Car Test   R0341
  See also R0318 
June 2003
Brief Test Ford Fusion
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 2 1.4TDCi
This diesel of the Fusion (and Fiesta) uses an engine bought in from Peugeot-Citroen; unsurprisingly, itís also to be found beneath the bonnets of some 206, 307 and Citroen C3 models.
  
   It drives very sweetly. Especially in low-speed acceleration, itís less tremulous than many four-cylinder diesels and revs willingly up to about 4400rpm for ultimate acceleration Ė go beyond and the power recedes as the engine runs out of puff.
  
   To be critical, our car also showed a slight tendency to surge below 1500rpm on a steady gas pedal (almost as if the driver had forgotten to put the choke in, on an older car). Also, we had to be careful not to engage the (light) clutch too quickly, with too few revs Ė an abrupt stall could result. Otherwise, this modestly powered 1.4 is a little charmer, with an easy mid-50s mpg, easily taken beyond 60mpg without trying very hard.
  
   However, its performance could well be its biggest limitation in a fairly commodious load carrier like this Fusion. Moreís the pity, therefore, that the (admittedly less refined) 16-valve 92bhp version (available in the C3) isnít on offer here.
  
   As things stand, this Fusion diesel perfectly exemplifies the difference between power and torque. Itís willing to lug up hill, or accelerate in reasonable fashion in its higher gears, to keep up with the traffic Ė no complaints at such times. Yet when best overtaking ability is called for, to seize a chance to get past the slower vehicle in front, the accelerative spurt is just not there.
  
   Our full test of the 1.6 petrol version goes into detail about the Fusionís accommodation features and its general road manners.
  
AT A GLANCE
  considering size, price and rivals
Controls/displays
Handling/steering
Comfort
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Space/practicality
Security, theft of
theft from
LIKES ...
  • lined facia-top box with lid
  • portable console 'pot' and clever under-seat storage
  • the same passenger's seatback tilts to become a table
and GRIPES
  • iffy station clarity on radio
  • no front grab-rails in roof with Relfex pack option
  • exhaust warms load floor on one side
  • minor instruments/digits illegible in daylight
VERDICT
With the Fiesta and Mazda 2 sharing the same engines and basic design, we feel that this slowest and heaviest Fusion is unconvincingly struggling to find a distinct and definitive role for itself. Admittedly, it does have the most interior space, particularly in the load area, but this underlines the Fusionís need of more power than this docile diesel provides. Itís also less composed than the other two in matters of ride, handling and steering. Despite a recent price reduction, it still remains the most expensive (if you want air conditioning, ABS and alloys, the Mazda 2 TS2 gets you on the road for less) before the haggling, that is. Perhaps the Comfort Plus version will help the Fusion to appear to some, more of an MPV and less like the taller-built estate car it really is. But we doubt it.


BRIEF SPECIFICATION
engine 1399cc, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel; 68bhp at 4000rpm, 118lb ft at 2000rpm; belt-driven single overhead camshaft, 8valves
drive 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive; 27.3mph/1000rpm in 5th gear, 21.8 in 4th
suspension front: independent damper/struts with integral coil springs
rear: torsion beam (dead) axle, coil springs
wheels/tyres 6in alloy (option) with 195/60R15T tyres on test car (steel wheels standard, with temporary-use spare)
brakes ventilated discs front, drums rear with optional ABS on test car
0-62mph* 15.5sec
official mpg 54.3/72.4/64.2
30-70mph through gears 17.7
30-70mph in 4th/5th 22.1/34.8
maximum speed 95mph
AA typical mpg 55mpgmiles
CO2 emissions 116g/km
* maker's figure

THE FUSION RANGE
size and type mid-priced, supermini-sized, MPV-style estate car   trim levels 1, 2, 3, Plus
engines petrol: 4 cylinder/1.4 litre/ 80bhp, 4/1.6/100
diesel: 4/1.4/68
  drive 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive ('Durashift' clutchless autoshift synchromesh gearbox optional with 1.4 petrol)


HOW THE FUSION 1.4 TDCI COMPARES engine (cyl/cc/bhp) revs at 70mph (rpm) 30-70 through gears (sec) 30-70mph in 4th/5th gears (sec) fuel (mpg/CO2) brakes from 50mph (kg/m) maximum legroom - front (cm) typical leg/kneeroom - rear (cm) steering turns/circle (m) overall length (cm)
Ford Fusion 1.4 TDCi 4/1399/68 2560 17.7 22.1/34.8 55/116 30/26.5 108 106/72 3.3/10.4 402
Skodia Fabia Estate 1.9 TDi 4/1896/100 2360 10.3 13.5/20.1 55/135 27/24.5 109 100/72 2.8/10.3 422
Citroen C3 1.4 HDi 16v 4/1399/92 2550 12.3 17.5/26.5 63/112 14/26.5 108 95/69 2.8/11.4 385
Hyundai Matrix 1.6p 4/1599/102 3500 13.1 21.5/32.5 33/191 13/27.5 107 105/80 3.2/10.6 403
Ford Fiesta 1.4 TDCi 4/1399/68 2700 17.1 19.8/27.6 55.5/114 18/26.5 109 98/71 2.8/102 392
Fiat Multipla 1.9 TDi 4/1910/110 2740 13.3 19.2/27.5 43.5/170 18/28.5 106 114/83# 2.8/11.1 399
  # back seat fully rearwards  p petrol version
© The Automobile Association Limited 2014