A new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder becomes the volume engine for the 2014 Ford Fusion; the 1.6-liter EcoBoost is now offered only with a manual transmission. Rear-seat inflatable seatbelt air bags and a heated steering wheel become optional, as does an interior appearance package for the 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium that features brick red leather seats and door inserts. Dark side and sunset join the exterior paint color chart, and dune upholstery is now available for the 2014 Ford Fusion SE...
The Ford Fusion made its debut at the 2005 Detroit auto show. It effectively replaced the slightly larger Taurus as the marque's mid-size sedan after that model grew up to become -- at least for a short time -- the Five Hundred. The Fusion was an immediate success for Ford. This newest version was first shown at the 2012 Detroit auto show, where it captured several awards for its eye-catching design. The styling of its narrow, angular headlights and giant front grille draw comparisons to Aston Martin. The new Fusion benefits from a long list of gadgets, including a self-parking system, a blind-spot monitor, touchscreen navigation, and push-button start. The Fusion sells very well, although it hasn't quite caught up to its chief Japanese rivals -- Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. However, it is a solid entrant in a very competitive market segment segment.
The 2014 Ford Fusion already had an expansive engine lineup, and the addition of a new 1.5-liter makes it even bigger. The base model comes with a 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but we'd skip it unless you're on an extremely tight budget. The next step up is the aforementioned 1.5-liter, an EcoBoost turbo four that produces 178 hp and is expected to return much better fuel economy than the 2.5-liter, especially with its automatic stop-start feature. The 1.5-liter provides a blend of power and economy that should satisfy most drivers. A 178-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost was previously the Fusion's volume engine. It is still offered, and is in fact the only engine that comes with a manual transmission instead of the six-speed automatic that is standard with the other engines. The top-dog 2.0-liter EcoBoost makes 240 hp and is more than powerful enough for this type of car; it's also the only 2014 Ford Fusion engine that can be fitted with all-wheel drive.
Ford also offers two excellent gasoline-hybrids, the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the plug-in Fusion Energi. Both models drive extremely well and offer few clues that they have hybrid powertrains under the hood. The Fusion Hybrid is rated at 47 mpg thanks to a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, electric motor, and continuously variable transmission. The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi has a bigger battery that can be charged in as little as two and a half hours and allows for up to 21 miles of all-electric driving. Although the pair of hybrids is impressive, standard gasoline-powered Fusions are also quite fuel-efficient and cost considerably less.
In our latest midsize sedan comparison test, we lauded the Fusion's athletic ride and handling, strong turbocharged engines, and winning exterior styling. The car ultimately lost out to rivals because its narrow windows made back-seat passengers claustrophobic, build quality was inconsistent, and the MyFord Touch system was distracting and difficult to use. That said, the 2014 Ford Fusion is still one of the best cars in this segment and more than merits cross-shopping for buyers who want style, fun, and efficiency in a midsize sedan.
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