A shift-it-yourself gearbox goes a long way to making the Ford Fusion a fun car, but I imagine those who actually buy a manual transmission in the mid-size segment are looking for a more sporting package than the Fusion. Ford's family sedan is a good car with a palatable ride-handling balance, functional and attractive interior, and useful space, but those attributes will mostly appeal to more mainstream buyers. If you're willing to sacrifice rear-seat legroom, the Suzuki Kizashi offers a more dynamic chassis, with surer steering and better composure over rough surfaces. It's a car that feels more certain of itself when pushed to its limits.
Even though the Fusion has adopted the MyFord Touch infotainment system yet, it still maintains the most capable, most accessible technology in the segment. There's a steep learning curve, but Bluetooth audio streaming, the excellent voice recognition, and Sync Services (which acts much like OnStar) provide a seamless experience for navigating, listening to your personal music collection, and making phone calls, all without a nav screen.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor