When you test drive cars every week there are some cars you can’t wait to get your hands on; the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, for example. There are, however, unfortunately, a lot of cars that aren’t very exciting. And once in awhile – there’s a sleeper; a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On Monday a wolf showed up in my driveway; dressed like a sheep.
- Ford Fusion Sport 0-60 mph in 5.2 Seconds
I didn’t know it at first, but the 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport is a wolf. Make no mistake. I didn’t know this at first, of course. But I found out pretty quickly. In about 5.2 seconds in fact. Which is about how long it took me to get from 0-60 mph. Whoaa!!! WTF (that stands for Why the Face I explained to my 11-year old when I said it out lout in front of him after I eased off the gas at about 70 mph).
- Ford 2.7L GTDI Ecoboost Turbo Engine
So I like Ford. My father-in-law worked for Ford his entire life. My brother-in-law still does. I have owned Fords. They make great cars. But a four door sedan isn’t exciting, no matter who builds it, with a few limited exceptions (thinking BMW M3, Audi S8, BWM 750i). I didn’t think the Fusion Sport would be one of them. Sometimes first impressions aren’t correct. The Fusion sport is loaded up with a 2.7-L GTDI Ecoboost turbo engine that kicks out a whopping 325 horsepower mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission being transferred to the pavement through all four tires. That’s right; 325 hp turbo six with all wheel drive. It felt like a lot of power because, well, it was a lot power. I expect this kind of performance in the Mustang, but not in the four door Fusion. In fact, the 2017 Fusion Sport has more horsepower and is faster then the 3.7L V6 Mustang with 300 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds and the 2.3L Ecoboost Mustang that has 310 hp and a 0-60 mph of 5.5 seconds. Huh. Go figure.
There are three 2017 Fusions to choose from – the Fusion (S $22,120; SE $23,250; Titanium $30,250; Sport $33,605; Platinum $36,750), the Fusion Hybrid (S $25,295; SE $26,100; Titanium $30,630) and the Fusion Energi (SE $31,120; Titanium $32,120; Platinum $39,120). My Fusion Sport came almost totally loaded. To the base price of $33,605, added was the V6 Sport Upgrade Package ($2,000), the Driver Assist Package ($1,625), Enhanced Active Park Assist ($995), Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go ($1,190), and Voice-Activated Navigation ($795) for a total loaded all-in price of $39,085. The only real option that my Fusion was missing was the Power Moonroof and Universal Garage Door Opener for $1,095 and ventilated front seats for an additional $395.
The Sport Upgrade Package for $2,000 adds two 4.2 inch Driver configurable LCD displays in the instrument cluster, 10-way power passenger seat with power lumbar, ambient lighting, dual-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control, Reverse Sensing System, Audio System from Sony with 12 speakers, HD Radio, SYNC 3 and 911 Assist. The Driver Assist Package for $1,625 adds auto high beams, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, heated steering wheel, Lane Keeping System, Rain Sensing Wipers, SYNC Connect, and 110V Power Outlet. The Enhanced Active Park Assist for $995 has Parallel Parking, Park Out Assist, Reverse Perpendicular Parking and Forward and Side Sensing Systems. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go for $1,190 includes Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection including Collision Warning, Brake Support and Active Braking.
- Ford Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go
The 2017 Ford Fusion is the first Ford vehicle in North America to offer Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go technology. With the older Ford Adaptive Cruise Control technology, the cruise control would stop working when the vehicle slowed down to around 30 mph – I had this experience in the 2017 Ford Escape SE. This is a great improvement and the way most car manufacturers are headed. With the added “stop-and-go” technology, the adaptive cruise will now bring the car all the way to a full stop when traffic halts, unlike before where the system stopped working around 30 mph. This feature will be added to three new Ford products within the next two years.
- Ford Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection
The other brand-new-for-2017 technology found in the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport is Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. This technology uses sensors and a camera to monitor obstructions in front of the vehicle (other cars, pedestrians, etc.) and provide a visual and audible warning if the drivers get too close to the obstruction. The system will also apply the brakes if necessary, and then automatically apply full braking force to avoid a collision if the driver fails to act as a result of the warning. These systems have prevented me from crashing through my garage wall on more then one occasion. So I can attest that they really work (there are a lot of indentations in my garage dry wall from the Roadfly Black Bear Jeep, which doesn’t have Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – although it does have a huge-ass steel bumper on the front).
I spent a lot of time in the Fusion that week. And I was heavy on the pedal – how can you not be. Ford says you get 17 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. I didn’t calculate it for the week I drove it and I was 100% city; suffice it to say with the way I drive, it was pretty thirsty and 17 mpg might have been a stretch. The acceleration is awesome in the Sport and with the AWD and P235/40 R19 tires you have no problem transferring every single one of those 325 horses to the pavement. It handles and drives well for a four-door sedan, but neither the suspension nor the steering is as tight or as tuned as I would like to have seen, especially when compared to the Mustang which handles much better then the Fusion (even in the lower horsepower models). Its not really fair to compare the Fusion Sport to how the Mustang handles and drives since one is sports coupe and the other is a four door sedan, but I found myself making the comparison anyway, whether fair or not. After driving the Fusion Sport all around town for a week, and not really expecting much at all when it first rolled into my driveway, I may have started to expect too much. At more then $15,000 dollars less then the GT350 (and $4,000 less then a similarly equipped GT Premium Mustang Fastback), it really isn’t fair. But it seats five, its comfortable and quite practical for a family. And a hell of a lot of fun to drive for a family sedan. As far as four door mid-priced sedans go, this one is at the top of my must drive list. Without a doubt, definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.