degrees."
Winning this contest requires more than just athleticism. We're aware of our own general preference for sporty driving, but even we acknowledge that a car that is used daily needs a certain kind of easy-going utility, and the Fusion might have a little too much personality going for it. - Todd Lassa
2013 Ford Fusion SE
Price:
$24,495/$29,180 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement: 1.6 liters (97 cu in)
Horsepower: 178 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 235/50R-17 96H
Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Measurements
L x W x H:
191.7 x 72.9 x 58.1 in
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Track F/R: 62.7/62.4 in
Weight: 3421 lb
Headroom F/R: 39.2/37.8 in
Legroom F/R: 44.3/38.3 in
Passenger volume: 102.8 cu ft
Cargo volume: 16.0 cu ft
EPA mileage: 24/37/28 mpg city/highway/combined

2013 Hyundai Sonata SE
For the 2011 model year, the Hyundai Sonata left behind a past of generic midsize competence for a new life with cutting-edge styling, and we celebrated it with a spot on our list of All-Stars. We liked the combination of expressive sheetmetal, a feature-laden interior, and value for the money, plus the 2011 Sonata was among the first cars in the segment to abandon the option of a V-6 engine to focus on fuel-efficient four-cylinders.
But even All-Stars get old. Two years later, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE still offers a lot of style and features for the money, two strategic factors that have fueled the steady growth of Hyundai's sales. And yet the Sonata falls short in a tournament like this, where it has to match up against so many models that have been recently improved. How can such a thing happen in two years?
The answer is: there are now more cars that can play the style game, plus more models have embraced fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines and abandoned the V-6. "The Sonata is the clear loser of this match-up," deputy editor Joe DeMatio exclaims with surprise. "Excellent power delivery, but the engine is coarse and the transmission is its willing accomplice." Road test editor Christopher Nelson concurs. "I can see why this would've been an All-Star before its competitors were replaced with new models," he says. "It has a very strong engine, but it's coarse, with more idle noise than a good diesel."
When you break down the Sonata's game, you're surprised to find too many negatives. The Sonata's 200-hp four-cylinder is powerful, yet copy editor Rusty Blackwell found its throttle tip-in to be touchy. We also disliked the Sonata's mushy brakes and numb steering, while this car's sport suspension delivered too much road harshness for too little handling improvement. "On a smooth road, the Sonata feels fine, but get it on a road with some bumps and it immediately starts to feel twitchy and unsettled," managing editor Amy Skogstrom says.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata delivers a lot of game for the money, and this continues to make it a leading value in its segment. Even so, it's just a little bit off from the best in every category, which proves crucial in a head-to-head tournament like this. For example, the bodywork is expressive, yet the roofline noticeably compromises rear-seat headroom. The Sonata SE's interior looks reassuringly traditional at very low cost, yet the same money gets you leather seating surfaces in the Kia Optima EX, for instance, seems like a small price to pay to get so much.
When the Hyundai Sonata SE is cruising calmly along the turnpike at 70 mph and the audio system is playing, this traditional midsize sedan seems like a sure winner. After all, it is a sound all-around player. But when you get the Sonata out of its comfort zone, it makes you wonder if there are more compelling choices in this segment. This is what happens when every team in the league raises its game. - Todd Lassa
2013 Hyundai Sonata SE
Price:
$24,120/$24,720 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.4 liters (144 cu in)
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 186 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 225/45R-18 95V
Tires: Hankook Optimo
Measurements
L x W x H:
189.8 x 72.2 x 57.9 in
Wheelbase: 110.0 in
Track F/R: 62.5/62.5 in
Weight: 3260 lb
Headroom F/R: 40.0/37.8 in
Legroom F/R: 45.5/34.6 in
Passenger volume: 103.8 cu ft
Cargo volume: 16.4 cu ft
EPA mileage: 24/35/28 mpg city/highway/combined
Winner: 2013 Ford Fusion SE. The Fusion moves into the final four.

Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry

2013 Honda Accord Sport
2012 Toyota Camry LE Vs 2013 Honda Accord Sport
The Honda Accord is a familiar player in the top rank of midsize sedans. It's a fan favorite that sold 331,872 examples in America during 2012, which made it the second-most-popular sedan in the country behind the Toyota Camry. Just like the Camry, the Accord builds its game on the core values of quality, durability, and reliability. And just as the Camry was comprehensively revised for 2012, the Accord comes onto the floor in 2013 thoroughly revised after some serious rethinking of its game.
Of course, we also remember the last-generation Accord, which changed its game plan from a handy-size international-style car to a fuller, more mature car for full-size Americans, and the reception from fans was mixed. Thankfully the 2013 Honda Accord plays the game in the light-footed style that we remember so fondly, both with a more expressive appearance and a livelier personality.
We particularly appreciate the fit and finish of the 2013 Honda Accord Sport's interior, which has a mature sophistication that's new to the brand. Almost everyone among us who has driven the 2013 Accord comments on the great look and feel of the cloth seat upholstery, which is in telling contrast to the impression made by the cloth upholstery of the 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV and 2012 Toyota Camry LE. And you can call us techno-phobic Luddites if you like, but we also pile praise on the knobs and buttons used to control the Accord's audio system, which are such a relief after a spell in the 2013 Ford Fusion with its MyFord Touch electronic interface.
The Accord earns high marks in powertrain refinement, too. While we're hardly fans of continuously variable automatic transmissions in general, we couldn't complain about this one. "The Accord's CVT really suits Honda's way of doing things and here at last it has refinement," West Coast editor Michael Jordan says. Copy editor Rusty Blackwell enjoys the characteristic smoothness with which the Honda's 189-hp, 2.4-liter in-line four makes power. Road test editor Christopher Nelson reports the engine's surprising responsiveness even in the middle range of the tachometer. Respectable EPA fuel-economy ratings of 26/35 mpg city/highway further confirm that the 2013 Accord has all the right moves when it comes to engine performance.
Driving the 2013 Honda Accord is hardly the dynamic revelation that this model was when the Accord was about the size of today's Honda Civic, yet its maker has made big strides in ride quality for 2013. Jordan applauds the well-damped suspension and surprisingly controlled body motions. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio is pleased with the accuracy of the electrically assisted steering. Although none of us would call the 2013 Accord the best-handling car in this group, it does deliver the best compromise between a smooth ride and responsive, fun-to-drive handling.
When you look to the box score, the 2013 Honda Accord Sport racks up more points than the competition with a surprisingly luxurious cabin, a very smooth and controlled ride, and an incredibly refined powertrain. It has every phase of its game in order. - Phil Floraday
2013 Honda Accord Sport
Price
: $24,980/$24,980 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.4 liters (144 cu in)
Horsepower: 189 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 182 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 235/45R-18 94V
Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4
Measurements
L x W x H:
191.4 x 72.8 x 57.7 in
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Track F/R: 62.4/62.4 in
Weight: 3342 lb
Headroom F/R: 39.1/37.5 in
Legroom F/R: 42.5/38.5 in
Passenger volume: 103.2 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15.8 cu ft
EPA mileage: 26/35/29 mpg city/highway/combined
2012 Toyota Camry LE
The Toyota Camry enters this tournament with a number-one ranking. After all, it's the top-selling sedan in the country. Some 405,000 examples of the Toyota Camry were sold to Americans last year, a number so prodigious that only the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks exceeded the Camry's sales success. This should be vindication for the complete makeover that the Camry had received for 2012, a rethink of style, equipment, and engineering to keep the car in the game with the improving competition.
But once its rivals show up, the Camry falls back on its old, familiar game plan. That is, QDR - quality, durability, and reliability. Beyond the laudable virtues of everyday utility, the 2012 Toyota Camry LE can't keep pace with the other cars in our test.
It might be the best-selling sedan in the country and one of the most important vehicles in our group, but the Camry just doesn't look that way. This innocuous silver Camry LE even led one of us to walk right by it when the cars were scattered in a parking lot during a stopover to switch drivers. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio declares that the exterior look of the Camry is as "exciting as a grocery cart." Managing editor Amy Skogstrom called the combination of silver paint and completely uninspired exterior styling "deadly."
There are also few words of praise for the Camry's interior. DeMatio approves of the above-average visibility, noting the slim A-pillars, but finds the fabric seat upholstery to be on par with "bad drapes from J. C. Penney, circa 1988." And even though this basic Camry LE test car's dash layout represents an effort to embrace the era of touchscreens and voice recognition, the buttons and knobs that remain look clunky and dated, though usable. Skogstrom speaks for us all when she says, "The interior needs some help."
One area where the Camry doesn't need any help is powertrain refinement. The engine and transmission perform with extreme smoothness. "The engine and transmission work with remarkable harmony, and this sets the car apart," says Jordan. Moreover, the Camry's chassis tuning also elicits overwhelmingly positive comments. Skogstrom discovered that the Camry soaks up bumps that send a Sonata skipping. DeMatio remarks upon an "overall feeling of competence," and he suggests that this is what comes of decades of experience in the creation of midsize sedans that meet the approval of a majority of Americans.
The 2012 Toyota Camry LE didn't win us over with its staid appearance, although we like its similarly traditional ride comfort and powertrain performance. In the end we'd recommend the Camry for friends and family who need reliable transportation, but this is not a car that plays the midsize-sedan game in the way that we personally prefer. - Phil Floraday
2012 Toyota Camry LE
Price:
$23,260/$23,700 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.5 liters (152 cu in)
Horsepower: 178 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Control arms, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 205/65R-16 94S
Tires: Firestone Affinity Touring S4
Measurements
L x W x H:
189.2 x 71.1 x 57.9 in
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Track F/R: 62.4/62.0 in
Weight: 3190 lb
Headroom F/R: 38.8/38.1 in
Legroom F/R: 41.6/38.9 in
Passenger volume: 102.7 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15.4 cu ft
EPA mileage: 25/35/28 mpg city/highway/combined
Winner: 2013 Honda Accord Sport. The Accord moves into the final four.

Kia Optima vs. Volkswagen Passat

2013 Kia Optima EX
2013 Kia Optima EX Vs 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE
Sometimes the game changes in unexpected ways. The previous-generation Kia Optima was such a loser that fewer than 40,000 examples were sold in the U.S. during 2009, the car's last full year of availability. Now the Optima has so much game that in 2012 more than 150,000 copies of the completely different, completely more attractive Optima found owners. If you don't have six figures in your sales charts, you're not a serious player in the market for midsize sedans. It's clear that the 2013 Kia Optima EX is a now serious player, and that is how it has brushed aside more familiar nameplates to get into this tournament.
The best place to experience the 2013 Optima, we have concluded, is from the driver's seat of another car following it from behind. The Optima looks darn good as it goes down the road, and its crisp, clean lines and sporty profile are aging well. Compared with the modern exterior, however, the interior might look too traditional, what with its large panels of fake dark wood. Nevertheless, managing editor Amy Skogstrom argues, "The two-tone palette of dark cherry and beige gives the car a rich feel." At the same time, everyone agrees that the bodywork's high beltline and kick-up in the rear doors induce claustrophobia for rear-seat passengers.
In all matters relating to the Kia Optima, we find ourselves comparing it with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Sonata. Both cars are built at newish manufacturing facilities in the U.S., the Sonata in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Optima in West Point, Georgia. Kia has tried to position itself as the sportier of the two brands, and indeed the Optima drives kind of like a Sonata, only with the bass turned up. As West Coast editor Michael Jordan says, "Heavy steering, stiffer tires, stiffer dampers? All the clichés of a sport sedan are here." This strategy doesn't necessarily help the car feel very poised, though. Once you leave the freeway, the impressive body stability falls to pieces and the engine whirs unhappily.
About that engine. Although the 2.4-liter four-cylinder eagerly sends 200 hp to the ground through a six-speed automatic transmission, the direct-injection engine is noisy. Skogstrom says, "It simply doesn't feel as refined as the four-cylinders in the Camry and the Accord." As a result, it's less fun to drive this muscled-up chassis as quickly as the aggressive styling promises.
The 2013 Kia Optima EX looks like a toned athlete, but it lacks the coordination and sophistication to win. This car wants to be a sport sedan on the other side of the midsize-sedan continuum from the traditional-style Hyundai Sonata, but it plays better to the emotions of the showroom than to the realities of the daily commute. The Koreans have looked to Europe for their styling and to America for their product planning. Now they need to raid the engineering offices of BMW, Ford of Europe, or Volkswagen AG so they can up their dynamic game. - Joe DeMatio
2013 Kia Optima EX
Price:
$24,275/$25,524 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.4 liters (144 cu in)
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 186 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Hydraulically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 215/55R-17 93V
Tires: Kuhmo Solus KH25
Measurements
L x W x H:
190.7 x 72.1 x 57.3 in
Wheelbase: 110.0 in
Track F/R: 63.0/62.6 in
Weight: 3223 lb
Headroom F/R: 40.0/37.6 in
Legroom F/R: 45.5/34.7 in
Passenger volume: 102.2 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15.4 cu ft
EPA mileage: 24/35/28 mpg city/highway/combined

