The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2013 is the new 2013 Ford Fusion.
The Fusion earned the highest rating of all brand-new or significantly updated mainstream vehicles this year, fending off close challenges from the Honda Accord, the Cadillac ATS, and the Cadillac XTS.
As we wrote in our full review, the 2013 Ford Fusion has "rock-star good looks and handling--and it doesn't cheat on room or safety to get them."
We'll admit to falling for the Fusion at first glance. We've looked at it and seen echoes of the Audi 5000, in all the right ways. The elegant roofline and bullish nose take the caricatures of other mid-size sedans and smooth them out into a sleekness that gives us pause, every time.
It's a car so stylish, you can't help but imagine what it's like to drive--and it delivers. There's nothing exotic on its spec sheet, but the Fusion steers briskly, rides firmly, and barely conceals the European-engineered sport sedan hiding behind its American nameplate. It's especially engaging with the available manual transmission: if you've ever loved an entry-luxury German or Swedish sedan, here's your new crush object.
The Fusion's an aesthete and an athlete--and it nails the basics, too. Its back-seat space is a scant second only to the Accord and Passat, and its well-bolstered front seats shame those in the Honda. The rear bench pokes holes in the Chevy Malibu's smaller-is-better argument. The trunk's vast. Safety? It's great in a crash--but we suggest you don't go there.
There's another dimension to the Fusion, too--the Fusion Hybrid and the Energi plug-in hybrid. The gas-electric model picks off the Passat TDI for highway mileage, while the plug-in version promises some pure electric driving and Volt-like MPGe figures, not to mention a scad of luxury features available like blind-spot monitors, a rearview camera, and park assist. And, by the way, did we mention the styling? No hybrid has ever looked this good (the Karma's a range-extended EV, remember), and we're betting no hybrid will even come close, any time soon.
The Fusion gives car buyers a clear reason to avoid generica when hunting down a mid-size, family-suitable four-door. But it doesn't come without some caveats.
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