First drive: 2014 Ford Fusion and Ranger at Dubai Autodrome

First drive: 2014 Ford Fusion and Ranger at Dubai Autodrome

2014 Ford Fusion and Ford Ranger
The all-new 2014 Ford Fusion has been on sale for a couple of months now, while the 2014 Ford Ranger is basically a carryover model, having been redesigned just a couple of years ago. But Ford decided to give us a taster of these two important models at the Dubai Autodrome recently, to highlight their best attributes. It was a generic event, like any other, but they then threw us a curveball in the form of the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Hilux, both there for us to compare with the Fords.

2014 Ford Fusion and Ford Ranger 2

The 2014 Ford Fusion is currently available with a 175 hp 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, mated to a 6-speed automatic. It is competitive in terms of specs, but isn’t a particularly quick car, just about keeping up with the well broken-in Toyota Camry rental cars on the straights at the track.

It’s a completely different story on the corners though, as the Fusion slipped through the turns and cones cleanly with ESP on, with limited understeer and well-controlled body roll. The Camry on the other hand had a tendency to swing out the rear a bit more, and understeer earlier.

The Ford also offered a bit more responsiveness and feedback from its controls, aside from being a bit quieter, as evidenced by the sound-level meters stuck on the dashes of the test cars. We didn’t spend enough time with the cars to tell you anything more.

2014 Ford Fusion and Ford Ranger 6

Moving on to the 2014 Ford Ranger, the midsized commercial pickup is powered by a 164 hp 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine, this one being the 4×4 petrol option offered alongside two diesel motors. Again, it is specced out competitively, although it can only be had with a manual gearbox.

Pitched against the similarly-powered Toyota Hilux 2.7-litre, Ford was keen to highlight that even the basic Ranger models come with hill-hold assist and hill-descent control, so it can start moving on an upslope without rolling back, and go down steep slopes in a controlled descent if low-range is selected via the electronic dial and the hill-descent button is pressed. The Hilux comes with neither of the electronic aids, and uses a stiff secondary shifter for switching to low-range. The Ranger can also switch to 4-low at slow speeds, while the Hilux has to come to a complete stop before doing so.

Even though the Hilux testers were abused ones with dying clutches, we could still deduce that the Ranger had a better gear-shifter with shorter throws, and that it had a slightly better ride over rocky terrain, aside from obviously having more ground clearance. Body roll wasn’t too bad in either of them in moderate driving, given their stiff load-bearing suspension tuning.

With this event, Ford seems to have taken the gloves off in their fight for market share in the Middle East, pitting their cars against segment-leaders. In this instance, it may initially appear not to be a completely fair fight, but as we highlighted, clearly the Ford Fusion and the Ford Ranger have several advantages out-of-the-box over the competition, even if the fight had been fair.

What do you think?



  1. Is camry loosing to fusion, corners don’t really matter in average driver’s use how is it on long drives is it as good as camry and the comfort, refinement what about that.
    To be honest none are track cars so why test drive on track?

  2. people need car that last longer not the performance and handling, we aren’t going to race on street once purchased

    • Absolutely spot on mate. Well spoken

    • My 2006 Ford Mondeo ws doing 308,000+ kms in the hands of its second owner whn I last saw it a couple of months ago… no issues at all and the dude even said his Camry, though cheap to run, gave him many more niggles! It is just the mentality of the people, and their undying perceptions, really. BTW, wanna compare structural rigidity and safety, and the safety features? anyone??

      About the only problem with these Fords ever, is their rather mediocre interior fit n finish, as the panels starts creaking early on. Nothing ever falls off, but im not a fan of creaks.

  3. I believe the point Ford was trying to deliver is that if both the cars are priced at the same price, which one will give more value for the money spent, keeping in mind Ford’s pumper to pumper 100K service contract and the tons of cash that will be wasted in alfutaim.

    • Let the warranty run out, and then see what happens to Ford. Whatever you spent, you will pay double to maintain Ford. And guys don’t be so sure about warranty stuff, even if one screw is missing, dealer is looking all the chance to strip you of so called warranty. It will take a lot to beat a Toyota, even the abused ones….