2013 Volkswagen Passat SE
The Volkswagen Passat has finally learned the rules of the game. When the car was recast to reflect American tastes by making it bigger, simpler, and cheaper, it suddenly became a big success in the U.S. There is a lesson in this about a simple formula for the American midsize car. While we'll miss the cut-price Mercedes-Benz that the Passat once was, we have to admit that the 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE is relevant to our market in a way that its forebears were not.
We'd argue that the optional, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine is the best choice for this model, though, as our opinions about our test car's five-cylinder gasoline engine are split. At 170 hp, this engine delivers less horsepower than any of the four-cylinder engines in the other seven cars we tested and produces less torque (177 lb-ft) than all the others except the Camry. Executive editor Todd Lassa says it shakes more at idle than the Camry four-cylinder, plus it makes, "an awful noise, especially under throttle tip-in." Meanwhile, senior web editor Phil Floraday says he likes the broad powerband nevertheless: "It's my favorite engine/transmission combination here." Road test editor Christopher Nelson probably takes the engine's true measure when he says, "It's better than the Korean engines but not as good as those of the Japanese." West Coast editor Michael Jordan concludes, "At least you're aware that the Passat has an engine, which is not something that can be said of the other cars in this test."
When it comes to chassis dynamics, there is no dispute, because the 2013 Passat SE shines where some of the other cars here stumble. Jordan says, "The Passat might look American but it is utterly like a European car in the way it goes down the road. The long-travel suspension is compliant, and you can feel the wheels stroking up and down as the car rides the bumps." In addition, the steering is accurate and communicative even if the effort level is very light, and you have a good idea of what's going on at the road surface, which is a core tenet of German chassis tuning.
A core tenet of American chassis design is passenger space, and the Passat has plenty, with an enormous rear seat and trunk that make this car a fine platform for road trips, although we wish there was a little less road noise. There's also an impressive sensation of space for the front-seat occupants thanks to the low dashboard, unobtrusive instruments, and slim windshield pillars. Visibility is very good in all directions. Managing editor Amy Skogstrom also says, "The layout of the interior is functional, but it feels clinical, as so many German cars do." The driver's seat has a pretty flat bottom cushion without much lateral support, but it has power lumbar adjustment and proves pretty comfortable on long drives.
When you look closely at the 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE, you won't find a cut-price Mercedes-Benz. Instead you'll find something that might be even better, a classic American sedan built affordably in Tennessee yet engineered with German flavor and quality. Just make sure you test-drive the diesel. - Joe DeMatio
2013 Volkswagen Passat SE w/sunroof & navigation
Price:
$24,790/$27,790 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
20-valve DOHC I-5
Displacement: 2.5 liters (151 cu in)
Horsepower: 170 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 177 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Hydraulically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 215/55R-17 97H
Tires: Continental ContiProContact
Measurements
L x W x H:
191.6 x 72.2 x 58.5 in
Wheelbase: 110.4 in
Track F/R: 62.1/61.0 in
Weight: 3221 lb
Headroom F/R: 38.3/37.8 in
Legroom F/R: 42.4/39.1 in
Passenger volume: 102.0 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15.9 cu ft
EPA mileage: 22/31/25 mpg city/highway/combined
Winner: 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE. The Passat moves into the final four.

