All photos by Ford
The Ford Fusion has turned into a homerun for Ford Motor Company since the launch around 4 years ago. After spending some time in the 2011 Fusion SE you can understand how the ball was hit out of the park!
The first thing we noticed on our Blue Flame Metallic 2011 Ford Fusion SE was the aggressive front end which was redesigned on the 2010 Fusion. The sleek look of the new hood and front fenders blend well with the three bar grille, which Ford has turned into the face of the company. Our model had sport 18" aluminum spoked wheels, power mirrors (same as the body color), chromed exhaust tips, and fog lamps. With a rear spoiler this Fusion had that “cool car” feel. The redesign of the Fusion took this vehicle to another level and, considering the sales figures coming in for the Fusion, it was money well spent.
The charcoal black cloth seats in our test vehicle were somewhat awkward looking so I say pay the extra money and invest in the very comfortable leather seats that Ford offers. The cabin in general is very practical with most buttons and knobs in smart locations. The HVAC could be a stretch for some drivers. The center tower on the dashboard is beginning to look somewhat dated and the materials used came across as cheap and overly in-your-face plastic. The SYNC voice activated system was right on target, though, and worked wonderfully as we expected. Our model also had a power moon roof, leather wrapped steering wheel with speed control, and 60/40 rear seat with spring assisted fold. The overall interior cabin space has just enough room to fit 5 people and has standard side curtain airbags. We were impressed with the trunk space in the 2011 Fusion and with the aforementioned spring assisted fold, this trunk can carry plenty of baseball equipment for all of you coaches out there.
This is where the Fusion has earned her stripes. From the initial launch of Fusion, performance has been a big selling point for this car. We drove the 2.5-liter I4 engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. The overall fuel economy rating is 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. We averaged around 24 mpg in mixed driving. The gearbox was smooth and user friendly with a clutch that was fluid and shifted with ease from 1st to 6th gear. The 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS felt solid and secure when braking in the December snow. The front-wheel drive with traction control was more than capable of dealing with wintery conditions. The handling on the Fusion SE is top notch for a midsize sedan that starts at just $19,720, but I felt the 2.5-liter I4 lacked power. Don't expect any more pop than what a 175-horsepower engine should deliver. The overall ride and handling of the 2011 Ford Fusion SE compensate for lack of power in the 2.5-liter manual transmission. If you like to feel more power behind the wheel, consider the 6-cylinder options.
The 2011 Ford Fusion SE I4 is a fairly priced, mid-size sedan that continues to climb the sales charts along with the other Fusion models. In the 2011 Fusion you'll get a clear feeling that Ford knew what they were doing when they took the Ford Mondeo from Europe and designed a version for the North American market. Our test vehicle stickered out at $24,085 with substantial options but did not include leather seating, heated seats, or automatic transmission. Even though we would prefer more power under the hood, with gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon we can understand customers opting for the more fuel efficient 4-cylinder. As good as the 2011 Fusion is in current form, the basic design is getting dated (especially the dashboard and when compared to the new 2012 Ford Focus and the 2012 Ford Fiesta). I can only imagine how Ford will take things to another level when a brand spanking new model comes out in a few years. In the meantime, the 2011 Fusion will do just fine.
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