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March 31, 2013

New Ford Fusion looks like a winner

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A base-level Fusion lists at $22,695, but more than half the buyers at Regan Ford opt for an EcoBoost engine, which brings drivers into a higher trim level that includes more features than the base model.

Ford also sells a high-mileage, hybrid version of the Fusion that pairs electric drive and gasoline power to stretch maximum mileage from fuel. The Fusion Hybrid starts at $27,995 and earns a fuel-economy rating of 47 mpg in both city and highway driving. A plug-in hybrid version, called the Fusion Energi, can take a battery recharge from a wall plug, boosting gas mileage even more. It starts at a list price of $39,695.

The hybrids sell to people whose driving patterns can make the most of the dual, gas/electric motor systems, said Barry. But for most consumers, the fuel economy of the gasoline powered Fusions is attractive enough, he noted.

During a seven-day evaluation, I enjoyed driving the new Fusion for its looks alone, which brought me a feeling of distinction. The car has a jazzy assertiveness, with a wide, blunt snout that is topped by high strakes running front to back on the fender tops and hood, giving Fusion a sense of serious forward motion. Deep side creases cutting the flanks accentuate the dynamic appearance.

Mid-size sedans today are the perennial family car. As a group, they represent the most popular class of car in America. Because they must appeal to so many drivers with such a wide variety needs, wants and tastes, their shape and styling have traditionally slanted toward blandness. The Korea-based car company Hyundai broke that tendency in a big way when it introduced the current generation of its dramatically styled Sonata sedan early in 2010 as a 2011 model. Now the 2013 Ford Fusion ups the stakes even more, with a contemporary, striking design that is demonstrating how family sedan drivers favor good looks.

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