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The Spaminator
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3RD PLACE: Ford Fusion SE
The Aston of family sedans


If looks alone determined the finishing order, we'd probably have our winner right here. Admittedly, the new Fusion isn't as sleek in the metal as some of its photos might suggest, but this is still a great-looking sedan, an Aston Martin amid a sea of cereal boxes.

Happy to say, the Fusion is not just another pretty fascia. It's a genuinely spirited car, with real flavor and competence in its moves. "You can tell right away it was engineered by a German team," says Evans. "Reminds me of the Passat, but even more German. The ride is firm; you feel all the bumps; but it pays back in handling. This thing is built like a tank and feels it in turns, but the body is very well controlled." Febbo agrees. "Suspension tuning is really good." In fact, post-driving, all of us agreed the Fusion's steering is the best of the six--better even than our winner's. "Sportiest car in the group," summed-up Martinez.

Under the hood lies the group's only blown engine, a 1.6-liter turbo making 178 hp and paired with the group's only manual, a six-speed. Febbo dubbed the combo "really good. Doesn't have tons of low end, but even at low rpm there isn't much turbo lag. Feels like a cammy 2.0-liter; really satisfying to zing around with the manual." Indeed, the Fusion's turbo four seemed (and sounded) happiest at high rpm. At low revs it tends to sound a bit gristly.

The interior is a mixed bag. The seats, for instance, are fabulous: aggressively bolstered and covered with a cool, neoprene-like fabric that grips like a wetsuit. So too are the steering wheel, the shift knob, and the center armrest -- all covered in high-quality, soft-touch materials. The center stack, though, is a disaster: a mess of tiny, faintly labeled buttons seemingly executed as an afterthought ("What about the models that don't have the MyFord Touch screen, boss?" "Uh, I dunno, Harris. Just throw a bunch of soft-touch tabs together and paint 'em Indistinguishable Ninja Black. The kids will love it.") Well, the kids don't.

The Fusion is a mixed bag in other areas, too. It's probably the quietest car in the group, with minimal wind and road noise intruding on the cabin. But its rear seat is only fair, with that rakish roofline eating into rear-seat headroom. A spirited performer, true, but also delivering only decent observed fuel economy (24.9 mpg).
You can't help thinking what the Fusion would be like with one of its more potent engine options and bigger wheels and tires. But even as is, the Fusion produced plenty of grins among us. For family-sedan buyers in search of some driving spice, the Fusion warrants a serious look.
 

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Seriously, you didn't expect Motor Trend to give Ford the first place, did you? They are so pro-Obama biased, they devoted half the magazine to his administration 4 years ago. That is when I totaly dismissed them as a resourse of information. They hold Ford in contempt for not taking the bailout money. Their bias is imbarressingly apparent.
 

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Mercury C557
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just cuz I hate having to open multi page to get the "list"
1. Passat
2. Accord
3. Fusion
4. Altima
5. Camry
6. Malibu


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motortrend said:
...You can't help thinking what the Fusion would be like with .... bigger wheels and tires...
...You can't help thinking what the Fusion would be like with .... smaller wheels and bigger tires...
^fixed^​


more maybe when I read all those pages


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1st edit
was going to wonder how the previous gen Malibu woulda done instead (I still *Love* its styling esp the greenhouse) but saw they already did that
"Talk about a comedown. What had previously been a sedan we'd regularly praised"
 

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Seriously, you didn't expect Motor Trend to give Ford the first place, did you? They are so pro-Obama biased, they devoted half the magazine to his administration 4 years ago. That is when I totaly dismissed them as a resourse of information. They hold Ford in contempt for not taking the bailout money. Their bias is imbarressingly apparent.
Really, then how did the Malibu finish dead last?

Passat 1st? That POS was slow, has 80s styling, uses crappy plastics yet it's still "defending" it's COTY win. Other COTY winners in the past were the Vega and Renault Alliance.........enough said! They sure know how to pick em!
 

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Haters gonna hate! The Fusion is in that meaty section of the market that has to cover the tastes of such a large cross section of the population that not everybody will like it, and some people will likely hate it, they'll be completely wrong, but they'll be entitled to their incorrect opinions. As for the article, I think some people just have to play Devil's advocate and take up a counter position just to make themselves feel superior.

:D
 

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Mercury C557
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15" wheels with 18" tires?????

was thinking 16x60 ... like the 'S' trim
just a peeve of mine



What I dont get is that they love the styling...but then criticize the rear headroom? Its like "You were expecting both?"
still think Ford shoulda built a notchback too

maybe even only used the fastback for the hatch...but for the US too!


'nother 'ps'
they said the Accord is bigger but it shrank back to "normal"
from wlb/ovl 110.2/194.3" to 109.3/191.4"
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something in the way they seem to disparage style&handling...
make #1 & #2 sound like "good appliances"
1: "Functional to a fault,"
2: "You will never have any fun in it."
tho the Crummery is just a "bad appliance"
 

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What I dont get is that they love the styling...but then criticize the rear headroom? Its like "You were expecting both?"
I agree. I've looked at some of the ultra-lux reviews on cars.com and they love how luxurious the vehicle is and then they bash the car for its price. I say the same thing "What were you expecting?".
 

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This close to Motor Trend's January 2013 Car of the Year Award Issue, I believe Motor Trend is simply being politically correct. First, the Volkswagen Passat is Motor Trend's Car of the year for 2012 and MT is not going to displace it's reigning Car of the Year, until it's January 2013 Car of the Year Award winner has been announced. Secondly, if the Fusion was able to come in third place with the best looks, second "lowest" price, only manual transmission, in the words of MT "built like a bank" and still maintain "the sportiest feel," these are a combination of unusual qualities for a mainstream midsize american car. Finally, Motor Trend ends the review with these words, "You can't help thinking what the Fusion would be like with one of its more potent engine options and bigger wheels and tires." In my opinion, this article may point to "pleasant surprise winners" of "multiple" upcoming 2013 Car of the Year "Awards."
 

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The ratings that the buff magazines give doesn't hold as much weight to-day as it used to. Consumers Report has the most credibility to-day when it comes to ratings.
Based on first impressions and appearance the 2013 Fusion will be on most peoples consideration list along with Camry,Accord,Altima and Malibu. A car that will be on the list that wouldn't have been a few years ago is the Sonata. This segment or mid size class is competitive and the customer should look them over closely and don't get caught up in the opinion of a car journalist.They're not as objective as their publication lives off advertising that the car manufactures buy.
 

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Sonata was off my list the first time I sat in the back seat, and had my head hit the rear window frame. I would never subject my friends to that discomfort or danger in a crash.
 

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They love to styling. That's why they don't get it. Now this close to motor trend since january 2013 Car of the year aware issue.

What I dont get is that they love the styling...but then criticize the rear headroom? Its like "You were expecting both?"
 
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