2014 Ford Fusion


2014 Ford Fusion SE
$23,935 base MRSP
22/34 MPG (advertised)
22.9 MPG (real-world, over a week of driving)

Overall Impressions:

I always liked the way the Fusion looked. It’s a nice, clean design from Ford, and a very sharp car! One of the best looking sedans on the market in my opinion.

In many ways this seems to be a good value–but I’m torn–the seats were not as comfortable as I’d like, the “A” pillars were huge (blocking quite a bit of the forward view), and most critically, the engine just couldn’t cut it.

Would I buy one? Tough choice–it’s a decent price, but it’s also under powered. And fuel mileage was not as good as I might expect. Maybe I could live with this car–but I’m not running out to the Ford dealer. It’s just not compelling. Despite the good looks, the rest of the car seems to fall short.

TMS (Tall Man’s Score): B-

Headroom: B+

Headroom was acceptable with the seat down. But to make the seat comfortable (and so you didn’t feel like you were sitting in a bucket) you had to raise the seat. Consequently, you lose the headroom you could have had. What were you thinking Ford?

Mirror Location: A-

The mirror location was acceptable. But again because you have to raise the seat to be comfortable, it brings the mirror into your line of vision.

Headrest: B+

Not bad. But not great.

Part of this was to get the seat comfortable, I had to recline the back more than I normally would like (which means the headrest isn’t as intrusive).

With the seat more upright where I like it, the headrest still isn’t where it should be, and was pushing on my head/neck.

Legroom: D

Good legroom–but–there is a huge “bump” in the floorboard by the seat. What this means is that you can’t pull you leg back for a rest without it hitting that bump.

While there are probably good design reasons for the bump (likely cabin stiffness or a place to hide electronics) it cuts into your passenger space, and makes the car uncomfortable on long trips.

This isn’t noticeable (of course) unless you’re tall and have the seat all the way back.

Bad design Ford.

Seat Comfort: C-

The seats are schizophrenic. If you have them adjusted so they’re reasonably comfortable, you bring the mirror into play, and lose headroom.

If you adjust them for visibility, they become quite uncomfortable.

And that lumbar support is way too low–again, probably a perfect position if you’re 5′ 6″ but for someone over six foot the lumbar support is a pain in the back.

 Vehicle Review

Engine: C-

It’s borderline. Just not enough power to be comfortable. Maybe hampered a bit by a slow-shifting transmission, but my gut says they put in an anemic engine to try and get better fuel mileage.

Unfortunate, as a better engine/tranny would really make this car shine.

Transmission: D

Slow shifting, and felt sluggish and mushy. Seemed to really hurt the performance of the engine, with the result being a mediocre overall drivetrain.

Manual shift was via a button on the stalk, and that was very slow to respond. Furthermore, I once got a very loud “clunk” when shifting from manual mode back to automatic mode–something that should never happen.

At least on this car, manual mode seemed to be an afterthought, and Ford likely expects no one to use it (and frankly probably very few buyers ever will), yet if it’s offered it should at least work well.

A disappointment.

Interior: C-

Clean interior, and nice looking.

Controls were mostly manual, but there are a lot of separate buttons, with no tactile way to tell them apart.

What this means is that you have to take your eyes off the road to change functions (not a good thing). This is one of my pet peeves with respect to automotive safety.

Center console has a strange configuration. Nice deep cubbyhole for your “stuff” but they left the sides open (presumably for “style”) but it allows your stuff to fall out the sides into the footwells.

Ford, you can do better.

Visibility: C

Decent visibility, but hurt by those huge A pillars–again, they’re there for “safety” but they compromise visibility, which is a larger safety issue.

I suppose when you get in an accident because you didn’t see another vehicle because of the A pillars that they’ll protect you in the subsequent roll-over…but wouldn’t it be better to have avoided the accident in the first place?

And as with most cars today, fuel mileage has made the extremely low nose “fashionable” and consequently you have no idea where the front of the car is, and “park by feel” is the ultimate result.

(Note to self: Don’t park any classic cars in front of a Ford Fusion, as that driver will be sure to bump you on their way out of the parking spot!)

Electronics: C

Again, basic transportation. No digital touchscreen. No backup camera.

And too many buttons and having to look down from the road.

Utility: B

Basic transportation. Nothing more, no matter how nice the car looks.

Appearance: A

I have to say I love the look (especially the nose) of this car. Very nice design.

 Miscellaneous Musings:

Unfortunate that this the car’s best feature is it’s appearance. No doubt it’ll sell because of it, but I suspect that buyers will soon move on to something else as there really isn’t much more to this car than a “pretty face”.

I wanted to like this car–but it simply falls short. Yes it looks better than an Accord or a Camry, but I get the sense that I’d be much happier with either of those over the long-haul.

So close Ford, but no cigar on this one. Sorry.