Owners tend to rate the Fusion highly in most aspects of ride quality, performance, fuel mileage, comfort, and versatility.
The currently available generation of Ford Fusion hit the road in 2012 with new looks, features, and power. It’s still a strong seller, and one that appeals to shoppers after unique styling, up-level feature content, and plenty of selection. In addition to multiple standard trim grades (S, SE, Titanium, and Sport to name a few, in increasing order of loadedness), the Fusion could also be had as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model, designated by the Hybrid and Energi monikers, respectively.
Feature content included climate-controlled seats, Ford Sync, advanced safety features, radar cruise control, navigation, cabin mood lighting, power seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, remote start, and plenty more. Cross-shop the used Fusion against comparable versions of the Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, and others.
The Fusion’s engine range included a 2.5L four-cylinder as standard, with 175 hp, and a 2.0L turbocharged EcoBoost engine with 230–240 horsepower, depending on the year. Smaller four-cylinder engine options included 1.5 or 1.6L turbocharged units. A 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with 325 hp was launched in the late-introduction Fusion Sport model, which included various chassis and cosmetic upgrades. Electrified Fusion variants ran a hybrid or plug-in hybrid assisted 2.0L four-cylinder engine.
All used models have an automatic transmission, and some Fusion variants were offered with all-wheel drive (AWD) for added traction and control. As the AWD system was an optional add-on, shoppers set on it are advised to confirm that the feature is present on the model they’re considering.
What Owners Like
Owners tend to rate the Fusion highly in most aspects of ride quality, performance, fuel mileage, comfort, and versatility. The higher-output turbo engines are favourites amongst enthusiasts, and the up-level feature content adds extra appeal. Many owners also love the high-tech touches, including the MyFord Touch display and the Ford Sync central command system.
What Owners Dislike
Common gripes include the low-resolution digital tachometer in the Fusion’s instrument cluster, the learning curve required before using the Ford Sync system becomes intuitive, and the wish for a little more rear-seat legroom for adult passengers.
Here are some Ford Fusion owner reviews.
The Test Drive
For maximum peace of mind when buying a used Fusion from this generation, plan and budget on taking the model(s) that you’re short-listing for consideration to a Ford dealer for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI). This takes roughly one hour, may cost about $120, and may require that you schedule an appointment in advance. A PPI is highly advised on any used Fusion you’re considering, and is your single best bet for ensuring you wind up with a healthy used Fusion that isn’t concealing any issues.
A technician should perform a diagnostic scan the Fusion’s engine computer, which can reveal possible issues in the driveline and other systems. Some of these issues may cause a Check Engine light, and others may not. Have the diagnostic scan completed whether or not there’s a Check Engine light illuminated to identify possible issues.
You’ll also want to have the attending technician, or the dealer service counter, determine which, if any, of the Fusion’s numerous safety recalls might be outstanding, and plan to have the (free) recall work carried out immediately, if the unit you’re considering is affected.
Read this twice: the vast majority of Canadian drivers should follow the Severe maintenance schedule in regards to transmission (and other) fluid changes in the Ford Fusion. Further, note that you can’t overchange transmission fluid, so the more often, the better. Frequent transmission fluid changes can be cheap insurance against future problems. Ask your technician for more details.
Note that some owners have reported transmission-related problems with this generation of Fusion, and that some haven’t. During ownership, changing the transmission fluid more frequently than advised by the Severe service schedule in the owner’s manual may be helpful to ensure consistently reliable operation. Confirming that the model you’re considering is running the most current transmission software, via a software update, is also an excellent idea.
Here’s one discussion, and another, centering around possible engine stalling issues with this generation Fusion. This problem seems fairly intermittent if detected, and owners have concocted numerous (often incorrect) theories as to the cause. Whether on your test drive or during ownership, take any signs of hesitation, struggling to run or idle smoothly, or random stalling, as an invitation to have a dealer diagnose the problem and address it. If any warranty is remaining on the model you’re considering, it will likely cover the issue. Further, the dealer may have Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) information from Ford available to help quickly remedy the problem.
Though the cause(s) of random stalling are a little hard to nail down, they may stem from a bad fuel pressure sensor, bad throttle body, or a bad electrical ground. Neither of these issues is difficult to address. Finally, do not attempt to fix a stalling issue by changing random parts or sensors, pouring additives into your fuel tank, or disconnecting and reconnecting the battery, as this is most often a waste of money.
If you’re considering a Fusion with an EcoBoost engine, give this thread a read, but take it with a grain of salt. Direct-injected engines, like the Ford EcoBoost, may be prone to excessive valve gunk buildup over time. Some owners have had issues, typically evidenced by a misfire code stored within the engine computer (which a diagnostic scan during your PPI would reveal).
Proper owner practices and maintenance are vital to fend off the accumulation of excessive gunk. These include regular oil level checks and adjustments, changing engine oil ahead of schedule at all times, using a quality synthetic oil, only fuelling with Top Tier gasoline (in the octane rating specified for the model you’re considering), and ensuring that your Fusion’s spark plugs are changed well before their requested interval in the owner’s manual.
If the unit you’re considering has AWD, be sure to have the system inspected, with an eye for leaks from the power takeoff unit (PTU) as well as all axle seals. A check of the level and condition of the fluid in the PTU, as well as a pre-emptive fluid change, is also an excellent idea for long-term peace of mind and durability from this driveline component.
A few more notes. First, seek out a model with all service records available from the previous seller. If not available readily, service records can likely be retrieved from the servicing dealer or repair shop. Note that failure of the vehicle’s previous owner to adhere to all maintenance requirements could compromise the vehicle’s warranty, so be sure all maintenance is up to date.
Non-factory engine software, often installed by performance buffs to create more power from the Fusion’s turbocharged engines, will also typically void any remaining warranty coverage. If you’re considering an EcoBoost-powered Fusion that you suspect may have been modified, check with the seller, and talk to your local dealer about confirming that the warranty is still in good standing.
Finally, if you’re considering a Fusion Hybrid or a Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, be sure to have a complete vehicle inspection and diagnostic scan carried out by a hybrid-certified technician at a Ford dealer. Buying a used Fusion Hybrid or Energi without this inspection is strictly not advised. Give this article a read for more tips and tricks to keep in mind when buying a used hybrid car.
Here is the list of recalls again.
Fusion appears to be an appealing car on numerous levels – though a pre-purchase inspection of any used unit by a Ford technician should be considered mandatory for maximum peace of mind. Performing all maintenance work relating to spark plugs and fluid changes ahead of schedule is also advised.
Crash Test Ratings
IIHS: Top Safety Pick+
NHTSA: 5/5 stars