Unverified Ownership The modern Fairlane Thunderbolt - Ford Fusion Sport

LeVeL

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As some of you may remember, I was recently looking for recommendations for an AWD vehicle. Someone suggested a Ford Fusion Sport and I just shook my head - why would I want a Fusion? Isn't that just an American Camry? It's slow and boring! Then another person also mentioned the FuSp (Furt? FFS?) as an option so I figured I'd at least Google it.

Turns out that the 17-19 Sports had AWD and a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 churning out 325hp and 380 ft*lb. The dang thing runs 13s in the quarter mile, harking back to the mad '64 Fairlane Thunderbolt. That was enough for me to go test drive one and here we are about three weeks later - there's a 2018 FFS in my driveway.

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Ford did a terrible job marketing the Sport and consequently no one knows about it and no one bought them. There were only ~25k made so they're not easy to find. There were zero available anywhere in New England when I started my search but a friend of mine recently bought a Corvette from Carvana and had a good experience so I looked there and found several. If anyone has questions about my Carvana experience we can have a separate discussion about it.


Anyways, here are my thoughts about my first American car (not counting my wife's Jeeps):



Exterior
I'm a bit mixed on the exterior looks. I really like the front but the side profile and the back are so average that the car blends in with all the other mid-size sedans. That said, I do like some of the subtle styling details: the dark wheels, the black grille, the quad exhausts, and even the trunk spoiler (a feature that I typically dislike but helps the Fust stand out a bit).

There are LED headlights and fog lights up front that are bright but the beam is very center-focused so I might try to realign the lights a bit.

The windshield wipers are opposite of each other - each swipes towards its respective a-pillar. I always thought this looked really bizarre but it's actually a complete non-issue, since the driver side wiper is the same as always and the passenger one moves away from you and doesn't get stuck in the middle of the windshield.


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(yes, it's already dirty)



Interior
The seats are pretty good. They're a mix of leather and "Miko", which is similar to alcantara. There's great lumbar support with what seems like a foot of front-to-back adjustment, as well as nice supportive side bolsters that the other Fusion trims don't get. There are numerous comfort features, such as cooled seats, ambient lighting, a sunroof, etc. This is a really comfortable cruiser that easily eats up the miles.

That said, the quality isn't up to par compared to my 2006 Acura. Although most of the materials you actually touch are fine, there is plenty of cheap plastic (again, only in places you typically wouldn't notice). Probably the only place I really notice the lower quality materials is the steering wheel - the leather just isn't as soft as in the TL. Also, changing the vent direction is an audible process in the Ford but silent in the Acura - not a big deal but just goes to show the difference between a "consumer" brand and a luxury brand.

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(ignore the tire pump cord)




Technology
This car has a lot more toys than I'm used to - no surprise there. The screens are clear and sharp with good resolution (which you can't tell from my potato pictures). The navigation system works quite well. The menus in Sync 3 are logically set up. Voice commands are available but I'm more of a button fan anyways. This is also my first car with a remote start function (sorry Greta).

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Driving
The Sport has continuously controlled damping, which Ford likes to call "pothole detection". This is yet another marketing failure, I think, because obviously you're going to feel it whenever you hit a pothole - this isn't Bose electronic suspension. However, the system does a very good job of smoothing out road imperfections, cracks in the pavement, etc so the ride is actually surprisingly comfortable. Since this isn't just simply soft suspension it also manages to stay firm. Basically it's quite comfortable but not soft or sloppy. It's a great compromise, imho.

The Furt also has active noise cancellation. Can't say it's a phenomenal system that provides total silence but the car isn't loud inside. Another feature of the system is that it pipes in induction noise through the speakers - surprisingly I don't hate that as much as I thought I would and one undeniable upside is that the car stays quiet on the outside, helping it fly under the radar. The fake noise is better implemented here than in the BMW 2-series that I drove a couple of years ago.

With 380 lb*ft of torque, this Fusion manages to get out of its own way in a hurry. What I particularly like is that this car is all about mid-range oomph, which is perfect for a daily driver sedan, although a big difference from the fun of the rev-happy Acura. High speeds on any road are laughably effortless - my TL is not that much slower but it always seems to be working hard to go fast, whereas the turbo Ford makes speed seem easy. It's an interesting experience, especially since this is my first turbocharged vehicle.

With those torque figures and AWD, the Furt TAKES OFF from a stop. Having AWD is just plain cheating. I drove it hard in the rain and at just one point I got a hint of torque steer but that's it.

The paddle shifters are pretty useless. I only use them to drop a gear when I know I'm about to pass someone - it's a bit quicker than just hitting the gas and waiting for the downshift.

Sport mode firms up the suspension, immediately drops down a gear, and sharpens the throttle response. It's implemented better here than in Chrysler products that I've experienced, which just revved like crazy all the time for no reason.


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While the Fusion was at my mechanic's today for a full check-up, I drove the Acura to work. The 14yo TL still feels great. No squeaks or rattles; high quality materials everywhere; it's plenty quick; the ride is nice (although not as nice as in the Ford). I'll miss this car. I'll also miss driving stick. That said, AWD + 380tq + auto = ruthlessly efficient combination.

I completely forgot to take a proof pic so this will have to do for now:
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DanRoM

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Oh, a Mondeo! I like those. Didn't even know they came in AWD and with this much power in the US.
 

