2014 Ford Fusion Review

Don’t follow the herd, there’s an alternative. And it’s a good one

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Ford Fusion Review

Are you a saloon-driver? Are you reconciled to life of traffic-crawling in a dowdy dull-box that competently transports you from home to work (after which you promptly lose it amongst a sea of more dull-boxes and resort to walking along plipping, untill you find your faithful if uninspiring steed). Have you ever walked pensively along the beach, turned to the shimmering horizon and cried out: ‘is this it? Isn’t there anything more?!’ before hurling your keys into the ocean?

Well once you’ve startled in realisation at this foolhardy action, jumped into the water and retrieved your keys – you might wanna head over to your nearest Ford dealer and have a gander at this. It’s not a Mustang, it’s not a Raptor, it’s not even a Focus ST, it’s much more real world than those achingly desirable blue oval carriers, but it ramps up the appeal like nothing else in its segment.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

Prices start at AED84,000 ($23k) for a car that looks like an Aston Martin from the front and is better resolved than the fabled British marque’s own Rapide four-door. This sleek saloon will look pretty slick in the office car park.

What’s it like inside?

But you spend most of your life behind the wheel, so perhaps exterior aesthetics is not a key concern. Well here is where the news is even better. It’s a given that there’s decent space in the back and the driver comfort and seating position is good.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

But when it comes to the dashboard there are clean, crisp and stylish surfaces, with a genuine upmarket feel. And that’s before you turn it on and the black screen lights up presenting the Ford logo and settling on a multi-option homepage, whilst the two screens on the instrument panel flanking the analogue speedometer also come to life.

Where the screen in the dash serves up your infotainment as well as climate and trip computer, there’s supplemental info in the binnacle through the two aforementioned displays. Scroll through them to choose between rev-counter, trip, phone, audio and even a compass – there was no sat nav fitted to the test car.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

Also below the centre screen are smooth black surfaces that purport to be touch buttons. In fairness these have gotten better as Ford has developed its MyTouch interfaces over the last years, and are very responsive if still lacking in haptic feedback.

There’s a storage bin beneath that is ideal for your sunnies and wallet, two cupholders behind the auto shifter and a deep cubby box with the usual connectables within. You can certainly hook up your phone or Bluetooth it, and the stereo boasts good sound clarity and depth – go on pump up the volume!

2014 Ford Fusion Review

Our Fusion had remote locking but not keyless entry and start, a reversing camera with over-cautious beeps and a nanny somewhere in the machinery that keeps piping up and telling you you’re over-speeding. Oh shut up woman!

What’s it like to drive?

It’s quiet and refined for its class, plus the ride is good if a bit knobbly around town and serene progress is aided by keen performance from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 175bhp and 175lb ft of torque, driving the front wheels through a six-speed auto.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

In fact it sounds pretty decent too, and whilst this is no sports saloon, it’s about right for the segment. Only the transmission seems a little slow on the upshifts and occasionally hunts for the right ratio. There are no paddles, but then that would be inappropriate, though there is a tip-shifter on the shifter knob, that doesn’t really encourage use.

This however is a minor quibble and is more than compensated by the cars steering. Did I say this saloon wasn’t sporty? Well yes, that’s still correct, except that the steering has other ideas. It’s remarkably responsive and accurate with good feel and hardly any of the play you might expect in a saloon in this segment. In fact sometimes it seems overly eager! Get used to it though and you can exploit the decent chassis and grip, and hustle this thing along at a decent lick.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

It doesn’t demonstrate any of the lethargy of movement when it comes to direction changes you might expect from its peers, and excellent body control keeps things taught and under control where rivals might get a little unseemly.

Verdict

There’s a lot of feel-good factor here for the money. Instead of settling for mundanity you can have something with elegance, pace and grace for around the same money as the hugely popular Japanese saloons in this segment.

Space, comfort and quality is good, it’s on par when it comes to performance, and edges ahead in terms of reponse and handling and sheer showroom appeal. Definitely worth sticking on the shortlist.

2014 Ford Fusion Review

2014 Ford Fusion Review – The Specs

Price: AED84,000 ($23k) – Range topper tested at AED135k ($37k)
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder, 175bhp @ 6000rpm, 175lb ft @ 4500rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 9/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 9.4 seconds, Top speed 217kph
Gross Weight: 1554kg

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