Ford Fusion / Mondeo


Debut: 2012
Maker: Ford
Predecessor: Fusion (2005) / Mondeo Mk3



 Published on 13 Oct 2012
All rights reserved. 


Car enthusiasts want their family cars to look like sports cars and drives like sports cars. Somehow, car makers give them Camry, Accord and Passat. The only maker really understands their desire is probably Ford. 6 years ago, we saw a striking 5-door featuring in James Bond movie, Casino Royale. It got sports car-like styling and handling, no wonder Mr. Bond agreed to trade his usual Aston Martin for it. That was the Mk3 Mondeo.

For the past 6 years, the Mondeo remained sitting at the top of our D-segment family car chart because no one else came close to satisfy keen drivers quite like it. Even though it starts lagging behind the competition in terms of green technologies and refinement, it is still by far our favourite family car as of today. Naturally, we have very high expectation on the next generation model. It might be still a year away, but we can already see how good it is from its American version, Fusion.


Under the "One Ford" strategy, the European Mondeo and the American Fusion are to be consolidated into a single product, albeit keeping their existing names for ease of marketing. That is wise, as we used to doubt the need to develop Fusion while it got the great Mondeo on the other side of the Atlantic. The new car sits on a new CD-platform but its genes from the previous Mondeo are obvious. Exterior dimensions are very close to the old car, in particular the same 2850 mm wheelbase, thus it is a lot larger than the old Fusion. Owing to a slimmer, longer nose, it is 88 mm longer overall than the old Mondeo, but it is slightly narrower and lower. The exterior styling responsible by Chris Hamilton has evolved to be softer and more streamline, resulting in a drag coefficient of 0.275. Its highlight must be the Aston Martin-style nose grille, which contributes to a sportier, classier look than other mid-size family sedans.

The new chassis gains 10.5 percent in torsional rigidity, thanks to more extensive use of high-strength steel, laser welding, structural adhesives and hydroformed tubes (to reinforce roof rails, A and B pillars). On paper, the suspensions look the same as before – MacPherson struts up front and multi-links at the rear. However, the rear ones are actually an all-new design. It switches from the outgoing Control Blade multi-link to a BMW-style Integral Link design, which uses a vertical link to tie the upper toe control link and lower trapezoidal link together, forming a longitudinally rigid geometry so that it can employ softer bushings to enhance ride comfort. Another important change is the power steering system, switching from electrohydraulic to pure electrical assistance, just like most rivals.



Structurally, the interior feels familiar to the old Mondeo. The driving environment looks much sportier than the class norm due to a sloping center console, high transmission tunnel and many flashy decorations. The shallow windows and curvy roof line also contribute to this sporty feel. On the downside, the cabin looks less roomy than it actually is. Tape measures found the front seats are the most spacious in the class, while the two outer rear seats offer about the same headroom and legroom as the new Honda Accord. It cannot match the American market Volkswagen Passat though. Despite of the vast wheelbase – again the longest in class – the rear bench needs to be positioned a bit forward to compromise with the fastback roof line. That explains why its rear legroom is only adequate. The new boot, however, is benefited from a lower floor and becomes the largest in the class.

Tactilely, the interior is just as you would expect for a modern European car. Dashboard, steering wheel, gear knob, door panels and grab handles are all made of soft-touch plastics. The driver seat is supportive and grippy. The Sync multimedia system provides easy integration with your mobile phone. That said, this cabin still lacks the classy build quality, attention to details and style of the European Volkswagen Passat.



However, on the road the Ford displays superior dynamics, once again leaving all rivals behind. Its chassis feels really rock solid. Very little wind road noises are allowed to enter the cabin, which makes it probably the quietest mainstream family car on the market. The electrical power steering might deliver marginally less feel than the old one, but it is very precise, naturally weighted and confidence-inspiring. Besides, a boost in assistance at low speed now makes parking a lot easier. This is easily the best electrical steering in its class. The suspension is also worth praising. It keeps the Mondeo's firm-biased character, resulting in excellent roll and pitch control as well as quick steering response. However, it also soaks up bumps and potholes better than the old car, resulting in impressive refinement. This should satisfy the American buyers now it needs to cater. Better still, the new suspension does not filter out all the road information. It just takes the edge off bumps, leaving you to feel connected to the road. In short, the new car is fun to drive.


For the time being, the base Fusion is offered with a 2.5-liter 175 hp four-pot engine carried over from the old car. However, I don’t expect it to soldier for too long. The One Ford strategy drives for the integration of powertrains worldwide, so the European-developed 1.6 Ecoboost and 2.0 Ecoboost engines (both with direct injection, dual-VVT and turbocharging) are destined to take the prime time. The smaller unit produces 178 hp and 184 lbft of torque, sufficient to haul the slightly heavier car from zero to 60 mph in a decent 8 seconds. The 6-speed manual it partners has slick gearchanges and light clutch, aiding the small turbo engine to spool up quickly.

Power-hungry American will definitely prefer the gustier 2.0 Ecoboost, which offers 240 hp and a solid, 270 lbft of mid-range torque. It is capable of 0-60 mph in about 6.8 seconds. As a credential to environmental responsibility, the new Ford no longer offers V6 engine. Considering the good refinement and flexibility of Ecoboost engines, there is really no need to build V6 just for the limited demand in America. In Europe, the Mondeo will be additionally offered with a 125 hp 1.0-liter Ecoboost 3-cylinder gasoline and a couple of turbo diesel engines.

Although it lacks a performance flagship, the new Fusion / Mondeo is still easily the choice for demanding family car drivers. Ford has built a global winner.
Verdict: 
 Published on 13 Oct 2012 All rights reserved. 
Fusion Hybrid


The hybrid version returns with the new Fusion. Not just that, it will be introduced to the global market for the first time under the Mondeo moniker. Compare with the outgoing car, it has made a number of changes to improve efficiency and packaging. The Atkinson-cycle petrol engine has been downsized from 2.5 to 2.0 liters, reducing output by 15 hp to 141 hp. Compensating this is a more powerful electric motor, now produces 118 hp instead of the previous 106 hp. Combined output drops 3 hp to 188 hp, but the new car is slightly lighter and sleeker through the air, so real-world performance is practically unchanged. We can expect it to take 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph, perfectly acceptable for a green car.

Thanks to the stronger electric motor, the Fusion Hybrid can travel in EV mode at up to 62 mph, versus the previous 47 mph or 25 mph on Toyota Camry Hybrid. This allows the car to run with battery power more of the time, hence saving fuel. Consequently, the Fusion achieved 47 mpg on both highway and city in EPA testing, knocking out Camry Hybrid (43/39 mpg) and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (35/40 mpg) easily!



Moreover, the new hybrid system uses lithium-ion battery instead of the old NiMH battery. Its smaller size allows it to be fitted under the boot floor and does not hamper luggage space. This is a strong advantage against its rivals.

On the road, the driving impression is very much the same as the regular Fusions. Its gasoline engine and electric motor are perfectly integrated to deliver a smooth, almost undetectable transition. The Fusion's remarkable insulation means engine noise can be hardly heard in the cabin. The motor provides ample bottom-end torque so that the car feels quite brisk around town. The rest of the car is just the same as other Fusions. The handling and ride are excellent. The steering is precise and well weighted. Only the brake pedal suffers from an abrupt transition between regenerative and mechanical braking.

The new Fusion Hybrid is just the first step to overwhelm its Japanese rivals. Later on we shall see an even more efficient plug-in hybrid model called Fusion Energi.
Verdict:
 Published on 8 Aug 2013
All rights reserved. 
Fusion Energi


What is Ford Fusion Energi? In short, it is the plug-in hybrid version of Fusion. Mechanically, the Energi is practically the same as Fusion Hybrid except that it uses a larger, 7.6 kWh lithium battery instead of 1.4 kWh unit. This extends its electric travelling range to 21 miles, which is usable for short commutes. The 118 hp electric motor provides enough punch to allow running up to 85 mph, although doing so will drain the battery quickly. Once the battery is depleted, the car works just the same way as the Hybrid, using the petrol engine and regenerative braking to recharge the battery. Of course, you can charge the car at home sockets, which takes 2.5 hours on 240V supply.

