POPULAR FORD FUSION ADDS V6 SPORT VERSION FOR 2017
By Tom Crosby
For all the concerns about safety, buyers still want vehicles that have ample horsepower even though speed remains the most consistent contributor to traffic crashes.
Ford understands this, so it loaded the amped new 2017 Ford Fusion Sport with a suite of safety options to help offset the 325-horsepower engine, the same engine powering the heavier Ford-150 pickup truck. It is now the most powerful engine in the mid-size sedan class. Non-Sport Fusions have an S driving mode for sportier driving but less horsepower. Our test drive Fusion V6 Sport (top of seven Fusion trims) included a suite of optional driver aids – adaptive cruise, voice activated navigation, lane keeping assist, pedestrian/blind spot detection and enhanced parking assist.
Fusions received top safety ratings in government and insurance crash tests. The 2017 Sport’s standard all-wheel-drive makes handling sure-footed in turns and well managed under acceleration. The ride is smartly cushioned with independent MacPherson struts in front and independent multilink in rear combining with twin-tube, gas-pressurized shock absorbers. It can detect road surface anomalies and automatically dampens the suspension to mitigate major pothole thumps.
The five-seater Sport will bring new pressure against the top trims of competitors like Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry and Mazda6. The Fusion Sport’s S driving mode adds upscale performance with increased engine growl, better steering feel and other performance features experienced best when using the manual steering wheel paddles. It’s a fun car to drive and well suited for families as well as sport enthusiasts.
The cabin is driver friendly, with a 10.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with clear graphics, pinch and swipe modifications and decent voice recognition. Using MySnyc, drivers can access iPhone and Android cellphones, seek 911 assistance, play music via USB or Bluetooth and receive real-time traffic, weather and sport updates.
Comfortable leather trimmed seats boast suede insets and the charcoal gray interior includes piping, chrome trim, aluminum-coated accelerator/brake pedals creating an overall friendly and sporty ambiance. Outside, the wedge-shaped Fusion Sport adds a gloss black mesh grille, deeper air intakes, a rear spoiler and quad exhaust pipes riding on 19-inch tarnished dark wheels.
Rear access/egress may be challenging for taller adults but rear seating is comfortable with decent head and legroom once ensconced. With rear seats folded, cargo space becomes ample. There is a spare tire and visors are extendable.
LIKES: Power, handling, ride, all-wheel drive, cabin, tech features
DISLIKES: Some wind noise, need for safety options
BOTTOM LINE: Sporty car lovers with a family have a worthy new consideration
- Base price w/destination fee $33,605 (options cost N/A)
- Curb weight 3,681 lbs.
- Wheelbase 112.2 inches
- Length 191.8 inches
- Width 83.5 inches
- Engine specs 2.7-liter, Ecoboost V-6, twin-turbo
- Horsepower 325-hp @ 5,500 rpm
- Torque 380 lb-ft @ 3,500
- Transmission 6-speed automatic/manual paddles
- EPA Rating 17-mpg city and 26 hwy
- Range 17.5-gallon tank, 93 octane
- Performance 0-60 in just over 5 seconds