Review and photos by Chris Chase

In a tough economic climate that has many automakers keeping existing designs in production for longer periods of time, Ford has taken the opposite tack with its Fusion mid-size sedan. It was introduced as a brand new model in 2006 (when it replaced the Taurus, which later returned as a full-size sedan), underwent a major refresh in 2010, and moved into its third generation for the 2013 model year.

The second-generation Fusion shared much of its basic structure with its predecessor, leading many sources to consider all 2006 through 2012 Fusions first-generation cars. I’d argue otherwise, as the 2010 update included new engine choices and a brand new automatic transmission; mechanical changes can make a big difference in a car’s dependability status, as you’ll find out later.

A 2.5L four-cylinder engine (175 hp/172 lb-ft of torque) was the new base powerplant (it replaced the 2.3L used previously), and a revised version of the 3.0L V6 (240 hp/228 lb-ft) was the upgrade. New to the Fusion was a 3.5L V6 (263 hp/249 lb-ft), used in the Sport trim. Also new for 2010 was a hybrid model that paired the 2.5L with an electric motor for 156 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque.

Used Vehicle Review: Ford Fusion, 2010 2012 used car reviews reviews ford
2010 Ford Fusion SE four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

New transmissions included a six-speed manual that was standard in four-cylinder cars, and a six-speed automatic offered as an option with the four-cylinder, and the only gearbox in six-cylinder cars. The hybrid used a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

All-wheel drive was an option with the 3.0L V6 and standard with the 3.5L engine; these cars used an Aisin-built six-speed automatic carried over from the first generation car, while the four-cylinder and front-drive 3.0L cars got a new six-speed auto that Ford co-developed with General Motors.

In 2010, the entry-level S model got 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows/locks/mirrors and keyless entry, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, split-folding rear seat, speed-sensitive intermittent wipers, trip computer, and security system.

The SE added 17-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, power driver’s seat, steering wheel–mounted audio control, and fog lights.

Used Vehicle Review: Ford Fusion, 2010 2012 used car reviews reviews ford
2010 Ford Fusion SE four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

A move up to the SEL brought 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, overhead console, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, rear reading lamps, compass, and outside temperature display.

Fusion Hybrids got similar standard equipment as the SEL, but deleted the folding rear seat.

The top-trim Sport got 18-inch wheels, sport suspension, rear spoiler, power sunroof, heated leather seats, electric passenger seat, premium stereo, and backup and blind spot warning systems.

A number of changes were made for 2011, including standard MyKey and integrated spotter mirrors across the range. Four-cylinder Fusions with the automatic transmission got a manual shift mode with the optional sport appearance package. Rain-sensing wipers were added to the Sport model as standard, and made optional in SLE and Hybrid models; the SE got automatic headlights; the electric driver’s seat was upgraded to eight-way adjustable in the SE, ten-way in SEL, Sport and Hybrid trims, and the power passenger seat in SEL, Sport, and Hybrid models was now four-way adjustable; a new luxury package could be added to the SEL, and sport and chrome sport appearance packages were available on SE and SEL models.

Used Vehicle Review: Ford Fusion, 2010 2012 used car reviews reviews ford
2010 Ford Fusion SE four-cylinder. Click image to enlarge

In 2012, the SE’s steel wheels were replaced with alloys.

Fuel consumption ratings, according to Natural Resources Canada testing, ranged from 9.0/6.0 L/100 km (all figures listed as city/highway) for a basic Fusion S fitted with the four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, to 12.7/8.3 L/100 km for the 3.5L AWD Sport model. With the 3.0L engine, ratings were 11.1/7.3 in front-drive form, and 11.8/7.8 with AWD. The hybrid was the most efficient, naturally, with impressive ratings of 4.6/5.4 L/100 km.

The first-generation Fusion was — and to my mind, still is — one of the most reliable cars Ford has produced in recent memory, and one of the best used vehicle values you’ll find. So, it’s unfortunate that some of the shine has worn off with this updated model.

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