Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: November 1, 2016
We had a few choices. My colleague and I were planning a quick road trip down to New York City for a few days to catch the sights and scenes, and needed a competent long distance cruiser that would quickly get us from A to B in comfort, efficiency, and most importantly, in one piece.
After narrowing down the list, we settled with the brand new 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport. Why you ask? Well frankly, I can’t think of a better road trip car. It’s got the highest output of any economy mid-size sedan on the market, utilizing a ball-busting 2.7-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 pulled straight off an F-150 and the Edge Sport that delivers 325 hp and 380 lb-ft, more than enough to overtake left lane hogs and escape the neighbourhood sheriff (unproven fact).
The Fusion V6 Sport also comes with all-wheel drive in case the weather decides to turn sour on us (a peace of mind when traveling nine hours away from home). It’s cabin is spacious too with big lofty seats with suede and leather inserts, an adaptive damping system from the cosseting Lincoln MKZ, and is relatively stealthy in its all-American guise – though the glossy Burgundy Velvet paint colour doesn’t do our camouflage tactics any favours.
Besides that, the Fusion V6 Sport is pretty much road-trip-ready straight out of the box with the highly revered SYNC 3 system with navigation, voice command, bluetooth streaming, heated and ventilated seats, and also a heated steering wheel for those frosty mornings. It also comes standard with remote start so you can warm up the car from your hotel room, and also features memory seating, making driver swaps as simple as pushing a button. There are also storage options galore for front and rear passengers, with two USB inputs up front but only an AC outlet outback.
One of the main reasons that we chose this Fusion however, was that it comes with a neat segment-first feature called pothole mitigation, whereby the car will actually detect potholes and try to keep the car leveled and flat by stiffening up the front shocks so the wheel doesn’t drop to the bottom of the hole. The rear wheels then follow suit.
And if you weren’t aware, New York City is covered with potholes, uneven roads, and construction. So what better way to test it out the Fusion’s newly acquired skills than in the Big Apple? It performed better than expected too, resulting in a hovering effect that removed the sharpness out of a pothole or undulating road and smoothens it out for the most comfortable ride possible in this segment.
We should also talk about where the V6 Sport fits in the Fusion lineup. It sits right above the Titanium trim ($34,448) and shares the top podium and starting price with the Platinum trim ($42,288), but instead of premium leather and quilted stitching, the V6 Sport offers a distinctive black grill, 19-inch wheels, a lower front bumper and a mean set of quad exhaust tips. It’s hard to spot the differences next to a base Fusion, but that sort of subtlety was on the Blue Oval’s memo.
Our 1,000 km trip down south was smooth and for the most part, uneventful. The leaves were already changing colour into the autumn palette of yellow, orange, and red, creating some of the most spectacular scenic routes down the I-90. A godsend was the Fusion’s Adaptive Cruise Control feature, where you can set a speed and the car will follow the vehicle in front of you, slowing down or speeding up to keep at a set distance away. The transitions between deceleration and acceleration were surprisingly smooth as well – rather than slamming the brakes, the vehicle will slowly and gently pull the vehicle to a stop.
The Fusion also uses a system called Lane Keep Assist, which will steer the car back into its lane if it catches you drifting off, which happened more often than it should have – we blame the panoramic autumn scenery.
When the highway traffic would subside and the lanes would open up, we would utilize the Fusion’s new rotary gear shifter and select Sport Mode, which sharpens up the throttle response, heightens steering effort, stiffens up the dampers for less roll and more control, programs a more aggressive transmission schedule, and more importantly, pipes in more exhaust noise into the cabin.
The result is a swift punch of torque and acceleration that pulls harder than a Maxima, Camry, or Accord. Personally, I think that this Fusion should have been called the SHO – a missed opportunity if you ask me. The V6 Sport has more torque than even a turbocharged straight-six BMW 340i, one of the most revered sports sedans on the market today.
Despite its neverending well of power, the Fusion V6 Sport feels far from sporty. Ironic that it even has “sport” in its designation, but it’s a word that is used as lightly as “organic” and “all natural” on food packaging. It feels heavy around the bends, body roll isn’t always kept in check, and the steering, though weighted faithfully, doesn’t provide much feedback through the wheel. I wish Ford would put the trick differential from the Lincoln MKZ and Focus RS into this but then again, nobody would fork the extra money for the Lincoln.
Regardless, “sport” isn’t what it used to be. Instead, the Fusion feels more like a family man sedan with a shot of testosterone. It hides it well from the FDA without huge badges to show off its newfound strength, but it will surely appeal to those wanting a simple looking four-door that is comfortable, easy on the eyes, and will charge headstrong into the horizon when summoned.
We love the Fusion for what it was meant to be. You see, on a nine-hour trek on flat roads, something “sporty” is the last thing you want. Rather than being a brute cruiser, the Ford offers a bit of everything – stealth, comfort, and a good bit of punch if you so require. The Fusion doesn’t coddle you enough to make the Lincoln MKZ obsolete, but it does follow the standards of the segment.
Along with its innovative safety and comfort technologies, mind-bendingly quick V6, and well packaged interior goodies, we think we made the perfect road trip vehicle choice with the Fusion V6 Sport. It’s everything we ever wanted in a long distance cruiser, and more.
型号 Model: 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport
顏色 Paint Type: Burgundy Velvet Metallic ($450)
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $42,288
試車售價 Price as Tested: $42,738
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,850
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,871 / 1,852 / 1,478
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,558 (base model)
引擎 Engine: 2.7-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 325 hp @ 5,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 380 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.5 / 9.0 / 11.5
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 9.2