Midsize car; Built in Mexico
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,400 – $25,700*


2008 Ford Fusion


2008 Ford Fusion


2008 Ford Fusion


2008 Ford Fusion

Pros:
  • Ride
  • Seat comfort
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Manual transmission operation
  • Cargo room

Fusion and its Milan near-twin target the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, matching those perennial Best Buys in space and interior design. Road manners leave little to be desired, though engine refinement does not match that of the class leaders. New-car pricing has been a strong suit, too-even after adding antilock brakes and head-protecting curtain side airbags, safety options we highly recommend. Used-car valuations are another story, of course. Availability of AWD also appeals, as does the thrifty Hybrid model. Note that there’s no substantive difference between Fusion and Milan, though the latter has richer-looking interior appointments.

Overview

Brand-new for 2006, the four-door Fusion took over for the aging Taurus as Ford’s midsize sedan. Fusion shared its basic architecture with the more-upscale Mercury Milan and the Lincoln Zephyr (later renamed MKZ), a premium midsize car. Three trim levels were offered: S, SE, and top-line SEL. The S sedan held a 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine. SE and SEL models could have the four-cylinder or a 221-hp V6. The four-cylinder came with a five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic; the V6 with a six-speed automatic. Positioned between the compact Focus and “flagship” Five Hundred, all 2006 Fusion sedans had front-wheel drive.

Ford said the Fusion’s design was inspired by the 427 Concept seen at auto shows. Three distinct interiors were offered. Available features included a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, heated front seats, and a six-CD changer that served as an MP3 player.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were optional. So was a safety package with front torso and head-protecting curtain side airbags. Traction control was available for V6 models. S and SE models rode on 16-inch wheels, versus 17-inch for SELs. A sunroof and leather upholstery were optional for SE and SEL models. Fusion, Milan, and Zephyr were based on the Mazda 6 from Ford’s Japanese affiliate, but were slightly larger and lacked the 6’s hatchback and wagon body styles. Rivals included the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.

Yearly Updates

2007 Fusion
For 2007, SE and SEL models could have all-wheel drive rather than the standard front-wheel drive. Seat-mounted airbags and curtain airbags became standard on all models, and Sirius satellite radio was available. So was Ford’s navigation system. SE/SEL models added a fold-down passenger seat.
2008 Fusion
Several new features were available for 2008, including rear-obstacle detection. Ford’s newly available and heavily promoted Sync feature was a voice-activated system for controlling cell phones and MP3 players. All Fusions now had antilock braking and a tire-pressure monitor. A new Sport Appearance Package was optional.
2009 Fusion
The 2009 Ford Fusion lineup now offered an antiskid system as an available safety feature. Otherwise, this midsize sedan was largely unchanged.
2010 Fusion
The 2010 Ford Fusion received more power and freshened styling. Also making its debut was the Fusion Sport and a gas/electric hybrid model. A 175-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder replaced the 160-horsepower 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. A 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine replaced the 221-horsepower 3.0 V6. New in the Sport was a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Powering the Hybrid was a 2.5-liter four and an electric motor with a combined 191 horsepower.
2011 Fusion
The 2011 Ford Fusion was largely unchanged following its freshening for the 2010 model year.
2012 Fusion
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Ford Fusion, though the six-speed manual transmission was no longer offered on the SE model.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Like other midsize sedans, Fusions have come with either a four-cylinder engine or a V6. Initially, the four-cylinder was a 2.3-liter that developed 160 horsepower; for 2010, that increased to 2.5 liters and 175 horsepower. The 3.0-liter V6 started at 221 horsepower, but was up to 240 horsepower by 2010, at which time it could also run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel. Added for 2010 was a Sport model with a 3.5-liter V6 making 263 horsepower. Initially, the four-cylinder came with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, but for 2010, those changed to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. V6 models only got the six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive has been offered on upper V6 models. Also added for 2010 was the Hybrid, which paired a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor for 191 horsepower total. It could run on one or both of its power sources to balance acceleration and fuel economy and required no plug-in charging. The Hybrid uses a continuously variable (CVT) transmission that behaves much like an automatic.

dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/139
Engine HP 160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 150-156
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
20/29
20/28
23.5

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 175
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 172
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
22/31
23/34
dohc I42
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 191
Engine Torque (lb-ft) NA
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic

41/36

36.5

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 221-240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 205-228
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

18/26

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 263
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 249
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

18/27

19.7

Figures shown are for 2008 models. The Environmental Protection Agency changed its procedure for 2008 to yield more realistic estimates. Therefore, estimated mileage is lower than for prior years. 2. Gas/electric hybrid; power figures are for the gas engine and electric motor combined.

Road Test

Even with manual shift, the four-cylinder model is adequate at best. Fusion’s 3.0-liter V6 furnishes good passing/merging response, even with the additional weight of AWD. But it’s a bit shy on low-rpm power, and needs substantial throttle inputs for best performance. Ford said the 3.0-liter Fusion accelerated to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, which felt accurate based on our testing but is still subpar compared to most V6 rivals. Ford’s responsive six-speed automatic does not hunt much between gears. Sport’s 3.5-liter V6 pulls with more authority, and has plenty of reserve power for passing or merging. Hybrid’s gas/electric powertrain is very well integrated; the transitions between electric and gas-engine power are only slightly perceptible. It delivers better-than-expected go, but the occasionally lethargic CVT transmission is hesitant to “kick down” for maximum power.

Fuel economy is generally about right for this class, though the Hybrid’s mileage is exceptional. A manual-shift four-cylinder Fusion averaged 22.1 to 25.0 mpg. A front-drive SEL V6 averaged 21.8 mpg in mostly highway driving. AWD Fusions and Milans have averaged 18.0 to 21.7 mpg. An AWD Sport averaged 19.7 mpg. Our extended-use Hybrid averaged 36.5 mpg over the course of 7,260 miles. All Fusions use regular-grade gas, but the 2010 version of the 3.0-liter V6 can also run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel.

A comfort-biased suspension allows minor float on high-speed humps and dips. Little difference in ride comfort is evident between 16- and 17-inch tires. A Fusion SEL with standard 17-inchers feels compliant and controlled over sharp bumps and patchy pavement. Milan sedans have a firmer ride with less floatiness, but none of these models are uncomfortable. Heavier AWD models are the most composed on any surface.

Ford and Mercury models differ little in control. Pleasant and competent handling is abetted by nicely weighted, responsive steering, with a solid, well-planted straightline feel. Some drift and body lean occur in fast corners, but neither annoys. On the down side, a wide turning circle frustrates in close quarters. One test V6 model suffered mild torque steer (unwanted pulling to the side) in low-speed acceleration. AWD traction is a boon on slick surfaces. Brakes provide good stopping power with progressive pedal action.

Both engines emit a noisy full-throttle growl, which recedes into the background during gentle cruising. Overall, the V6 is quieter. Little wind rush is evident, but tire thrum is heard when rolling over grooves and coarse pavement.

Gauges are easy to see and read. Audio and climate systems rely on too many buttons, and take time to sort out. Also confusing are the look-alike audio/cruise buttons on the steering wheel, and the low-set climate panel can force a long look away from the road. Interior designs are decidedly understated. The available navigation system is easy to program but sits too low on the dashboard; it absorbs and complicates what should be simple audio functions. Interior materials are a blend of soft-touch surfaces with available rich-feeling leather upholstery, offset by some plastics that look and feel cheap. Milan is more upscale, with even more generous use of soft-touch surfaces and a choice of real metal or wood trim.

Front legroom is good for six-footers. Headroom also ranks as good despite relatively high-set seats. Supportive seats are a bit larger than the class norm. Seat height, plus a low dashtop and windowsills, combine for fine outward vision. All models include a tilt/telescoping steering wheel–a driver-comfort plus.

Rear seats offer adult-adequate headroom, good foot space, and fine support, but occupants must sit knees-up with front seats set more than halfway back. Relatively long doors are a hassle in tight spots, but they open wide to ease entry/exit.

The Fusion trunk has a usefully cubic shape, but insufficient height for big boxes. Lid supports are nonintrusive struts, but the budget-grade felt-style liner looks and feels cheap. Decent interior storage is helpful.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Fusion SEL V6

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 58

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.4 190.2 72.2 57.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.8 17.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 37.8 42.3 37.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Ford Fusion w/side impact airbags 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Steering problems
Description: Power steering fluid may leak at the rack-and-pinion unit at the banjo bolt; an improved bolt is available. (2006-08)
Steering problems
Description: Power steering fluid leak where hose connects to rack requires improved banjo bolt gasket. (2006-08)
Transmission noise
Description: The transmission may whine when gently accelerating while at highway speed on cars with the 3.5L, V6 engine requiring installation of a damper on the shifter cable. (2006-07)
Transmission noise
Description: Whining noise from transmission unless a damper installed on shift cable near firewall. (2006-07)
Electrical problem
Description: There may be excessive background noise during phone calls and/or problems with voice recognition while using the SYNC system requiring software improvements and a new microphone in the headliner. (2008-10)
None
Description: On some vehicles equipped with a MTX-75 transaxle clicking, popping or grinding noises may from the front end may be heard when cold, but may go away after driving requiring replacement of the axle shafts. (2006-07)
None
Description: The idle may remain too high (about 2,000 rpm) and/or may rev up when the clutch pedal is depressed on vehicles with the 2.3L, 4-cylinder engine requiring computer reprogramming. (2006-07)
None
Description: The 2.3L, 4-cylinder engine may occasionally fail to start accompanied by a flashing anti-theft system light due to radio interference caused by the anti-theft devices installed in some shopping carts. (2006-07)
None
Description: Ticking noise from left side of 3.5L, V6 engine may be due to misalignment of one of the camshaft caps. (2006-07)

Recall History

2010 Fusion
Description: The recliner gear plate teeth may be out of dimension specification, which could result in limited pawl to gear plate tooth engagement. In the event of a crash, the seatback and head restraint may move rearward, increasing the risk of injury.
2010 Fusion
Description: The park rod guide retention pin may not have been properly installed. A vehicle parked without an engaged park pawl and without an applied parking brake may have unintended movement which may cause a crash.
2010-2011 Fusion with 17″ steel wheels
Description: Wheel studs may fracture and cause a wheel to separate while vehicle is in motion.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.