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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2010 FORD FUSION REVIEW


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2010 Ford Fusion

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE FUSION VEHICLE
The sporty yet muscular Ford Fusion sedan had been making quite an impression on critics and consumers. Motor Trend Magazine named it Car of the Year and the 2010 model broke all former sales records.

I drove a 2010 Ford Fusion with the SEL trim powered by a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter DOCH V6 Duratec30 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. My SEL test drive was equipped with three optional packages: Driver's Vision, Moon & Tune and Reverse Sensing System. Top interior features included SYNC, adaptive cruise control and My Key, as well as the optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Support. Total vehicle price came to $28,105.

AWD is optional on the V6 engine for all you winter commuters. Also, a smaller 175-horsepower 2.5-liter DOCH inline 4-cylinder Duratec with optional manual powers the base model or S Series.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: The sedan offers a very comfortable feel. The fit-and-finish on the redesigned interior trim is laced with class and quality; however, there are just too many buttons to work on the center console – it will take some time to learn the commands. Ford's new Power Code Remote Start System is a must-have for cold mornings. The MyKey system allows parents to program the Fusion's key for certain speeds and audio levels. Five passengers will fit fine and comment on the roomy space. A power tilt/telescope wheel would have been a nice addition.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Support is like Mazda's system, where you get fair warning of approaching cars through an illuminated image in your side mirrors also accompanied with an audio alert. Additional standard safety features Ford are: side-curtain airbags, side-intrusion beams, high-strength steel structure exterior, AdvanceTrac ESC, LATCH child safety system, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Cost Issues: Based on performance and critic approval, the Fusion is a pretty tempting sedan offering a more muscle-car experience than safe commuter ride. Ford add-ons or packages can get pretty pricey, so take note if you get sold the upgraded stereo, moonroof and backup camera, it will cost you an extra $2,740. But with that being said, you're still looking at under $30k.

Activity & Performance Ability: The Fusion possesses a commanding feeling on braking and acceleration. The chassis bends well with the turns of the road. You will quickly sense you're behind the wheel of a muscle car. Zero wind and road noise, as major absorption material throughout the Fusion body delivers drivers an outstandingly quite experience. The V6 gained 19 more horsepower over last year's 3.0-liter, yet can get 17/24-mpg with AWD and 18/27-mpg with front-wheel, conserving a mile or two from last year's engine. Another great Ford creation is the EasyFuel capless fuel-filter system that automatically seals shut when the gas nozzle is removed.

The Green Concern: Like the V6, the smaller 2.5-liter I-4 engine also gained improvement over fuel consumption by 6-for an average of 22/30-mpg. Credit goes to that electric-powered steering system. The Fusion is now flex fuel-capable and can run on E-85 ethanol.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
If you're tired of tamer looking and acting sedans, yet still want a highly rated 5-passenger performer, take a closer look at the Ford Fusion. With Fusion holding an 80 percent "buy again" factor with consumers, the Fusion can rightfully be called a Ford homerun.

©2009 Katrina Ramser