The Ford Fusion is becoming one of the biggest hits for any American automaker who dares tussle with the best-selling Accord and Camry. A grunty and quick EcoBoost triple-cylinder 1.5-liter joins the engine and drive layout choices for 2014, which now reaches seven variations — an unprecedented total for any American car starting at just $22,000.
So this handsome Ford runs a three-banger in 1.5-liter EcoBoost specification? Will it have the speed of a lawnmower and the engine note of a go-kart? Nope and nope. This is a potent engine, with much more power at all revs than the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder. It’s also quite affordable to produce, so will hopefully take a larger percentage of Fusions than the pricier EcoBoost engine options.
Lastly, AWD is on the table with the top-spec 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Larger wheels look terrific, like they were milled from a solid block of aluminum, some swanky comfort and active safety tech, and a few new colors round out the Fusion’s updates for the new model year.
All this sounds good, but buying a Camry can be done blindfolded over the phone: are all these choices a recipe for confusion on American dealer lots?
Even so, the gasoline choices are fantastic for keen drivers: the manual box 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0-liter AWD are arguably even better vehicles for their lack of electrified tech.
Click past the jump to read all the latest updates for the 2014 Ford Fusion, one of the most confident and stylish midsize cars available.
Still looking quite classy and expensive, the 2014 Ford Fusion’s exterior gains a few new colors for the Titanium trim, taking the total well past 10 choices to help the Fusion’s great stance and styling come to life.
New wheels are also a welcome addition, because they really enforce the first reaction people have to seeing this car: something new, trendy and very attractive. If you were not a car person, this could easily pass for an Audi A7 competitor.
The Fusion is a bit dorkier in the Hybrid colors and 17-inch wheels, but all handle pretty confidently with good weight balance and steering response.
The Titanium’s 18-inch rims barely harm the ride but help the Fusion to look much more hunkered down to the road. An available trunk spoiler and a painted exhaust shroud down below really class up this Ford ’s rump. The full LED rear lamps are terrific, with an LED halo for the taillights, and internal LEDs for the brake lights and indicators.
Ford is really off the pace for front LED lighting. Short supply and high prices for all automakers have largely shut the blue oval out of the volume LED contracts like BMW ’s. No mind, the headlights up front are a sharp and squinty shape, with a projector ball for the low beams that is just halogen but still quite chic.
Lastly, a 19-inch rim option joins this list for 2014 and with summer tires coming as standard on this option, the Fusion will finally be as chuckable and fun as a Focus ST.
Inside the Fusion, things get massaged as well. Cooled seats are now part of the big package bundles, and a heated steering wheel makes an appearance for the first time on the 2014 model.
The backup camera that is built into the MyFord SE package is the best value route to get a touchscreen infotainment display and the full backup/cross traffic system. This $900 option is very worthwhile versus the standard 4-inch displays that come standard in the gauge cluster and the center stack.
On the safety front, the Fusion is spectacularly advanced for this price range. Cargo and roominess wise, the Fusion’s interior closely matches the large new Camry and bests it with 16 cubic feet of trunk space.
2014 Ford Fusion - Interior Leather Choices
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
Aside from the new EcoBoost triple, the Fusion’s gasoline engines carry over unchanged. This is a broad line of engines, and they all generally deliver an adequate driver experience. The base engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, but this is an old engine design. (Very similar to the Camry’s four-banger: cheap and plentiful, hard to break, only so-so on mileage and available only on the bottom S trim.)
To be frank, the base engine is not nearly as good as any of the EcoBoost choices for refinement, throttle response or mileage.
The triple is a really awesome engine. This beast hits its projected 177 pound-foot torque peak at just 1,500 rpm — at least 1,000 rpm sooner than any other EcoBoost Fusion. So it feels rapid, and will meet or exceed the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder’s 25/37/29 EPA stats.
The 1.6 turbo is offered in the six-speed manual, and nearly matches the automatic 2.0-liter EcoBoost at the top of the range on sprint pace.
