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2007 Ford Fusion Sedan

by Martha Hindes

2007 Ford Fusion
2007 Ford Fusion Interior

Our first impression getting behind the wheel of the Ford Fusion was "nice." Handles well, easy to use accessories, respectable mileage and cost, a definite European feel. In all, a good intro. That was about a year ago and we came away with a definite "thumbs up" for this important mid-size auto.

Looking at 2007, there's a brand new kid joining the party with the introduction of the first all-wheel-drive version of the Fusion available on V6 models. For the model year, Ford adds some nice amenities as well. The upmarket SE and SEL versions have fold-flat front passenger seats to increase room for long items extended beyond the trunk pass through. The top SEL also gets heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, self-dimming mirror, compass and automatic headlamps as standard equipment. There are 16-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps and enhanced audio on the SE. And all models including the base S get standard front-seat side and side curtain airbags plus a perimeter anti-theft alarm system.

If face sets the tone, the Fusion's is a statement of assuredness with a strong, three bar grille and bold head and taillamps. This is a vehicle that earned long second glances from a somewhat blase west coast set, accustomed to numerous foreign nameplates, when it launched. Inside are graphite, wood or piano black trim and storage cubbies.

Economy wise, the 2.3-liter, 160-HP inline four gets about 23/31 MPG for both five-speed manual or five-speed, low emissions automatic. The 221-HP 3.0-liter V6, with six speed automatic, lands at 20/28, losing about a mile each with AWD, but adds more control to the responsive drive.

On the cost side, S pricing starts at $18,155, while all-wheel-drive V6 SE with ABS enters life at $24,025 and a loaded SEL AWD starts at $25,340. Other options include eight-speaker Audiophile sound, heated, leather surfaced seating, DVD nav system and SIRIUS satellite radio.

Getting in and out of the rear seat is no problem. Ford made sure someone with a size 14 shoe (think basketball player here) could scoot in or out without having to do a pretzel twist in the process.