The Energi drives very much like the Hybrid, but its acceleration, cornering and braking performance are all marginally inferior due to the 110 kg extra weight contributed by the larger battery. However, the sounded foundation of Fusion still makes it sportier and more fun to drive than other green cars, including its direct rival Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid. On the downside, the battery eats into the trunk, reducing luggage space by a third compared with the Hybrid and by half from the regular Fusion. This could be its biggest drawback. Another problem is price, which is a whopping 40 percent higher than the Hybrid. It will be virtually impossible to recoup the extra cost from fuel saving.
Verdict:

 Published on 27 Oct 2014
All rights reserved. 
Mondeo


Under the "One Ford" policy Ford merged its American market Fusion and European/Australian/Asian market Mondeo. It originally wanted to introduce the Mondeo in Europe shortly after the American debut of Fusion, but that plan was postponed by the worsening economy in Europe. Consequently, the Mondeo comes 2 years late.

The European car differs from the American version by mainly suspension setup and choice of engines. Mind you, the changes in the former are subtle, so it keeps the car's trademark good body control and excellent composure. European motorists might be a little disappointed by the electrical power steering's downgrade of communication, but the Mondeo's nose remains faithful to your input and the whole car still has the sportiest driver appeal among mainstream family cars.

The European car offers a wide range of diesel engines, including a couple of 1.6 TDCi and a 2.0 TDCi with 3 states of tune - 150 hp, 180 hp or 210 hp twin-turbo. The latter should be the highlight, but it won't arrive until early next year. Anyway, the 180 hp version is strong enough, and it offers superb refinement. On the petrol side, the new 1.5-liter Ecoboost produces 160 hp and 177 lbft of torque, just enough to haul the big car without feeling frustrating. The 125 hp 1.0 Ecoboost 3-cylinder sits at the bottom to be the choice for company cars thanks to tax benefits. Speaking of tax, the outgoing 1.6 Ecoboost engine is now dead, replaced by the 1.5 Ecoboost as the latter rests on lower tax band in China. America does not have such tax rules, but the Fusion has also switched to the 1.5 Ecoboost engine, although it is tuned to produce 181 hp. One Ford policy is no kidding.

After 2 years, the Fusion/Mondeo is no longer so fresh. Its interior looks a bit cheap beside the new Volkswagen Passat. However, its cabin remains remarkably spacious, and its exterior remains the best looking.
Verdict:
 Published on 2 Sep 2016
All rights reserved. 
Fusion V6 Sport


It might be long time ago, but we still have fond memories of fast Mondeos, i.e. the first generation ST200 and the second generation ST220. Both offered great driving thrills for little money. Having skipped a full generation, Ford finally brings back the performance line. However, instead of ST, it is called “V6 Sport”. More shocking still, it is available to the US-market Fusion rather than the European Mondeo! Why? Because Dearborn believes European drivers no longer buy sports sedans with non-premium badges, whereas the US still has a healthy following of fast family cars, which is evident from the V6 models of Accord, Camry, Altima, Maxima etc.

In terms of performance as well as pricing, the Fusion V6 Sport should be positioned half a notch higher than the aforementioned Japanese V6s. While the most powerful Accord V6 offers 278 horsepower, Ford trumps the competition with 325 ponies. In terms of torque it is even overwhelming – 380 lbft versus 252 lbft. Such a crushing advantage must thanks to the 2.7-liter Ecoboost twin-turbo V6. This motor actually comes from the company’s F-150 truck yet it is surprisingly advanced. It employs direct fuel injection, full variable valve timing and a pair of turbos which are integrated with the exhaust manifolds. Unusually, its cylinder block is made of compacted graphite iron (CGI) like many premium diesel engines (note: see the 1999 BMW 740d for its first application), which is stiffer and more capable to absorb noise and harshness. On the downside, it makes the V6 heavier than otherwise casted in all-aluminum. Ford said it weighs 200 kg, 28 kg heavier than the V6 turbo on Audi S4. Maybe the Fusion doesn’t really need the robustness of F-150. Anyway, since Ford is not going to develop a new engine for the car, it has to accept the compromise.

