2010 Ford Fusion Sport AWD

Not only does the revised 2010 Fusion look great inside and out, its automatic transmission now (finally) allows manual control. Since the Fusion debuted for the 2006 model year, drivers' only forward gear choices were "D" and "L," the latter of which left much to be desired when hustling around back roads or descending steep grades. But the SelectShift function, which is now standard on all V-6 Fusions, has the +/- controls it needed. Shifts are quick in automatic mode but can be slow in the manu-matic gate if you're late on the draw. Still, I love that SelectShift holds gears, redline be damned, and that you push forward to downshift and backward to upshift (unlike many manufacturers' opposite approaches).

This Sport edition is plenty quick, thanks to its 3.5-liter V-6, but I still wonder if the Taurus SHO's ballsy twin-turbo 3.5-liter would fit under the Fusion's hood. Now THAT could be a very fun car, if done properly. The Sport model features soft-touch trim (red in this particular car) on the dash, which seems nicely done. However, we've heard through the Ford grapevine that this material doesn't hold up very well over the long term, and that's why the material wasn't installed in Ford's sportiest sedan, the Taurus SHO.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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