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SEDAN SUCCESS: Ford’s Fusion pairs willing performance, economy, solidity, high style

2014 Ford Fusion
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Ford seems to be on to something with its much-hyped EcoBoost engine lineup.

Like many manufacturers, Ford is seeking to fulfill the current automotive mandate of good power combined with improved fuel economy, and turbocharging seems to fill the bill.

A turbocharger uses exhaust gasses to spin a turbine that in turn crams more air – and fuel along with it – into an engine’s cylinders. That produces more energy, allowing smaller-displacement engines to be utilized to deliver the desired amount of power.

And using a smaller-displacement powerplant inherently results in better fuel economy just because smaller-overall engines burn less gas. Also, the turbo doesn’t do all that much cramming until the driver’s right foot activates it by demanding more power.

It’s a win-win-win solution.

Need evidence? Ford’s generously sized Fusion midsize family sedan delivers willing performance and a 36-mpg highway rating. All from a relatively Lilliputian 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

Not all that long ago it would have taken a V-6 twice that size to provide the same oomph.

In addition to economy and performance – and its eye-catching style – the Fusion brings a heapin’ helping of attributes to the highly competitive midsize-sedan sector.

Complementing the car’s powertrain, the Fusion’s well-sorted suspension is tweaked to a fine balance between handling and ride quality. The car cruises down along the highway with a well-damped serenity, while back-road twists and turns reveal a confident, almost sporty demeanor.

2013 Ford FusionThe moderate heft of the steering contributes to the sedan’s sensation of solidity. Overall, the car tilts toward the European mode rather than the Japanese approach of lightness of controls.

The Fusion’s cabin is conservatively styled employing nice-quality materials. Our SE tester featured comfortable buckets up front, swathed in a heavy-duty fabric with red accent stitching. Legroom in the rear is accommodating for three full-size adults. One gripe: The front passenger’s seat is mounted too low with no height adjustment.

Ford’s stylish Fusion is a superb amalgam of attributes. Midsize sedan shoppers, prepare to be impressed.

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