First Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion ford first drives
2010 Ford Fusion SE four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

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First Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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2010 Ford Fusion

Quebec City, Quebec – Historic Quebec City is home to the Plains of Abraham, which is best known as the place where General James Wolfe and the British army surprised and defeated the French in the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham. It was merely a chapter of The Seven Years’ War, a larger conflict that effectively ended France’s reign as a colonial power in North America.

Just minutes from historic site, inside the ramparts that surround beautiful Old Quebec, Ford gathered Canadian journalists to give us a look at its latest weapon in the war to win valuable family sedan market share.

That weapon is the 2010 Fusion, a model that, when first introduced in 2006, replaced the Taurus as the company’s midsize sedan. While this new, second-generation model is more striking to look at and has far more visual presence, it is only nominally larger than the car it replaces. Wheelbase remains the same, at 2,728 mm; overall length increases by 10 mm to 4,831, and width is identical at 1,834 mm.

First Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion ford first drives
First Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion ford first drives
First Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion ford first drives
2010 Ford Fusion SE four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

Gas-only Fusions (there is a hybrid version, covered in Jil McIntosh’s first drive) are available in three flavours. Base power is from a 2.5-litre four-cylinder making 175 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque; this motor replaces last year’s 2.3-litre unit, with improvements of 15 hp and 16 lb-ft of torque. Next up the ladder is a 3.0-litre V6 that is largely carried over from 2009, but is now tuned for 240 horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque (increases of 19 and 18, respectively).

The four-banger can be had in basic S trim, or better-equipped SE or SEL packaging, while the 3.0-litre can be optioned out in SEL trim (an SE V6 model will be made for the fleet market) with either front- or all-wheel drive.

New to the Fusion for 2010 is Ford’s 3.5-litre V6 engine, which is available exclusively in the Fusion Sport. As in other Ford models using this motor (the Flex, Edge and Taurus), it makes 263 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. In Canada, the Fusion Sport will be offered exclusively as an all-wheel drive model.

Transmission choices include a six-speed manual in four-cylinder models, and a six-speed automatic that is a $1,200 extra with the four, and comes standard with both six-cylinder engines. In V6-powered Fusions, the automatic gets Ford’s SelectShift manual shift function.

While the Fusion Hybrid is the fuel consumption leader of the line, the Fusion S four-cylinder with an automatic transmission is the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid mid-size car in Canada, according to its official fuel consumption ratings of 8.9/5.8 L/100 km (city/highway). The SE four-cylinder/automatic, which will likely be a volume seller, is rated at 9.4/6.4 (city/highway).

Six-cylinder models are rated 11.3/7.4 (SEL V6 FWD), 11.8/7.8 (SEL V6 AWD) and 12.6/8.3 (Sport AWD).

Aside from subtle badging differences and the Sport model’s rocker panel extensions and more aggressive front fascia, the main differentiator between the various trim levels will be the wheels. All are aluminum alloys: 16-inchers for the S model, 17s in three distinct styles for the SE four-cylinder, SEL four-cylinder and SEL V6, and 18-inch wheels for the Sport.

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