    • trust me Kevin, it is still a hell lot cheaper to maintain than the Japs, if u ever bother to do the math. Thats coming straight from a Ford owner, with a lot of crappy experiences with the Jap cars n their dealers, in terms of high maintenance costs.

    • Kevin I’m a Ford owner and this is my second ford and my current is second hand with no warranty what so ever, my first car which was a Ford Explorer was bought from agency and had 60K service contract which was phenomenal I mean the service, I exhausted the car going off-road and at that time my experience in maintaining a car was low and the service guys kept my car in an agency state buy replacing things that I didn’t even complain about, even the interior cracks were done by them.
      My current second hand is usually serviced in normal garages and most of the parts are on a similar price to what costs me to service my other car a CAMRY.

  4. Anyone with some self-respect would not be making excuses to why Toyota is better than Fusion, I say this because Toyota’s cars in the Middle East are all stripped from 90% of their safety features so that they can sell you cheap unsafe cars and you have and are falling for it for ages now because people here love money more than their life and want these cars because the resale value is good ! Otherwise there is no reason why someone would like the Camry more than the Fusion, none at all, for example Fusion offers all safety ( 8airbags and VSC on base model plus more but in Camry you get 2airbags and no VSC !!! ). I test drove both before cars and the Fusion was Quieter and more comfy than Camry even though it drives on 18 inch wheels and the Handling is amazing for a car in this segment, you can actually have fun with it. There is a reason why the Ford is available in Europe and the Toyota isn’t.

    • Maybe you need to travel to Europe then. This is Middle East, land of Toyotas, Nissan’s and Honda’s.

    • And yet most Saudis (the inhabitants of over 70% of Middle Eastern area), prefer the Yukons, Crown Vics, Expeditions, and Caprices over the Japanese SUVs…LoL!

    • Agreed..but they also buy lots of land cruiser and patrols. And at any given day, there are more Pajeros and Prados than any other SUV. 70% of Middle East population doesn’t mean all 70% can buy GMC. 30% may not even have money to buy yards! another 40% who buy may never service their vehicle , only 10 % must be the one who cares really for their cars! and those will be happy with any car! irrespective of make. Any keep praying for Ford,s success.

    • Vat to do, no? Vaat is use of airbags, we cannot get money from airbag, better to buy Toyota so we can save 20 dirham on spare parts after 4 years and then remit the 20 dirham.

  5. No, I just want to have safety in our cars, safety should not be an option, you should have all the important safety features as standard, as it is in Europe and America.

  6. they should pit this against Honda accord, Camry is no game

  7. I have had a ST220 for more than 3 years. It was a very difficult car to maintain. Safety, Ride and Handling: No Japanese sedan comes close. But Japanese cars beat Europeans and Americans when it comes to long term reliability hands-down.

    • That’s the Mark 3 which you had, which was not very well known for reliability anyway. Have you tried the ones that came just after? I have owned the Mark 3 Mondeo, and the one after that, though both these were a totally modest breed in comparison to the ST220. But the newer gen is indeed far better in terms of reliability and quality.

      Another part to the story is about sophistication and technology. The more sophisticated a car is constructed, the more superior it will be in terms of performance and features, but the more tougher it will be to maintain – and that is a universal thing regardless of brand.

  8. One must be dreaming to say a Toyota is less reliable than a Ford. In doubt, look at JD Power VDS.

    • Paid sh*t. There is virtually no count of the amount of failing cruise control incidents in Toyotas! And then there were the random brake failure issues which popped up for a brief while and then beautifully muffled up – don’t tell me its fake, because I am a victim too. Still, Toyota retains the position for best quality; and the fanboys, they are always happy coz they r never designed to think broad anyway. LOL!!

    • Well, then that the world is, not designed to think broad. I am no fanboy of Toyota or another Jap car and I do not drive one. I drive a GMC Acadia.

    • Sorry about the fanboy part, if you are not one..hehe :D..But I do believe that a ‘majority’ of the crowd who buy Toyota, buy it for 3 reasons: 1. Their father, grandfather, forefathers, and forefathers fathers, all had one; 2. Their friends, arch enemies and neighbours show off with one; or 3. The themselves had an older Toyota which never broke down or gave up, and still never did even if the new Toyota almost got them killed!

