You may have seen the Ford Fusion before. It is a sleek fuel-sipping vehicle that offers all the usual amenities of a classic sedan with all of the innovation of hybrid technology. From Ford Certified Pre Owned lots to the latest and greatest models found at a Ford brand dealership, the Ford Fusion has captured the attention of car drivers everywhere. The Ford Fusion answered the growing need for fuel economy, amidst rising gas prices and a renewed importance of a lower carbon footprint. The story of the Ford Fusion is a fascinating one, of dramatic re-imagination and brilliant design; it is a clear example of the idea of being in the right place at the right time. From the early days of inception in 2005 to today the Ford Fusion has existed as an impressive flagship sedan for the Ford brand.
The Early Days
The Ford Fusion was envisioned in 2002 by Ford designer Chris Walter. Utilizing the Ford CD3 platform, the Fusion was expected to be a flagship hybrid vehicle for the Ford family-lineup. The Ford Fusion also introduced the ‘new face of Ford’ implementing the iconic three-bar grille design. The three-bar grille design harkens as far back as 2003, when Ford introduced a V10-powered concept car at 2003 North American International Auto Show; it was known as the Ford 427. The Ford Fusion’s repurposing of this aesthetic redirected the trajectory of Ford’s designs, traces of which are still seen today in Ford brand vehicles.
The Ford Fusion was launched in August of 2005, offering three trim options, the S, SE, and SEL. Base models of the Ford Fusion utilized a 2.3 Liter Duratec 23 I4 engine, which provided drivers 160 horsepower to play with. Higher end models of the first Ford Fusion, bumped up the amount of power beneath the hood, boasting a 3.0 liter Duratec 30 V6 engine which increased the overall horsepower to 221. All of this power came at no sacrifice to fuel economy either, as the 2006 Ford Fusion earned an EPA-rated 24 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway, which was quite impressive at the time.
The first iteration of the Ford Fusion was a hit amongst American consumers, blowing competitive vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord out of the water. Initial reviewers hailed the Ford Fusion as a thrilling driving experience, solidifying the Ford Fusion’s place in the family line-up. While the first model of the Ford Fusion is very different from what is offered today, this built a foundation for today’s fuel-sipping sedan to stand on.
If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It
Between 2006 and 2009, the Ford Fusion underwent a wide variety of marginal changes that expanded the appeal of the vehicle. For instance, the 2007 iteration of the Ford Fusion offered an all-wheel-drive Option, for all V6 models. Adding in an AWD option broadened the appeal of the Ford Fusion, catching the attention of drivers who lived in places with ever-changing road conditions. At the same time, 2007 introduced Sirius Satellite Radio to SE and SEL models. An auxiliary audio input port and a DVD-based navigation system were also implemented to the 2007 Ford Fusion increasing the level of infotainment this Ford sedan offered.
In 2008, Ford made ABS and an always-on tire pressure monitoring system as standard in all Ford Fusion models. While the DVD navigation system was a hit in 2007, 2008 brought an innovative voice command system, giving drivers seamless control of their infotainment system. In certain models of the 2008 Ford Fusion, drivers could take advantage of rear parking assist, as well as Ford’s intelligent multimedia and communication system, labeled as “SYNC.”
Between 2006 and 2009, the Ford Fusion experienced minor changes, that only served to boost the appeal of the Ford Fusion. Utilizing the same engine and design, the Ford Fusion continued to experience widespread success. Although, Ford wasn’t done improving their fuel-efficient sedan, and in 2010 the Ford Fusion experienced a dramatic face-lift.
Expanding the Brand
The 2009 version of the Ford Fusion introduced two new model options to the lineup, the Sport, and Hybrid. The Ford Fusion Sport was a model built for drivers who wanted a little more oomph beneath the hood. The Sport boasted a 3.5L Duratec V6 engine, which offered a roaring 263 horsepower and 249 lb-ft worth of torque. While the Ford Fusion Sport’s fuel economy took a dip, earning a combined rating of 19 mpg, this sedan was equipped with a versatile all-wheel-drive drivetrain, giving it a capability that was rare in sedans of that class.
