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Old 10th May 2013, 14:45   #1
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Default Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

I drove a Maruti Wagon R, the first generation having bought it in December of 2002 as a wedding gift for ourselves. At that point of time, the second generation Wagon R was lurking in the door and so we got the little baby a tad cheaper than the actual price. At the end of a good 3 year stint, we decided that we wanted to get a bigger vehicle now that our purchase power had gone up. And so we started the hunt for a suitable replacement for the Wagon R. Looking around at that point of time, we were impressed by the Palio, but Fiat was a tough territory to go. My dad owned a Premier Padmini through Fiat and the issues were a trifle more than usual. The other vehicle we saw and liked was the Forrester, but then we dint think much of it and we hardly saw any on the road.

One day, while dropping my parents to the station, we bumped on a silver colored station wagon look alike vehicle. We hung around the car for the next half hour till the owner came about and then spent another 30 minutes with him going through the vehicle – the interiors, the engine bay, the exteriors, the drive feel and comfort and the maintenance costs. We were impressed and in a huge way. I thank the owner for the time he spent with us. Till date we don’t know his name, but he did manage to point us in a direction we thoroughly have enjoyed travelling

So over the weekend, we looked around and we realized that the vehicle we saw was called Ford Fusion and the marketing was all bout Urban Activity Vehicle. We dint know what that meant, but boy did we love its ground clearance and then we took a test drive of the vehicle. We immediately fell in love with the space and the turning radius. Coming from a Wagon R with its niggles of interior space, this felt plush and we liked it. The matter was closed with a 30 minute test drive and we sat across the table to negotiate the deal. Naïve as we were, the sales rep talked to us about being part of the Ford family, Ford comfort, reliability and service network. He also talked about how Ford was an impressive brand from the US and has a pedigree dating over decades. I listened to all of this patiently and then finally asked him for the price. We were quoted a price and a discount of 20% on that. We thought the price was fine and so decided to sign up. We wanted a Fusion Plus but due to lack of stock settled for Fusion. We did not know at that point of time that Ford was discontinuing the model. (By the way, they took it down and came back with Fusion later only to discontinue it permanently mid of last year).

The model we booked was Ford Fusion petrol 1.6 litre engine in moondust color. This is basically a variation of silver but on the darker side. The car came with a 1.6 litre petrol engine and no ABS or Airbags. These were options in Fusion Plus only. No alloy wheels , no floor mats, mud flaps, steering cover. No body colored bumpers or side mirrors (all were black in color). Central locking, remote boot release and petrol tank release (with a 45 litre capacity), fog lamps and inbuilt music system (I don’t remember which make this was, but it was a single DIN in a double DIN slot).

Two days later we were informed that the vehicle in question had arrived and Ford would require our presence to take its delivery. Registrations done, number plates fitted the car stood majestic in the Ford yard. We took our Wagon R and got the stereo HU removed and fitted into the Fusion. It was a 2DIN JVC all in one HU. Remember in those days some of us could not afford to buy CDs and therefore the JVC sported both a CD tray and a cassette unit. The delivery manager spent over an hour talking to us about the vehicle, the driving style that one needed to adopt and the various features the vehicle had. He also showed us a set of accessories which we thought were frivolous at that point of time and therefore decided to not go with. Delivery taken, car driven from Metro to the temple near our residence and pooja performed we took it out for a long drive and just basked under the power of the 1.6 litre engine. The next day was spent in office in the morning with people admiring the vehicle for its road presence and distinct design. I spent the entire of the next day pouring over the manual and learning the bits and pieces of my new vehicle.

With nearly 7 years under its belt, the car has driven over 50,000km and has been a pleasure from start till now. To this day, I still get a FE of roughly 10 – 11km in city with 70% a/c usage. Last year when I had taken her to Madurai I managed 18km to a litre with full a/c using the method of full tank to refil method. I trust this is as good as it gets in a 7 year old vehicle and therefore no complaints.

Seat covers had to be changed thanks to the various rivets and me and my missus jeans but beyond that the interior upholstery has been great. Made of cloth fabric in a dull grey colour this gives the car a more roomier feeling. Beyond that, the inside chromes are still sparkling and the gear knob still retains its new look. Recently, I had to buy a new car and I checked out some of the hatchbacks. But the air conditioning comfort within the Fusion is par excellence. In peak summer in Chennai with the sun beating down at about 40 degrees, Fusion cools down to roughly 24 degrees within about 15 minutes. That too at an age of 7 years and that is a tough one to crack by the rest of the manufacturers.

