Ford Fusion Review

The Fusion is a practical small car based on the Ford Fiesta, which was sold between 2002 and 2012.

£3,126
Average price
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1
Out of 5

Pros

  • Practical interior
  • Comfortable
  • Cheap to buy

Cons

  • Low-quality interior
  • Unattractive styling
  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

The Ford Fiesta has served as the basis to a whole raft of models over the years, not least the Puma past and present. However, one of the lesser-known Fiesta-based models is the Fusion. 

Not to be confused with the American Ford Fusion, which is essentially a rebadged Mondeo, this model is a compact five-door MPV that first made its appearance in concept form at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show. The production version followed the year after. 

Marketed as an ‘urban activity vehicle’ the Fusion is longer, wider and taller than the Fiesta, and could be seen as a prequel to the rise of the crossover, as no actual four-wheel-drive version was offered. 

Latest model

Updated alongside the Fiesta at the same time, Ford’s Fusion was facelifted for 2006. Receiving a smarter front end design, it also benefited from a bolder colour palette, including a bright green, purple, red and metallic blue. 

Other changes include improved soundproofing to offer a more hushed driving experience, while additional ‘soft’ plastic trim was fitted to help make it easier to differentiate from its predecessor. 

The Fusion would remain on sale for a decade, with the final examples being registered in 2012. It was indirectly replaced by the B-Max, and then the Ecosport a few years later. 

Value for money

At its launch, prices started at just over £10,000 for the Fusion, making it a touch more expensive than the Fiesta at the time. It was roomier, though, to help justify its price. Today, the Fusion makes a great used buy for those on a budget, with usable examples available for less than £1,000, making them a very affordable runabout. For about £1,500, you can get a presentable facelift example with around 80,000 miles on the clock. If you want a top notch example, though, you need to be prepared to pay more, with the best-of-the-best examples costing more than £5,000.

Looks and image

Though the Fiesta is a car that always manages to look fresh and desirable to all age groups, the Fusion’s appeal is somewhat limited. That boxier design and higher driving position might aid its practicality, but it does mean the Fusion’s audience isn’t quite diverse – the model favouring an older buyer. The later facelift examples are marginally more appealing, as are Titanium versions fitted with the larger set of alloy wheels. 

Inside, the Fusion doesn’t fare too much better, with the interior layout looking and feeling dated, even next to rivals of a similar age. Durable plastics and a matt-finished dashboard do make it seem quite hard-wearing.

Unfortunately, the Fusion didn’t carry over the same dynamic spark as the Fiesta it’s based on. That increased ride height means it’s nowhere near as good through the corners as the supermini, with lots of body lean for a relatively compact car. The suspension is also surprisingly stiff, though comfortable and soft seats mean the Fusion is a relatively comfortable choice. The higher driving position will likely appeal to some, too. 

Space and practicality

One of the key advantages to choosing the Fusion over the Fiesta is for its space, and it’s an area where it impresses. With a boot measuring 337 litres with the rear seats upright, or 1,175 litres with them folded, it’s certainly much roomier than the equivalent supermini at the time, while flat-folding rear seats are a neat touch. 

It’s not the safest choice either, with neither electronic stability control or traction control included as standard, but rather offered as part of an option pack. It scored a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but this is based on a far older testing scheme than current standards. 

Engines 

Ford offered the choice of two petrol and two diesel engines on the Fusion. Kicking off the range, the 79bhp 1.4-litre petrol is able to hit 0-60mph in 14 seconds, though the more powerful 99bhp 1.6-litre petrol is the one that would get our vote, and knocks the 0-60mph time down to 11.1 seconds.  

Moving over to diesel, a 67bhp 1.4-litre unit kicks things off, though takes a lethargic 16.3 seconds to hit 60mph. Stepping up to the 89bhp 1.6-litre engine is a wiser choice, as this is able to do 0-60mph in a far more respectable 12.9 seconds. 

Both petrol engines are available with the choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, but diesels are auto-only. 

Running costs

If you’re looking to keep running costs down it’s worth taking a look at the diesels, particularly the 1.4-litre TDCI unit, which is able to return 61mpg, with 122g/km CO2 emissions. 

In contrast, petrol units struggle to return even 40mpg, while high CO2 emissions mean they will cost a lot in tax too – up to £290 per year, which is a lot for a small car. 

Things to look out for

Though the Fusion has been around for a while, it’s proven to be a relatively reliable choice. There are some things to look out for though, such as an airbag warning light on the dashboard, along with water getting into the interior – if the footwells or boot are damp, it could suggest a faulty ventilation filter. 

Rivals

The small MPV body style was very popular at the time of the Fusion’s launch, with plenty of rivals on offer. Competitors include the Honda Jazz, Renault Modus and Nissan Note. If you’re looking for something a bit newer, and have more money to spend, the Ford B-Max and Kia Venga are both respectable choices. 

Depreciation

As the Ford Fusion has already been on sale for a decade, depreciation shouldn’t be too much of a concern, as many examples are already priced low in the first place. If you’re looking to buy an example in the £5,000 price bracket, you’ll need to keep it in good, low-mileage condition if you want it to retain as much value as possible. 

Trims explained

Ford offered three trim levels on the Fusion, but here we’re focusing on the most popular versions.

Style+ –

Kicking off the range, the Style+ comes with steel wheels, electric and heated door mirrors and air conditioning. Other features include electric front windows, a heated windscreen and a CD player with an auxiliary input.

from £1,000

Zetec –

Upgrade to the Zetec and this brings 15-inch alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts, additional interior trim and a driver’s seat armrest.

from £1,600

Titanium –

At the top of the range, the Titanium features larger 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, automatic lights, a plusher interior and remote audio controls.

from £2,500

Summary

  1. Boxy small MPV sold between 2002 and 2012
  2. Based on the Fiesta…
  3. But sadly nowhere near as good to drive
  4. Practical interior
  5. Decent-sized boot
  6. Affordable used prices
  7. Decent equipment levels
  8. High driving position
  9. Thirsty petrol engines
  10. Not very desirable, but practical and cheap to buy

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