2014 Ford Fusion Preview
Though it was completely redesigned for the 2013 model year, the Ford Fusion receives numerous upgrades for 2014. The midsize family sedan receives a new engine this year, as well as expanded option availability, new interior color choices, and new exterior paint selections. A lower-priced Fusion Hybrid S model also joins the lineup, providing less expensive access to hybrid technology.
The 2014 Ford Fusion and Ford Fusion Hybrid models are offered in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels. The Ford Fusion Energi is a plug-in version of the Fusion Hybrid, and is equipped with SE or Titanium trim. Changes to the 2014 Ford Fusion's exterior are limited to new colors: Dark Side and Sunset, which replace Ginger Ale and Bordeaux Reserve.
New colors are also added for the 2014 Fusion's interior. Soft Ceramic, an off-white color, is available, and buyers choosing Sterling Gray exterior paint can now equip the Fusion with a Dune-colored interior. A Brick Red Premium Leather package is also optional for the 2014 Fusion models.
In addition to the Brick Red leather interior, new options for the 2014 Fusion include ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and summer performance tires. Ford expands the SE Luxury package to include remote engine starting and a passive keyless entry system with push-button starting.
Under the Hood
After just one year, Ford is replacing the Fusion's turbocharged, 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, in most applications, with a new turbocharged, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. The smaller engine is slightly less powerful, with preliminary estimates indicating a loss of a single horsepower and 7 lb.-ft. of torque, to 177 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. The only transmission choice with this engine is an automatic, and Ford says fuel economy will improve slightly.
One might ask: why bother? Ford is a global car company, and in several of its global markets, there are tax benefits to owning a vehicle equipped with an engine displacing 1.5 liters or less. Since the smaller 1.5-liter engine is almost as powerful as the 1.6-liter engine, Ford believes it makes good business sense to phase out the 1.6-liter engine. For 2014, however, the larger engine will continue to be offered in conjunction with a manual gearbox.
Safety and Technology
Ford enhances the 2014 Fusion's crash protection by offering optional inflatable rear seat belts, which are designed to help cushion occupants during a collision.
Though the 2014 model has not been tested, in crash tests conducted on the structurally identical 2013 model, the Fusion received a 5-star overall rating--the highest rating possible--from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) called the 2013 Fusion a "Top Safety Pick Plus," reflecting its "Acceptable" performance in the tough new small overlap frontal impact test.