Driven

Quick Drive: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport

The midsize sedan segment is really heating up and Ford may have come out with the hottest model of them all. Not content with a simple update to their stylish sedan, engineers went to work under the hood to add more power, more drive wheels, and more exhaust tips to this new variant. Ford came to play with this one and the Fusion Sport is certainly packing the right credentials.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport 2

Lets start with the appearance. The Fusion is an attractive car, and the new facelift certainly helps. The Sport trim’s LED running lights, blacked out grille, graphite wheels and quad tailpipes are visual clues that this isn’t just any other Fusion. It’s fairly subtle for sure. Inside, the seats are about the only thing that differentiate the Fusion Sport from its stablemates. So what did Ford do here that has us excited?

2017 Ford Fusion Sport 4

The 2.7L EcoBoost from the Edge Sport and F-150 has found its way under the hood. In this state of tune, it makes 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. It is still mated to a six-speed automatic, but the transmission has been beefed up to handle the extra force. Another benefit is that this Fusion is standard with all-wheel drive. This allows for maximum traction and deft handling on slippery surfaces. Also unique to the Sport trim is the continuously controlled dampers. These allow the Fusion Sport to ride better than its competitors, yet retain some semblance of sportiness in the corners. The Sport truly is a year-round vehicle that is suited for some fun.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport 7

Inside is where things are a little odd. The Sport-specific seats are comfortable, but short in the thigh section and don’t offer enough bolstering for our tastes. Sync 3 is here as well, and it’s definitely improved since its initial outing, but it’s still middle-of-the-pack in regards to its interface. Hard plastics on the doors and center stack remind you of just how long this generation Fusion has been on the market. With an as-tested price over $40,000, we questioned the car’s value from behind the wheel.

The question of price is quickly banished when you press the throttle, however. The Fusion Sport is not a light car, weighing over two tons, but the acceleration is brisk. You’ll be giving BMW 3 Series and Audi A4s a run for their money every chance you get. The steering is light but precise and the handling is superb, especially for the size of the vehicle. The aforementioned dampers are the selling point here. They completely change the feel of the car when in sport mode, and keep most of the body motion in check when cornering. The all-wheel-drive system works seamlessly to route power to the rear wheels as needed.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport 5

The Fusion Sport is one of those cars where you aren’t quite sure what to make of it. The interior doesn’t feel all that unique and visually, the Sport trim is only subtly different. But when you floor the accelerator or drive the Fusion with any semblance of enthusiasm, it feels completely different from the rest of its lineup and its competitors. It’s really quite the opposite of most Sport-badged trim levels. And that’s a refreshing surprise! We’re not sure we’d call it a bargain Audi S4, but it could certainly be in the running.

-Scott Villeneuve

2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport $33,605
Ruby Red paint $395
Equipment Group 401A $2,000
235/40R19 96Y Summer Tires $195
Enhanced Active Park Assist $995
Adaptive Cruise Control $1,190
Voice-Activated Touch-Screen Navigation w/ SYNC Connect $795
Driver Assist Package $1,625
Destination Charges $895
As Tested MSRP $41,875

Related:
Go Your Own Way: 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium

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