NEW FOR 2009:

– Standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control
– New optional appearance packages: Blue Suede Package and Sport Appearance Package

For 2009, the Ford Fusion adds extra safety with the addition of standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, which was unavailable for 2008.

There are also two new appearance packages. The Sport Appearance Package pairs a Charcoal Grey interior with cloth seats and available leather trim, and new Vapour Silver and White Suede exterior colours. And although Elvis was more inclined toward Cadillac, the Blue Suede package honours him with a choice of Dark Blue Ink, Brilliant Silver, Sport Blue or Tuxedo Black exterior colour, with Charcoal Black interior, blue Alcantara suede seat inserts, blue stitching on leather-wrapped wheel and armrest, 18-inch Euroflange aluminum wheels, sport-tuned suspension, and special appliqués on the instrument panel, centre stack and interior door panels.

The Fusion is available with a choice of 2.3-litre Duratec four-cylinder engine with five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic, strictly in front-wheel drive configuration; or with a 3.0-litre Duratec V6 and six-speed automatic, in front- or all-wheel drive. Trim choices are the SE, with four-cylinder, and the SEL with four-cylinder or V6.

Features on the SE include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring system, six-way power driver’s seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and Sirius satellite radio, floor mats, power locks with keyless entry, power windows with one-touch-down driver’s side, cruise control, tilt and telescopic wheel with audio controls, illuminated vanity mirrors, fog lamps, heated mirrors, and speed-sensitive variable intermittent wipers.

The SEL models add 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, premium six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and Sirius satellite radio, Sync, exterior temperature display, compass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped wheel, heated mirrors with security approach lamps, automatic headlamps, and SecuriCode keypad.

Options on the SE include 16-inch alloy wheels and a Moons & Tunes package of sunroof and premium six-CD stereo; all models can be fitted with a block heater, premium six-CD stereo, remote starter, power sunroof, rear spoiler and reverse sensing system, while the SEL models can be optioned with the Blue Suede Package, the Sport Appearance Package, and a voice-activated navigation system.

Very well done for its price, the Fusion rides and handles well, offers good interior space, and has handsome styling. The four-cylinder can be anemic when mated to the automatic transmission, but the V6 is a good, all-around performer. In more luxurious form, the Fusion also forms the basis of the Lincoln MKZ.

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