Ford Fusion mini MPV (2002 - 2011)
- Practical interior
- Based on Ford Fiesta
- Easy to drive
- Feels very dated
- Quite expensive to run
- Ride is uncomfortable
"The Ford Fusion was a practical alternative to a Fiesta, but it lacked the intelligent interior features of rivals. It has now been replaced by the Ford B-MAX."
The Ford Fusion had an unusally long life, lasting from 2002 to 2011 and was based on the Ford Fiesta sold at the time. Even halfway through its life, the Fusion felt dated, so by 2011 few mourned its passing. It shows in the driving experience too, which was good enough but lacked the sparkle of some more modern cars.
None of the engines offered particularly good performance, but at least the diesels provided decent fuel economy. However they were dropped from the range later in the car's life, meaning if you're looking at a used Fusion, you'll have to choose quite an old one to take advantage of the diesel.
The petrol engines are quite slow and not particularly efficient, but were available with both automatic and manual gearboxes.
The interior looked even when the car was on sale, and wasn't up to Ford's normally high standards.
Despite this, the Fusion's replacement, the Ford B-MAX is a impressive little people carrier and features clever rear-hinged back doors. There are no pillars between the front and rear doors either, meaning it's really easy to climb into the back seats.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Petrol engines demand a large tax bill and drink plenty of fuel
Neither of the petrol engines offered in the Ford Fusion are 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.
Far better were the diesel engines, but they were dropped from the range in 2011 as they were comparatively unpopular. Here more than 60mpg is possible from both the 1.4- and 1.6-litre engines, although road tax is more expensive than you'll find with newer models.
Engines, drive & performance
Engines don't offer enough punch, handling is reasonable
Four engines were variously available during the Fusion's nine-year life: petrol and diesel engines in both 1.4- and 1.6-litre sizes. The petrol was offered with the option of an automatic gearbox, and thanks to the car's popularity with Motoability drivers, there are plenty of automatics available on the used market.
The 1.4-litre petrol took 13.1 seconds to cover 0-62mph, increasing the 14 seconds for the automatic. The 1.6-litre petrol was a better performer, with 0-62mph taking 10.6 seconds - or 11.8 if you choose an auto. the 1.4-litre diesel took a slow 15 seconds to reach 62mph, while the 1.6 took 11.2 seconds. All versions could record a top speed of just over 100mph, apart from the 1.4-litre TDCi diesel.
With its increased ride height and tall body, the Fusion wasn't the most agile of cars, with steering lacking the feel of a Fiesta and plenty of body lean in corners.
Interior & comfort
Ride is too stiff but cabin is spacious
The Fusion wasn't the quietest car of its type, nor the most comfortable. A Nissan Note of a similar age would be a preferable companion. The suspension was surprisingly stiff, meaning it'd bounce, rather than glide, over bumps. The engines were quite noisy too - the diesels were quite rattly, while the petrols needed to be thrashed to get the best performance from them, which increased noise inside the car.
Practicality & boot space
Small but practicality is maximised
It may be small, but the Ford was 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. But it lacked the clever features you'd find in a comtemporary Nissan Note.
Reliability & safety
Proven track record since 2002 as mostly reliable
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 made do with just four. Cabin quality is below par and the design also looks incredibly dated.
Price, value for money & options
All models well equipped, and are fairly cheap as a used buy
Plenty of trims were available throughout the Fusion's life, but Ford thinned out the range towards the end. By 2011 it was Zetec and Titanium only. Here you'll find a long list of equipment on both, 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.