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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up my new Fuse on Friday. First thing, this engine is amazing. No vibes at all at idle. In fact, I mistakenly thought that the engine had stalled while sitting at a stop light because it is so smooth and quiet. It actually idles smoother than the 4.6 T-Bird that I had back in 1995...no kidding. This engine is also drenched in torque. 20mph in 4th gear is no problem, and today I slowed down to 35mph in 5th gear and did not need to down-shift when accelerating back up to 50. This was even accomplished on a slight incline. However, there is a a lack of mid-range and top end rush compared to an Altima 2.5. The last Altima I drove was a few years ago - rental car with an auto trans 2.5L 180 hp engine. That car was quite fun at higher rpm's. In comparison, the Fuse pulls more linear and without the sudden surge in power of the Nissan. On the highway, it could use an extra gear. 70 mph = 3000 rpm and 80 mph = 3400 rpm. I think it could easily pull those speeds with 300 less rpm which would be possible with a 6 speed manual. Plus, at 3000+ rpm it makes itself known that it is a 4 cylinder (noise). But then again the engine is so much smoother and responsive than the 2005 Toyota Camry 4 cylinder I rented last year in Arizona.

I love shifting this car because of the torque. Love it more than an automatic with 100 more hp. In fact, I find myself taking short trips around my neighborhood while looking forward to all of the stop signs just to be able to shift it through the gears. I have no problem jumping from 2nd gear to 4th or from 3rd to 5th. Certainly don't need to use all 5 gears unless you really have to accelerate in a hurry.

Around town I am averaging 24 mpg with 160 miles on the odometer.

I have the basic SEL package which is nice with the 17" wheels. Not too many other options. Black interior with cloth seats.

What else....on the top of my "wish list" would be a 6 speed manual and direct injection to the 2.3 with 180hp or more (but only if it didn't raise the sticker price significantly). Don't care for a turbo or 3.5 version even with a manual as I wanted my payments to be below $300 and that is exactly what I got ($280 per month for a 5 year 2.9% loan, $1000 down + $1000 matching cash, Z-Plan + $1000 Ford retirement voucher). The voucher came from my dad (retired Ford employee). Not bad, I will be saving over $200 per month in fuel costs compared to my 1997 F150 5.4L with 205,000 miles on it. That has been my main mode of transportation for the past 9 years. I hate automatics BTW.

Complaints - what is up with the oil filter design? Bad move on Ford's part. Should have went with a screw on filter like the rest of the sane world. Maybe that will change next year. Also, the exterior and interior color options are weak. Needs a red exterior color similar to the vibrant red that is available on the Volvo S40's. Some of the exterior paint colors reminds me of something I would expect to see on an '84 Tempo. Very grandma-ish if you know what I mean.

The verdict: Finally, I actually enjoy driving again in a domestic car that looks as great as it performs!
 

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Welcome aboard, Metallicat. The expectation seems to be that ford will go 6 sp MTX and DISI (Direct / Sequential injection) for the GT or SVT (whatever they want to call it) model, but that'll be a high-20,000 car with AWD, most likely. Basically think MazdaSpeed 6 (274 hp with DISI and a small turbo on the MZR23 / Duratec 23).

My Mother has the Vibrant Red S40 T5... great color, and I agree with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcome guys! Oh gosh, it is past 1:30 AM here and I have to get up for work in about 5 hours but instead of sleeping I just took my Fuse for another "test drive" through neighborhood. Must have ran into over 30 stop signs - just what the doctor ordered! I just can't get enough! After being stuck behind the wheel of an auto-trans pig of a truck for so long, it actually feels liberating to drive this darned thing! It is almost stupid! That 4 banger is so damn smooth and torquey....shift from first to second, then skip to 4th gear at 20mph while tooling around the block. I almost never have to take it over 3500 rpm.

You know, I was thinking "Mustang GT" a year ago, but honestly I don't even want one now. I actually like the lines of the Fuse better than the Stang, and don't see how I need 300hp driving to and from my work.

