Automotive Rundown – Ford Fusion SE 1.5-L

Ford’s best-selling midsize sedan enters 2015 with new standard features, same unparalleled style

Last year the redesigned Ford Fusion overtook the Toyota Camry as the bestselling midsize sedan in the Canadian market, and it’s not hard to see why. In a segment full of visual bores, the Fusion stands out with European sophistication and style to spare.

So when Ford announced it was replacing the tried-and-true 1.6-Litre EcoBoost with a slightly smaller
1.5-L EcoBoost in 2014, many wondered: Why swap the most popular engine in Canada’s bestselling midsize with one that’s fractionally smaller?

The reason is that many countries offer tax breaks on engines that are 1.5-L or smaller, including in China, where Ford increased sales by almost 50 per cent in 2013, selling over 900,000 vehicles. Ford projected it would sell 1 million in China in 2014, and as engine commonality means lower production costs it’s a no-brainer why the American automaker opted for the 1.5-L in all its Fusions.

So what does that mean for you? The turbocharged 1.5-L — which is now the go-to engine in the Fusion SE, the Fusion’s most popular model — generates 181-horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, which is a slight improvement over the 178-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque of the 1.6-L. It won’t blow your doors off, but it’s practical power, and when combined with the Fusion’s comfortable suspension and natural handling, it’s more than adequate for everyday family use. Which is why you’re likely looking at this segment.

Ford claims the 1.5-L will get 9.9-L/100 km in the city and 6.5-L/100 km on the highway, but if you spring for the automatic start-stop option you’ll reach 9.4-L/100 km in the city and 6.3-L/100 km on the highway — decent numbers for a car this size (3,425 lb).

On top of technology options such as an even more intuitive SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system, blind spot detection and active park assist, the 2015 Fusion SE also comes standard with a 10-way power driver’s seat, six-way power front passenger seat and a rearview camera.

If you’re a longtime Ford driver, you’ll feel right at home in the Fusion SE’s familiar cabin, but the real appeal is its exterior. Up until the release of the new Mazda6, there wasn’t a car in this segment and at this price that was even in the same league as the Fusion when it came to looks. Its Aston-like styling is just so sharp; it’s one family car you won’t be ashamed to show off.

Ford Fusion SE 1.5-L
Engine options: 1.5-L EcoBoost
Power: 181-hp, 185 lb.-ft. of torque
Fuel economy: 9.4L/100 km (city),
6.3L/100 km (highway)
MSRP: $24,399

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