The Fusion/Mondeo is already a heavy car. In addition to the heavier V6, a beefed-up 6-speed automatic transmission, a compulsory AWD hardware, continuous adaptive dampers and other necessary upgrades, its kerb weight jumps to more than 1800 kg. That’s why its performance is not going to challenge Audi S4. 0-60 mph acceleration is estimated to take 5.5 seconds, a full second adrift of the Audi. Admittedly, the Audi falls in a different class from the viewpoint of pricing, but a fully loaded Fusion V6 Sport gets uncomfortably close to BMW 340i, which is also faster. That’s more worrying.

The rear-drive BMW is also sharper to drive. We love the regular Fusion’s fine dynamics and ride quality, but it is not as agile as older generations. With the burden of a 200 kg V6 at its nose, its turn-in response gets slightly slower again. The wider tires on 19-inch wheels provide good roadholding, but the steering is neither quick nor feelsome enough to overcome understeer or inspire excitement. The brakes are marginal to handle the extra heft. The continuous adaptive dampers do help to achieve remarkable composure while maintaining ride comfort though, so the great balance between body control and suppleness remains the greatest asset of the car.

The V6 is pretty good, with quick throttle response and few hints of turbo lag despite its high specific output. Power delivery is strong yet smooth. It is not particularly inspiring to hear, no wonder it needs speakers to play artificial noise on the press of Sport button. The 6-speed auto gets sportier shift patterns and rev-match function, but it is still too slow-reacting for a performance application.

Inside, the cabin is virtually unchanged from lesser Fusions. There is not even proper bucket seats to hold you tight in corner. Ford argues that it is not exactly a sports sedan but a very fast and capable family car. No matter what it said, the fact is this car costs considerably more than its conventional Japanese V6 rivals to buy and to fill up its fuel tank. Meanwhile, those demanding more performance and sharper handling will be better served by BMW 340i if they could afford a small price premium. Furthermore, the V6 Sport does feel outdated in a number of areas. It would have fared better if it was offered from the launch of the current generation Fusion. 4 years on, the automotive trends have changed a lot. Now we seek lighter weight, sharper response and higher efficiency (even the Japanese V6s have lifted efficiency a lot). The big fast Ford suddenly feels old-fashioned, just like yesterday's V8 dinosaurs. Perhaps it is wise not to reuse the ST badge.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine

Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Fusion 1.6 Ecoboost
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4

1596 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
178 hp
184 lbft
6-spd manual (6-spd auto)
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
235/45VR18
1502 kg
-
8.0** (8.2*)
21.3** (22.9*)
Fusion 2.0 Ecoboost (AWD)
2012
Front-engined, FWD (4WD)
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4

1999 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
240 hp
270 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
235/45VR18
1554 kg
-
(7.3*)
(21.1*)
Fusion Hybrid
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4, Atkinson cycle, electric motor
1999 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
-
-
141 hp + 118 hp = 188 hp
129 lbft + 117 lbft
CVT
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/50R17
1668 kg
105 mph (limited)
9.1*
24.9*




Performance tested by: *C&D, **MT





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine

Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Fusion Energi
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4, Atkinson cycle, electric motor
1999 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
-
-
141 hp + 118 hp = 188 hp
129 lbft + 117 lbft
CVT
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
225/50VR17
1775 kg
105 mph (limited)
8.6*
23.0*
Fusion 1.5 Ecoboost
(Mondeo 1.5 Ecoboost)
2014
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4

1499 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
181 hp (160 hp)
185 lbft (177 lbft)
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
235/45VR18
1559 kg (1485 kg)
(138 mph (c))
8.2* (8.7 (c))
23.1*
Mondeo 2.0TDCi
2014
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4871 / 1852 / 1484 mm
2850 mm
Inline-4 diesel

1997 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
180 hp
295 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
235/45VR18
1509 kg
140 mph (c)
7.8 (c)
-




Performance tested by: *C&D





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Fusion V6 Sport
2016
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4872 / 1852 / 1478 mm
2850 mm
V6, 60-degree
2694 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT
Twin-turbo
DI
325 hp / 5500 rpm
380 lbft / 3500 rpm
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
235/40WR19
1806 kg
155 mph (est)
5.1*
13.3*


















































Performance tested by: *C&D





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Energi


V6 Sport



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