Mazda 6 vs. Nissan Altima

2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Vs 2013 Nissan Altima 2 5 SV
The Mazda 6 has always struggled to find its niche in the midsize segment. From the first, it has played the game like a scrappy minor-leaguer - small and athletic. In its 2003 iteration, we loved it and named it an All-Star, yet people in the real world kept buying Toyota Camrys. Even when it stretched a handful of inches for 2009, the Mazda 6 still played the game like a sport sedan instead of a traditional midsize sedan, and we liked that. Of course, Americans kept right on buying Camrys.
The 2014 Mazda 6 is still relying on the same scrappy strategy, but now every aspect of its game has been thoughtfully improved and the result is a genuine major-league effort. What gives us hope that people will embrace it at last is its styling. "This car is gorgeous, nothing like the generic Japanese cars of the past," notes West Coast editor Michael Jordan. This car's proportions convey a rear-wheel-drive look while its sinuous curves suggest right-size elegance, which is quite a feat since the front-wheel-drive 2014 Mazda 6 measures slightly larger in all exterior dimensions than a Toyota Camry.
This revised platform for the 2014 Mazda 6 has been stretched a couple of inches, so there's plenty of room for passengers, although the interior feels a bit tighter than the Camry and the Honda Accord. "From the driver's seat, the cabin feels spacious and airy," says managing editor Amy Skogstrom. Still, the cabin doesn't live up to the exterior's standard of style, as good fit and finish is undercut by unadventurous design and use of color. The small touchscreen that serves as the interface for the navigation system and radio seems pleasantly unobtrusive to some and too small to use to others. But as always, Mazda has nailed the stuff that matters to drivers, which means legible gauges, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, deeply bolstered sport seats, and an honest-to-goodness handbrake.
The 2014 Mazda 6 doesn't drive like a four-door Miata, but it is fun to drive in that inimitable Mazda way. Its chassis is tautly controlled and nicely balanced, plus the electrically assisted steering is sharp, although it should offer a bit more feedback. The 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is no powerhouse, but it responds well when you flog it and gets good fuel economy when you don't thanks to Mazda's smooth six-speed automatic transmission. The flip side of such driver engagement is that the sporty Mazda 6 isn't as plush to drive as the Accord or the Camry. "It's a little too lively, as if it's a Mazda 3 in disguise," says Jordan. There's also a bit more road noise than we'd like, especially in the back seat.
As a perennial challenger, the 2014 Mazda 6 can't afford to be exactly like an Accord or Camry for fear of being lost among the taller players on the court. Nevertheless, this latest iteration is sporty and stylish enough to stand apart from its more popular competitors while still meeting them head-on with important things like fuel economy and a package that's easy to drive. - David Zenlea
2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
Price:
$30,290/$31,490 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.5 liters (152 cu in)
Horsepower: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 225/45R-19 92H
Tires: Bridgestone Blizzak LM60
Measurements
L x W x H:
191.5 x 72.4 x 57.1 in
Wheelbase: 111.4 in
Track F/R: 62.8/62.4 in
Weight: 3232 lb
Headroom F/R: 37.4/37.1 in
Legroom F/R: 42.2/38.7 in
Passenger volume: 99.7 cu ft
Cargo volume: 14.8 cu ft
EPA mileage: 26/38/30 mpg city/highway/combined
2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
The Nissan Altima broke out of anonymity in 2002 by offering more power, more personality, and - most important - more size. By becoming a big, brawny car, it elbowed its way underneath the basket with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Altima confirmed its enduring appeal last year when 302,934 examples were sold. This makes it the third-most-popular car in the immensely popular category behind the Camry and Accord.
The 2013 Nissan Altima has been comprehensively revised, yet it rides on the same basic platform that it has since 2007 and looks much like it has for the last ten years, only softer and more upscale. It aspires to real style but in a way that won't offend anyone. The same can't be said for the cabin, unfortunately. This affordable trim level of the Altima, with its beige cloth upholstery, looks like it's from the past. "The mouse-fur upholstery looks like something you'd find in a 1970s custom van," says copy editor Rusty Blackwell.
What the interior lacks in style, it makes up for with space. Front passengers enjoy scads of legroom, and the back seat feels more comfortable to us than the competition even though its measurements aren't much different. "I could spend a few hours back here and be happy," notes deputy editor Joe DeMatio. It helps that the seats both front and back are soft and wide enough to please the softest and widest Americans. Traditional, intuitive control knobs and buttons also please us.
Nissan once promoted this model as something of a sport sedan, but the rethought 2013 Altima comes into the game in a far less muscular state of tune. As they say, an athlete's legs are the first to go, and while the Altima's suspension feels fine on the freeway, its knees buckle at the mere suggestion of cornering forces. Flaccid electrically assisted steering also offers no hint of what the front wheels are doing. This big man doesn't show much instinct for speed, either. The 182-hp four-cylinder engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, and while the combination provides acceptable thrust, the engine discourages hard acceleration by moaning plaintively under full throttle. "If I were deaf, I might like this powertrain," says managing editor Amy Skogstrom.
All this isn't to say the 2013 Nissan Altima drives badly. When we behave ourselves, the 2013 Altima impresses us. "The Altima bounds down the road with a fluidity that many competitors do not possess," notes DeMatio. Even so, this is a long way from being a four-door sports car. "The Altima feels like a big car," adds West Coast editor Michael Jordan, "although in a good way."
The 2013 Nissan Altima plays the game like the established player it has become. It's spacious, comfortable, fuel-efficient and easy to drive. "It doesn't try to be anything other than a midsize sedan, which is actually refreshing," concludes road test editor Christopher Nelson. But for us, this also makes the Altima, in the words of another editor, "the least interesting car in our test." - David Zenlea
2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
Price:
$24,880/$27,005 (base/as tested)
Powertrain
Engine:
16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.5 liters (152 cu in)
Horsepower: 182 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 180 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drive: Front-wheel
Chassis
Steering:
Electrohydraulically assisted
Front suspension: Strut-type, coil springs
Rear suspension: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
Tire size: 215/55R-17 93V
Tires: Continental ContiProContact
Measurements
L x W x H:
191.5 x 72.0 x 57.9 in
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Track F/R: 62.4/62.4 in
Weight: 3121 lb
Headroom F/R: 39.1/37.1 in
Legroom F/R: 45.0/36.1 in
Passenger volume: 100.5 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15.4 cu ft
EPA mileage: 27/38/31 mpg city/highway/combined
Winner: 2014 Mazda 6 Grand Touring. The Mazda 6 moves into the final four.
Family Sedan Graphic
Mainstream sedans--millions of them. Get out there on the road and you'll find them. Not too big and not too small, all built for the way we drive in this country--even if the carmakers labels seem to come from elsewhere. These are midsize cars built to suit American roads and American drivers, so we really should call them American sedans.
Family Sedan Spread
These are pretty much the best, most practical sedans in the world. You get plenty of passenger room and no end of features, plus you don't have to spend too much for the privilege of ownership. The cars almost never, ever break down, since every little component has been refined to the last degree during miles and miles of testing by dozens of engineers and miles and miles of just plain driving by millions of owners. Like a stone that you find in a river, all the rough edges have been worn off of these cars until only the truest, purest form remains.
We've gathered eight midsize American sedans that speak to the priorities we have at Automobile Magazine: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Passat. Some have style, some have speed, and some have reliability, yet all have a unique, definable character. By choosing one of them as the best, we hope to not only define the current state of the American midsize sedan but also define the character that those of us who read Automobile want in a practical, everyday kind of car.
We haven't included every car in this segment because, well, such a test would be a mess. We elected to compare front-wheel-drive family sedans powered by four-cylinder engines, and there are a lot of them. Not every car had the right kind of game to make the tournament, among them the Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, and Chevrolet Malibu. The Subaru Legacy is available only with all-wheel drive, so we set up a match with an all-wheel-drive Ford Fusion to get a different perspective.
We'll admit that our standards are perhaps impractically high. We can't pretend to be the average buyer, because, well, that would be impossible. Just like you, we are who we are. If you want complete objectivity unconfused by education, experience, enthusiasm, and just plain good taste, well, good luck.
The choices we'll make will be just as difficult yet just as final as the ones consumers make. We're going to match the cars head-to-head, weigh the assets and liabilities, and then choose. We're not going to dumb down the process into some kind of SAT test, where like eraser-head geeks we carefully add up the points scored in a thousand little categories of performance. When you do that, you reward broad-based mediocrity, not excellence. And at Automobile Magazine, we're all about excellence.
We think the question of choice is personal and powerful, and a one-to-one confrontation reveals character in a way that giant test groups do not. The things we care about in every match-up might change as we wrestle with the differences between cars, but we're sure that this overall strategy will enable a real winner to emerge. After all, we're looking for a great car, not great statistics.
To give a little real-world perspective to the whole process ("real world" being a largely foreign concept to those of us at Automobile), we've arranged the participants in brackets just as you would in an athletic tournament. The losers will be knocked out one by one until the winner presents itself.
It's a different kind of comparison test, but it's one that suits us. For us, its all about driving.
Come back to automobilemag.com tomorrow morning for the first round of Midsize Madness.
Comparo Subaru Legacy Vs Ford Fusion AWD 1
While there are lots of midsize sedans, if you’re looking for one with all-wheel drive, your choices shrink dramatically. In fact, outside of the luxury brands, there are only two: the Ford Fusion and the Subaru Legacy. Ford offers all-wheel drive on the premium-spec Fusion, the Titanium, which is equipped with the top engine, Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four. At Subaru, all-wheel drive is standard on the Legacy, as it is on every Subaru save the BRZ. Thus, you can get an all-wheel-drive Legacy with either the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or the optional 3.6-liter six.

A Four and a Six

For this match-up, we chose the Legacy equipped with the six-cylinder. Why? Because Subaru’s normally aspirated 2.5-liter four, despite being slightly larger than Ford’s 2.0-liter turbo, is seriously down on power (with 173 hp) compared with the Ford four, which produces 240 hp. The Legacy’s 256-hp, 3.6-liter six is a much closer match. Pricewise, the Legacy 3.6 R, even in Limited trim, is also closer to (and still cheaper than) the AWD Fusion Titanium.

