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2017 Fleet Car of the Year: Ford Fusion

January 2018, by Andy Lundin - Also by this author

Photo: Ford
Photo: Ford

The Ford Fusion has been selected as the 2017 Fleet Car of the Year. This is the sixth time the Fusion has earned the Fleet Car of the Year Award, more than any other vehicle since the award was founded over 10 years ago. The model was selected as No. 1 out of a ballot of 22 cars for the annual Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet award.

While the Fusion has been in its second generation since 2013, the model received a significant refresh for the 2017 model-year, which has carried over into the 2018 model. The face-lifted version for 2017 boasted many new technological features, such as adaptive cruise control, as well as the introduction of two new trim levels.

“The Fusion has all the driver-assist technologies fleet customers are looking for, along with a wide variety of powertrain choices and a beautiful design,” said Michele Bartlett, general manager, commercial and government fleet for Ford. “All of these features, and more, make this the perfect vehicle for our fleet customers.”

Under the Hood

This mid-size sedan has six available engines and 11 different trim levels, which includes hybrid options.

Several Ecoboost turbocharged four-cylinder engines spotlight the Fusion’s engine lineup, which includes the 1.5L turbocharged engine, offering 181 hp and 185 lb.-ft. of torque; and a 2.0L turbocharged engine, which delivers 245 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. New for the Sport trim in the 2017-MY is a 2.7 Ecoboost turbocharged V6, which boasts 325 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque.

Other available engines for the Fusion include a 2.5L four-cylinder engine; which produces 173 hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque.

All are coupled to an automatic six-speed transmission. Intelligent all-wheel drive is optional on SE, Titanium and Platinum trims and standard on the Sport model.

Also, for its Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid trims is a 2.0L I-4 engine and electric motor, with a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery for the Fusion Hybrid, and 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery for the Energi. The Energi boasts an EPA-estimated 104/91 city/hwy MPGe rating and the Hybrid with 43/31.

It is available in seven trims: S, SE, Titanium, Hybrid, Sport, Platinum, and Energi. The S, SE, and Titanium trims for the Fusion offer an EPA-estimated 21/32 city/hwy mpg, while the updated Fusion Sport offers an EPA-estimated 17/26 city/hwy rating.

Tech and Safety

Beginning for 2017-MY, the Ford Fusion boasted the addition of 20 driver-assist features, spotlighted by adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology.

Other notable safety features include AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control (ESC), and the Personal Safety System, designed to adjust the deployment of the front airbags to enhance protection for front-seat occupants, and other features such as lane-keep assist and pre-collision assist.

The 2017-MY Ford Fusion also featured the introduction of Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system. The SYNC 3 system features enhanced voice recognition, capacitive touch screen, and more intuitive graphical interface.

Other available tech includes a focus beyond the car: FordPass is an app drivers can use to keep them connected to the Fusion at all times. It includes the ability to compare fuel prices on a route, find and reserve parking, and lock and unlock their vehicle remotely.

The Ford Fusion’s focus on safety is further evidenced by the fact that the 2017 Fusion was selected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s 2018 Top Safety Pick+ Award.

The SE gas and Hybrid models also offer optional packages, including the SE Technology Package, the SE Cold Weather Package, and the SE Luxury Package.

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