Ford Fusion Plus 1.6 TDCi - FORD FUSION Car Review
Added: 18 Jan 2007
THERE are those who would argue that putting a remote control DVD system into flagship versions of Ford's 'urban activity vehicle', the Fusion, was a master stroke.
They would be wide of the mark. The smart move for this little big car was including the company's 1.6-litre TDCi turbodiesel engine.
The Fusion, built on the Fiesta platform, comprises a combination of ideas in a compact if spacious shell.
A raised people carrier-style driving position helps with visibility, there's the space and versatility of a small estate car and the agility of a supermini.
At least that's the general idea; the reality is not quite so clear cut.
This Fusion's biggest failing is that it's one of those cars you see and then instantly forget, that's how bland and boxy the Fusion's styling is. That said, I know people who swear by their model.
On the positive side it is certainly versatile, scoring heavily with its interior space.
Shoulder, head and legroom is decent all round, you can carry three in the back without their knees being up under their chins, and the instruments are predictably accessible.
With the exception of a storage area above the central pair of air vents, the dash layout is almost identical to the Fiesta.
As for practicality, a 60/40 split rear seat allows maximum luggage capacity to be increased, and with the rear seats folded down there is also enough room to carry items which are longer than six feet.
A plastic panel on the rear of the front passenger seat enabling it to be used as a table when folded forward is a nice touch, as is the storage tray beneath its cushion.
A choice of four engines - two petrol and a pair of diesels - are available on the Fusion with prices starting at £10,645 for a 1.4-litre petrol, which is £1,455 more than the equivalent Fiesta.
As a driver's car, the Fusion is competent rather than enjoyable. It effectively irons out rough surfaces, has a supple ride and tight turning circle.
But it's fair to say the 1.6 TDCi engine is a cracker. This is a strong, economical powerplant with lots of low down grunt, making it ideal both for urban and motorway driving.
A slightly higher driving position than in the Fiesta results in excellent visibility from behind the wheel.
This particular Fusion Plus included goodies like six-disc in-dash CD player with remote control, air-con, perimeter alarm, remote central locking, front foglamps, power-fold door mirrors and 16-inch alloys as well as substantial safety features.
Realistically this range is more likely to appeal to older drivers, younger ones preferring funky cars like the Honda Jazz or SEAT Ibiza.
And that brings us back to the DVD set-up, which tucks neatly into a ceiling panel and can be operated either remotely or manually.
Kids are really attracted to this type of gimmick, often preferring to watch a film in the car rather than the house - only problem is it adds an extra £1,000 to the price.
Ford Fusion Plus 1.6 TDCi 5dr
Mechanical: 90bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 12.9 secs
Combined mpg: 62.8
Insurance group: 7
CO2 emissions: 119g/km
BiK rating: 18%
Warranty: 3 yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust
Keywords: FORD, FUSION