If you ever thought that a Ford Mustang sedan was a good idea, Ford has finally answered the call.
Ford has finally unleashed its 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, which takes an already impressive sedan and gives it what people have been asking for: More performance. The recently refreshed Fusion made huge strides in terms of style, build quality and user friendliness, and the Sport model builds on that by adding better driving dynamics and more power. This is basically a muscle car in family sedan clothes.
The Fusion Sport stands out from the rest of the Fusion lineup with a unique design treatment. Sport models get darker 19-inch wheels with a different design, a more aggressive front end, quad exhaust tips, a bigger rear spoiler, and a unique blacked-out mesh grille. Rated at a combined 20 mpg, the Sport isn’t as fuel efficient as regular Fusions, but regular Fusions don’t have this much power either, which is definitely this sedan’s biggest selling point.
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Power to the People
But the biggest upgrade is the engine. Starting with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, the Fusion Sport pushes 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque using 93 octane gas, which is actually more than the V6 and EcoBoost Mustang. Ford says this is the most power in the Fusion’s class.
All-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission come standard with Sport models. There’s also paddle shifters with a full manual mode if drivers want to change their own gears, but the transmission is good enough to handle most needs. Depending on which driving mode is being used, the transmission offers smooth and well-timed shifts with little drama.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Ford Fusion Review
The setup makes the Fusion Sport quick in a straight line, and even sounds like a muscle car under full acceleration with a surprisingly deep and growly exhaust note. Unfortunately, the Fusion Sport suffers in the corners, as it is still a heavy sedan with a front weight bias and just isn’t built for slaying the Nurburgring. For regular driving, however, the Fusion Sport feels confident with its AWD setup providing enough grip for bad weather and to take those corners a little bit faster than you normally would.
In terms of driving dynamics, the Ford Fusion Sport isn’t a bona fide sports sedan, but the added performance over the regular Fusion is much appreciated, and makes this the Fusion to get. The regular Fusions are rather unremarkable to drive, doing their job quietly and without much drama, and the Fusion Sport addresses that by making it more fun.
By engaging the Sport mode, it makes everything better for an all around sharper and more lively drive. It amps up performance by increasing the stiffness of the suspension for better cornering, deactivating in-cabin noise cancellation so you can hear more engine, increasing the responsiveness of the steering, holding gears for longer, and rev-matching downshifts.
A Winning Interior
The interior of the pre-refresh Ford Fusion used to be maddening to use because it did so many little annoying things that made it cheap and not user-friendly. Ford has fixed every single complaint I had with that old interior, making the Fusion and Fusion Sport much easier to live with.
For example, the turn signal stalk now clicks firmly into place instead of springing back to center after you push it, the terrible touch-capacitive buttons have been replaced by real tactile buttons, the materials used are higher quality, and the infotainment system is now bug-free and really easy to use. There are also more useful storage cubbies, the best one being a deep bin behind the gear shifter where you can prop up your phone.
That gear shifter is also a new swanky-looking rotary dial, which is easy to use and clears up even more space in the cabin for an airier feel. Also, if you accidentally turn it off while it’s still in Drive, it will automatically put it in Park, so you don’t have to worry about it rolling away.
All the Right Tech at the Right Price
The Fusion Sport starts off as a bargain at $33,395 in the U.S., and it comes pretty well-equipped with standard features like pothole detection, active noise cancellation, aluminum sport pedals, 10-way power driver seat with memory, heated seats, reverse camera and more.
But you can get a pretty solid fully loaded model with all the driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control with stop and go, pedestrian detection, heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, sunroof, remote start, blind spot monitoring, and parking assist, for just over $40,000, which isn’t a bad deal either. The best thing is that all these options are quite affordable and easy to use. The parking assistant is also stellar and can help you parallel and perpendicular park like a pro.
In Canada, the Fusion Sport starts at $44,038, but it comes standard as fully loaded with most of the features that are optional in the U.S.
The Verdict: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport Review
Although calling it a Mustang sedan is a bit of a stretch, the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport is a great choice for a Mustang driver who needs the practicality that having four doors, big back seats, a big trunk, and all-wheel-drive can bring. The sedan isn’t going to steal away any BMW drivers, but this sportier Fusion is the best Fusion you can buy. The V6 engine is a great match for this sedan and it comes with enough performance and technology upgrades that it makes the price premium over the regular Fusion extremely worth it.
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