A smart move to stay on the bestseller lists
Cars become popular when their designers think about everybody, particularly when they elevate the idea of “family sedan” to the rank of automotive primacy.
Thus, we have bestsellers such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Cruze — and the subject of this week’s column, the 2017 Ford Fusion V-6 Sport.
The midsize, all-wheel-drive V-6 Sport, mostly new for the new model year, is Ford’s effort to keep the Fusion in the “best-selling” class. It is a task as tricky as politics. Consumers, like voters, are fickle.
They were hot for the Fusion in 2013, its introductory year, largely smitten by Ford’s usurpation of the Aston-Martin grille. It wasn’t an outright theft by Ford, which once owned the British company and felt that it had the right to use the grille as part of the price of former ownership.
Anyway, it worked. The early Fusion — hmm, “Fusion,” Ford-Aston-Martin — was one of the snazziest midsize sedans in the U.S. car market. People loved it, and they were especially grateful in 2013 that it came with a fuel-efficient, reasonably powerful 2.0-liter gasoline, four-cylinder engine (160 horsepower, 146 pound-feet of torque). That car, with its fourcylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission, got 27 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway — pretty good for an automobile that looked and felt European but had a selling price and operating cost many Americans could afford.
The standard 2.0-liter, and now a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine, are still available for the many people who want them. Ford also offers the Fusion hybrid (the Fusion Energi) and the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with auto start-stop.
But times change. U.S. gasoline prices have dropped significantly since 2013. People still want fuel economy. But they now want more oomph behind their Aston-Martin grilles. Enter the 2017 Fusion V-6 Sport with even sleeker all-around exterior styling and a lot more power from its twin-turbocharged, 2.7-liter gasoline V-6 (325 horsepower, 380 pound-feet of torque).
Fuel efficiency has dropped a bit (17 miles per gallon city, 26 miles per gallon highway). But that isn’t bad considering that the V-6 Sport comes standard with all-wheel-drive, which is especially useful and confidenceinspiring in inclement weather.
I like this car — drove it everywhere in all kinds of weather. I also like the additional oomph provided by the turbocharged (forced air) V-6.
Despite its slightly weightier, more powerful engine, the V-6 Sport still feels light, tight and easy to manage on the road; overall it is enjoyable to drive. I stayed on the highway in this one and am convinced that Ford’s development and introduction of this model was a smart plan to keep the words “best-selling” in the Fusion’s description.
Nice car, Ford. Nice move.
The V-6 Sport feels light, tight and easy to manage on the road.