You’ve probably heard the buzz about the new 2013 Ford Fusion already. This completely redesigned midsize Ford has been making the rounds of all the recent auto shows and just about everyone who glances at it swoons. Why? It has the grill and body styling of a much higher end car, despite its $21K price. The question, of course, is does the interior match the exterior? I had a chance to test drive the 2013 Fusion in Santa Monica, California with just that question in mind. The verdict? Mixed. But not for the reason you’re thinking. The ride, handling, and interior are all more than satisfactory, it’s just that the exterior is so frigging gorgeous that it set the bar for the rest of the car a bit too high. Take a gander at the photos below to see what I mean. It’s a beaut.
BEST BODY PART:
My pick for Best Body Part is the touch sensitive interior. Not only are most of the controls in the center of the dashboard operated by a feather light touch, the overhead lights are too. Just a tap of the plastic on just about any surface inside the car will activate whichever control you happen to be reaching for– making the interior controls almost completely button-less. Very George Jetson. More and more touch-screen-panels are showing up in dashboards these days, but this is something different. The touch sensitive areas are actually located around the screen, embedded in the molding– something I certainly haven’t seen before. Getting the overhead lights to come on takes a bit of practice, since most drivers will instinctively tap in the center of the light. The trick, however, is to swipe gently along the edges or corners instead.
Speaking of futuristic, the seats of the Fusion are thinner than usual and they are also made of recycled plastic bottle caps, both of which reduce the overall carbon footprint of the car and add to the cool factor. Previously, I got the opportunity to talk to one of the interior designers of the Fusion and his thoughts about the shape of the interior were fascinating. Watch that video here. Also, the stick shift version of the Fusion is zippy and fun– quite a bit more so than the automatic version. To suit discriminating drivers of different tastes, there are three different models of the Fusion: the hybrid, the 1.6 liter engine and (for a little more zoom), the 2 liter engine. Naturally, the hybrid is the quietest but the gas engines have been pre-programmed to stop when the car is not moving, which cuts down on pollution and has the added benefit of, er, quietude. The Fusion doesn’t need much help in that department though, since the engineers spent a lot of time making the car quiet. They even put dummies in each of the seats with microphones at ear level to record and adjust the road noise levels accordingly. Tech meets function meets fashion. Love it.
2013 Ford Fusion
MPG: 22/34, standard & 47 hybrid
Price: Starts at approximately $21,700
Colors: 9 exterior colors, the funnest of which is named Ginger Ale. The White Platinum costs $495 extra but it also makes the car glow like a pearl in the sun. The color shown below is Deep Impact Blue.