Not Cheap, but Lots of Goodies

With both cars rolling in their most resplendent finery, standard fare for each includes leather, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, power seats, and, on the Fusion, a backup camera and Sync. To that total, our tested Subaru adds navigation, a moonroof, and a backup camera, along with some lesser bits, for a total of $32,382. The Fusion you see here is loaded up with navigation, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, 19-inch wheels, and metallic paint, sending the bottom-line price all the way to $37,670.

Styling is No Contest

The Ford is the more expensive car, and it looks it. If we were awarding style points, the Fusion would garner them all. The new Fusion has a very dramatic design for a midsize sedan. In contrast, Subarus have never been known as style setters, and the Legacy does nothing to upset that tradition.
Inside as well, the Fusion is very of-the-moment. Not so much in the cabin materials, which are rather ordinary, but in the large, colorful LCD screens in the instrument panel. Of course, there’s MyFord Touch, with its huge screen, but there are also the configurable color screens flanking the speedometer. Compared with the Ford, the Subaru looks a generation behind. Its instrument cluster has real instruments (with only one small LCD screen that doesn’t do a whole lot), its center stack uses actual buttons, and its navigation graphics look like they’re from the aftermarket. The Legacy is a Blackberry to the Fusion’s iPhone. Like a Blackberry, however, the Subaru might lack visual pizzazz but is actually easier to use, with its physical buttons rather than Ford’s touch-screen and flat-panel design.

Life as a Passenger

In the same way, the Subaru’s more upright greenhouse and boxier, sedan-like roofline isn’t as rakish as the Ford’s profile, but there are benefits to the driver and passengers. For the driver, the Legacy’s large, upright windows provide an excellent view out. As for rear-seat passengers, the Ford just barely carves out enough space for two adults, while the Subaru has room to spare. Up front, the Legacy’s wide, soft seats feel fine, but their support melts away during spirited cornering. In the Fusion, the Titanium spec buys you better seats than you get in lesser versions, and they have a lot of lateral support—something you’ll appreciate when you attack some corners.

On the Road

Attacking corners is something the Ford does particularly well, and the Subaru does better than before. When the current Legacy debuted in 2010, its suspension setup prioritized pillowy ride comfort, and the car could be ponderous and floaty on the highway. A revised chassis for 2013 features a thicker rear antiroll bar and firmer springs and dampers. The suspension tune-up has quelled the float and improved cornering, and the ride quality hasn’t suffered too much, although the wheels do trod heavily over bumps. We don’t mind the Legacy’s fairly high steering efforts, but the helm is somewhat wooden and can be lazy about self-centering.
The Fusion won’t need to go in for a suspension upgrade anytime soon. Ford has done an extremely good job with this chassis. The ride is composed, and the car dives into corners with confidence. At the same time, the Fusion shrugs off broken pavement with a stoic thump—even while wearing its high-fashion nineteen-inch wheels. Finally, the Ford’s electric power steering is progressive and nicely weighted.

Powertrains, All-Wheel Drive, Fuel Economy

The Legacy’s 2013 updates extended to the powertrain—but only the base engine. A new version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is more efficient and is now paired with a CVT automatic (or a six-speed manual in base models). There are no powertrain changes to the six-cylinder 3.6 R, which continues to use an automatic with only five speeds. Subaru offers three different all-wheel-drive systems on the Legacy, depending on the transmission selected. For the 3.6 R, the AWD system combines a center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch; interestingly, this unit’s default torque split is 44/55, so it has a slight rear-wheel bias. The Fusion shares its all-wheel-drive system with seven other Ford vehicles, including the Escape, Flex, and Taurus. In its steady state—almost all of the time—the Ford system will motivate only the front axle. Depending on driving conditions, though, the system can kick in and send between 40 and 55% of torque to the Fusion’s rear axle.
Fords 2.0-liter EcoBoost four is the most potent of the three available non-hybrid powerplants. Responsive and well mannered, this is definitely the engine you want in your Fusion. Not surprisingly, its EPA figures trounce those of the Legacys much larger six. The Feds rate the Fusion at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, versus 18/25 mpg for the Subaru. However, Fords EcoBoost engines have been criticized recently for delivering real-world mileage that falls far short of their EPA figures. Anecdotally, our experience says the same: when we take the Fusion on a four-hour day trip that is a mix of Interstate and two-lane highway, we get an indicated 25 mpg.

And the Winner Is...

The Subaru Legacy is a nose-to-the-grindstone sedan that does a good job delivering midsize sedan virtues with the added bad-weather capability of all-wheel drive. In this match-up, it tallies its points in all the more practical categories. It’s more attractively priced, undercutting the Fusion by more than $3000. Its cockpit, although dowdy, is easier to see out of, and the controls are easier to use. For those who regularly carry more than one passenger—and if you didn’t, why would you be buying a midsize sedan?—the Subaru’s back seat is notably more spacious.
The Ford Fusion is more impressive at first glance. Larger and more stylish, it’s also packed with the latest tech. And while we acknowledge that some of those aspects have their downsides, it’s nice when a midsize sedan aspires to something a bit beyond just taking you to work. The Ford pulls ahead because it’s also more compelling from behind the wheel. Its chassis is a standout in this segment, and it delivers lively performance from its small engine. A midsize sedan may not have to reach you on an emotional level, but we like it when it does. The Ford Fusion is our winner in the AWD midsize challenge.
2013 Ford Fusion Titanium Front Three Quarters View In Motion
It’s fair to say that at the Ford Motor Company, they’re obsessed with the Toyota Camry. It was far and away the most-mentioned competitor at the launch of the latest Fusion—and of the previous model. The Toyota Camry, after all, has been the bestselling car in America for years—even the tsunami in Japan couldn’t keep it out of the top spot—but those with long memories will recall that the Camry toppled the Ford Taurus to take that top spot. Maybe that has something to do with it. You might expect that in redesigning the Fusion, Ford’s Camry competitor, Ford would hew closely to the number-one rival’s playbook. But Ford did not. Instead, the new Fusion very much follows Ford’s own playbook.
If you’ve been paying attention to recent Fords—the Fiesta, the Focus, the Escape—it’s pretty easy to identify the hallmarks of a new Ford: a taut body shape with lots of creases, multiple engine choices with EcoBoost playing a major role, and a heavy emphasis on high technology. The new Fusion? Check, check, and check.