The quickest standard spec is obviously the Titanium, which brings the 240-horsepower engine, a standard automatic and available AWD. The advantage of these EcoBoost engines is that there is hardly any mileage downside to the 2.0-liter, but tons of ’up side’ on power, refinement and mileage.
2014 Ford Fusion - Performance Details
|Engine||2.5-liter 16-valve I-4 With DI And iVCT||1.5-liter EcoBoost 12-valve I-3 With DI And iVCT||1.6-liter EcoBoost 16-valve I-4 With DI And iVCT||2.0-liter EcoBoost 16-valve I-4 With DI And iVCT||2.0-liter EcoBoost 16-valve I-4 With DI And iVCT|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Manual||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic|
|Power (Horsepower)||168 @ 6,000 rpm||178 @ 6,000 rpm (Ford Estimates)||178 @ 5,700 rpm||240 @ 5,500 rpm||240 @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque (Torque)||170 @ 4,500 rpm||177 @ 1,500 (Ford Estimates)||184 @ 2,500||270 @ 3,000||270 @ 3,000|
|0-60 mph (Seconds)||9.9, est||8.5, est||8.3, est||7.5, est||7.9, est|
|Top Speed (MPH)||108, est||108, est||108, est||130, limited||130, limited|
|EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||22/34/26||27/38/31, est||25/37/29||22/33/26, est||22/31/25, est|
2014 Ford Fusion - New Safety Features
Active safety tech is excellent, and includes:
- Lane-Keeping System
- Active park assist
- Cross-traffic alert
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
- Adaptive cruise control
Pricing and Availability
The biggest change when moving from S to SE to Titanium trims is the standard feature set, which grows far better with standard MyFord Touch on the Titanium. Adding navigation into the system is about an extra $800, but is easy to drive home a gorgeous and loaded Titanium from about $33,000 all in.
The most popular SE trim starts just under $24,000 but needs about five option packs to get to the Titanium’s standard spec
2014 Ford Fusion - Prices
|2014 Ford Fusion||MSRP|
The Optima is another one to consider if the idea of driving a Camry makes you want to scratch your eyes out with a fork. Also offered in multiple engine formats, the Optima brings a 270-plus horsepower, turbocharged four-banger to its top-level SX trim.
The Optima SX also gets a sharp body kit and quad LED lights in the lower bumper. Despite more power on paper, the Optima is not quick or very entertaining to drive fast. Center of gravity and weight balance for Hyundai -Kia is becoming a real problem. The sedans are top-heavy and even the engine is not mounted in the middle of the car.
The Mazda6 is just about the only other value sedan that carries the same street presence as the Fusion and luxury cars costing $50,000-plus. The Mazda 6 is quite a slinky machine on the road, with a low shoulder-line and roof graphic, a long-seeming hood and short overhang, and detailing that evokes the Tesla Model S.
Despite both companies claiming no ties between the Mazda6 and the Ford Fusion, these cars still share many of the same smart ideas to show shoppers that Accord and Camry are as dull as they seem. They also both loosely began from the same first-gen Mazda6 bones.
The Mazda6 has a more upright windshield angle, which improves visibility versus the Ford.
In this humble midsize machine, such advanced engines are a huge achievement for Ford’s manufacturing process. It is also great news for buyers because it means there is a Fusion at every price level. The Hybrid and Energi plug-in models are well and good, but the real styling, tech and handling bang for your buck goes to the humble gasoline engines in the range.
The Fusion is a fantastic sedan, and materially superior to the Accord and Camry in almost every way. This is no empty praise; driving a Fusion is one of the best ways to get all the latest style and tech of the luxury brands, for barely half the price of their cheapest models.
- New dark greys and other colors looks great, love the new wheels too
- Titanium specification is the quickest and easiest to locate and buy with all the best features
- Hybrid and Energi models are not compromised in cabin whatsoever, but can top 100 MPGe
- For a $22,000 car, the 112.3-inch wheelbase is a lot of room for your money
In the fiercely competitive midsize segment, if you aren’t constantly moving forward, you’re already falling behind. In the pursuit of continuous improvement, the still-fresh 2014 Ford Fusion is heading into its sophomore season with a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost® engine and more features.
