By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2008 Ford Fusion. It competes with the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu. Make sure to also check out Kelsey's video on Ford's Sync audio system.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for Cars.com. The Ford Fusion is now in its third year on the market. That's three years where the Camry, the Accord, the Nissan Altima, and yes, even the Chevy Malibu have vastly improved.
Is the Fusion still worth a look? You're about to find out. We think the styling is actually aged pretty well. The car has low front overhangs and a clean, sort of simple look to it. It doesn't have that big, muscular, in your face look that the Chevy Malibu does, but in fact, it looks a little sleeker and a little more athletic. So, think of it as like a Reggie Bush rather than a Deuce McAllister. Our car has optional 18 inch wheels, which look pretty sharp. And the three bar front grill actually looks much more well proportioned here than it does on Ford's larger Taurus. One thing we don't like are the clear lens tail lamps. That's a styling thing that just about every car company is going toward these days. And actually, if you get your a Fusion in silver, they're minimally offensive. There are two things that make the Fusion really stand out. One is the cargo area. You'll notice that it's very large. There aren't any ridges in it, so you can fit big suitcases in pretty easily. You won't have to lift them that high, because the lift-over height is actually pretty low and the trunk goes up pretty high. It has hinges right here. The arm hinges in the Accord and the Camry will intrude on suitcase space when you shut the trunk. It's also got a couple of a release handles right here for the back seats. The seats are spring loaded. So, when you pull them, they fall forward on their own. The cabin hasn't aged quite as well as the outside. The dashboard actually has pretty nice materials. They're soft to the touch, but they have this sort of grainy texture over them that doesn't look as high quality as the stuff you'll find in a Malibu or an Altima. You'll also notice that the passenger side airbag and the radio are housed in these sort of cutout panels. Most cars have managed to integrate them into their surroundings at this point. New this year is Ford SYNC voice recognition system. We have an entire video on that, so be sure to check it out. One thing we do like are the climate controls. They have the same sort of chrome rings around them that you'll find in the Taurus, and they have a nice cushioned, high quality feel when you push them down. We also like the silver plastic trim around the center controls along the dashboard. It's got a nice sort of finish to it. We wish it ran along the door panels, they look kind of plain without it. And there are some rough edging and it kind of feels really cheap as it gets near the steering wheel. And, rest assured, these seats do come in a color other than red. There's actually a wide range of adjustments. It goes pretty low and pretty high. So that's good if your spouse is a lot shorter or taller than you are. This car has a four-cylinder engine and it moves things along quickly enough. There's also a three liter V6, which is quicker, but not as fast as the V6 is in most competitors. Then again, the Fusion costs a lot less than those cars do. It starts at about $18,000 and you can get a very well-equipped model in the low twenties. It doesn't go toe-to-toe with the Camry and the Malibu on all fronts, but it beats them on some counts. And for that, it definitely deserves a look, especially if you're shopping for a bargain. For additional information on this car or any other, go to Cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.