Ford continues its quest to bring us ground breaking new active safety technologies in affordable automobiles

Good looks, great value and a solid reputation has made the Ford Fusion the number one selling mid-sized sedan on the market.

Ford has concentrated on making the 2017 edition an even safer, more calming drive experience and given it a more refined interior that’s tuned to the wants of modern owners. The power train choices have been expanded to include three EcoBoost engines, in addition to its ultra-green, fuel efficient Hybrid and plug-in hybrid “Energi” editions. The latter, by the way, qualifies buyers for a clean energy government rebate ($2,500 in BC) and now has an EV range of 31km and an amazing total driving range of 980 km (or more) on a tank of fuel.

On the inside, a redesigned centre console has oodles of handy space for your electronic gear and “smart” outlets for you to plug them in. All possible due to two key changes, a (Jaguar-like) rotary dial replaces the conventional shift lever and a small electron toggle switch replaces the manual park-brake pull-up lever. Not-so-obvious enhancements include redesigned deeper (bottle-friendly) cup-holders that have been moved forward in the console and a significantly larger armrest/storage bin combo.    

On the outside, the new Fusion design changes are subtle and it remains unchanged dimensionally. It has a larger grille, LED headlights are now available and there are numerous new styling details intended to give it a wider more grounded appearance. A new top-line Platinum trim level gives it a unique grille with matching 19-inch polished aluminum wheels.    

Ford continues its quest to bring us ground breaking new active safety technologies in affordable automobiles. Ford’s new Pre-Collision Assist system can give the driver both an audible and visual head-up alert to a potential vehicle or pedestrian impact. It will also engage the brakes, if necessary. Taking us another step closer to autonomous driving, a Car Stop and Go technology now piggybacks the adaptive cruise control option.

A nifty rush-hour stress reliever, Car Stop and Go automatically adjusts speed for comfortable travel in heavy traffic and it can bring Fusion to a full stop and resume movement. If Fusion is stopped for more than three seconds, as a (wake-up!) precaution, the driver has to tap the resume button or the gas pedal. When activated, this technology uses a radar-and-camera based system that reads the road ahead every 50 milliseconds.

Our drive route from Vancouver Airport to Harrison Hot Springs primarily followed the scenic old Loughheed Highway (Hwy 7) and was an express return via Hwy 1. Cabin quietness, especially in the Titanium Hybrid edition (combined average fuel economy 5.6 L/100km), was particularly impressive. Acoustic glass has been added to its sound deadening package as well as suspension improvements and an active noise cancelation system.

Our return trip was in a more basic SE edition with the new 1.5 EcoBoost engine (combined average fuel economy 8.7 L/100km). A nice balance of power, economy and a more affordable price tag is sure to make this edition a popular choice. Do miss the substantive presence of a shift lever, but completely understand the logic behind its disappearance.   

All 2017 Ford Fusions come with power windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, auto headlights, push-button start and more. Prices start at $23,688, Hybrid editions start at $28,888, all-wheel-drive editions start at $29,998 and the Energi editions start at $35,088. There’s also a new performance minded V6 Sport edition ($42,288) on the way that comes with a new 325 horsepower engine, all-wheel-drive and a new pothole mitigation suspension feature.

bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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