Short Take Road Test: 2010 Ford Fusion SEL V6
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2012.
By Mark Gillies of Car and Driver
Mid-size sedans and V-6 engines generally don't make a lot of sense to the staff here at Car and Driver. Whether they're built by domestic or import automakers, these cars tend to retail for about $30,000 when fully optioned and often don't provide enough performance over that of the far cheaper four-cylinder versions while returning palpably worse gas mileage.
Ford, for reasons known only to itself, offers two V-6 engines in the freshened 2010 Fusion: a carry-over 3.0-liter that makes 240 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque, up from 221 hp and 205 lb-ft, and a newly available 3.5-liter unit in the Sport model that provides 263 hp and 249 lb-ft. Both V-6s are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manumatic shifting.
Running the Numbers
All that stuff makes it a luxurious ride, though. Changes to the 2010 Fusion include an interior makeover that features a wealth of soft-touch materials, better seats, and a cool new gauge cluster that has a 3-D appearance. The nav system is a breeze to use, as is Sync, whether you're playing tunes from your iPod or connecting a Bluetooth phone. There's a tendency to dismiss blind-spot monitoring as a fad, until you get into a car that doesn't have it and find you're missing the security it offers in traffic.
Competent but Lackluster
We're not usually fans of electric power steering, but the Fusion's is one of the nicest systems we've tried, with good on-center feel and accuracy. The chassis is predictable and safe, but the tuning favors a plush ride over tied-down behavior in the twisties. We achieved a moderate 0.80 g of grip on the skidpad, the number being restrained by a stability control system that couldn't be completely deactivated. That's about the same as the V-6 Accord's (0.79 g). The Honda, like the Fusion, was shod with Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 rubber. When it came to braking, though, the Ford was terrible. A stopping distance of 203 feet from 70 mph was bad enough, but we suffered fade almost immediately. The Honda needed 187 feet and didn't suffer from fade, and a Mazda 6 V-6 on the same tires recorded 165 feet. It seems as if Dearborn has been scrimping on one of the most important systems in an automobile.
Better Deals to Be Had