2006 Ford Fusion Impressions.

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I just got to drive the new Fusion, and I came out pretty impressed.
The car I drove was a 3.0Liter V6, automatic with 16 inch wheels. An SE model.

The 1st thing I noticed was how much nicer the interior was than what I saw in pictures. Sure, it isn’t futuristic, but still, very modern and well finished. Soft plastics are almost everywhere. Everything feels very nice and solid to the touch.
One thing though… Make sure you skip whatever they call “carbon fiber finish”. It comes with a horrible finish on the dash. Some weird painted plastic than wants to look like metal. I usually don’t say this often, but.. Go for the fake wood (or “piano black”) and the leather steering wheel. The standard wheel has a cheap rental car feel and look to it.

The V6, of course, feels very similar than the one in the Mazda 6. (same engine). The car is roomier than the Mazda. The rear seat has plenty of room.
The steering has a pretty good feel, maybe a bit heavy for some, but so much better than the Nissan Altima. It doesn’t have that strange “Nintendo” feel that many new cars have…
It is quiet, but not the quietest. The V6 is very smooth, but nothing like the Nissan V6. But the whole car felt more solid than the Maxima I was driving a few weeks ago.
The transmission was great and very quick to downshift on the freeway. (something the automotive press has actually been complaining about, so maybe they changed it in production cars…).

This is one very nice mid.sized sedan. It also looks fantastic! But it still doesn’t have that “special” feeling I had when I drove the Mazda 6. The Mazda felt like it was fitting like a glove. Something got lost in the Ford. It just isn’t special anymore.
Very nice, but not much personality….

I also sat in the all new Lincoln Zephyr.
It does look very different than the Ford. Even if it shares doors and roof. The interior is also new.
It has an almost strange retro 70’s look to it. But in a good way. Although the dash sits pretty high and might be intimidating to shorter drivers.
The fit and finish was very nice on the small Lincoln. They could have used a bit less fake aluminum trim. It is everywhere. And it’s just painted plastic. But Lexus also uses painted plastic…

A super well equipped car for under $30 000.
It’ll be interesting to see how it does. I was pretty impressed.
But then again, I don’t really care about brands. If it’s a good car, I don’t care who makes it.
Most buyers are not like that. Especially when they spend over $30000.

And Lincoln’s image is pretty much crap against Lexus, Acura or Infiniti…

Conversation 8 comments

  1. Thats a real nice pic of the chrome front fascia and it makes me really think that ford nailed this car. I also think that they finally got their british minimalist/conservative design right unlike the ford 500 which didn’t come out so good. Ford, unlike Gm has been able for a while to crank out well valued cars probably due to their cost cutting measures. These midsizers, for ford, mercury, and lincoln are really going to take off because they finally got the style right where people will want it.

  2. right. I can’t imagine cross shoping a Malibu with this!
    Maybe a G6. But the interior quality is inferior. And I have to say, the Fusion is pretty stunning in person. The loaded one was around $26000.
    In a few months, that’s mean more like, under $23000. And that’s a loaded car.
    I really want to drive the 2.3Liter. That engine was great in the Mazda6. But Ford seems to ship almost all V6 s right now.

  3. The Fusion 4 banger is my Moms next car. I helped her buy her first NEW car ever a few years back and now she is ready to trade out of her Focus. I showed her some pictures of the Fusion and she loved it immediately. The Fusion four banger is well within her budget. I guess building them in Mexico is good for something 😉

    If I were in the market for a reasonably priced mid sized family car, the Fusion would definitely be on the top of my list. Now we just need to see how the competition from Toyota responds.

  4. BTW Vince, you’re right. The G6 would be a direct competitor and even a superior vehicle if the bean counters hadn’t completely ruined the interior.

    Now go put an interior that is as nice as the Impala and I’d probably change my mind. The G6 does have a better engine lineup and I imagine the 6 speed auto will eventually find its way into that car.

    The only thing Ford needs to add to the Fusion, IMO, is that 3.5liter V6 they are planning.

  5. Could they make the FORD emblem any bigger on the front to the fusion? It ruins the nice lines of the 3 bar grill. And why don’t they color code it to the cars color!!! Blue just doesn’t work with all car colors! (yeh yeh I know thats the ways its always been, but , ford needs to start thinking outside the box!!)

  6. I drove a Milan last week.

    I really liked the car, but it is NOISY. Worse than the Accord. If you think this car is quiet, then you are on drugs.

    The passenger seat is tilted up at the front. Not comfortable for me.

    The noise issue is a deal killer.

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