The 2013 Fusion is the latest in a string of recent redesigns in the popular midsized-sedan category. And in a class generally known for bland styling and a lack of driving excitement, it’s a fresh, charismatic newcomer. But like some promising and talented celebrities, it has just enough quirks to erode your enthusiasm.The new Fusion looks upscale and stylish, and it handles like a really good European sports sedan. We bought three versions: a top-trim Titanium, a mid-trim SE, and the SE Hybrid.
All versions provide a composed, civilized ride that’s as good as that of cars costing twice as much. The cabin is blessedly quiet. The Titanium version is the best-handling midsized sedan we’ve tested. And the Hybrid model posted the best fuel economy we’ve measured in a midsized sedan: 39 mpg overall. So what are the problems? One is Ford’s pair of EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engines that fall short in both acceleration and fuel economy, compared with competitive models such as the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.
Another beef is the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which handles audio, climate, and communications functions. Optional in mid-trim Fusions and compulsory in high-trim versions, it’s needlessly complicated and finicky to use.
Cabin space is a little snug, which compromises the driving position and rear-seat room. The Fusion’s sleek form reduces function, cutting into outward visibility. And our cars, which we bought soon after the Fusion went on sale, have multiple ill-fitting body and trim parts.