I used to sit and drink a beer like all off-the-mill drunks. Well, actually it was spirits. Okay, it was actually V33. Anyway, I was sitting and drinking a V33 like the rest of the village, and the homework assignment comes in – “Ford Fusion”. And then I wondered why I should write about the Ford Fusion and then I saw a note that said it was the European Ford Fusion.
In case you don’t get what’s almost the joke, the Ford Fusion is more commonly known in the US and is actually a Ford Mondeo with another name. In fact, the Ford Fusion over there is the official rental fleet car and is used extensively as a police car.
And the European Ford Fusion?
It has nothing to do with it any more than incense has to do with heroin, Jeremy Clarkson has to do with straight teeth, or Simon Cowell’s voice has to do with music. The Ford Fusion was a crossover attempt based on the Fiesta, but it was a pretty important car to the americans. After all, the Ford Fusion was the basis for the Ford Puma and Ford EcoSport built over a few decades, and the direct successor to the Fusion was the B Max, probably the best Romanian car no one has ever heard of.
Let’s see what we have here. We have some Fiesta engines, we have slightly higher ground clearance, and we have the back seat slightly raised so you feel like you’re at the theater because when I see a Ford Fusion I already fantasize about Alec Guiness and his theatrical performances. The Ford Fusion was supposed to be a fusion of a Galaxy-like minivan and a Kuga-like SUV, at least that was their idea, only they came out with an uglier Fiesta. And like every Ford of those days came with some mind-boggling prices for the trim levels worth buying, so you were left with entry-level versions that had the option of windows or pedals or paint. Seriously, even the first Logan left the Ford Fusion in the dust on the equipment side, especially when you consider the price.
Needless to say, the Ford Fusion was a monumental failure on the sales front. A new Ford Fusion started at 20,000 euros in 2002 when it was launched, adjusted to today’s money. For that money, you got a 1.25 petrol with insufficient horsepower, central locking, and two airbags. They didn’t have power windows or air conditioning or power mirrors. You didn’t even get a CD player. As an example, the Ford Fiesta started at 14600 euros in today’s money, so a whole 5500 euros saving. Basically, with the difference between a Fiesta and a Fusion you could buy another Logan. Sure, Ford always has high list prices and plays at huge discounts, but to ask for 20,000 euros for a taller, more ramshackle Fiesta and not even give me a CD Player and/or air conditioning and all I get in return is doubtful car quality, that’s being aspirational. And to think this abomination was on sale until 2012 with minimal modifications. Basically, a Fiesta VI was newer, more technologically advanced, and better equipped but cheaper at the same time.
Ford Fusion Engines
- 1.25 MPI of 75 horsepower – This antique was the base engine in the Ford Fusion and frankly it’s only 5 horsepower away from the most powerful petrol engine available. Because they’re the same Yamaha-sourced engine, just in different displacements.
- 1.4 MPI of 80 horsepower – Yes, and that’s the Yamaha engine that debuted in the Fiesta IV in the 500s. No, it doesn’t need anything but quality oil changed on time. Yes, it only has 5 more horses than the other one. The only real difference was that on this engine you could also tick an automatic gearbox, unlike the 1.25 where it was left exclusively to do-it-yourself.
- 1.6 MPI of 99 horsepower – Yamaha’s final version of the engine and one that was an engine sensation when fitted to a Fiesta-style shopping trolley. But on the Fusion, I don’t think you’ll find that engine. If a base 1.25 MPI costs €20,000, well a 100 horsepower full spec 1.6 petrol probably costs at least as much as a Touareg. Probably.
- 1.4 TDCI of 69 horsepower – Actually it’s 68 hp but I said 69 hp because it’s cooler. By far the most popular engine on the Ford Fusion and it’s in the character of the car entirely. And not because it’s some Cher of internal combustion, but because it has constant injector issues.
- 1.6 TDCI of 100 horsepower – Yes, that 1.6 TDCI we’ve been talking about. The PSA-derived mechanical abortion that ruined the reputations of Volvo, Ford, Mazda, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, and who knows where else wreaked havoc. So we have the same injector issues as the 1.4 TDCI as well as issues with the oil filter on the pipe that should cool the turbo. The fliter clogs, the oil stops flowing, the turbo stops cooling, and cracks. And you can replace turbos every day, until you change the filter you won’t fix anything.
Ford Fusion General Issues
- The overall quality of the car grades very well to Dacia levels on the outside and Japanese cars on the inside. A sea of plastic makes waves because it effectively rattles from all sides.
- The Ford Fusion was meant to be an early crossover but the Americans forgot to add a 4×4, even optional. The Toyota Urban Cruiser for example has 4×4 optional, even if no one needs it. But not here, we only have front-wheel drive.
- Here’s a common issue with the Volvo S40 II, a demonstration of American car genius. The tailgate has no physical lock and can be opened strictly from the key. It would be a shame to for the motor to break down or have some trouble with the key and run out of the boot. Unlike the S40 II, you also have a tiny lock for a special key for situations like this. But it’s one of those basic keys from the post box.
- We’ve got a 5-speed manual gearbox which is decent, we’ve got a 4-speed automatic gearbox from Aisin / Toyota which is again decent, and then we’ve got a 5-speed robotic gearbox which you have to avoid any more than footballers avoid anti-covid vaccines.
Ford Fusion Verdict
One of my two readers asked me to take the Ford Fusion and throw it under the train. Except it’s not just the Fusion that’s worth throwing under the train because it’s generally a bad idea to make a mini crossover that sells for a lot of money. It’s gonna be a total failure, whether you’re Ford or Toyota. Sure, manufacturers have learned, including Ford, and started selling them cheaper. Today you can buy a Puma hybrid for 15,000 euros or an EcoSport even cheaper than that. But back in 2002, to go charging those prices for those cars was actually too brave.
What engines do you recommend? For petrol, the most balanced by far is the 80hp 1.4 MPI even if the 1.25 and 1.4 and 1.6 are the same Yamaha engine. And for diesel 69 hp 1.4 TDCI and good luck replacing parts.