MWF

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Good choice. Proper stealthy sleeper so the colour suits it, even if it will be a botch to keep clean.
 

LeVeL

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Not the worst idea... :coplight: Blue reflectors in the grill, red reflectors on either side of the rear license plate...
 

Der Stig

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Handsome car! Congrats!

It seems to also be comparable performance-wise with the last Taurus SHO with the $2k Performance Package. And the Fusion is better looking and lighter.
 

LeVeL

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It seems to also be comparable performance-wise with the last Taurus SHO with the $2k Performance Package. And the Fusion is better looking and lighter.
Yeah, the SHO had a larger engine (3.5 vs 2.7) and more power (365 vs 325) but it had less torque (350 vs 380) and weighed a couple of hundred pounds more. Similar performance.
 

Matt2000

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Congrats, can’t go wrong with a big sleeper Ford. I still struggle to wrap my head around the idea that this, the Falcon and the Mondeo are all different cars. The nose on this looks more aggressive than the others though.
 

MWF

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Trunk looks a decent size. From the photos looks to be at least 2.7 dead hookers' worth.
 

MWF

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Obviously we need an international standard dead hooker metric for this to work.

I find they vary a great deal in size, and always in inverse proportion to the available budget.
 

CrzRsn

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I find they vary a great deal in size, and always in inverse proportion to the available budget.
The less money you have the more hooker you get. If you didn't know better, you'd think that's a great deal.
 

LeVeL

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We'll also need to define "dead hooker" - does the body need to be intact for our measurement standard?
 

MWF

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You're always gonna have problems lifting a body in one piece. Apparently the best thing to do is cut up a corpse into six pieces and pile it all together.

And when you got your six pieces, you gotta get rid of them, because it's no good leaving it in the deep freeze for your mum to discover, now is it? Then I hear the best thing to do is feed them to pigs. You got to starve the pigs for a few days, then the sight of a chopped-up body will look like curry to a pisshead.
 

Matt2000

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Well this thread took a turn, I feel like the details haven't been worked out though and I my old Discovery would probably score quite well, now I have a smaller truck with the same size engine and a bigger one with a bigger engine. :roll:
 
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rickhamilton620

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Congrats on the new ride. I rented a Fusion Titanium AWD a few years ago when the design was a lot fresher and loved it. It still looks good today and it'll probably continue to age well.

Buying from Carvana is something I wouldn't have expected from anyone here (beyond me probably) because "GRR ENTHUSIASTS GRR NEVER OVERPAY, HAGGLE ALWAYS" so count me pleasantly surprised. Hopefully it wen't well...there's been mixed opinion over at r/carvana.
 

LeVeL

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Back on topic:

It's weird having a car with this much torque and this kind of torque curve. I'm used to torque peaking very high in the rev range and building up to that point. The turbo Ford isn't like that at all - the torque comes on strong at ~1700rpm, peaks quickly at 3000rpm, and stays pretty flat until ~4500rpm. Basically, boost hits and you ride a high wave of torque - that makes it feel like driving a CVT, as weird as that sounds. The turbos spool and suddenly it's a diesel locomotive, just pulling you into the distance. It's a strange but very addictive experience that I haven't had in any of my previous cars (because they had no torque) but it's also a different feel from a V8, which is more linear.

Also, I continue to be amazed at how capable AWD is in a quick vehicle. Dis gonna be fun!




Congrats on the new ride. I rented a Fusion Titanium AWD a few years ago when the design was a lot fresher and loved it. It still looks good today and it'll probably continue to age well.

Buying from Carvana is something I wouldn't have expected from anyone here (beyond me probably) because "GRR ENTHUSIASTS GRR NEVER OVERPAY, HAGGLE ALWAYS" so count me pleasantly surprised. Hopefully it wen't well...there's been mixed opinion over at r/carvana.
I don't think I overpaid. There was just ONE Fusion Sport in my part of the country and it was the one I test drove - wrong color, missing the options I wanted, and I suspect it was a flood car. Carvana had about six Sports and they were very reasonably priced, based on Fusion Sport forum prices and KBB.

Overall my Carvana experience was positive. My biggest gripe is that they have no idea how things work in Massachusetts. For example, they had no clue that we don't have temporary plates. My car was supposed to be delivered on a Saturday and they wouldn't start the registration process until after I accepted the delivery - that means that the earliest I'd get plates and be able to actually drive the car would be Tuesday, which would really cut into my seven day test drive period (works fine in states that do have temp tags). On Friday night I got a call from their local office and they told me that I could just come pick up the car from their location (40min away) and they'd be able to register it on the spot and hand me my plates, so I did that. If you ever buy from Carvana, my suggestion is to ask them to put you in touch with their local office since they'll know the rules better than HQ does. One rep told me that PA also has unique rules, btw.

Other than that I had a good experience with them. I like that they post pretty detailed pictures of every car. I like the seven day return policy. My Ford came with four brand new tires and new brakes. They detailed the car for me inside and out. I was always able to get someone on the phone quickly and their customer service folks were all very helpful. Overall, 9/10 experience - I'd recommend them. Let me know if you buy from them, I can refer you and you'll get $500 off (which basically covers the delivery fee - they say they don't charge for shipping but they end up charging for delivery...).
 
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