At nearly 6 years old, is Ford just polishing a turd?

With the current generation of the Ford Fusion being on sale since 2012, it’s long overdue for a facelift, and that’s what we’re going to get at the 2018 New York Auto Show. Like most facelifts, few changes can be seen on the inside or outside, but what Ford has done is include its new Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance technology on all trim levels as standard equipment. Hybrid models get a new, larger battery with improved all-electric range, while some higher trim levels now get a standard 4G LTE internet connection and the Fusion SEL returns to the lineup to replace the SE Luxury package.

2019 Ford Fusion Exterior

2019 Ford Fusion Exterior
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With the current-gen model being five years old and the facelift coming into play so late in the lifecycle you might be inclined to ride things out for the next-gen model. But, before you make that decision, there are some questions you need to ask yourself.

Did Ford Revise the 2019 Ford Fusion’s Front End?

The changes are minor, but you’ll find that Ford has reworked the front fascia for a new, sportier look. This includes a new look to the lower air dam, new corner light with taller corner inserts, and the headlights have even been reshaped just a bit, adding more character to the lower edge. The front grille is the same, but it gets new mesh and thicker chrome trim. Finally, those new headlight elements get new LED lighting on all trim levels.

Did Ford Change the Side Profile of the 2019 Ford Fusion?

No. Since this is just a facelift, you’ll find the same body lines, and the same belt line. The rear stationary glass is even the same. Ford has yet to mention anything about new wheels, but one of the shots we have so far do show a pair of wheels we haven’t noticed before.

How is the Rear End of the 2019 Ford Fusion Different?

The biggest change in the rear is a new decklid. On some models, it includes a small rear fin and all models it includes more definition around the license plate recess. The rear fascia is also more defined with the body line above the lower insert extending the full width of the fascia. The rear taillights retain the shape of the pre-facelift model but feature a new layout and LED lighting on all trim levels.

2019 Ford Fusion Interior

2019 Ford Fusion
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Ford hasn’t shown off any interior shots of the 2019 Fusion, and as is usually the case with mid-cycle updates, the design won’t differ from that of the current model seen above. For Ford, this update was more about adding fresh technology than it was new looks and that’s exactly what it did with the new Co-Pilot360 driver assistance system.

What is Ford Co-Pilot360?

Co-Pilot360 is Ford’s suite of driver assistance features similar to that of Acura’s AcuraWatch and Volvo’s Pilot Assist. It is included as standard equipment on all trim levels and includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, auto high-beam lighting, and a rear backup camera.

Can Ford Co-Pilot360 Be Optioned with More Advanced Features?

Yes! Co-Pilot360 has an advanced buddle that includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, voice-activated navigation, SiriusXM Traffic, and Travel Link. SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link are standard for the Fusion Hybrid SEL, Titanium, and V6 Sport models.

What Standard Features does the Ford Fusion Get?

Note: Each model includes all the features of the models listed before it

Trim Level Features
Fusion S Co-Pilot360 with AEB, Pedestrian Protection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Auto High Beams, Rain-Sensing Wipers.
Fusion SE\ Hybrid SE 1.5-liter EcoBoost, Sync 3 w\ 8-inch display, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Dual Zone Temperature Control
Fusion SEL\ Hybrid SEL 10-way power seats, Active X seating surface, Heated front seats, auto-dimming mirror, remote start, leather steering wheel
Fusion Titanium\ Hybrid Titanium Heated steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, inflatable rear seatbelts, 19-inch wheels, nav, moonroof
Fusion Energi Titanium 20-percent more all-electric range, rain-sensing wipers
Fusion V6 Sport AWD, 325 horsepower, 380 pound-feet torque

What Kind of Infotainment System Does the 2019 Ford Fusion Have?

The base model Fusion will likely carry over with Ford’s standard AM/FM CD Player with just four speakers and MP3 Capability. It will have Sync voice recognition. Everything from SE trim up (all but the base, S trim level) get the 8.0-inch touchscreen Sync 3 infotainment system. Hybrid SEL, Titanium, and V6 Sport models get the touch\ voice-activated navigation and Travel Link as standard equipment.

Does the 2019 Ford Fusion have an Internet Hotspot?

All models from SE trim level on up (all but the base, S trim level) get 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity as standard equipment. This system allows up to 10 devices to connect at once and, with the standard Sync3 infotainment system and the Ford+Alexa app, rides get access to Alexa Skills. Keep in mind that a data plan will be required to use the 4G LTE features after any trial data service expires.