      I am not against Toyota myself; they do make nice cars. Its just that their competitors just got fiercer, even their Japanese ones. And the people who buy them usually are the ones who turn a blind eye to the other brands, and yet, go ahead and curse them without knowing or having ever owned anything other than a Toyota.

  9. Why dont u compare the mazda6 wid d fusion, mazda has a more powerful 185hp engine and is more economical in my experience and cheaper too… also unlike toyotas, they dont compromise on safety features with all around airbags, abs ebd and traction control all as standard..

    • I have owned the prev. Mazda 6 and a 2008 Ford Mondeo side by side. The Mazda 6 was insanely more costlier to maintain, the spare parts being more expensive, n the car requiring dealer service at every 5k kms.

      Talking about safety, yes, Mazda has all safety features covered. But a rigid and tough chassis, is still a far dream for the Japanese!

  10. @vivek i myself have owned all 3 generations of d mazda 6 and still do own ’09 and ’14 mazda 6 models and i hve had no complaints so far….yes dealer charges u more bt which dealer doesnt??? Dere is always an option of going to private garages to gt ur work done…. Nd for a strting price of 6950 omani rials d mazda6 is an absolute bargain in terms of safety reliability and fun to drive….i own d 2.5ltr version thou which cmes jst short of 8k

    • I test drove the Mazda6 too and the car is a good handler but I found the ride – handling balance in the fusion much better, the mazda is too loud and hard for majority of this segment’s buyers, the rear seats are tight and I’m not sure about the SkyActive engine, I find that Ford done a better job at making the Fusion more comfortable than a Camry without sacrificing its European handling, it’s all about the balance for me, that’s why BMWs are so good.

    • I never said the car was less reliable. It never gave any problems at all. But compared to the Ford, it was expensive to maintain with the dealer. Ford’s dealer gives free service & maintenance till 120k kms, covering everything except tyres, brake discs (not pads), and light bulbs. Even after the free service, Ford was still cheaper to maintain, simply because Mazda required services every 5k kms as opposed to Fords 10k. Mazda’s spares were costly too, and Ford’s were cheaper.

      Also the parts, esp the brake pads,seemed less durable. Yes, I am an aggressive driver, and I was replacing the pads on my 6 almost every 25k kms. On my Ford, the pads used to stay till 60-70k kms with the same driving style! Now thats a huge gap.

      Outside maintenance is a different story altogether, and that will be cheap for any car. Mazda’s base pricing is good, but does the base model cover all the safety features? In UAE, the Fusion starts at 84k, but it covers all the safety features with 8 airbags (including knee airbags), traction & stability control, and ABS with EBD & BA. The structural safety engineering is far better than any Japanese, which does not give up easily on impact, and yet absorbs most of the shock of the impact.

  11. Anyone ever been in a situation where you almost ended up rear ending the car in front due to some idiot who can’t drive and you had to make quick decisions? Well Alhamdulillah all the Ford’s I’ve owned have fared a lot better when such a situation arises thanks to a quick steering, great handling and a brilliant chassis. It might have given me niggles over the years but I’m alive and kicking thanks to how well these cars drive.

    And regarding the dealership warranty and the service centers. Well they replaced the engine (due to a minor oil leak that caused physical damage) of my Mondeo and charged my AED320 for it i.e. the oil they used which isn’t covered by warranty. They handled the case brilliantly and even gave me a replacement car for a month even though the contract said otherwise. Yes I do worry about the warranty running out but Insha’Allah I’ll take care of it cause nothing else seems to be falling apart.

  12. Chill out ford for life..

  13. Like, only ford is recalling!!

  14. No just to highlight, like some people mentioned about Toyota issues, Ford also has it’s own set of issues, so don,t be carried away by all those techno-hypes.

  15. My friend just got his Ford Edge from the garage yesterday, it was sitting there for almost 2 weeks for a water pipe that he couldnt even find at the dealer, frankly I was surprised with that, the Edge is so popular here and the parts are not available? he told me that he finally found one through Oman dealer and that is another surprise

  16. Done a test drive today. It is a pretty decent car.
    having leather seats and 18” alloys with low profile tyres(235/45 R18). Ride quality is very good and good handling also. AC seems to be very effective in the mid day heat!!.

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