September 28, 2012
2013 Ford Fusion 1.6 SE. Click image to enlarge
First Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
First Drive: 2013 Honda Accord
First Drive: 2013 Nissan Altima
Test Drive: 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6
Day-by-Day Review: 2012 Toyota Camry XLE
Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony
2013 Ford Fusion
Santa Monica, CA – Apparently, the 2013 Ford Fusion is causing quite a fuss in the media south of the border, and understandably so. In the United States, mid-size sedans sales are booming, accounting for over 18 percent of the market, up significantly from 16 percent last year and 14 percent in 2007, according to data from Edmunds.com. In Canada, mid-size sedans are tracking at about 10 percent, also up from last year’s 8 percent, but still nowhere near the American market share and, of course, nowhere near the total volume of US sales.
In Canada, the Ford sold 12,115 Fusions through August, compared to 181,865 in the States—there won’t even be that many mid-size cars sold in Canada by all brands in a whole year. The Fusion has also been bumped out of the top 10 bestselling cars in Canada by the recently updated Camry, which is at 13,169 units sold through August. It won’t be trailing the Camry for much longer, though.
As soon as the 2013 Ford Fusion debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past winter, its looks drew instant comparison to Aston Martin. Not a bad comparison to have people making about your new mid-size sedan, the segment of such scintillating designs as the Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, and everyone’s favourite whipping boy, the Toyota Camry. Thankfully, Hyundai has broken the mold with its ‘Fluidic Motion’ Sonata (helping them sneak into the top 10 in car sales in Canada for 2011) and now the Fusion is raising the bar.
2013 Ford Fusion 2.0 SE. Click image to enlarge
Even if the Fusion was a complete disaster to drive (which it is not), they would still sell plenty on looks alone. It is incredibly hard to think of the Fusion as a family sedan when walking around it, so sleek and sporty are its looks. I can only hope that those who predict that the next Mustang will adopt this look (derived from the seminal Evos concept) further are right—I love the current retro Mustang, but time stands still for no man or car design, and it is time to bring the Mustang well into the 21st century in design terms if not suspension engineering.
But I digress. The Fusion sports a gaping maw of a grille filled with horizontal chrome slats and bordered on either side by slim, angular headlights, creases for that trendy downward pointing snout that implies a hunger to be driven. The side continues a sporting look, with taut shoulders and a highlight indentation in the lower door that complement the sloping, coupe-like roofline that meet in the similarly slim taillights, a very subtle spoiler, and matte plastic bumper inserts intended to suggest a rear diffuser. Wheel options once you get past the base 17-inch steel wheels further emphasize the Fusion’s athletic promise with sporty alloy wheel options from 17–19 inches and a luxury theme multi-spoke 18-inch polished aluminum rims for the Titanium trim or 17-inch painted aluminum on the hybrid.
The interior doesn’t quite blow away the competition like the graceful yet athletic exterior, but it is still a nice cabin. Ford has subdued its alien invasion impulses gone with a more subdued look for the dash and centre console. On upper trim models, the MyFord Touch eight-inch touchscreen dominates the centre stack, with redundant buttonless touch controls below it now permanently available to address the widespread complaints about having to navigate the slow and tedious touchscreen for common temperature and audio adjustments.