Ford Fusion

From Ford press: Ford Fusion distinguishes itself in the most competitive vehicle segment with its standout exterior design and engaging driving dynamics. Breathing a fresh attitude into the American midsize car, Fusion brings to the segment good fuel economy, advanced safety, clean emissions and roomy interior space — all at an outstanding value.

For 2007, Fusion takes some other bold steps. Front-seat side air bags and side-impact air curtains will be made standard on all models shortly after the 2007 model launch, as will an anti-theft perimeter alarm system.

Fusion also enhances driver confidence — and sets itself apart from competitors — by offering an all-wheel drive system that optimizes traction on slick surfaces or for improved handling in a curve. And Fusion is ahead of that curve with its standard audio input jack and available DVD-based navigation system and SIRIUS satellite radio.

The Fusion takes a central position between the award-winning Focus and the flagship Five Hundred sedan. The strong, muscular three-bar chrome grille sets the tone for a bold look in the midsize sedan segment.

The soul of any car is its engine, and Fusion offers a choice of Ford’s 2.3-liter, Duratec 23 inline four-cylinder (I-4) or 3.0-liter, Duratec 30 V-6. Both feature aluminum construction, dual-overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, intake variable-cam timing and electronic throttle control to deliver smooth, spirited performance along with good fuel economy and emissions ratings.

The four-cylinder engine delivers 160 horsepower and can be paired with a five-speed manual or — unusual in this segment — a five-speed automatic transaxle. Also good news for the environment, when mated to the automatic transaxle, the Duratec 23 I-4 is rated as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in California. It is the Ford brand’s third PZEV application, after the Escape Hybrid and Focus PZEV. The standard Duratec 23 and five-speed manual and automatic return 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

For even more power, there’s the 221-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6, which is paired with an advanced six-speed automatic transaxle. Fusion was the first car in its class to offer such a sophisticated automatic. With this wide, 6:1 overall span, vs. 4.5:1 for a typical five-speed, the six-speed automatic delivers impressive performance as well as 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway.

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