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Cool!  Another Ford Fusion site!  I've been hanging around fordfusion.net, but things are relatively slow there.  I expect that as time goes more people will find these sites!  I placed my order back on 8/24 and after two months of waiting, it finally arrived.  In the couple weeks I've had it, I've logged almost 2000 miles.   Let me preface this by saying I've never been a fan of Fords (but that is slowly changing).  I'm a Nissan/Infiniti person at heart, and my personal vehicles have always been either Nissan, Infiniti, or Acura. Company vehicles have always been Fords. The Fusion has REALLY suprised me in a nice way overall in the two day's I've had it.  I ordered the Fusion SE V-6 Black exterior with charcoal black interior. Since I order a new car about every 12 months (I'll easily put 60,000 miles on it in this time), it's pretty basic as far as options. I traded my 2005 Ford Escape for it. For those of you looking to deal, the price I paid for the Fusion SE V-6 was just under $17,000 but it was through a fleet deal.

Exterior styling I happen to like alot. It reminds me of one of those older Honda Preludes for some reason. Apparently the SE model does not have the Chrome fog-lights, which I would have liked to see (even if they weren't functional). Instead they have dark matte plastic inserts which take away from it a bit. The tailpipes are not chrome either but that can be fixed easily . The trunk is suprisingly large. Bigger than my G35 by far, and very usable with the use of hydraulic rods to open the hatch, rather than the hinges that swing down and into the compartment. There was NO cargo net, however, which frustrates me, but I'll just figure out how to jury-rig one.   The cloth seats are ok. and since I found the lumbar support I'm happier with them as far as support. The quality of cloth was ok, almost a sueded feel to it, but the black interior I ordered picks up and shows off lint like crazy. In fact, it was already "dirty" when I picked it up. Cushioning was a little soft for me, but my wife loved it. The black interior was what I would expect...The "Carbon fiber" applique around the stereo controls was nicely different. Cup holders were ok, but the ones in the door needed to be a little taller...it wouldn't hold my empty 24 oz styrofoam coffee cup when I moved it down there. The rear decklid is a little tall and doesn't help much with visibility to the back. The back window (though it may actually be the rear view mirror) also creates a bit of a distortion making cars look narrower and taller than they really are. Sort of like forcing a 16:9 aspect ratio movie onto a 4:3 screen. For instance, I thought a Z350 that was overtaking me was a volkswagen bug at a glance.
The steering wheel is nice, and the telescoping feature is GREAT. Between this feature and the power adjstable seats, I think everyone will find a comfortable position to drive this vehicle.   
The top-middle dashboard "storage space" reminds me of my wife's Quest Minivan. It's handy, though with the steep rake of the windshield, I had a hard time finding space to position my radar detector, GPS (Magellan Roadmate 300), and cell phone (Treo 650) without blocking it. Also, I would have liked another power source in/on/or somewhere under the dash. As it is, there is one under the radio/AC controls, and one in the center console. I have a 3-way splitter that is going from the dash one into the storage box on top of the dashboard, and the GPS & Radar snaking into the box...which required a little pounding on to get it to latch. I found a vent-attached holder for my phone.  On a side note, the trip computer is handy...it tells you "distance to empty", average gas mileage, and has two "stopwatches" to time your travel. 

