The Ford Fusion begins its sophomore season with another honor today as it receives the "Family Car of the Year" award from the New England Motor Press Association. The trophy is given during the Boston Auto Show media luncheon at the Bayside Expo Center.
“Put it this way: If you were a teenager looking to borrow the ’family’ car," says Ezra Dyer, president, New England Motor Press Association, "you’d be pretty psyched it if that car was a Fusion." The NEMPA jury noted the Fusion’s combination of great ride-and-handling, standard safety equipment and value as the factors that put it on the top of the balloting.
"The phrase ’family car’ connotes a dearth of fun," adds Dyer, "but the Fusion combines sedan practicality with a level of behind-the-wheel entertainment that you don’t typically get in this class, or at this price. And it looks sharp, too."
The Fusion’s fall 2005 debut helped Ford regain share of the U.S. passenger car market for the first time since 1993. Sales have exceeded company expectations as the four-door sedan finished its first model year with 138,000 units sold. With Fusion’s help, Ford anticipates increasing its car market share for a second straight year in 2006.
Fusion’s success among family buyers is due in part to its emphasis on safety equipment, which includes f ront-seat side air bags and side-impact air curtain now standard on all models, in addition to dual deployment front air bags, energy-absorbing safety belts and load-limiting retractors.
Fusion is often cited for its deft driving performance by offering an all-wheel-drive system that improves traction on slick surfaces or better handling in a curve. Drivers can choose a 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 221 horsepower. The V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission posting fuel economy numbers of 20 miles-per-gallon (mpg) city and 28 mpg highway. The Fusion’s I-4 engine delivers 160 horsepower with fuel economy rated at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
"We are honored that the New England auto media has singled out the Ford Fusion as this year’s best choice in family cars," says Steve Grant, Boston Region sales manager, Ford Marketing, Sales & Service. "Fusion continues building a reputation here in the Northeast among customers who are looking for something special from a four-door sedan, especially in winter driving conditions."
Fusion’s success isn’t restricted to showroom sales. The sedan is a finalist for the coveted North American Car of the Year Award that will be announced in January 2007. Fusion recently was named "One to Watch" by the editors of Consumer Guide.