Ford views the Fusion as the gateway drug through which new customers will begin their lifelong addiction to the brand and thus, very important. The Fusion currently resides in fourth place in terms of year-to-date sales in the midsize sedan segment and Ford is hoping to improve that ranking by adding a couple new flavors to the lineup. Besides the addition of a new V6 Sport model, the 2017 Ford Fusion will also come in a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim level. The Fusion Platinum is the “all-in” model for customers who want the second most powerful engine available paired to the plushest interior fitted with all the bells and whistles.
The standard engine in the Fusion Platinum is Ford’s 2.0L turbocharged EcoBoost making a maximum of 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Around the hilly roads of Malibu the powertrain was enough to accelerate the car up windy roads without resorting to the transmission’s Sport mode. That’s not to say Sport mode isn’t recommended, however, to increase driving enjoyment. When selected, the car holds revs higher in the rpm band before downshifting, making an uphill run even less of a challenge. Power delivery is satisfying in a way that makes me anxious to see how the AWD V6 Sport variant with its additional 80 ponies and 105 torques will feel (Ford has upped the original 350 lb-ft number to 380 for the 2.7L EcoBoost). The chassis rides on 19-inch polished wheels and tires and has a Goldilocks just-right feel to it. Not too soft, not too stiff. An upgrade to the stock tires would be my first order of business to make the car grip the road better, although casual drivers will likely not feel the need.
Inside the Fusion Platinum are heated and cooled quilted leather seats along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. In the name of ergonomics, the car’s armrests have been lengthened and a rotary shift dial has replaced the traditional lever. According to Ford, the use of the dial is to provide easier access to the center console storage area and cup holders located on the right side of the console. Activate the previously mention Sport mode by pressing the button in the center of the dial. There is a long list of standard features on the Platinum trim level but the most notable include parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control, and passive entry that allows users to open a locked door as long as the key fob is somewhere nearby. This is handy if you have both arms full of groceries and can’t get to the fob in your pocket.
The 2.0L turbocharged engine is rated by the EPA at 21/31/25 mpg (city/highway/combined) in front-wheel-drive cars. Expect one to two mpg less in AWD models. Those are technically 2016’s EPA ratings. During a press conference Ford pointed out the numbers for the 2017 Fusion would end up being lower due to the EPA updating its testing methods. Fear not, because the engine and transmission haven’t changed so the numbers are actually the same… only different, got it? Those who don’t mind sacrificing some power for slightly better mileage, the Fusion can also be had with a 1.5L turbo 4-cylinder rated at 23/34/27 mpg. A traditional hybrid and plug-in hybrid – known as the Energi – are also available. Except for the V6 Sport, the refreshed 2017 Fusion is already arriving at dealerships. Look for the Sport later this summer.
Here is video of the new Fusion Platinum.