Performace:
Having had the 2005 Escape (V-6) this last year, and a 2004 Taurus the year prior, I wasn't expecing much from the engine, but the Fusion suprised me here. It doesn't feel like the same engine as what I've been driving in the Escape. I wasn't expecting super performance, but I wanted something fun to drive for work.  And for the type of car it does well!  If you hit the gas hard from a stand still, there is a slight hesitation, then it pulls reasonably hard (but briefley) through the first gear. Second comes quickly (short 1st gear ratio), as does third.  Using the stopwatch on my phone (scientific I know) , I figure it was doing 0-60 at around 7.25 seconds. What really suprised me was the passing power the car offered. From 70 to 90 it actually PULLED respectably hard for this type of car **once you get it to down-shift**. I don't know if it's still needs more "break in" time, but I had to really hit the (stiff) gas pedal down hard to make it realize I wanted the downshift. It's not quite neck-snapping like the infiniti, but it readily got the job done to pass. I'm pleased with the gearing overall. It's also very smooth shifting for the most part. My thought, though is that the 6th gear is almost too much of an overdrive ratio.  I have, however, been averaging a suprising 26 miles a gallon; and I drive the car harder than most, so I'm sure the gears are contributing to this.  Part of it may also be that I can't really lock it into a lower gear either, which leads me to a Strong BEEF I have with this car.  I'd like to see a "manumatic" +/- gear selector. I pleasantly discovered, however, that if you put the car in L, it not only locks out the top two gears (5-6), it actually tries to do a fair job at downshifting and holding the next lower gear and then downshifting and holding the next lower gear as you slow down. I found that it will hold the gear at moderate throttle until ~5200 RPM where it shifts up automatically. If you hit the gas hard, it will hold and shift at redline. I tried throttling over the shift point then immediately slowing, and it did OK at shifiting up and immediatley back down and holding as my foot came off the gas. While not totally controlable, it's at least predictable.  've also recently discovered that it will not double downshift in "L", so "D" I think may actually give you the best performance if you're at an RPM where it would warrant a double downshift.  The overall ride was smooth and quiet. We'll see how long this lasts. The Escape started out this way, and was deafeningly loud on the highway from wind noise when I turned it in 11 months later.
There was some mild "yaw hesitation" when you try to snap the wheel in a direction (the wheels go but it takes the frame a split-second to "Catch up"...if you've ever tried to make a hard manuver in a Crown Victoria, you'd understand this feeling well). It's not too annoying though. The power steering feel is ok at highway, but it's almost over-boosted at slow (parking) speeds in my opinion. Cornering can be done confidently for the most part, and the body roll was not bad at all. I haven't gotten the wheels to howl in protest (yet). 

Controls:
The integrated Key Fob buttons on the key I think is a great idea, though I'm still getting used to it. I've already hit the alarm by accident on a couple occasions. The horn is LOUD, by the way. The steering wheel audio controls are nice, though I wish they were on the LEFT side (personal preference so my hand can be on the shift lever). Also, the "mode" button was annoying me being at the bottom. I tend to drive during highway cruising with a finger or two "hooked" around the wheel at 4-5-O'Clock...I found myself bumping the button accidentally and changing from CD to radio at random.
I absolutely HATE the way they did the controls for windshield wiper and lights. The wipers are on the turn signal lever, which is where the lights are for most of the other cars I've driven (Escape included). I keep getting wipers when I want lights, and the distance the stalk is to the wheel feels a little long.  My wife agrees.  I've also managed to pop the trunk now twice while reaching (and not looking) for the light switch below the dash on the left while parked. This will take time to get used to but I'll get over it.
The stereo (the single disc/MP3 player with 6-speakers) suprised me for the most part as well. Again, I wasn't expecting much from it, but it has good (though very loose and boomy) bass volume; it is lacking in mid-range though. I think a little tweaking of the MP3 file itself would help to fix this. I haven't had a chance to listen to CD audio. I did notice that it takes a while (up to a minute or two) for it to read some MP3 discs.   
Problems:  On the down side, I can hear a "brushing" noise from the front wheel area (increases tempo with wheel speed).  I took it to the dealer, and apparently this is the wheel cover that is squeaking.  They've taken it off and pounded it back on a couple times, and it fixes it temporarily, but it eventually comes back.  I'm also starting to get an occasional "mis-shift" when you slow to a stop and it downshifts back to 1st.  Kind of a "Shudder-Chunk" noise/feel as it does it.  I need to get it looked at but haven't had time.
    My kids think it's "cool", and I get looks from some other drivers, though they tend to be younger ones I've noticed. My daughter actually prefers the Fusion's look to the G35.  I'll keep you posted with any discoveries or nuances I discover as I rack up the miles on it. If you have any specific questions I'll try to answer them as best I can.
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2006 Ford Fusion SE V-6, Black.
 

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hey Quorum
congrats! nice review, thanks for going into detail.
questions -
do you really like manumatics? I've never had one but heard a lot of people say they thought they'd use it but didn't.
And can you take some interior pix? Really want to see the black dash with c.f combo you got.
 

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Welcome aboard Quorum, to the oldest Fusion site on the net. We like to think we do a good job over here, and are working to improve things even more. Very comprehensive review!
 

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Great review. And Congrats on your new Fusion. I wish I could grab a fleet deal like that.
 
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