It's Got The Look

Much has been made of the new Fusion’s styling, which completely walked away from the previous version, instead embracing elements from Aston Martin (the front end), the Audi A7 (the tapered tail), and the Hyundai Sonata (the side view). That may be a disparate trio, but the result is a cohesive whole, and one with an undeniable family resemblance to other recent Fords.
The midsize sedan market, though, is one where practicality reigns supreme, and any design—no matter how good-looking—that seriously compromises utility is going to be a detriment. So how did Ford mate pretty with practical? Quite well, in fact. With its high beltline and steeply raked windshield and backlight, the Fusion can’t come close to matching the outward visibility of the new Honda Accord, but few can. Thick A-pillars and two-piece C-pillars compromise the driver’s view somewhat, but the rear package shelf is lower than you’d expect, so the view straight back is OK. (A backup camera is standard on the top-spec Titanium, optional on the volume SE, and not available on the base S.)
More critically, rear-seat space under the sloping roofline is not bad at all. The door opening is a little low, but once inside, a six-footer will find adequate headroom. And it’s not achieved by lowering the seat cushion—in fact, the rear seat is comfortably high off the floor and has good under-thigh support. Legroom is good, too, but the rear seat overall does not feel as spacious as that in an Accord or a Camry.
The same is true up front. The high center console sweeps up into the dash (as in the Taurus), which looks modern and cool but also makes for a less open interior than the more conventionally styled Honda and Toyota. The interior design is a lot less splashy than the exterior, though, with gloss black trim accented with plenty of matte grays. Soft-touch areas are there where you want them, and the materials quality is consistent if hardly extravagant. All Fusions have deeply pocketed front seatbacks, and the Titanium model gets firmly bolstered seat cushions as well; lesser Fusions, though, suffer from squishy cushions that offer much less support but may be more accommodating for wide-bodied drivers.

One Car, Many Engines

The new Fusion offers many engine choices—then again, so did the old one. Whereas previously there was a four, two V-6s, and a hybrid, this time there are three fours, no V-6s, and two hybrids.
The carryover 2.5-liter is the base engine on the S and SE. Next up is a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo; it’s optional ($795) on the SE. Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost stands at the top of the heap. The 2.0-liter is optional on the SE and standard on the Titanium, which also offers the option of all-wheel drive (the Fusion and the Subaru Legacy are the only cars in this class to offer AWD).
Like the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion will offer both regular and plug-in hybrids. The latter model, the Fusion Energi, won’t be out until January. The Fusion Hybrid, which blew away the field with its 47/47-mpg city/highway ratings, is going on sale now. See our quick take on that model here.
Of the mainstream Fusions, we drove the 1.6-liter, which is expected to be the volume engine, and the 2.0. With 178 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque, the EcoBoost 1.6-liter provides only marginally better output than the base four-banger’s 175 hp and 175 lb-ft. It does, however, get better fuel economy. With its six-speed automatic, the 1.6-liter beats the larger engine’s 22/34-mpg figures by 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway. If you’re really concerned about fuel economy, you might pony up another $295 for auto stop/start, which also includes active grille shutters and additional underbody aerodynamic aids and pushes the EPA ratings to 25/37 mpg.
In our short drive of a 1.6-liter with the auto stop/start system, we found it to be pretty well integrated. The engine doesn’t shut off until you’ve been stopped for two seconds, which is good, and although restart isn’t as smooth as in cars with an integrated starter-generator (such as GM’s eAssist), the noise and vibration are much lower than in BMW’s auto stop/start system. Without electric A/C, the engine needs to be running to drive the compressor, and it won’t shut down if it’s going to cause passengers to swelter. With temps in the high seventies, and the climate control set on 72, the engine only shut itself off about half the time during our short drive; buyers in Sunbelt states might not see much engine down time at all.
Another, more fun, way to bump up the mileage of the 1.6-liter is to pair it with the available six-speed manual. Auto stop/start is not available with the stick shift, but this pairing achieves the same 25/37-mpg rating even without it. The better news is that this is a Honda-slick shifter with friendly clutch action. It helps wake up the response of this small engine, at least subjectively, although you’re not going to talk yourself into the notion that this car is a barn burner. The 1.6/manual model is also the lightest Fusion, at 3333 pounds. That figure makes the Fusion a little heavier than its Asian competitors, but the portliest Fusion, the all-wheel-drive 2.0-liter, is nearly 350 pounds heavier still.
As it happened, the 2.0-liter AWD Titanium was the Fusion that we had on the twisty, canyon-road portion of the drive, and despite its weight, it was engaging and responsive. Ford has shown real skill in chassis tuning, and that’s the case here, too. Not only does the Fusion turn in eagerly and resist body roll, but it also snubs body motion yet still takes the edge off bumps. It feels taut and European—though it was developed in the USA. Even the electric power steering in the 1.6-liter and the 2.0 feels very natural and direct. This is likely the best chassis in the field.
As for the 2.0-liter turbo, it’s not a slam dunk over the smaller EcoBoost unit. The bigger engine’s 237 hp is shy of competitors’ V-6s, although the 270 pound-feet of torque is competitive. Full-throttle performance is a little wanting; the EcoBoost is happiest in the midrange. Still, the added oomph might not be enough to offset the fuel economy penalty. The 2.0 is rated at 22 mpg city, 33 highway (31 mpg highway with AWD). That’s against 21/34 mpg for the V-6 Accord and 22/34 mpg for the Hyundai Sonata turbo, both of which boast more horsepower. The 2.0, however, is the only engine in the Titanium, but virtually all of the Titanium goodies can be had on the SE.

The Apple Effect

Certainly, dazzling shoppers with high-tech goodies is another pillar of Ford’s strategy, and the Fusion offers more features than any other midsize sedan. In addition to the expected navigation (optional on SE and Titanium) and rearview camera (standard on Titanium, optional on SE), Ford adds: blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, and active park assist. All are optional on SE and Titanium.
Of course, no Ford today is complete without MyFordTouch. It’s avoidable on the base car, optional on the SE, and standard on the Titanium. With some models, there are knobs for volume and tuning; on others, only for volume. In nearly all Fusions, the HVAC is also a flat-panel, haptic-touch affair. As always, the workarounds are the steering-wheel controls or voice activation, but we’d rather have physical controls that don’t demand so much eyes-off-the-road time.
Seductive styling, better fuel economy, a premium-feeling chassis, and up-to-the-minute technology are all supposed to impart a sense of greater value, enabling Ford to realize higher transaction prices. With the addition of a standard automatic transmission, the car's base price climbs by $995, while the new, top-spec Titanium starts at more than $30,000. Ford wants buyers to buy a Fusion because they want a Fusion, not because it’s the best deal. In that sense, then, they're right with the Camry. But they got there with a very different car.

