2015 Ford Fusion: Sweet Ride, But Plain Cookie?

2015 Ford Fusion

The ‘regular’ 2015 Ford Fusion.

In a bakery, the guy in front of me ordered a cookie. “What kind of cookie?” he was asked. “A regular one,” he responded.

The Ford Fusion is the regular cookie of the car world. Neither performance nor luxury, not expensive or a bargain, but solidly middle of the road. And it’s a sedan, the plain vanilla of cars, when SUVs or sporty little vehicles dominate.

2015 Ford Fusion

Plain vanilla – er, white – 2015 Ford Fusion. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

If the Fusion were a cookie, it wouldn’t be a macaron, or Momofuku’s compost cookie, it would be a basic chocolate chip or vanilla wafer.

But there’s a reason the ‘regular’ cookie, or ‘regular’ car endures: it makes buyers, and drivers, comfortable. And it’s satisfying-  I mean, who turns down a chocolate chip cookie?

Pleasing the older driver or passenger

2015 Ford Fusion

Touch of flash on the door trim of the 2015 Ford Fusion.

Both my mother and mother-in-law, for example, complain about having to heave themselves up  into SUVS, but they also balk at trying to maneuver into my brother’s low-slung sports car. A sedan is just what they want, a car type that they are comfortable with and makes them comfortable. The leather seats, heated and ventilated in the front seats, are designed for maximum comfort, too.

The model we drove had all wheel drive, which brings down the fuel economy a bit; the car gets 25 miles per gallon combined, but it does make driving up mountains or through snow more secure.

Fusion for a new generation

2015 Ford Fusion

Blind spot alert for when sightless aren’t great. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

But the Ford Fusion is not just for older folks. The car has plenty to recommend it for younger buyers, including fold down back seats so you can throw in a bicycle in the trunk, and LED taillights and hexagonal grille that give it a more modern look.

The shiny platinum tri-coat paint job, an optional extra cost, gives the Fusion extra sparkle.

And if you are truly forward thinking, you can choose the Energy plug-in hybrid – I thought of it as the gluten-free version of the regular model. It looks the same and performs similarly, but not everyone is ready for that dramatic switch. There is also a sportier model, the Fusion SE.

New technology that’s easy to understand

2015 Ford Fusion

The navigation system gave clear directions and the home button helped us find our way around the touchscreen functions. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The 2015 Ford Fusion I drove had a suite of new technology, including a blind spot warning with cross traffic alert and lane keeping system that admonished you if you changed lanes without signaling; a drowsy driver icon suggested that you take a rest.

The home button on the touchscreen offers a shortcut to the infotainment system; if you get confused, just hit that button and you can navigate your way around.

We loved the active park assist, which eased us into parallel parking spots in New York City. The ability to squeeze into tight spots could become a lost art; you just press the button on the center console and the car sensors find the spot; you take your hands off the wheel and put the car in reverse. Then the Ford does its magic.

Watch below to see how it works:

There is also pedestrian detection and when I was driving in New York City, someone darted in front of the car and the signal detected her.

Where the Fusion let us down

2015 Ford Fusion

Turn by turn directions on the nav screen. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The navigation system, SYNC with MyFord Touch, could not understand our voice commands for directions, and offered us choices that were nothing like what we had said. Entering addresses manually works fine, but if you are driving alone and need to change your destination, you have to pull off the road.

2015 Ford Fusion

The fully packed trunk. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

That being said, once we got our correct directions entered, following them was smooth sailing. The 8-inch touchscreen was clear and crisp, and you could get turn-by-turn in a split screen, or a visual of an upcoming turn. Like all Fords with SYNC, a gentle audio signal reminds you that a turn is right there, so you really can’t turn too early. It also has the speed limit on the screen, which is helpful.

2015 Ford Fusion

Who knew you could fit a bicycle in a sedan? With fold down rear seats and a trunk pass through, it was a piece of cake. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What We Loved

  • Cooled and heated front seats
  • Park assist
  • Folding rear seats and a trunk pass through added cargo capacity
  • Multiple USB ports so everyone can stay charged; the center console also had good storage
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Push button start and remote key start
2015 Ford Fusion

The center console has a deep storage well, USB ports and AV jacks. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What You Need to Know

  • Base price: $32,600; price for the model we drove, with the heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, park assist, lane keeping system and blind spot alert, $38,945.
  • Fuel economy: 22 mpg in the city, 31 on the highway
  • 3 year / 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
  • 5 year / 60,000 mile power rain warranty
  • 5 year / 60,000 mile roadside assistance

Fusion Monroney

Note: Ford loaned me the 2015 Ford Fusion for this review; opinions expressed are my own.

Judy Antell, who is TravelingMom.com's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell