CHANGES FOR 2013:

– New model.

Ford shakes up the mid-size family sedan game with this gorgeous four-door. Luckily, its beauty is more than skin deep. Developed as a global vehicle, it is blessed with a fine chassis that expertly blends ride comfort and engaging dynamics. The interior is a bit bland but the excellent seats make up for it. The Fusion is available with AWD, has four engine choices and a manual six-speed transmission is offered on the 1.6L EcoBoost model. Spoiled for choice and wrapped in the skin that distances itself from the competition by a country mile, the Fusion leaps to the forefront.

Like its predecessor, this re-done Fusion hybrid sedan is notable for its integrated gas–electric system that does a fine job of disguising its hybrid-ness. So much so, this hybrid was named AJAC’s Best New Family Car over $30K. It shows all the dynamic prowess of its gas stablemates, and while down on output slightly from the previous generation hybrid, its forward progress is smooth and linear, as is the steering. The cheerfully colourful graphics keep you informed of all the mechanical trickery and coach you towards more fuel-efficient motoring. Being green never looked so good.

The Fusion is available a S, SE, and Titanium trims. Engines include a choice of 2.5L Duratec four-cylinder (170 hp, 170 lb.-ft.), 1.6L EcoBoost four-cylinder (178/173 hp, 184 lb.-ft.), and 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder (240/231 hp, 270 lb.-ft.) engines; or, if you want to go the electrified route, a 2.0L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and hybrid drivetrain (141 hp, 129 lb.-ft.). Gone is the 3.0L V6 used in the previous generation Fusion.

In S trim, features include 2.5L Duratec four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, front floor mats, power locks, remote trunk release, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, map lights, three (3) 12 volt power outlets, Easy Fuel capless filler system, power windows with one-touch up/down (driver and passenger), message centre with trip computer, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, automatic headlights, Ford MyKey, four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with auxiliary input, Ford SYNC, 4-way driver/2-way passenger manually adjustable seats, body colour power mirrors with integrated spotter mirrors, body colour door handles and bumpers, chrome grille, LED taillights, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, airbags (front, front side, side curtain, driver and front passenger knee), TPMS, LATCH, SOS post crash alert, perimeter alarm, and emergency brake assist.

SE trim adds rear centre armrest, compass, exterior temperature gauge, rear A/C vents, six-speaker audio, satellite radio, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated exterior mirrors, security approach lamps, body colour rocker molding, 17-inch alloy wheels, and SecuriCode keyless entry keypad.

Features on the S include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power mirrors, cruise control, one-touch up/down power windows, power locks with keyless entry, illuminated entry, tilt and telescopic wheel, MyKey, driver and passenger vanity mirrors, cloth seats, split-folding rear seat, CD/MP3 stereo, speed-sensitive variable intermittent wipers, low tire pressure warning, trip computer, and security system.

The SE adds 17-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, seatback storage pockets, automatic headlamps, eight-way power driver’s seat, floor mats, wheel-mounted audio controls, and fog lamps.

SE Hybrid gets the same features as SE plus hybrid drivetrain with 1.4kWh lithium ion battery pack and CVT transmission, dual-zone automatic climate control, dual LCD SmartGauge with Eco Guide, eco-friendly cloth seating, unique 17-inch wheels, and tire mobility kit (in place of spare tire).

SE Energi gets the same features as SE Hybrid plus plug-in charging functionality with LED illuminated charge port, 7.6 kWh lithium ion battery pack, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, MyFord Mobile, SYNC with MyFord Touch, leather-trimmed front heated seats with driver’s seat memory, and fog lights.

Titanium adds (to SE) 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, paddle shifters, all-wheel drive, 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather steering wheel and shift knob, reverse sensing system, rear view camera, ambient lighting, auto-dimming mirror, aluminum pedals and front scuff plates, push button start with remote start, 12-speaker Sony audio, SYNC with MyFord Touch, passenger power reclining seat, leather-trimmed sport-styled front heated seats, chrome accented door handles, fog lights, rear deck spoiler, and dual exhaust.

Titanium Hybrid gets the same features as Titanium plus drivetrain with 1.4kWh lithium ion battery pack and CVT transmission, dual LCD SmartGauge with Eco Guide, single exhaust, and tire mobility kit (in place of spare tire). All-wheel drive is not available.

Titanium Energi gets the same features as Titanium Hybrid plus plug-in charging functionality with LED illuminated charge port, 7.6 kWh lithium ion battery pack, MyFord Mobile, and 17-inch wheels.

Connect with Autos.ca