2013 Ford Fusion

On sale: Now Base price range: $22,495–$30,995
Engines 2.5L I-4, 175 hp, 175 lb-ft 1.6L I-4 turbo, 178 hp, 184 lb-ft 2.0L I-4 turbo, 240 hp, 270 lb-ft
Drive: Front- or four-wheel
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined): 22/34/26 mpg (2.5L, automatic) 23/36/28 mpg (1.6L, automatic) 25/37/29 mpg (1.6L, manual) 22/33/26 mpg (2.0L, FWD) 22/31/25 mpg (2.0L, AWD)
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Profile In Motion
Ford understands that in the hybrid arena, it’s all about the MPGs. Thus, the company is justifiably proud that the new Fusion Hybrid brought home EPA ratings of 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway, numbers that not only well surpass the 41/36 mpg ratings of the previous model but, more importantly, solidly beat the target Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 43/39 mpg—not to mention the also-ran Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s 35/40 mpg. If the Fusion Hybrid’s figures don’t quite match those of the Prius (51/48 mpg), they’re still good enough to make the Fusion the highest-mileage midsize sedan, a boast you’re sure to hear Ford shouting from the rooftops.
Arriving in Los Angeles for a first drive opportunity of the new Fusion, we were given access to the Hybrid first, for a 14-mile loop from Santa Monica, out briefly onto the Pacific Coast Highway, back into town on Sunset Boulevard, then through some more dense neighborhoods back to our starting point near the Civic Center. It was hardly a thorough shakedown but it was enough to develop some initial impressions of the Hybrid—and, by extension, of the new Fusion.

Less Does More

The Fusion Hybrid switches to a new powertrain—shared with the C-Max—that features a smaller gasoline engine than before. It’s still an Atkinson-cycle four, but it’s now a 2.0-liter rather than the previous 2.5. Despite the downsized engine, the total system power output is down by an inconsequential 3 hp, from 191 to 188 hp. There’s also a new electric motor, and the Fusion Hybrid is able to spend more time in EV mode, thanks to a lithium-ion battery that's more powerful—but smaller and lighter—than the previous nickel-metal-hydride unit. The battery alone can drive the car via the electric motor at speeds up to 62 mph, versus 47 mph previously, which of course helped the EPA highway rating.

In The Loop

We didn’t get close to that speed on our city loop, however. And we didn’t have enough open road to spend much time coasting along in EV mode. Instead, it was a lot of stopping and starting, accelerating and braking. Under those circumstances, the most impressive aspect of this powertrain is the job Ford engineers have done at making engine start-up and shutdown almost imperceptible. You can hear the engine when it’s running but there’s no shudder or vibration as it turns on and off. The finessing of the regenerative and friction braking is less successful. The regenerative brakes are grabby at all but the lightest touch, and the transition to friction braking is not seamless. Naturally, the Hybrid uses electric power steering, and it’s overly light at parking-lot speeds, becoming merely light once you’re moving along. The ride quality is a happier story, with the Hybrid gliding over the few surface irregularities we encountered on our route.

Screen Time

The previous Fusion Hybrid ushered in the fanciful, and variable, color-screen monitoring of hybrid system function—and driver coaching. The new one is similar but evolved. Reconfigurable screens again flank the speedometer. As before, the right one grows vines in response to eco-friendly driving. The left one used to have a ball-and-bar that moved left and right to help a driver see the point at which the gasoline engine would awaken from its slumber, but that graphic supposedly got mixed reviews and it’s gone. There’s a new variation on the coaching graphic, and drivers can also get a report card with three bar graphs, for acceleration, braking, and coasting, that are longer or shorter depending on how economical you were in those three areas. Also, with each stop, a battery icon says what percent of the potential regenerative energy you recovered; and a readout tells the distance traveled in EV mode. Of course, there is also fuel economy data, by interval and an average.
In other screen-related news, the Hybrid does offer MyFord Touch, but it’s optional. Unfortunately, flat-panel, touch-screen HVAC controls are standard (here and in all Fusions). At least there are volume and tuning knobs for the stereo. The standard cloth upholstery is eco-friendly (made from recycled plastic) but it’s also polyester-like; buyers can upgrade to leather. New with the 2013 Hybrid is a fold-down rear seatback and a trunk pass-through, thanks to the more compact battery. The battery still creates a pronounced lump in the trunk floor, however, and reduces total trunk space from 16 to 12 cubic feet.

Another Important Number

Another number that’s smaller than last time is the price. The 2013 Fusion Hybrid starts at $27,995 (with destination). That’s $1400 cheaper than the 2012 model, but is still $2005 more than a Camry Hybrid and $2145 more than a Sonata Hybrid. Ford marketers see their Hybrid as a much more compelling proposition than before, due to its higher mileage and lower cost premium. They expect gas-electric Fusions (the Hybrid and the plug-in Energi) to account for as much as 1 in 5 Fusions sold, versus 1 in 20 previously. These fuel-economy figures are indeed compelling. Although some aspects of this driving experience are unfortunately hybrid-like, the newest gas-electric Fusion has nailed the three most important aspects of a hybrid: fuel economy, fuel economy, fuel economy.
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

On sale: Now
Price: $27,995

Engine: 2.0L I-4 electric-hybrid
Horsepower (total system): 188 hp
Drive: Front-wheel
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion

New For 2013

The Fusion is all-new for 2013. Sleek new styling has the added bonus of reducing aerodynamic drag by ten percent, meaning a saving in fuel economy. There is no longer a V-6 engine option, as two EcoBoost four-cylinders step into the engine lineup. The Hybrid gets a new powertrain, which it shares with the C-Max. The 1.6-liter Fusion with an automatic transmission has auto stop/start technology for added fuel savings.

Overview

Even as the previous Fusion racked up impressive sales numbers, Ford had its eyes on a bigger prize—the one held by the Toyota Camry as the best-selling car in America. The all-new 2013 Fusion is ready for the challenge. The Fusion’s styling has no resemblance to the previous version, and yet the result is a cohesive whole that is unmistakably Ford. The old Fusion had a four-cylinder, two V-6s, and a hybrid. This time there are three fours, no V-6s, and two hybrids. The carryover 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the base engine. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo is optional, and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is standard on the Titanium, where it can be had with all-wheel drive—an unusual offering in this class. Both regular and plug-in hybrids are offered, although the plug-in, called the Fusion Energi, won’t be out until early 2013. The Fusion Hybrid, rated at a very impressive 47 mpg, uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder; a new, electronically controlled CVT; and a lithium-ion battery pack. Ford has shown real skill in chassis tuning, and that’s the case here, too. The Fusion turns in eagerly and resists body roll, but it also takes the edge off bumps. It feels taut and European. With attractive styling, a premium chassis, good fuel economy, and lots of available high-tech features, the Fusion is a solid choice in the mid-size-sedan segment.

Safety

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; torque-vectoring control; tire-pressure monitors; blind-spot mirrors; and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System are standard. A rearview camera and a reverse sensing system are standard on the Titanium and optional on the SE and the Hybrid.