What I like about the vehicle (Note: It is not in past tense. I still love the car for its driving pleasure, comfort and no nonsense attitude)

Tall stance – Good ground clearance and thanks to it able to navigate the potholes and speed breakers of Bangalore
Turning radius – With a low turning radius of 4.9, the car could do wonders in traffic and while parking.
Drive comfort – With a stiff suspension, the vehicle might not meet everyone’s comfort. But for a self driven enthusiast the vehicle offered a great feel of the road. The car was steady on the road with minimal roll and one could feel the feedback into the steering. At high speeds it skies on the ground and there is minimal road undulations. But at slow speeds you can definitely feel the pot holes. But thanks to the high stance you are spared of surface scratches
Space – A minimal 5 seater by today’s terms, the Fusion has huge boot space and also good elbow room up front. At the back it can seat 3 people for short distances and 2 comfortably for long distances. The boot can accommodate whatever you throw in. I remember once we transported a 3 seater sofa in the vehicle from Bangalore to Chennai.
Power – After having driven a Wagon R where you had to switch off the a/c while overtaking on a highway, Fusion was a pleasure. There was no deceleration when switching on the a/c and that was something new to us. Having said that, the power delivery was linear and you could still safely drive the car with minimal revs. I remember driving in the city, I would be pinching at 1300rpm and the car would effortlessly travel on the 4th gear
Looks – I was always enamored by the station wagon look and admired the Fiat adventurer. This was similar to the Adventurer in terms of body style and the station wagon look was geometric. It was not curvaceous like the new vehicles that come out or for that matter the Swift which we decided against. All the lines were fairly linear with a bit of an arch to enhance the looks
Gear Shift – For me this is probably the best feature. I could change gears with 1 finger and that was like amazing after having struggled with the Fiats and the Marutis. In fact, I had a chance to drive the Storme recently and I felt that the gear shift was hard and one had to really work to slot it right.
Wiper assembly – This was another brilliant feature at that point of time wherein I could decide the frequency of intermittency of wiper travel. No other car I knew had that then and it was amazing to show it off to people. At the same time, I thought it was a most useful feature
Cost: At just about 7l in 2006 this was a dream car for that cost with no visible competition around barring Swift. Thanks to the fact that the vehicle was being removed a discount of roughly 20% on this car helped us secure a good rate for us.

What I did not like and to this day I don’t like

Ease of customization – The vehicle cannot be customized easily. Things such as steering wheels cannot be changed easily. Further additions or deletions to the body parts could be detrimental to the build quality and looks
Cost of ownership – While we did manage some hefty discount, we were in shock when it came to parts. I had damaged the right side view mirror and the mirror alone cost me 1500 to change (not the entire unit). The a/c switch has become a bit wobbly and if I were to change that I need to shell out Rs. 8000. The tray lid on top of the dash was unhinged and it costs about Rs7000 to replace.

50,000km gone and Sally is still chugging along as strongly as ever. She has had some work done such as battery change, gear box cylinders change, tyre changes and that has been the lot. Other than that, the usual issues such as floor mat changes, wiper blades and lights, but beyond that she is still as good as new.

Even now whenever I take her out I cannot but see heads turning to check her out and admire her road presence. Sad to see Ford discontinuing it, a great product much ahead of its time

"All you want to do is ride around Sally"
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Old 20th May 2013, 13:23   #2
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Very nice writeup! I have been in pursuit of buying one since long! Only Vitamin M is issue.

I hope you continue to own it for many more years.



Dont be surprised if I PM you for some expert opinions!
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Old 20th May 2013, 13:33   #3
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Quote:
Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
"All you want to do is ride around Sally"

I cant say anything but +1 to all you wrote! The only difference: In the same 7 years, I drove double the distance and still I could say the same of what you said! Sadly I sold mine last year, but to the last day, it was sheer delight to drive.

And some of the features I got used to it so much that I realized my discomfort when other vehicles did not seem to have them. Wiper assembly being one for sure!

FE was very similar to what you get. 14 in the city w/o AC and 11-12 with AC. On the highways 18 without AC and approx. 16 with AC. And so it remained to the last day, I had it! A great car no doubt!

PS : Its rare to see a Fusion review

Last edited by ampere : 20th May 2013 at 13:35.
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Old 20th May 2013, 14:04   #4
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

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Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
I had damaged the right side view mirror and the mirror alone cost me 1500 to change (not the entire unit). The a/c switch has become a bit wobbly and if I were to change that I need to shell out Rs. 8000. The tray lid on top of the dash was unhinged and it costs about Rs7000 to replace.
Not surprised to read this. This car was probably in the middle among expensive Fords to maintain. Mondeo, Fusion, Ikon. The rubber socket plug for the cigarette lighter in a Ikon costs Rs. 500. Not much you can do. Several parts for these cars were imported from the UK. God help if you were a Mondeo owner where replacing the integrated headlamp washers meant replacing the entire bumper which costs half a lac.