2019 Ford Fusion Performance

2019 Ford Fusion Exterior
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The Fusion is available with a 1.5-liter, a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle, or a 2.7-liter V-6. The 1.5-liter engine delivers 181 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque while the 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine delivers 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the 2.7-liter V-6 in the V6 Sport trim continues to deliver 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet. The only major addition in the performance department as part of this facelift is the upgrade to a 9 kWh battery in the Energi model, allowing for up to 20-percent more all-electric range. No word on exact mileage yet, but we’ll update you when possible.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Does the 2019 Ford Fusion Get?

Models equipped with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost should achieve somewhere around 23 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. The 2.0-liter hybrid and Energi models achieve 43 mpg in the city, 41 on the highway and 42 mpg combined. When you figure in the EV range of the energy, those figures climb to 104 MPGe in the city, 91 on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined. As usual, the V6 Sport model with the 2.7-liter gets the worst fuel economy at 17 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway, and 20 combined.

Ford Fusion Competitors

Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Toyota’s competitor in this segment already has a year under its belt, going through a complete revamp for the 2018 model year. As such, it got a new, sportier look, and a lush interior that had many outlets, including our own, itching to compare it with higher-end vehicles from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, among others. It’s offered with two gasoline-only engines with the entry model being a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 203 horsepower. There’s also a 3.5-liter V-6 that’s good for 301 ponies. Pricing starts at $23,496 for the all-gas model and $27,800 for the hybrid.

Toyota Camry 4-cyl Toyota Camry V-6 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Engine 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System (THS II)
Horsepower 203 HP 301 HP 208 Total HP
Torque 184 LB-FT 267 LB-FT 312 LB-FT Total
Transmission Direct Shift eight-speed automatic Direct Shift eight-speed automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Fuel economy city/highway TBA 21/31 (est.) 54/50 (est.)

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Chevy Malibu

2016 Chevrolet Malibu High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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The Chevy Malibu is Ford’s main competitor here in the United States and a worthy one at that. It’s got your typical American look that isn’t quite a gaudy as that of the Fusion, and it can be had with a 1.5-liter turbo, 2.0-liter turbo, or 1.8-liter hybrid drivetrain. On the hybrid front, the 1.8-liter delivers just 124 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The 1.5-liter delivers 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet, while the 2.0-liter in the range-topping premier delivers 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet. Pricing starts out at $22,555 for the gasoline-only model and climbs to $31,895 for the range-topping Premier trim. The hybrid starts out at $28,795.

1.5-liter Turbo 1.8-liter Hybrid 2.0-liter Turbo
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive Front Wheel Drive Front Wheel Drive
Fuel Turbocharged Gas I4 Gas/Electric I4 Turbocharged Gas I4
Fuel Deliver Direct Injection Direct Injection Direct Injection
Horsepower @ RPM 160 @ 5700 124 @ 5000 250 @ 5300
Torque @ RPM 184 @ 2500-3000 129 @ 4750 260 @ 2000-5000

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevy Malibu.

Final Thoughts

2019 Ford Fusion Exterior
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The Ford Fusion is a fine competitor in this segment, however, this mid-cycle update came late in the game, and the car itself is a little dated inside and out. The extra technology and Ford’s new driver assistance system is a huge boost in the Fusion’s favor, but it’s still a five-year-old car at this point, and that’s a hard sell in a market that’s constantly changing and growing ever demanding. It may be worth it to step into a 2019 Fusion instead of waiting for the next-gen model, but don’t expect to see too high of a resale value down the road.

  • Leave it
    • * Visual revisions are minor
    • * Likely no interior updates
    • * Ford comes late to the party with safety

References

2013 Ford Fusion High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fusion.

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Read more Ford news.

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Press release

Ford today announces the 2019 Fusion sedan – the first Ford vehicle globally with standard new state-of-the-art Co-Pilot360™ driver-assist technology, plus sleeker styling for all models and greater projected all-electric driving range for the plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi.

The new Fusion, which makes its public debut at the New York Auto Show later this month, will be in showrooms by late summer – complete with new technology to make driving safer and easier.

“People tell us they are stressed with crowded roads and more distracted drivers and pedestrians. Our Ford Co-Pilot360 with standard automatic emergency braking and other technologies can help them drive more confidently so they can enjoy the journey,” said Corey Holter, Ford car group marketing manager. “For our green-minded customers, we’ve amped up our Fusion Energi with a projected increase of nearly 20 percent electric-only driving range.”

