Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

I recently test drove the 2014 Ford Fusion SE  equipped with the four-cylinder 1.5L EcoBoost engine, which is new for 2014. Other than the 1.5L EcoBoost engine, the 2014 Fusion is a carryover model. It was most recently fully redesigned for the 2013 model-year.

I am a big fan of the Fusion's exterior styling, which is extremely attractive, especially as it sits on 17-inch alloy wheels. The 2014 Ford Fusion is available in three trim levels — S, SE, and Titanium — with the SE model being the most popular with fleets.

The 2014 Fusion comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and eight airbags (front, front side, front knee, and full-length side curtain). In addition, there are rear inflatable seat belts available as an option on all trim levels.

The Fusion SE offers excellent engine performance for everyday fleet driving. It has agile handling with nimble sure-footedness on curves that is accentuated by its precise steering. In terms of driver comfort and functionality, the Fusion offers a very roomy interior with plenty of small-item storage areas for the busy fleet driver.

The trunk has 16 cubic feet of space, which provides plenty of space to store sales literature, point-of-sale merchandise, and other items drivers need to carry to perform their job functions.

Plenty of Powertrain Choices

Altogether, the Fusion offers four four-cylinder engine choices, three of which are Ford's turbocharged EcoBoost engines.

The new-for-2014 1.5L turbocharged inline four-cylinder is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, as well as an automatic stop/start functionality that optimizes fuel economy. The official EPA-rated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/37 mpg highway) with the 1.5L engine that emits 303 grams of CO2 per mile.

Base Fusions are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder. In lieu of a V-6 option, the Fusion also offers a turbocharged 240-hp 2.0L engine, which achieves a 26 mpg EPA rating for combined city/highway driving.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Spacious Interior Cabin

The interior cabin of the 2014 Fusion is spacious and comfortable. A 6-footer, such as myself, has plenty of headroom and legroom.

Standard on the SE trim level is a 10-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar support, which will allow any driver to find the best driving position.

The passenger seat is similarly comfortable and firm. The split-folding rear seats are well-contoured and offer more than adequate headroom and legroom for rear passengers. There are also rear A/C ducts and a rear fold-down armrest.

Five-Star Safety Rating

The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2014 Fusion a five-star rating for overall crash protection. Similarly, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) provided its top crash rating of "good" for front offset, side impact, rear impact, and roof strength.

The Ford SYNC system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone.

Another nice standard feature is hill start assist, which prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards on a hill when shifting from the brake to the accelerator. Also standard is Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set driving parameters and restrictions for non-adult drivers, if company policy allows personal use of the vehicle by licensed children of the employee.

Related:

PHOTOS: Ford's Fusion Sedan

2014 Ford Fusion Wins Car of the Year

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan

Author

Mike Antich
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Mike Antich has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Mike Antich has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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