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Old 21st January 2010, 23:34   #1
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Default Probably not everyone's cup of tea - The Ford Fusion+ with ABS

Our hunt for a new (or rather old) car started in April-May 2009. We have never believed in spending a fortune on my car and set a measly budget of 3.0-3.5L. All of our earlier cars have been pre-owned: Maruti 800 (now sold), Maruti Zen (now sold), Hyundai Santro (still a proud 2nd owner), so we were very open to getting another pre-owned car. Since this was meant to be our daily drive car, our requirements (almost entirely dictated by me) were very clear

1. Needs to comfortably sit 5 (though not necessarily full sized) adults.
2. Must be a Hatch. Easier to drive/park for daily use.
3. Poor resale value. When buying a pre-owned car, this could translate to absolutely fantastic VFM.
4. Needs to have high ground clearance (given the really bad state of roads in and around BLR).
5. Must have a decent boot space.

1. High seating position (after driving the Santro for a few years got addicted to this).
2. Good highway manners. We tend to drive out of Bangalore fairly regularly. We love to travel.
3. Maintenance must not cost a bomb.
4. Expect decent (not path-breaking) mileage.
5. Small rear windows are a strict NO-NO. Rules out most Suzuki hatches. Canít stand the claustrophobic effect they create.
6. Needs to have some "uniqueness" or "exclusivity". Each of our earlier cars were of the "just another one" types, so this was kinda important.

With these requirements, I could honestly not think of anything besides - a pre-owned Ford Fusion. It almost seemed like a perfect fit (except for the Maintenance bit). Toyed with the idea of a Hyundai Getz and later even a Mahindra Scorpio, but only briefly. Knew it all through, it had to be the Ford Fusion (or the Fusion+ with ABS).

Zeroing on this was the easiest part. Finding one was terribly difficult. While it took some effort convincing my wife (who was a bit stuck upon getting a sedan), it took a lot more effort to track potential sellers. Online ADs (including a couple on Team-BHP) resulted in few (or none) responses. To complicate things further, wifey chipped in with a last minute "MUST MUST HAVE" - the color must be "BLACK". Interesting, very interesting. Spent a few months trying to locate one in BLR, with absolutely no luck. In this process, came across more potential-buyers on the lookout for pre-owned Fusions, than sellers (hmmm...doesn't reflect in the resale value though).

Finally, came across a dealer in Bombay (where I am originally from) selling a 2005 October, "BLACK" Fusion+ with ABS. Would never want to go to a used-car dealer, but had practically no choice. With my parents/sibling based in Bombay, logistics were never an issue. Quickly contacted VeriCAR for a quick verification. The report was encouraging. Was sound mechanically, with a couple of scratches and poorly maintained interiors. Was okay with this. Negotiated very slightly on the price (almost in line with VeriCAR recommendations and of-course my budget) and paid a token amount. Flew to Bombay, early October 2009 and closed the deal. First impressions were not very positive (unlike typical dealer vehicles, this was very dusty and not presentable). The tyres were nearing their end (as hinted in the VeriCAR report) and were begging for a replacement. With no prior appointment, getting this serviced in Bombay (in my brief 2-day stay) was not possible, so procured a new insurance (comprehensive of-course) and had the car shipped to Bangalore (*** Carriers, Cost: Rs.6800).

FINALLY, IT WAS HOME. But it needed some work.
  • Major wobbling at low speeds. Got the wheel alignment/balancing checked at two different places, without any success. Both places recommended immediate replacement of tyres. Was expected. Got a new set of GoodYear Assurance in stock size (195/60 R15). Thanks fellow-BHPian Glifford and Sujish for their recommendations. Cost - Approx Rs 15000 for a set of 4 tyres (with GY Worry-free Warranty and a complementary Reebok watch)
  • When getting my wheel alignment done (before the tyre change) was suggested to get the inner portion of the alloy wheels and the portion around the disc brakes painted. Some signs of rusting were beginning to appear. Got this done right away (a few hundred bucks).
  • Approached Metro Ford (with my fingers crossed) for my first service. Briefly explained the story to the service advisor and requested for a thorough checkup along with the scheduled service. The ABS lights were not coming on, so was trying to prepare myself to shell out a bomb (or live without ABS). A couple of hours later was informed that the brake pads and the engine fan belt had worn out and needed replacement. Went ahead. Total service cost came to around Rs 7700, and was provided a complimentary interior wash. Not BAD. Apparently the ABS was a non-issue, just that the wires were chewed of by some rat and needed a quick fix. Picked up a bottle of Iftex System G (Rs 300), had new fabric seat covers installed (benefitting from the Freedom offer, cost Rs 500 + Labour) and the Fusion was ready for its daily grind.

I have now been using this as my daily ride for a couple of months now and the experience has been very positive.

  • Has a fantastic big-car feel.
  • Awesome high speed driving manners. Very stable at 120KMPH (on a very brief speed-test enroute new BLR Airport, keeping up with an Audi A6).
  • Really powerful engine churning out 100+ BHP, never loses steam.
  • Excellent torque for very easy city driving.
  • Simply incredible space - for both passenger and luggage. Did an airport transfer (two-ways) with self driving 2 Adults, 2 Kids and tons of luggage (4 full-sized bags - typical of international passengers, 2 medium sized bags, 2 laptop bags and some trinkets) without any issue. Meru/EasyCabs insisted it would take them 2 cabs to fit the luggage. The Fusion swallowed all. Did another trip with 6 full sized adults, 2 children (5 and 8 year respectively) and an infant with no complains from anyone (must add, one of my fellow passengers volunteered to rest in the large boot space). On both occasions, the powerful engine pulled effortlessly (with A/c on full time).
  • Appreciate the small niceties - powered OVRMs, theater-style dimming cabin lights, remote locking buttons built into key fob.
  • Fuel Efficiency hasn't actually been too bad. Though my first run returned a dismal 8.8kmpl (attributed to incorrect fuelling at the petrol station), my second run returned around 10.4kmpl (with 20% ac) in city usage. My daily run is under 10km (one-way) which takes anywhere between 30-50 min in my regular rush-hour timings. My Santro would give me anywhere between 11-11.5kmpl, so this is around 1kmpl lower. Can live with this.

