Since the second generation Ford Fusion was introduced in 2013, it has become one of the best-selling mid-size cars in the country. And why mess with a good thing? The sedan returns for 2017 with some light cosmetic refinements, even more tech and a couple of extra trim levels giving customers a total of seven different options when shopping for the one that’s just right for them.
The American automaker chose the beautiful backdrop of Vancouver and nearby Harrison Hot Springs to showcase the changes and ride of the refreshed vehicle. The new additional grades include a Sport model for the first time in the lineup packing in the quickest engine yet, as well as a range-topping Platinum edition featuring a uniquely-finished grill, Cocoa leather covered dash and door panel pieces, and a steering wheel hand-wrapped in Venetian leather.
All Fusions receive a revised front end with reshaped headlamp housings and grille, both now boasting sharper lines and a streamlined appearance compared to before. The bumper has been reworked so the side foglight recesses and centre air intake blend seamlessly together. The changes are subtle and might not even register for the casual onlooker.
Bill Rowe, Ford director of product marketing, said feedback from people regarding the current design has been largely positive, and as such the team didn’t want to make drastic changes.
“[The new look] is not meant to revolutionize the Fusion, but it’s rather an evolution,” said Rowe. “Inside is where we spent a lot of hours of time.”
Indeed, if someone didn’t notice the exterior modifications, that would be understandable. The interior space, however, is a whole other story.
The bulky transmission lever has been removed completely, replaced with a rotary gear select dial opening up the centre console and allowing dual cup holders to be placed alongside, rather than behind. I’ll admit I was worried a knob might not move from park to reverse to drive as smoothly or cleanly as a conventional setup — the laggy push-button system in Lincoln vehicles come to mind — but this isn’t the case at all here.
Also getting the axe is the hydraulic emergency brake, now reduced to an electronic-controlled lever behind the gearshift dial.
Ford loves talking about the “Power of Choice,” which means offering consumers a wide variety of engines to choose from to suit their personal preferences. The Fusion can be equipped with no less than five different mills, and they are: a 175-horsepower 2.5 litre, a 181 hp 1.5 L four cylinder EcoBoost, a 240 hp 2.0 L EcoBoost and a mighty 325 hp 2.7 L V6 EcoBoost in the Sport. Hybrid/Energi models get a combined 141 hp Atkinson-Cycle 2.0 L.
Guests had an opportunity to try out most of the trims — unfortunately the 2.7 wasn’t yet available during the event. A few things I loved: the updated SmartGauge functionality in the Energi providing real-time information to help drivers squeeze out maximum efficiency from the hybrid powertrain; the enhanced park assist that works for both perpendicular and parallel parking, and of course the incredibly easy-to-use SYNC 3 infotainment system.
For a full list of pricing and specifications on the 2017 Ford Fusion, visit www.ford.ca/cars/fusion.