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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Fusion is spacious, well priced and visibility is great

Against It offers little more versatility than a Fiesta

Verdict Tries to be a small MPV, but fails

Go for… 1.4 petrol 2

Avoid… 1.6 TDCi 1

Ford Fusion Hatchback
  • 1. It's only a little roomier than the Fiesta it's based on, but it's much more expensive
  • 2. There have been a few reports of water leaking into the cabin, so check for signs of dampness
  • 3. The Fiesta, on which the Fusion is based, has experienced problems with its airbag warning light
  • 4. Check out the pipework on turbodiesel models - this is a known area of problems
  • 5. The Fusion has a firmer ride than the Fiesta it's based on
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Ford Fusion Hatchback full review with expert trade views

While the Fiesta is one of the best superminis to drive, it doesn't quite have the practicality of some of its rivals. So you'd think that the Fusion - a taller, more spacious version of the same car, would be just about the perfect supermini, right? Wrong.

The big problem is that although there's more space and a bigger boot, it isn't much more practical than the Fiesta. And, it's substantially more expensive. There's decent room in the back for a couple of adults, but oddment storage is limited and the rear seats aren't removable.

On the other hand, the handling is almost as good as the Fiesta's, despite the Fusion's taller stance. There's a bit more body roll in corners, but it's well contained. The ride is even firmer than the Fiesta's, and because the Fusion is distinctly heavier, performance is a bit more laboured.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Has its own niche now especially with diesel engines, need at least '2' spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There are four engines. The 78bhp 1.4-litre and the 99bhp 1.6-litre petrols need to be worked hard, and the 1.4 can struggle out of town. The diesels are better, with a 67bhp 1.4-litre and an 89bhp 1.6-litre to choose from. Their low-down pull makes them easier for daily use, but they cost more to buy, so don't make much sense financially. For reasons of cost alone, we recommend sticking to the cheapest 1.4 petrol.

In terms of trim, it's probably best to avoid the entry-level 1 model as it's too basic. You'll get anti-lock brakes and central locking, but that's about it.

Second-rung 2 models are much better, with air-con, powered front windows, remote central locking and a CD player. 3 models also have alloys and an alarm. Plus models have larger alloys and privacy glass.

The Fusion was face-lifted in 2006. Trims were renamed Style, Style Climate, Zetec, Zetec Climate and Plus, and slightly revised. Remote central locking and a CD player also became standard across the range.

Trade view

John Owen

A tall Fiesta for those with access difficulties

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Fusion was between £500 and £1000 more expensive than the equivalent Fiesta when it was new, so it isn't quite as affordable as its smaller sibling, despite weaker retained values.

There's not much in it, though. If you find a three-year-old Fusion, you'll pay a bit less than half of the car's original price.

The Fusion's fuel economy isn't as good as the Fiesta's, either, by virtue of the larger car's extra weight. Again, though, there's not a drastic amount in it. Both petrol cars will better 40mpg and both diesels are capable of achieving more than 60mpg. The 1.4 TDCi is the best performer with an average of 64.2mpg.

Insurance groupings for the Fusion range between 4 and 6 for the petrol cars, while the diesels will command either a group 4 or 5 premium. Servicing costs are no more expensive than they'll be on a Fiesta - very low, in other words.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Has its own niche now especially with diesel engines, need at least '2' spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Ford is the epitome of average when it comes to reliability. It usually finishes mid-table in our regular Reliability Surveys, meaning its cars experience an average amount of faults, which take an average amount of time to fix and dealers charge an average amount for the repairs.

However, the Fusion is based on the Fiesta, and the Fiesta is much better than the average. It's one of Ford's most reliable motors and there have been very few reports of problems with the car. Similarly, we've heard of very few problems with the Fusion, and considering the two cars' close links, that's no coincidence.

We have heard a few reports of some cars suffering from water leaking into the cabin, and these have been traced to faulty ventilation filter seals. You should also look out for faulty pipework, which has been a problem on some turbodiesels, and problems with the airbag warning light, which have been an issue on some Fiestas.

Trade view

John Owen

A tall Fiesta for those with access difficulties

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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