- New exterior colors and interior trim combinations continue to raise the bar on design and style with the 2014 Ford Fusion
- Available inflatable rear outboard seat belts help protect rear seat occupants
- New 1.5-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine expected to offer efficiency without sacrificing performance
New colors inside and out
Since its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new Fusion has been acclaimed as a design leader in the midsize sedan segment and honored with numerous awards including Autoweek magazine’s Best in Show and the EyesOn Design Award for Design Excellence – Production Vehicle.
For 2014 several new color combinations are available starting with two new exterior colors, Dark Side and Sunset. Fusion SE customers who prefer the carryover Sterling Gray exterior can opt for the Dune interior with either cloth or leather seating surfaces. The new Interior Appearance Package for Fusion Titanium includes premium leather seating surfaces and vinyl door inserts finished in Brick Red along with premium floor mats.
No matter what the climate, Fusion helps to keep things comfortable in the cabin. Titanium customers can add cooled seats for the driver and front passenger for those steamy summer days. When the temperature drops, the available heated steering wheel will keep the driver’s fingers warm. Fusion SE drivers who get the Luxury Package can now open doors and start the engine without reaching for a key thanks to Intelligent Access with push-button start.
Helping to keep passengers safe
Safety experts acknowledge that the back seat is the safest place for children and Ford is committed to keeping all vehicle occupants safe. The optional inflatable rear seat belts that Ford debuted on the 2011 Ford Explorer are now available on Fusion for the first time. In the event of a collision the rear belts inflate, distributing the load over a larger area and reducing the risk of abdominal, chest and shoulder injuries for rear passengers.
More choice of power
“EcoBoost is a technology that’s really resonating with customers around the world and especially in the United States,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president of powertrain engineering. “Since introducing EcoBoost to the respective lineups, more than 40 percent of F-150, 51 percent of Fusion and nearly 90 percent of Escape vehicles have been sold with one of these advanced engines.”
The 1.5-liter is the fifth member of Ford’s family of fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines. Like the other engines in the lineup, this new powerplant features turbocharging, direct gasoline injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing. The 1.5-liter also adopts several design features that debuted on the award-winning 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine coming to the 2014 Ford Fiesta.
Just as with the 1.0-liter, the engineers focused on reducing internal friction and weight of the 1.5-liter while improving specific output.
Reducing unnecessary work has been a major focus on all Ford vehicles in recent years, and the 1.5-liter EcoBoost adds a major new innovation with a clutched water pump. Instead of pumping coolant through the engine continuously even when it is cold, this is the first Ford engine that decouples the water pump until it is needed. This enables the engine to warm up faster for reduced cold-start emissions and fuel consumption and more comfort on cold winter mornings.
Like the 1.0-liter, the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine features a water-cooled, integrated exhaust manifold. Casting the cylinder head and exhaust manifold as a single unit reduces overall weight, simplifies assembly, and gets the turbocharger closer to the exhaust ports for improved responsiveness. Integrating the manifold also enabled the engineers to run cooling circuits alongside the hot exhaust passages, further speeding warm-up.
A liquid-cooled charge air cooler on the 1.5-liter further simplifies the engine packaging while shortening the path from the turbocharger to the cylinder for improved response when the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
Even with a smaller displacement, the 1.5-liter engine is projected to deliver approximately the same power and torque as the 1.6-liter in the 2013 Ford Fusion, while improving fuel economy and providing improved driveability.
More grip for enthusiast drivers
Since its debut in 2012, the Ford Fusion has been widely praised by reviewers and customers for its outstanding driving dynamics including excellent balance between ride quality and handling, as well as exceptional steering feel. For 2014 enthusiast drivers can up the ante with an optional summer-only tire package with 19-inch alloy wheels.
The Ford Fusion is produced at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, soon adding production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.