Ford Co-Pilot360 means more standard driver-assist technology, greater connectivity

Fusion launches Ford Co-Pilot360 for the company globally, standardizing driver-assist technologies both to improve the driving experience for customers and to make the ordering process easier and faster.

From the entry-level Fusion S to Fusion Energi Titanium, every 2019 Fusion features must-have Ford Co-Pilot360 Protect driver-assist technologies as standard equipment, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system, lane keeping system, a rear backup camera and auto high-beam lighting.

Automatic emergency braking helps reduce the severity of or potentially avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians who might accidentally cross in front of the car’s path.

Standard blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert for every Fusion uses radar to detect surrounding vehicles – providing alerts if vehicles are detected approaching unseen from either side. To help avoid lane drift, standard lane keeping system vibrates the steering wheel and can apply extra steering wheel torque to help keep the car centered in the lane.

Beyond standard Ford Co-Pilot360 Protect is a more advanced bundle of optional driver-assist technologies that makes driving even easier. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, which automatically accelerates and brakes to a full stop when traffic halts, while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist includes voice-activated navigation and SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. SYNC® 3 with 8-inch LCD touch screen is now standard for Fusion SE and above models, while voice-activated touch screen navigation with pinch-to-zoom capability, plus SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link is standard for Fusion Hybrid SEL, Fusion Titanium and Fusion V6 Sport.

Fusion SE and above models now include a standard embedded 4G LTE modem providing Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. Furthermore, SYNC 3 with the Ford+Alexa app offers access to Alexa skills, like adding items to a shopping list or playing music. New Waze compatibility will help drivers avoid troublesome traffic spots. Commands and functionality for Ford+Alexa and Waze may vary depending on smartphone and required software.

Fusion Energi’s electric range projected to gain nearly 20 percent

The new Fusion Energi is projected to offer an EPA-estimated electric-only range of 25 miles, which is nearly 20 percent greater than that of the current model. Ford engineers designed a new 9.0-kilowatt-hour air-cooled lithium-ion battery offering greater energy capacity with no change to the physical size of the battery pack.

Based on data generated by more than 23,000 MyFord® Mobile plug-in hybrid customers over several years, Ford estimates the 2019 Fusion Energi will potentially allow up to 80 percent of plug-in customers to drive their typical daily commute on electricity alone, with the support of both home and workplace charging, assuming the vehicle is fully charged daily at home and at work.

Even without workplace charging, Ford estimates approximately 48 percent of plug-in hybrid customers could potentially get to and from their jobs on electric power alone. This estimate is based on MyFordMobile data collected from more than 19 million unique trips from 23,000 Ford battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Simplified new lineup brings more features, more value than ever
A simplified Ford Fusion lineup now includes even more technology and style for 2019: The new Fusion models include:

Fusion S: Upgraded entry model now includes standard Ford Co-Pilot360 Protect, which combines automatic emergency braking with pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beams and rain-sensing wipers
Fusion SE, Fusion Hybrid SE: Adding to the equipment on Fusion S, gasoline-powered Fusion SE comes standard with 1.5-liter EcoBoost®, SYNC 3 with 8-inch LCD touch screen, SYNC Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot and dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control. Fusion Hybrid SE adds a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid engine with continouously variable transmission for smooth operation
Fusion SEL, Fusion Hybrid SEL: Return of Fusion SEL replaces SE Luxury Package. It includes 10-way power driver’s seat with two memory settings, ActiveX seating surfaces, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, intelligent access with remote start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED headlamps and warm interior accents. Hybrid model adds voice-activated touch screen navigation with pinch-to-zoom capability, plus SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
Fusion Titanium, Fusion Hybrid Titanium: Fusion Titanium includes standard heated steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, rear inflatable seat belts, 19-inch wheels, navigation system, moonroof and adaptive cruise control with stop and go
Fusion Energi Titanium: In addition to a near 20 percent projected increase in electric-only driving range, Fusion Energi now includes rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, voice-activated navigation, and SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
Fusion V6 Sport: With standard all-wheel drive and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, the 325-horsepower Fusion V6 Sport remains the most powerful car in its class

Still a head-turner

Fusion brings new front and rear styling including a new grille featuring a five-bar design finished in chrome on S, SE and SEL models and new chrome mesh on Titanium. This sleeker Fusion also features a new trunk lid panel, fog lamps and LED taillamps.

Two new wheel designs and fresh color palettes inside and out also debut for 2019.

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