"The Fusion is in desperate need of an update and until it gets one we'd recommend you look for a more modern rival."
The Ford Fusion is based on the old Ford Fiesta so it immediately feels dated as soon as you step into the cabin. It shows in the driving experience too, which is good enough but lacks the sparkle of some more modern cars. The petrol engines are quite slow and not particularly efficient and the interior looks dated and isn't up to Ford's normally high standards. Until the Fusion is replaced, we'd recommend avoiding it and looking at newer models.
Due to be replaced shortly, the Fusion is now only offered with a 1.4-litre or 1.6-litre petrol engine. Neither one is particularly quick, with the smaller of the two taking 13.7 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph and the larger 1.6-litre engine taking 11 seconds. Both come fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, and the four-speed automatic is no longer available. With its increased ride height and tall body, the Fusion isn't the most agile of cars and tends to roll quite a bit in corners.
With a larger body than the previous-generation Fiesta on which it's based, the Fusion is more comfortable for rear passengers. However, that car's hard ride meant it wasn't the most comfortable and the Fusion is no different, if not a little bit stiffer. The petrol engines also need to be revved hard before you can make any real progress, increasing the amount of noise in the cabin. Motorway speeds are worse with wind and road noise prominent at the national limit.
On sale since 2002, the Fusion has proved itself to have a pretty spotless reliability record. Most of its more modern rivals will have a five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety but the Fusion makes do with just four. Cabin quality is below par and the design also looks incredibly dated.
It may be small, but the Ford has been designed with practicality in mind and manages to cram a lot of space into the cabin. The boot is large enough for everyday needs and can be boosted to over 1000 litres when the rear seats are folded along with the front passenger seat, which also folds flat.
Value for money
Buying from new, there are only two trim levels available on the Ford Fusion – Zetec and Titanium. You'll find a long list of equipment on both though, including a quick-clearing heated windscreen, electric windows, air-con and Bluetooth connectivity. If you do go for Titanium trim level, you get a sportier look, including tinted windows, larger alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers included.
Neither of the engines on offer in the Ford Fusion will be particularly cheap to run. CO2 emissions are high enough to warrant a fairly hefty road tax bill and the fuel economy isn't great either. The smaller engine is capable of 43.5mpg and the larger, 42.8mpg.