A used Ford Fusion is a great car to buy if you like having lots of options. With six different trim levels serving up six different driving experiences, you have a sedan that can make almost anyone happy. Want a sporty car? The Fusion Sport is a peppy ride with lots of zest. Want an eco-friendly car? You have two hybrid options: one plugs in, and the other doesn’t. How about a luxurious ride? Take a look at the Fusion Titanium or Platinum for a little extra bling. Need a car on a budget? The base S trim level still has plenty of features for less cash. If you’re looking for a used Ford Fusion, you have a lot of choices. The only trouble will be to keep all the choices straight.
Ford released the first Fusion in 2006, and it received its only redesign in 2013. For years it’s been compared in appearance to the Aston Martin luxury cars (particularly in the front grille design), and it stands to reason that the European influence in Ford’s designs in the last decade has something to do with that. In 2015, Ford added all-wheel drive to the options list, which only further creates the sense of an all-around vehicle that truly could suit almost any type of driver. It’s also no secret that Ford is locked in a competition with Tesla – thus, we have hybrid options that have their own set of blingy features.
When it comes to actually driving a Fusion, the experience edges on luxury. It fills a similar space to Buick, with a sense of luxury and quality, yet without the price of a fully-fledged luxury car. Where it outruns Buick is in the fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness of the hybrids, but even the Sport trim level takes the Fusion into another realm. In general, the Ford Fusion has received high praise from critics and seems to have a loyal fan base of buyers. Looks aside, the Ford Fusion comes with excellent safety features, an abundance of technology, and is comfortable for long drives. Since each trim has a different set of features, below is a breakdown of what to expect while you look for a used Fusion.
The Fusion Sport
The Sport trim has been available since 2017 when Ford gave the whole Fusion line a new look with some tweaks to the exterior and offered some new features for the interior. While the other trims are no slouches, the Sport trim delivers a satisfying blitz of power when you hit the gas pedal. The power comes from the twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 engine, which delivers 325 hp from beneath the hood. Ford may be twinning its appearance with the Aston Martin, but its all-wheel-drive competes with Audi models to give buyers an energetic driving experience that will also handle well in bad weather.
In line with the luxury sports car vibe, the Sport trim comes standard with quad exhaust pipes, fog lights, a black mesh grille, a spoiler, and classy 19-inch charcoal-black wheels. Other features to expect on this trim are a rotary dial for shifting, Ford’s updated SYNC 3 infotainment system, a rearview camera, a suite of driver-assist safety features, and heated seats. The SYNC 3 system incorporates Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, among other connectivity features. Overall, the Sport is a luxury-level sedan with a sporty look and feel. It’s not an Audi, but that may not matter when you slide into the microsuede front seat.
Titanium and Platinum Trims
Until 2017, the Titanium was the top of the Fusion lineup, but in that year, the Platinum trim was introduced as the newer and most luxurious trim level. Where the Titanium has leather seats, the Platinum takes it up a notch and offers Nappa leather. While the Titanium has heated seats, the Platinum adds ventilation to the list. Expect Platinum models to have the addition of more chrome on the outside and more conveniences on the inside. Platinum models can also be loaded with features like a power moonroof or a universal garage door remote.
Until 2017, the Titanium would be your option for the luxury trim of the Fusion lineup, and buyers could have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive, though two other engine options were available in the 1.6-liter (or 1.5, depending on the year) and 2.5-liter inline-fours with only front-wheel drive. These same engine options are available for the Platinum starting in 2017. All the standard features of less expensive trims are included in the Titanium and Platinum trims, and as early as 2013, the Fusion would add features like a 12-speaker Sony HD audio system, dual-zone climate control, rearview camera. It even has the options for adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist.
S and SE Trims
While the S trim is considered the base level trim, it certainly isn’t lacking in the list of features offered. Going back to 2013, the base trim came with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which allows wireless connectivity and voice-commands with compatible cell phones, as well as Ford’s MyKey, which allows you to set safety restrictions for teenage drivers. Every S trim comes with the standard 2.5-liter inline-four engine paired with front-wheel drive as the only option. The SE trim gains the choice of the 1.5-liter or 1.6-liter inline-four engine, depending on the model year (counterintuitively, the smaller 1.5-liter engine is the more powerful option).
In comparing the base trim to the SE, the S trim will come with a set of four speakers, 16-inch wheels, and a manual driver’s seat. The SE comes with six speakers, 17-inch wheels, and a 10-way power driver’s seat going back to 2013. Both trims offer the same spacious interior, supportive seats, generous legroom, and cavernous trunk. However, the SE just has more conveniences and options, including driver-assisted safety technologies and power-operated features.
There are two hybrid options Ford builds for the Fusion. The plug-in hybrid is the more recent model, called the Energi, and the other model is simply known as the Hybrid. Between the two hybrids, the biggest difference between them is the plug. With the Energi, a charging station can be used to top-off the battery pack, though this is no more complicated than having an AC outlet in your garage. However, both the Energi and the Hybrid utilize the gas engine to charge the battery while you are driving.
As of 2013, Ford began using lithium-ion batteries for its hybrids. Before that, the Hybrid was powered by nickel hydride batteries, which were heavier and held less of a charge. With the lithium-ion battery and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Hybrid will get around 42 MPG combined. The Energi is built with the same engine but has a larger battery, so it can travel in electric-only mode for 20 to 26 miles, depending on the model year. When running its gasoline engine as well, the Energi gets similar fuel economy to the Hybrid. Charging the Energi can take up to seven hours with a standard 120-volt outlet, but that will drop to around three hours with the use of a 240-volt outlet (which can be installed by any certified electrician).
The Hybrid was offered in the three available trims for the Fusion (the S, SE, and Titanium) until 2017. In that year, the Platinum trim was added. The Energi was available in only the SE and Titanium trims until 2017, when it also received the Platinum treatment. Portions of the two Fusion hybrids are made with recycled or renewable materials, enhancing the vehicle’s eco-friendly nature. While some may begrudge the smaller trunk space in the hybrids – due to the space required for the battery packs – this small loss of space is easily outweighed by the large gains in fuel economy and emissions reductions. If more cargo space is needed, then the rear seats fold down, allowing the trunk to accommodate larger items.
Buying a used Ford Fusion in any trim level will provide you with a luxurious and affordable vehicle that will be a pleasure to drive. More recent model years will offer some enhanced tech features, but any Ford Fusion from the past decade will cover all the basics you need for a comfortable ride. Gas mileage is typically quite good, especially for the post-2013 models, and even base trims provide an acceptable turn of speed. Overall, the Ford Fusion has been lauded as a sedan that can fill almost any niche, and that is built with quality and luxury in mind.