Alternatively, the Ford Fusion Hybrid answered fuel economy complaints, providing the highest MPG-rating yet. The Ford Fusion Hybrid was decked out with a fuel-conscious 2.5L Duratec 25 I4 engine, which hummed at 156 horsepower, and 136 lb-ft worth of torque. This cut in power, came at a benefit to MPG-rating, as the Ford Fusion Hybrid earned a combined fuel economy of 39 MPG. The Ford Fusion Hybrid was named by Kelly Blue Book editors as one of the ‘Top 10 Green Cars” of 2009. The fuel economy of this hybrid Ford Fusion overshadowed that of competitive models like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, The Nissan Altima Hybrid, and the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.
While the 2010 Ford Fusion was arguably a widespread success, Ford still carried more tricks up its sleeve and would unveil the second generation of the Ford Fusion at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.
Re-Imagining a Revolutionary Sedan
The second generation of the Ford Fusion introduced the Ford CD4 platform and added three new trim options to the model lineup, The Ford Fusion Titanium, The Ford Fusion Platinum, and the Ford Fusion Energi. The second-generation of the Ford Fusion played a major role in making the Ford Fusion what it is today, introducing smart safety features like adaptive cruise control which uses sensors to detect other vehicles and adjust cruise control speeds accordingly. Other smart safety features that were introduced in the second generation of the Ford Fusion were a Blind Spot Information System (or BLIS), forward collision warnings, and advanced lane keeping systems. All of these intelligent safety features played a huge role in boosting the Ford Fusion’s level of safety.
The Ford Fusion Titanium was put into place to replace the SEL model and added heated front seats, keyless entry, an SD card slot, a Sony 390-watt surround sound system and eighteen-inch alloy wheels. The Titanium was equipped with an AWD drivetrain and a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine which earned an EPA-rated 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway.
The Ford Fusion Platinum was a premium version of the Ford Fusion, offering luxury features like a power moonroof, a sleek chrome mesh grille, temperature controlled front seats, a universal garage opener, and Nappa leather seating. The Ford Fusion Platinum was built with the high-end driver in mind and pulled out all the stops in terms of comfort and access.
Lastly, the Ford Fusion Energi was a revolutionary plug-in hybrid of the fuel-conscious sedan. The Energi was equipped with a plug-in powered battery that has a range of 20 miles and boosted support of the primary gasoline powered engine. This added battery boosted the Ford Fusion’s fuel economy rating to 42 mpg combined, making it the most fuel-efficient Ford Fusion to date.
The second generation of the Ford Fusion was a game changer, that re-established the sedan as a modern innovator, and put it at competitive odds with other fuel-efficient smart cars like the Toyota Camry and the Chevrolet Malibu.
Continuing a Legacy
The 2019 Ford Fusion was unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show and takes things a step further implementing Ford’s Co-Pilot 360. The Co-Pilot 360 feature is a suite of safety features that are expected to come as standard in this latest iteration of the Ford Fusion. Included in Co-Pilot 360 are incredible smart features like lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and rear-cross-traffic warning systems. The Ford Fusion SEL is going to rejoin the lineup, and the Ford Fusion Energi is expected to receive an upgraded battery boosting the mileage range from 22 miles to 25 miles.
The Ford Fusion is a vehicle that continues to adapt with the times, adding the latest in automotive technology to create a competitive sedan that appeals to a wide range of drivers. Whether you’re an eco-advocate or an off-road explorer, the Ford Fusion promises a model option for everyone. When you visit a Ford Certified Pre Owned or New Ford dealership, you can expect to find one of these impressive vehicles amongst a greater Ford family lineup. Whether you take a Ford Fusion out for a test drive or decide to take the leap and purchase one for yourself, you are driving a vehicle that is always changing to meet the needs of its drivers. From astounding fuel-efficiency and premium smart features to powerful V6 engines and unrelenting horsepower, the Ford Fusion is a sedan built by a manufacturer that is dedicated to satisfaction.