Good news: There’s once again a V-6 engine option for the Ford Fusion after a few years during which Dearborn’s mainstream family sedan offered only four-bangers. Better news: It’s a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 making 325 horsepower, an engine we’ve seen before in the F-150 pickup and the Edge crossover. In the Fusion, it appears only under the hood of the Sport, which joins the luxury-focused Platinum as new models in the revised-for-2017 lineup.
Dedicated Ford watchers will recognize this as the return of the Fusion Sport introduced for 2010 and dropped when the car was redesigned for 2013. The mid-term refresh for ’17 brings some amendments—not necessarily improvements to our eye—to the exterior styling, an upgraded interior, and, most appealing, the Sport model tested here.
The original 2010 Fusion Sport used a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 making 263 horsepower, roughly equal to what you’d find in the V-6s then available in the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, two cars Ford seems to chase perpetually for sales honors in the category. The V-6s account for only incremental numbers for all of these makers, but every buyer counts when you’re vying for the sales crown.
The EcoBoost gives Ford clear bragging rights as the first modern family sedan to bust through the 300-hp barrier, and it outmuscles a lot of would-be sports sedans in the near-luxury arena, too. There’s a lot of grunt on tap—too much, really—for a front-wheel-drive vehicle (see our review of the front-drive Lincoln MKX with this engine). Hence the Fusion Sport’s standard all-wheel-drive system, which operates in front-drive mode until it detects any wheel slip. And it’s pretty easy to induce that condition with 380 lb-ft of torque. If you’re willing to switch away from the digital tachometer display (it’s too small anyway) in the instrument panel, there’s a live graphical depiction available to show the torque being shifted to the rear axle in real time. Entertaining, if you’re not too busy going fast to eyeball it. (Pro tip: Check it out during launches on a dirt road.) Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Michael Simari
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