  • Find the OVRMs puny (probably am used to the huge OVRMs in the Santro).
  • Find the placement of wipers/turn indicators very irritating (since i alternate between two vehicles with opposite layouts). Wish they could stick to a single standard.
  • The central storage bin cover on the dashboard has cracked (a seemingly common issue in Fusions) and costs ridiculously high for a replacement. Will live with this for now.
  • Still keeping my fingers crossed on the maintenance bit. Know at the back of my mind that it will hit me sometime. Need to be prepared.

So this is the first part of my story. No pictures as yet, so that will form part two. Not many Fusion ownership stories on Team-BHP so thought of posting my story of getting home an highly-underrated car ( be continued soon (with pics).
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Old 21st January 2010, 23:43   #2
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Congratulations mate.
Nice review. Where are the pictures though?
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Old 22nd January 2010, 12:23   #3
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A Fusion + Santro, that is like me. Congratulations!
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Old 22nd January 2010, 13:14   #4
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Lovely report Sachin. Good to see that you are enjoying Ford's conFusion!
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Old 22nd January 2010, 13:24   #5
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Fusion was one of those vehicles that never really clicked. I had half a mind to go for a Fusion instead of the Fiesta when I was looking around for a car. Good review, do post some pictures. How is the low-speed ride on bumpy roads? Does it toss you around?
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Old 22nd January 2010, 13:26   #6
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Sachin, Congrats on your buy. I am glad that you made the right decision of going for Fusion. Its a good VFM especially if it is a used car. As you have mentioned just watch out for the maintenance part. I heard that Ford maintenance costs a bomb to replace parts in Fusion.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 13:36   #7
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the Fusion is a great car, and very encouraging to hear you didnt have to spend a fortune getting it serviced.

show us the pics!
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Old 22nd January 2010, 14:04   #8
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Nice write up! Congratulations !

Finally, how much you paid for it (if not confidential)?
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Old 22nd January 2010, 14:06   #9
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Hey congrats for owning one of the most underrated SUVish hatchback in the country.
Its one hell of car with amazing power and acres of space. The parts maybe priced on the higher side but i have been told its reliability is top notch.
Awesome tyres too...
You mentioned something wrong with the interiors ??? why whats wrong with them.
And dare i say the awkward positioning of some of the controls take some getting used to.
Enjoy your ride and do upload some snaps..
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Old 22nd January 2010, 14:12   #10
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Originally Posted by sachinayak View Post
  • Find the placement of wipers/turn indicators very irritating (since i alternate between two vehicles with opposite layouts). Wish they could stick to a single standard.
The same thing applies for people who offen switch driving between Ford & other cars. But the over a period of time you'll be used to it.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 14:12   #11
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Hi Sachinayak,

I'm also eagerly seeking for FUSION since last 2 months in chennai. But couldn't find a good one. Please keep post more information about that.. It's my pleasure to read them.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 14:52   #12
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Wow.. congrats on your car mate. As mentioned by you Fusion is one of those highly under-rated cars. Had this car been launched now with more user friendly features, it would have been a challenge to the i20 because of its strong build and interior space. (of course its a given the Ford does need to work on its cost of ownership part). But it would have been a seriour contender now for sure. Anyway, congrats on your buy.
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Old 21st March 2010, 12:27   #13
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Sorry for the inexplicably long delay in posting pictures of my Fusion. Never got a good-enough setting to click them. Thankfully, last week's drive to Kabini provided this opportunities. Please ignore the missing B-Pillar Strip, need to get that fixed ASAP. Team-BHP stickers have been on since day one. Awaiting the stickers.
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Probably not everyone's cup of tea - The Ford Fusion+ with ABS-ff1.jpg  

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Probably not everyone's cup of tea - The Ford Fusion+ with ABS-ff3.jpg  

Probably not everyone's cup of tea - The Ford Fusion+ with ABS-ff4.jpg  

Probably not everyone's cup of tea - The Ford Fusion+ with ABS-ff5.jpg  

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Old 21st March 2010, 22:53   #14
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A brave choice, but given your requirements, I think the Fusion will suit you just fine. Poor marketing, improper placement and daft pricing ruined the potential of this very capable hatch. I can sense the Honda Jazz going the same way.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 01:51   #15
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Sachin, I do not know how I missed this thread, but I guess better late than never.

I recommended the Fusion to my parents, who are avid travellers, and like to take long drives. Like you, they too bought a pre-owned Fusion+ (unfortunately we couldn't find one with ABS), it's black and it's a mid-2006 registered car.

It's fascinating to read your requirements, as ours were exactly the same. To add to that, we wanted a fun to drive car (my parents owned a Baleno earlier, another fantastic machine, with only the ground clearance being an issue).

It's a fantastic car, wishing you miles of happiness in it. Liked the pictures too.
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