I spent over a lac on spares for a used Ford Ikon I purchased. It was a low mileage car but due to age, there were lots of things that were not in order. I had to change suspension struts, drive shaft, radiator fan, condenser, tires, ac divertor valve (failed 3 times in 2 years), battery, brake rotors, brake pads, distributor and god knows what else. Had to finally give up the car at a huge loss as the expenses were killing me. The Ikon was supposed to be a Asia specific car and even after this, it cost a lot to fix. Nothing on the engine needed attention though. It was smooth and powerful in all of 11 years. If only Ford had made the Ikon affordable to maintain, I would have held on to it.
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Old 20th May 2013, 15:01   #5
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Nice review. I wish Ford still sold the Fusion tdci, as I'd have bought it over the Figo.

Can you post a picture of that unhinged dashboard tray that cost you a bomb? I don't think the Fiesta has it.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 15:06   #6
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Nice unbiased review.

I relate to quite a bit of what you write as I just completed 5 yrs of ownership of my vehicle. You gradually fall in love with it despite its quirks and shortcomings.

I see a huge similarity between the Fusion and the Jazz, both great urban utility vehicles, somehow the Indian market was not ready at their respective times for such a vehicle at the respective price points.

Please share some pics.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:32   #7
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

How is fusion is terms of maintenance cost? Is FORD service still bad?

Are fusion spares still available? Also what is the feedback from service guys on fusion in next 3-4 years?

I think, for all Fusion owners, this is the right time to sell, as once people start upgrading from Fusion to EcoSport, there is will big price drop on fusion sale price..!

Last edited by devrajman : 24th May 2013 at 10:37.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:58   #8
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Kindly post some pictures too. Fusion was a nice car but for the higher cost of maintenance.One of my friend who owned a 2006 Fusion, had to once shell out close to 70K for a gear box overhaul.
Quote:
She has had some work done such as ............, gear box cylinders change, ..........
Can you please elaborate on this further.
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Old 24th May 2013, 11:04   #9
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

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Originally Posted by devrajman View Post
I think, for all Fusion owners, this is the right time to sell, as once people start upgrading from Fusion to EcoSport, there is will big price drop on fusion sale price..!
I was in the same boat last year. But do note space in Ecosport would be much smaller than Fusion. I found space in back quite decent and to add to it a HUGE boot. That is not the case with Ecosport.

So with a heavy heart I chucked it off my list. Fusion was an amazing car to own; a one of its kind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Kindly post some pictures too. Fusion was a nice car but for the higher cost of maintenance.One of my friend who owned a 2006 Fusion, had to once shell out close to 70K for a gear box overhaul. Can you please elaborate on this further.
Never had a gearbox problem. In fact it was a sheer delight. And I drove about a lakh.

Last edited by ampere : 24th May 2013 at 11:05.
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Old 24th May 2013, 11:06   #10
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

I read many posts where Fusion service was very expensive (atleast for me who own a ZEN).

Here is from a post: "Should i sell my fusion or keep it as its clutch work is pending which is quoted @ 30k along with front bumper change @ 20k and front windshield change @ 7k"

Also as rajeev k said, "70K for a gear box overhaul"

And subraiyr said,

"The a/c switch has become a bit wobbly and if I were to change that I need to shell out Rs. 8000. The tray lid on top of the dash was unhinged and it costs about Rs7000 to replace"

Im looking for 2007+ model with ABS Petrol for ard 2L max! Is it really worth going for Fusion?
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Old 24th May 2013, 11:17   #11
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

Quote:
Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
Space – A minimal 5 seater by today’s terms, the Fusion has huge boot space and also good elbow room up front. At the back it can seat 3 people for short distances and 2 comfortably for long distances. The boot can accommodate whatever you throw in. I remember once we transported a 3 seater sofa in the vehicle from Bangalore to Chennai.
Couple of my friends used to talk about Fusion's large boot space. A year back, i had a chance to meet renowned malayalam movie director Amal Neerad. He has a black Ford Fusion and he used to say "When i get tired during shoot's, I sometimes take a nap in my car's boot". You can imagine the size the boot then - because Amal is like an Obelix in film industry. I don't know if he owns the same car now, but he really loved that one and i don't think he would have sold it.
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Old 24th May 2013, 12:02   #12
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

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I read many posts where Fusion service was very expensive (atleast for me who own a ZEN).
Spares were costly no doubt. You cant compare it to Maruti for sure. It is pretty in the same range as rest of the brands out there (VW, Honda, Toyota etc). When I say VW/Honda I compare it with a Vento/City and not Polo/Brio. Ford had started looking at reasonable spare pricing starting with Figo. But then it also depends on each vehicle; its platform; and what kind of market segment its being targeted to. Also I dont think every Fusion owner had to do a gear box overhaul. As I said I drove for a lakh without any change. In fact I overhauled by brake pads only at 75K.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Manzone799 View Post
You can imagine the size the boot then - because Amal is like an Obelix in film industry. I don't know if he owns the same car now, but he really loved that one and i don't think he would have sold it.
+1 to that! I never bothered what not to carry during a drive! Another reason, why I did not want to upgrade to an Ecosport.

