2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport Family Sedan Review By Larry Nutson
2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport
It’s One Fast Family Sedan
-- 4 star rating by the Auto Channel
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
According to Ford, buyers of Ford’s sporty Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Focus RS and Fusion Sport models are three to 10 years younger than buyers of non-performance variants of these vehicles.
These younger, performance-hungry customers are also more affluent. Some have income that is 70 percent higher than that of buyers of the regular variants of these models.
Ford’s sporty car sales jumped 45 percent for the first quarter of 2017, bucking the trend of the overall U.S. industry that is seeing consumers shift from cars to SUVs. This bodes well for Ford since younger customers give them a better chance of winning over repeat buyers.
Ford says Fusion customers are 48 on average, while Fusion Sport buyers are a a bit younger with an average age of 45 years.
For 2017 the Fusion has been updated featuring new front styling with signature lighting and available LED headlights with new grille options. There’s also a fresh redesign to the rear end.
Fusion V6 Sport has some unique styling elements with an aggressive front end with deeper air intakes, gloss black mesh grille, 19-inch tarnished dark wheels, a rear spoiler and quad exhaust outlets.
In the cockpit the seats are leather-trimmed with Miko sueded inserts, there’s a black headliner, carbon fiber appearance trim, and a modification to the rotary shifter – the letter L for low range is changed to S for sport mode.
You might think that the Fusion V6 Sport is just a trim package. It’s more. It’s a performance sedan. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering 325 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque—on 93-octane fuel.
The engine is mated to a heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. All this puts the power to the ground and will get you from stop to 60 mph in round-about 5.3 seconds. This makes for a pretty quick midsize sedan.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 20-mpg combined, with 17-mpg city and 26-mpg highway. I highway road-tripped in the Fusion Sport and got in the range of 26 to 28 mph, slightly beating the EPA number.
Antiroll bars, spring rates and wider tires are tuned for a sporty ride. Continuously controlled damping provides real-time suspension tuning. It can be stiff to soft depending on setup and road input.
A feature that can be very useful on aging city streets is pothole detection. The sensors detect the edge of a pothole and, within milliseconds, change damping rates to reduce the severity of an impact. The feature adjusts the suspension damping to the affected shock, which keeps the tire and wheel from dropping as deeply into the pothole. A great feature, especially with the low-profile 235/40R-19 tires on the Sport.
A button-actuated sport mode sets the car up for maximum performance with steering wheel paddle shifters fully enabled to control the transmission, shift points aggressively programmed, throttle response made faster, steering stiffened, continuously controlled damping in a more aggressive profile. The active noise control is tuned for much more in-cabin engine note.
There’s also a full contingent of driver-assistance safety features available including adaptive cruise control with stop, lane keep assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. Ford’s active park assist is also available.
The 2017 Ford Fusion Sport is priced starting at $33,475, plus $875 destination and delivery. The media-loan test car I drove was equipped with much of the equipment I mentioned above and topped out at $41,350.
You can find detailed specs and product information on the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport at www.ford.com. And, you can cross-shop other sport sedans right here on The Auto Channel.
On my road trip, with wife along, we found the seats comfortable—and she is usually the first to say something about seat comfort. The cabin is nicely quiet at highway speeds as is the engine, both making for easy conversation and good music listening.
Overall the Fusion Sport fits in quite well as a family sedan. It’s roomy and certainly can serve for chauffeuring the children at school or carrying a toddler in a child seat to a play-date.
With the all-wheel-drive it’s got to be good in snowy climates. Personally, I would put winter tires on all four corners since the 40-series tires don’t help much at all in snow. Plus, winter tires behave better at low ambient temperatures in terms of stopping distance and wet road traction.
All-in-all the Fusion Sport is a nicely balanced family sedan with a big punch of power and decent handling behavior with good compliance for taking on a nice country twisty road.
As I was putting the finishing touches on this story Ford pointed out that Boys’ Life magazine published the results of an on-line reader poll wherein Ford was rated number one as the coolest car brand. This ahead of well known brands such as, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Dodge and others. So yeah, the young folks like Ford.
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© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy