Fuel economy for the front-drive Fusion SE 1.6 with six-speed auto is optimistically rated at 8.7 L/100 km city and 5.5 L/100 highway. In an upcoming Autos.ca mega-comparison test, this tester fared the worst, posting 10.4 L/100 km over an admittedly heavy-footed day. This is another trait I’ve noticed with Ecoboost engines-you have to pedal lightly to get near the claimed mileage.

With a mix of city and highway driving, my time with the Fusion ended at a respectable, if not remarkable, 9.6 L/100 km.

2013 Ford Fusion SE
2013 Ford Fusion SE. Click image to enlarge

While the Fusion’s sultry skin imparts a sense of timeless beauty, things on the inside, at least design-wise, are not in the same ballpark. The sculpted dashes of the Focus and Escape are not found in the Fusion-visually it’s a pretty bland effort featuring a sea of textured black plastic with some faux metal trim, only spiced up by the clear backlit speedo and colourful LCD displays that flank it.

This car was fitted with the $850 SE Tech/MyFord Touch Package that includes back-up camera. Ford has taken a ton of heat over this comprehensive touchscreen interface that initially proved overly complex, hard to operate, and slow to respond. And all that talk of recognizing 10,000 voice commands was a bit of hooey, too, as it seemed you had to ask it 10,000 times to do anything.

2013 Ford Fusion SE
2013 Ford Fusion SE. Click image to enlarge

This car had an improved version of MyFord Touch that sports simpler graphics and faster response to finger prods. Better but far from perfect. Much of this could be bypassed by using the panel below the screen that has redundant controls for seat heaters, HVAC and audio. The two rotary knobs were welcome landmark on this stark landscape.

But that’s just about it for griping. I found the front seats to be exemplary-snug, supportive, and firmly comfy in the finest European tradition. There’s plenty of legroom in the back, too-just a smidge shy of the class-leading Honda Accord-and the trunk is big, too.

With the recent influx of impressive new metal in this highly competitive segment, it won’t be a complete walk in the park for this fetching and fine-driving new offering from Ford. Or will it?

Stay tuned for our upcoming Family Sedan Mega Comparo.

Pricing: 2013 Ford Fusion SE 1.6 Ecoboost
Base price:
Optional equipment: $5,350 (SE Tech Package: MyFord Touch, back-up camera – $850; Equipment Group 205A: luxury package, heated front seats – $3000; Driver Assistance Package: lane keeping system and blind spot detection — $1500)
A/C tax: $100
Destination charge: $1,550
Price as tested: $31,499

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

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