Last edited by ampere : 24th May 2013 at 12:05.
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Old 27th May 2013, 11:06   #13
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

All

Really appreciate your comments on this. I had been meaning to write about this for a long time, but never got around to it

I am guilty of not posting pictures which i will straighten out in the next couple of days.

Quote:
Spares were costly no doubt. You cant compare it to Maruti for sure. It is pretty in the same range as rest of the brands out there (VW, Honda, Toyota etc). When I say VW/Honda I compare it with a Vento/City and not Polo/Brio. Ford had started looking at reasonable spare pricing starting with Figo. But then it also depends on each vehicle; its platform; and what kind of market segment its being targeted to. Also I dont think every Fusion owner had to do a gear box overhaul. As I said I drove for a lakh without any change. In fact I overhauled by brake pads only at 75K.
Very True. I changed only the master and slave cylinders and all put together including bleeding and assembling etc cost me 12k after 40k kms and about a dozen plus drivers thanks to missus and junior in the making using hired drivers to visit doctors etc.

Quote:
Couple of my friends used to talk about Fusion's large boot space. A year back, i had a chance to meet renowned malayalam movie director Amal Neerad. He has a black Ford Fusion and he used to say "When i get tired during shoot's, I sometimes take a nap in my car's boot". You can imagine the size the boot then - because Amal is like an Obelix in film industry. I don't know if he owns the same car now, but he really loved that one and i don't think he would have sold it.
You are absolutely right. I managed to sleep through in the boot at some point of time on a road trip without much effort

Quote:
Im looking for 2007+ model with ABS Petrol for ard 2L max! Is it really worth going for Fusion?
@Devrajman - You might wait for the Ecosport launch. Seems to be similar to the Fusion excepting for a few areas and with much better specs. Fusion has been discontinued and although Ford is to support it for another 10 years (~2020) getting spares might just become tougher in the years to come. Thats purely my opinion
Quote:
Kindly post some pictures too. Fusion was a nice car but for the higher cost of maintenance.One of my friend who owned a 2006 Fusion, had to once shell out close to 70K for a gear box overhaul.
Quote:
She has had some work done such as ............, gear box cylinders change, ..........
Can you please elaborate on this further.
@Hemant - It was to do with the change of the clutch master and slave cylinders. At about 40k it had worn out thanks to multiple drivers and i had to change it. Cost me ~12k to do the entire unit (master, slave, fluid and labour).

Will share some pictures in the next couple of days. The battle with the greed monster rages on for upgrade Vs Being inFused
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Old 27th May 2013, 11:46   #14
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Default Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

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Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
@Devrajman - You might wait for the Ecosport launch. Seems to be similar to the Fusion excepting for a few areas and with much better specs. Fusion has been discontinued and although Ford is to support it for another 10 years (~2020) getting spares might just become tougher in the years to come. Thats purely my opinion
The only reason I planning for Fusion is for ~2L it can be bang for the buck! Not too small either too big. All comfort of sedan+ cars. Good visibility and driver position and easier ingress and egress due to taller GC than sedans. And Ford Safety and ride quality!

However, you guys either owned it or still owning it and hence the best judge! Spares cost, service cost, spares availability need to be looked out before I buy. Any inputs are welcomed!
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Old 27th May 2013, 12:31   #15
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Smile Re: Ode to a Ford Fusion - 7 years on

@Subraiyr!

I have an Oct 2005 Fusion with 53.5K on the Odo. Still drives like a charm. Agree to all that you have to say. I should probably get down to writing a review of my car sometime.

@Devrajman,

Spares are sure costly. But they last a lifetime. Almost everything on my car is stock. It's quite a reliable car. So, you won't be replacing them so frequently provided you take good care of your car.

Contrary to general perception, my Fusion has not been too expensive to maintain. Here's some data to back it up based on my personal experience.

No of years of ownership: 7.6 years
Amount spent on service: 62250 (includes 8K for two tires, a battery replacement)
Odo : 53488

So average maintenance expense: Rs. 1.16 / Km or Rs.8190 / year

I had to replace two tires as I lost them due to wrong wheel alignment done @ Metro ford. If I exclude them, the cost comes down to Rs 1.01 / km.

So, how does this compare with others? I would say it is pretty decent.
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