Yeah, I've read about the plans for a turbo DI Fusion GT but like mentioned....close to $30k. Sounds like fun - but for $12k less I will take my little naturally aspirated 4 banger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, I have had my car for 2 days now and I just did the "airbox mod" in the dark tonight with a flashlight. Takes about 2 minutes to do. I then took it for a quick spin and there is a noticable intake growl now at low rpm's. Too early to tell if it makes any difference in performance or mileage, but the intake sound is kinda cool. Will wait for more feedback from others to see if it is even worth the effort and added noise or if there are any negative comments from this mod.
 

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I have no experience with the Fusion airbox mod, but experience tells me the difference would require a rather acurate dyno to tell. In other words, small. Still, if you like the sound - then it's worth it, because it shouldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tried it for a half day without the airbox horn and didn't care for the noise. Put the horn back in at lunch today. Reminded me of a cross between a 1994 Dodge Neon and my old '84 Tempo with the carb air intake taken off. Not exactly a "performance sound" in my opinion, but I am sure some people like it and I did not notice any type of power gains. Mileage gains? I didn't drive it long enough to make a determination but any gains would not worth all the noise for me, at least not until gas reaches $5 per gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Took it through 1st and 2nd gears today from a stop light. It is not what you would call a quick car. I think a lot of lower hp, lighter econo cars would beat it, like a 130hp Focus for example or a ZX2 Escort. It would probably need another 30 hp to feel quick. At 3100 lbs and 160 hp...it is what it is.
 

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Well, a Focus or Escort is a small/compact car, this is midsized, so of course. Thats' why the 2.3L is the smallest engine that will ever be offered on it.
 

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i have a SEL i-4 auto, and I find the car anything but slow, I have driven muscle cars and owned one, I know speed.
it may be a tad slow on very initial take off, but quick to get the 1k r's then it is all up from there. there is nothing that
I can't take off from a light with (relative HP equivalents) and not keep up with or take. and this too I know it is not a sports car
and I don't claim it to be, it is a family sedan with ass. and I have no complaints what soever about performance
4 cylinders or not.

and the air box fix, I did related to me a big difference in performance and mileage, I love the low end hum
of the 4, and it sounds even better to me without the intake horn. I love cars that have a low growl, reminds me of my old
Olds Cutlass 455, and that was a fast car, not much would touch me in it. the Fusion is not a power equvalent to that car,
even with the V6, I did some additions to the Cutlass and dynoed at around 450 Hp so I knw a thing or two about power
and how to handle it, I did not want a sports car now, and I got what and even more than I wanted with the Fusion.
in short the car has enough power after the quick launch to 1k, which I have never had issues about pulling out into traffic and
leaving them behind. especially after removing the air box tube, throttle responce went way up, and would take anyone for a ride
to prove it, with the tube and without it. like I said I know an increase in power when I feel it. however slight it may be, it did
more for throttle responce than power, which helps more than added HP.

now my old chevette was a slow car, but I had a 4 speed man and did some tricks to it, and it would keep up
with and beat Neons and some other cars, not a big brag for most cars, but for a 65Hp stock Chevette it was amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shadowfall1976 - what kind of mileage improvement did you see? On my first tank of gas, I am averaging 25-26mpg driving to and from work (stop and go for 25 miles round-trip) with a bit of highway driving mixed in. When I get a feel for the power and mileage I will take out the airbox horn again and see if I notice anything. Thanks! Ah hell, I might just take out the horn again this evening and see if I like it better. I found that by shifting at 6800rpm it does have a much improved performance aspect. I was short-shifting before. This engine actually likes the higher rpm's.
 

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yeah it does like high r's, I have seen doing city driving a jump from around 17 - 20 to 21 - 24,
which around here is a big difference, stop and go, stop and go. occassionally I take it out to
drive through the park and straight drive at 40MPH and see a greater improvement. I felt the
auto trans shift so much smoother, at first it lunged and revved to 3500 R's before shifting
now it goes to 2k and each gear after is very smooth. it takes off much faster too.

