But before those new cars arrive, the wait for the Ford Fusion is finally over. The name may not be familiar to most, but the Fusion is the Mondeo overseas and it’s quite something.
In the flesh
From a design perspective, the Fusion looks the part. Embodying the modern Ford design approach, it looks aggressive up front with a sleek side profile and strong rear end.
Moving inside, the futuristic cabin is clean in design with everything well laid out and easy to navigate.
Wrapped in a cocoon of comfort, the space up front is driver focused with sufficient rear occupant space easily capable of fitting three adults.
The Ford’s SYNC system was a great feature when it was initially launched, now the American company has upgraded the system to the SYNC 2 connectivity system as well as an enhanced MyKey technology, available on certain derivatives.
The upgrades mean owners can programme a secondary key to restrict particular vehicle functions such as top speed and is usually aimed at younger drivers.
Meanwhile, the in car infotainment system is intuitive and easy to use through the touchscreen display and steering wheel buttons.
So being inside the car is certainly comfy, but the biggest talking point of the new Fusion has to be the engine line-up and list of safety features.
Fire it up
Ford pulled out all the stops with this new model, particularly in the powertrain department, offering a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol, a 2-litre EcoBoost petrol or the 2-litre TDCi.
First up to test was the 1.5-litre available exclusively in Trend spec, the engine punches above its weight as the 132kW and 240Nm motor feels sporty and supplies strong pull throughout the rev range. Capable of doing the 0-100km/h shuffle in 9.2 seconds it’s no slouch and can reach a speed of 218km/h while consuming a claimed 7.4 litres/100km in the combined cycle. It is available with the six-speed auto with SelectShift.
It’s my pick of the bunch, but if you looking for something with a little more bite, the 2-litre is available in Trend and Titanium spec.
In Trend guise, the slightly detuned motor boasts 149kW and 300Nm, which translates into a 0-100km/h time in 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 232km/h and will sip around 7.5 litres/100km.
In the higher Titanium suit, the engine produces 177kW and 340Nm of torque and sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just under eight seconds and has a top end of 240km/h. The corresponding fuel consumption figure is 8.5 litres/100km.
For the oilburner lovers a 132kW and 400Nm engine is available. The powertrain is smooth when it comes to power delivery and the six-speed PowerShift gearbox makes gear changes seamless. It’s a sophisticated piece of tech that delivers ride comfort too as it goes from 0-100km/h in a brisk 8.6 seconds and will go onto reach 225km/h. But a notable talking point is the fuel consumption figure of 5.1 litres/100km in the combined cycle.
The ride quality is largely attributed to the new global CD-segment platform which the Fusion is built on and is the first model in Africa to utilise it.
The new suspension design delivers the compliance required for greater comfort, while retaining lateral stiffness for enhanced steering and handling. It also allows the wheel to move rearwards on impact with bumps. This delivers improved impact absorption for a smoother ride and reduced noise levels.
Ultimately, Ford has delivered a premium car that looks the part and delivers with strong pricing. It’s bound to make some waves in a notoriously difficult segment. But with pricing starting at R349 900 for the 1.5 EcoBoost Trend to a range topping R449 900 for the 2.0 TDCi Titanium, Ford has a fighting chance. Especially with the option packs available too.