1/22/2013 | 3 MINUTE READ

2013 Ford Fusion SE

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Some people look at the 2013 Ford Fusion, think Aston Martin, which leads them directly to thinking about James Bond.


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Some people look at the 2013 Ford Fusion, think Aston Martin, which leads them directly to thinking about James Bond. And while there may be those in Ford design who would argue that the DB9 or other Aston was far from their thinking, it probably is a good thing for Ford if a whole bunch of middle-aged guys go from the front fascia of the Fusion to fantasies of being James Bond. . . .



Top: Ford.  Bottom: Not a Ford.

But when I was driving the 2013 Fusion SE, I started thinking about another character, albeit a real one, although a person who has a certain larger-than-life image: Henry Ford. The original.

It strikes me that the Fusion SE—especially in the trim that I drove it, which includes cloth seats and six-speed manual transmission—is the kind of car that Henry would have liked the company to build. It is a car that is well-built, handsomely styled, and widely available because it is not priced well beyond the means of the average person, even though it seems as though it is a class or two above where it is. (Presumably Henry would recognize the need to be competitive in terms of styling and not everything would be boxy and black.)

If you’re the company that put the world on wheels, then you’re the company that needs to have a car like the 2013 Fusion on offer.


Ford Fusion.

It makes me wonder what took them so long.

The last-generation Fusion was a nice car. The new car is a really, really nice car.

It gets down to a point that J Mays, Ford group vice president Design and chief creative officer, often makes, which is that it costs the same to form sheet metal attractively as it does in an ungainly manner. So why not make it as attractive as possible?

But it is not just about the exterior design. The interior is clearly a place where more than a modicum of attention has been paid, and that investment provides a wonderful return. While not having the best of all possible worlds in terms of its interface for things like the infotainment system, the fit and finish of the materials are well considered and the quality is certainly up to snuff.

The aforementioned manual transmission is a bit puzzling to me. While Henry might have been familiar with it, it seems to be some sort of bizarre addition. Not that I am anti-manuals, but when mated to a 1.6-liter inline four—EcoBoost or no EcoBoost—having a manual does no favors for you if you’re thinking about driving like James Bond being chased by some nefarious thugs. And whereas once upon a time it might have been that if you had a manual you’d get much better fuel efficiency, the difference between the 1.6 with a manual and one with an automatic is a whopping 1 mpg city/highway combined. Seriously, you don’t need or want it. It should be noted, however, that the manual is well done, with it easy to work through the gate, but still, the midsize sedan for the U.S. market with an engine that produces less than 200 hp and is meant to move a car that weighs 3,333 pounds is not meant for a manual.


Ford Mondeo.

This could lead to speculation as to whether it is there because the European Mondeo has a manual and it is all about commonality, so what the heck? This One Ford approach means, in effect, wheels for the world, so by having things common, be it materials, transmissions or engineering, people get a better car. And the 2013 Fusion is one of them.

Selected specs

Engine: 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline four

Material: Aluminum block and head

Horsepower: 178 @ 5,000 rpm

Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Length: 191.7 in.

Width: 72.9 in.

Height: 58.1 in.

Curb weight: 3,333 lb.

MSRP : $23,700 (destination & handling : $795)

EPA: 25/37/29 mpg city/highway/combined


  • 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler

    The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.

  • The BMW i3: Deconstructed

    The engineers at Munro & Associates have taken a perfectly sound BMW i3 and taken it apart. Completely apart. And they are impressed with what they’ve discovered about how the EV is engineered.

  • Designing the 2019 Ram 1500

    Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”