You'll like:

  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Hybrid economy
  • Lots of high-tech features

You won't like:

  • Outward visibility
  • More expensive than some rivals

Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford Fusion

  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Camry
1.5L Beauty Shot
DEARBORN, Michigan – Ford’s new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine will take over from the 1.6 EcoBoost as the Fusion’s volume engine immediately when it becomes available at the beginning of the 2014 model year, says Joe Bakaj, powertrain engineering vice president. The new engine actually is based on the 1.6-liter EcoBoost it eventually will replace he says, though it has an in-head exhaust manifold like the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine available later this year in the Fiesta.
2013 Ford Fusion Red Three Quarter Front
While Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost four is only three years old, a new EcoBoost four that’s just 0.1-liter smaller will be added to the Fusion lineup in calendar year 2014. The new engine is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost I-4 based on Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3, already on sale in Europe. The 1.0-liter comes to the U.S. in the ’14 Fiesta later this year.

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Certified Pre-Owned 2013 Ford Fusion Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$16,350

Used 2013 Ford Fusion Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$21,900

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2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion
S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
22 MPG City | 34 MPG Hwy
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2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion
S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
$21,900
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21
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion
S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
175hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2013 Ford Fusion Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.5L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
22 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
34 MPG
Horsepower:
175 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
175 ft lb of torque @ 4500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
60,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:21
Component
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Summary
This is an update to a recently announced recall. Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Escape vehicles manufactured from October 5, 2011, through November 26, 2012, equipped with 1.6L engines, as well as certain model year 2013 Fusion vehicles manufactured from February 3, 2012, through November 29, 2012, equipped with 1.6L engines. Coolant system leaks may cause the engines to overheat and leak flammable engine fluids.
Consequences
If flammable engine fluids come in contact with the vehicle¿s hot exhaust system, a vehicle fire could occur.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the engine for coolant system leaks and reprogram the vehicle¿s powertrain control module and instrument cluster with an updated calibration and overheat strategy software. There will be no charge to owners for this service. Owners were recently notified to contact dealers to arrange for alternative transportation as Ford developed a remedy. Owners will be shortly receiving notifications to contact Ford dealers to schedule the free remedy repair. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
80,057
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:21
Component
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:HEADLIGHTS
Summary
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Fusion vehicles, manufactured from February 3, 2012, through October 20, 2012, for failing to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." The affected vehicles may not have had the low beam headlamp projector coating properly cured during its manufacturing process.
Consequences
An improperly cured projector coating will become hazy through operation, over time, reducing the brightness of the low-beam lamp. This may decrease driver visibility and increase the risk of a vehicle crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the headlamp assembly. The recall began on December 18, 2012. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
19,158
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Summary
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles; and certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the fuel delivery module may develop a crack, allowing fuel to leak.
Consequences
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module, free of charge. The recall began on July 20, 2013. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's recall campaign number is 13S04.
Potential Units Affected
390,783
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:30
Component
STEERING
Summary
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Fusion vehicles manufactured April 19, 2013, through April 23, 2013. The steering gears may be missing an internal retaining clip. If the clip is missing, components inside the steering gear may become dislodged inside the gear assembly.
Consequences
This could result in impaired steering, including the loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering gear, free of charge. The recall began on June 17, 2013. Ford's recall number is 13S06. Owners may contact the Ford customer relationship center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
20
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:RECLINER
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured August 15, 2012, through September 10, 2013, 2013-2014 Ford Escape vehicles manufactured June 5, 2012, through August 12, 2013, and 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured from July 23, 2012, through May 28, 2013. The driver and passenger seatback assemblies may have been produced with sub-standard weld joints used to attach the seat back recliner mechanism to the seat frame. The affected seat backs may have insufficient strength to meet the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, "Seating Systems."
Consequences
The back of the subject seats may become loose or lean while driving and potentially increase the risk of injury in certain crashes.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the seatback, free of charge. The recall began on May 30, 2014. Owners may contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14C03.
Potential Units Affected
43,135
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES:DOORS:LATCH
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) notified the agency on April 23, 2015, that they are recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013, and 2012-2014 Fiesta vehicles manufactured February 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013. On April 30, 2015, Ford expanded the recall to cover an additional 119,567 vehicles, including certain model year 2011 Ford Fiestas manufactured from November 11, 2009, to May 31, 2013 and certain model year 2013 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured from February 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012. A component within the door latches may break making the doors difficult to latch and/or leading the driver or a passenger to believe a door is securely closed when, in fact, it is not.
Consequences
A door that is not securely latched could open while the vehicle is in motion, increasing the risk of injury to a vehicle occupant.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace all four door latches with an improved part, free of charge. Interim notifications were mailed to owners on June 5, 2015. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts are available. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S16.
Potential Units Affected
456,440
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to March 20, 2015, and 2015 Ford Edge vehicles manufactured February 26, 2015, to February 28, 2015, and originally sold, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. In the affected vehicles, snow or water containing road salt or other contaminants may corrode the electric power steering gear motor attachment bolts.
Consequences
If the bolts corrode, the steering gear motor may detach from the gear housing resulting in a loss of power steering assist. Loss of power steering assist would require a higher steering effort, especially at lower speeds, which may increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will apply sealer and replace the steering gear motor bolts as required. If one or more of the steering gear motor attachment bolts are broken or missing, a new steering gear will be installed in the vehicle. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on June 24, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S14.
Potential Units Affected
487,301
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS:SIDE/WINDOW
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
SEAT BELTS
Summary
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Ford C-Max vehicles manufactured January 19, 2012, to November 21, 2013; Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured February 3, 2012, to August 24, 2013; Ford Escape vehicles manufactured October 5, 2011, to November 1, 2013; and Lincoln MKZ vehicles manufactured April 25, 2012, to September 30, 2013. The coating on portions of the Restraint Control Module (RCM) may crack, and when exposed to humidity, circuits on the printed circuit board may short.
Consequences
The short circuits could cause the frontal air bags, side curtain air bags and the seat belt pretensioners to not function as intended when needed, increasing the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.
Remedy
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RCM, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. The recall began on May 26,2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 14S21.
Potential Units Affected
746,842
Notes
Ford Motor Company


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
5
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
4
NHTSA Rating Front Side
3
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
5
NHTSA Rating Overall
5
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Ford Fusion

Depreciation
24.1%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$7,028
24.1%
Insurance
$7,090
24.3%
Fuel Cost
$9,348
32%
Financing
$1,821
6.2%
Maintenance
$2,458
8.4%
Repair Costs
$1,121
3.8%
State Fees
$356
1.2%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $29,222 What's This?
Value Rating: Average