Ford brings Fusion in the luxury sedan segment

2015-07-29 12:28
The Ford Fusion’s sleek silhouette is eye-catching and just oozes luxury.

The Ford Fusion’s sleek silhouette is eye-catching and just oozes luxury.

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THE rise in the popularity of SUV’s as the family car has to a great extent seen the demise of the luxury sedan as a status symbol in the drive-way.

But the number of Mercs, BMWs and Audi’s still out on our roads, is proof that there is still a market for them. And now Ford has thrown the proverbial hat in the ring, or rather spanner in the German works by launching its own new luxury sedan in this market.

Competing with the Germans, Ford had to offer something different or special to catch the attention of those in the market for premium cars who are more often than not brand loyal.

Enter the Ford Fusion – which is known in Europe as the Ford Mondeo - but was renamed for the SA market for its release here in January.

So what makes it special or different? High tech gadgets and very competitive pricing which starts at R349 900 with the top model costing R449 900.

The Fusion comes in three engine types, with petrol engine options being the 1.5-litre EcoBoost and 2-litre EcoBoost. It is also available with a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine.

All models have a 6-speed automatic gearbox with Select Shift.

There are also two trim levels - the lower spec Trend and high spec Titanium. Optional extras are available to customise your Fusion to your needs. The vehicle test driven was the 2.0 Ecoboost Titanium.

Exterior

Personally, I think the look of the Fusion is by far the best in its market segment. Its sleek silhouette is eye-catching and just oozes luxury. It was therefore no surprise that during my week of test driving it, I had a number of people coming up to me in parking lots wanting to know more about this big car with the Ford emblem.

Interior

Equally impressive is the spaciousness inside which can comfortably accommodate five adults.

In the front the big touch screen dominates. Being a bit of a gadget-phobe I found all the info displays and warning sounds a bit disconcerting at times, and you really need to be a passenger and not a driver with lots of time on your hands to sit and figure out all the bells and whistles.

Ford’s Sync 2 with 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and Voice Control is standard in the Titanium models, and an optional extra on the Trend models. The touchscreen helps you set-up your phone, music and climate settings.

With Sync 2 voice-control connectivity one can select music from an MP3 device by asking Sync 2 to play an artist or track. Drivers can make legal hands-free phone calls on command even when the system is in audio or another mode.

An electronic handbrake adds to the high tech qualities of this car.

As far as safety features go, the Titanium models have front and rear sensors and a rearview camera. This is available as optional extras in the Trend models too.

Very impressive was the super bright headlights showcasing Ford’s adaptive LED headlamp technology - which is only available on the Titanium models. These lights not only automatically turn themselves on and off according to changes in the light, but can also change the beam’s level so that it always shines on the road even during cornering.

Enhanced Active Park Assist featuring Perpendicular Parking is also available as an option on the Titanium models.

The enhanced MyKey technology is a standard feature in all four models and will enable Fusion owners to programme a secondary key to restrict some vehicle functions. It can inhibit incoming phone calls, as well as restrict the top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce the maximum volume of the audio system, and disable the system altogether if the driver and passengers are not using safety belts.

Ride

The ride is smooth and powerful and the automatic gearbox does not detract from its acceleration or lessens its oomph.

The steering is light and precise. Petrol consumption is impressive for a sedan, and during the week spent with the Fusion, I found the consumption, which is given as 8.5 litres per 100km over a combined cycle, as accurate.

Its agility and lively performance make one soon forget that this is actually quite a big vehicle.

PRICES

Fusion 1.5 EcoBoost Trend - R349 900

Fusion 2.0 EcoBoost Trend - R369 900

Fusion 2.0 EcoBoost Titanium - R424 900

Fusion 2.0 TDCi Titanium Powershift - R449 900

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