The Fun and Flirty Ford Fusion SE

A Girls Guide To Cars | The Fun And Flirty Ford Fusion Se - Agirlsguidetocars Logotype Color Web Transparentbg 16X9 1

2014 Ford Fusion: Great Gas Mileage, Luxury and Technology in a Compact Sedan

2014 Ford Fusion

The 2014 Ford Fusion SE

Despite the popularity of SUVs and crossovers, compact sedans are having a heyday: more than 2.4 million were sold last year and many automakers see this as their most competitive category. I thought it was time to checkout the sporty little car that ruled the road before the SUV. It’s easy to see why cars like the Ford Fusion—that sip gas, are easy to maneuver and that have all the latest tech and safety innovations—are so popular. We found the Fusion to be comfortable and at a price of about $30,000, pleasingly filled with luxuries usually found on more expensive cars. The Fusion made our drive to Philadelphia from New York a breeze, despite a few oddities (more about that later).

Ford Fusion

The center console can hold the key, EZ Pass, wallet and phone.

Feeling and Being Safe: A First Priority

Whizzing along the New Jersey Turnpike, the scene of daily accidents, you want to know that you and your passengers are safe. Many of the Fusion’s safety features made us feel even more prepared for the traffic on the highway. We only drove during the day, so we didn’t get to use the auto high beams, but I love how these operate; when you have the lights on at night, they automatically dim when there’s an oncoming car, then brighten all on their own to illuminate your way.

And rain-sensing wipers are a great feature, particularly if the Fusion is being used as a rental car. How many times have you driven off in a rental car when it starts raining and you have no idea how to turn the wipers on? Having them come on automatically is literally life saving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Fusion a 5-star safety rating, with five stars beings the highest; The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it a good, with good being the highest rating.

Ford Fusion

The sibling saver center armrest can separate 2 kids in the back seat

Luxury Touches That Make The Ride A Pleasure

The compact sedan had plenty of technology that worked the way it should: the SE Luxury Driver-Assist Package with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) and cross-traffic alert plus lane departure warning. We spent most of our drive on the wide, straight New Jersey Turnpike, but switching into the HOV lanes we got that lane departure warning. Oops.

The Fusion also had the SE MyFord Touch Technology Package, which includes rear view camera, SYNC with MyFord Touch with eight-inch touch screen and dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control.

SYNC with MyFord Touch lets you use voice commands, steering wheel buttons, or what is increasingly feeling like old school, the touchscreen, to change radio stations, navigate, or use your phone.

The Sirius XM had great sound, but for some reason, when we changed the station, it took a full five count before the switch occurred. It went from frustrating to comical as we constantly passed the music we wanted (and this was an unusual experience; typically Ford’s MyFord Touch is responsive and easy to use).

The Earlier-Mentioned Oddities

The Ford Fusion we drove seemed to have some bugs. Not the insect type, but things that didn’t work as expected, or unexpectedly. For example, several times in three days, the heated front driver’s seat turned itself on. The first time this happened, I blamed myself—I’m a mom, so everything’s my fault, right? But then it happened a second, third, fourth time. Just when everyone thought I was nuts, it happened to my husband; he insisted he had never been anywhere near the controls.

The good news: those heated front seats sure warm up your butt fast. The bad news: it was summer. The rear defrost also randomly came on a couple of times, in clear weather and for no apparent reason.

But, with the amount of technology in this car, it’s not surprising that some things might still need an adjustment; and of course, these are things that the dealer’s service department should be able to take care of easily.

What We Loved

Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion’s folding rear view mirrors have blind spot warnings.

SYNC with MyFord Touch – once you’ve used this in one Ford, it’s easy to use in any new Ford

Great gas mileage: rated at 25 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway. We drove on the highway and the needle hardly moved all the way to and from Philadelphia

60/40 split rear seat is great for hauling big items; fold down center console in the rear separates two kids who can’t be near each other in the back (families with three kids like ours? They will fit, but they might complain on long trips)

What You Need to Know

Base Price: $23,935. The model we drove, with the SE luxury package, heated front seats, and MyFord touch package, boosted the price to $30, 305

Standard equipment includes foldable side view mirrors for city parking or tight parking garages and remote keyless entry

3 year / 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty

5 year / 60,000 mile power train warranty

5 year / 60,000 mile roadside assistance

Disclosure: the Ford Fusion was provided to me for our test drive: opinions expressed are my own.

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