I know people say that the Miles to E is not acurate, but to my estiamtes and calculations,
it is very accurate, well it is now that I took the tube off, before it was way off. it basically
goes down with as many miles that gets put on, so how can it be unaccurate?, it can't unless
the odometer is not right either, and that is not the case. so I have basically proven that
now that I have taken the tube off, I can get an accurate read using the Miles to E. and I
get about 306 miles to a tank. and by tht time I fill up next time, it goes back up to 306 and
is accurate to how many gallons I fill it up, using the old MPG calculation method (pen and paper).

I don't know about everyone else's cars but I have the feel for mine and the readout's are basically
right on the money.

I miss the old Chevette with a stick, it was the only car of mine with one, but my wife can't drive
a manual trans, so ..... I had to get an auto, besides in the city now, it would be annoying sometimes.
when I lived in the country, hell yeah!!! sticks are fun as hell, especially with some ass behind them.
 

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We have had our 07 Milan Premier I4 for about 2-1/2 months, with about 3,000 miles on the clock. This is a very tight car, no rattles, no failures so far, no initial defects (the car was made in Mexico, I was a little bit concerned about quality). Handling is excellent and the Mazda 2.3 litre 4-banger is perfect for this application - it is my wife's vehicle primarily, to go to and from work, and for our vacation trips. The shifter is one of the best I've used in a FWD car. Ride is comfy, we have no complaints about the design, fit and finish, and overall quality and drivability. The wife "loves" it.

Fuel economy has not been what I expected, although the car is not fully broken in yet. The first few weeks the best we could get was about 25 MPG between fill ups. Now we're up to about 28 MPG. We measure this from fill-up to fill-up, keeping in mind that it is not 100% accurate; that's why we take several fill-ups and average it out. I was expecting 30-33 MPG, especially on a highway run to Philadelphia last week, and only got about 28 on that tankful. Speed control was at a steady 70 MPH for most of the trip. Perhaps it will get better as the miles accrue. For comparison, my '02 Maxima with 3.5 litre 255-HP averages 25-MPG per fill up, so a 4-banger with 5-speed in a lighter car should do MUCH better, you would think.

The only minor complaints are 1) that the climate controls are all the way at the bottom of the dashboard, so you have to take your eyes off of the road to select what you want, and 2) the ridiculous canister oil filter (shades of 1955).

Other than that, we give this car is a 9.5 out of 10 points for its intended service. We have 2 Nissans, 2 Mercurys, and 2 Acuras in the family. I hope that the MIlan is as reliable as our Nissans and other Mercury have been, and certainly better than the Acuras have been.
 

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[quote author=Metallicat link=topic=44052.msg656822#msg656822 date=1144715490]
Took it through 1st and 2nd gears today from a stop light. It is not what you would call a quick car. I think a lot of lower hp, lighter econo cars would beat it, like a 130hp Focus for example or a ZX2 Escort. It would probably need another 30 hp to feel quick. At 3100 lbs and 160 hp...it is what it is.
[/quote]

My SEL is about 3055 LBS. It feels a small bit slower than a ST Focus from stand still. The ST is about 2800 LBS. The Fusion to me feels like an 8 sec car to reach 60 MPH. That is not fast, nor slow. The Focus with the 2.0 is about 9+ secs with a manual. Now a ZX2 is not much faster. If you want another 30 HP a Cosworth Intake manifold, CAI, and a tune might get you there. The 2.3 responds very well to bolt ons.


Alex
 

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I have had my Fusion for almost 5 months now and it has been a great car. Im already pushing 7.5k miles so as you can tell I drive a lot. The manual trans is great, it shifts very smoothly (compared to some manuals ive had in the past), and the engine has a great power band. The gearing feels just about right but it does seem like it needs a sixth gear (3k at 70 is a bit to high). I just love how the power band really comes in around 3k. If you want great gas mileage you can keep it below that or if you want to smoke some punk kid in a 1.6l fart canned honda next to you :lol:, just take it a little beyond that. The only dislikes about the engine and tranny are the drive by wire delay and the clutch (not so much feedback because its hydraulic). I've gotten used to thase issues now but sometimes they still catch me off guard.
 
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