2009 Ford Fusion

2009 Ford Fusion 2009 Ford Fusion


Based on the same platform as the outgoing Mazda 6, the Fusion is available in three trim levels—S, SE, SEL—and is powered by a 160-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine or a 221-hp, 3.0-liter V-6. The base S comes only in four-cylinder guise; the inline-four and the V-6 are available in the more upscale SE and SEL trim levels. The standard transmission for four-cylinder models is a five-speed manual, with the option of a five-speed automatic. V-6 models come only with a six-speed automatic.

The Fusion is a solid player in the family sedan market, and it has the added benefit for people who live in the Snowbelt of being available with all-wheel drive. It’s worth noting, though, that all-wheel drive is only available on V-6 SE and SEL models. Early in 2009, a Fusion hybrid is expected to go on sale as a 2010 model, adding further flexibility to the range. A face lift should also arrive at the same time as the hybrid.


In many ways, the Fusion is an appealing mid-size sedan that often gets lost in the shuffle. As well as offering all-wheel drive, the Fusion is somewhat sporty, especially with the four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. It is attractively priced, too, starting under $20,000 in four-cylinder S form and rising to just over $26,000 in uplevel SEL trim with the V-6 engine and all-wheel drive.

The Fusion looks good, has a reasonably well-appointed interior, and can be outfitted with Ford’s Sync multimedia system that integrates mobile phones and most media players into the vehicle using Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity. Even so, a Fusion placed sixth in the last Car and Driver mid-size comparison test, let down by its five-speed automatic transmission and underpowered four-cylinder engine.

The Fusion’s main weakness is, simply, that it’s outgunned by rivals such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima, all of which have more horsepower in both four-cylinder and V-6 forms.

Click here to read our full review of the Ford Fusion.

Click here to read our latest comparison test involving the Ford Fusion.

What’s New for 2009

Ambient lighting—which allows drivers to personalize the interior with one of seven colors—Sirius satellite radio, a five-speed automatic on four-cylinder SEL models, and traction control on the V-6 are now standard features. A stability-control system joins the options list, and the new Blue Suede package adds, among other items, blue Alcantara seat inserts and fancy stitching.

Highlights and Recommendations

The base S is a good value, offering power locks, mirrors, and windows, plus air conditioning as standard for just under $20,000. The SEL is the uplevel model, starting at $23,000 for the four-cylinder and rising to $24,500 or so for the V-6. (The all-wheel-drive version adds another $1850 to the price of the V-6.) A leather-wrapped steering wheel, the Sync system, and 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. A DVD-based navigation system is an $1895 option, which is pricey considering that removable standalone units can be bought much cheaper, but it’s not out of line with other factory-offered nav systems.

The best choice is the mid-line SE model, especially in four-cylinder form, which returns 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with a five-speed manual. Best of all, that combo starts at less than $21,000. (The V-6 gets 18/26 mpg.) Standard equipment includes a six-way power driver’s seat, 16-inch wheels, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, and a six-CD in-dash changer.

In the end, although the Fusion remains stylish and a good value, it loses a lot of ground to the competition in power and available space. Most other family sedans have grown to full-size proportions—including the brand-new Mazda 6—but the Fusion is relatively small inside and out. If you need tons of room, look elsewhere.


The Fusion has front, front-side, and curtain airbags, and it received top marks in front- and side-impact testing from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2007. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all models. Traction control comes only on V-6 Fusions, and stability control is optional for $495.