First drive: 2015 Ford Fusion Ecoboost in the UAE
The all-new Ford Fusion debuted almost a year ago, and just as it’s catching up with the local car-buying public, Ford suddenly decided to roll in the all-new 2015 Ford Fusion Ecoboost, albeit quietly. So quietly that no one knows it’s here in the UAE. The Fusion Ecoboost had been here two years ago in its prototype stage for some extensive hot-weather testing, when we were offered an exclusive media test-drive that left Editor-in-Chief Mashfique thoroughly impressed. And the final production model that we just drove has only become better.
It was during a casual stroll into the Ford dealership that we saw the Fusion Ecoboost, and asked the dealer for a test-drive. The car we were provided with was the lower one of the two trims available in the Ecoboost range. While largely the same, the upper trim additionally gets a satnav and blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert only.
The interior and exterior features of the Fusion Ecoboost and the regular Fusion models remain identical, right from the halogen headlamps in this age of HIDs and LEDs, to the advanced industry-first inflatable rear-seat belts. The only couple of things keeping the Ecoboost versions distinct are the Ecoboost badges, and the sporty-looking dual exhaust tips. Quite noteworthy is the strong-performing a/c, which is now comparable to Japanese sedans. The interior is among the quietest in its class, with only a bit of wind noise creeping in at speeds over 120 kph, and a bit of engine noise under full throttle, although refined and muffled well enough to not be disturbing.
The regular Fusion is among the best handling cars in its segment with commendable ride comfort too, and the Ecoboost is no different, only with more oomph under the hood. Powering the Fusion Ecoboost is a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine mated to a 6-speed tiptronic transmission with paddle-shifters, and netting 240 horsepower and 366 Nm of torque. The turbo lag is minimal, and not evident during casual driving. However on full throttle, the car initially rolls off without drama, but only until the revs hit 2000 rpm and the turbo kicks in with a sudden surge of power, causing much wheel-spin. Our test car did the 0-100 kph dash in about 8 seconds during the scorching noon heat of July, with stability and traction controls left on. Leaving the electronics off should shave off a few milliseconds, while the cooler months should see significantly better results. There is good feedback from the steering and controls, and the braking performance is very linear.
The 2015 Ford Fusion Ecoboost feels like a premium car, drives like a premium car, handles great, rides comfortably, has unparalleled safety features, and with most parts and all services being free until 100,000 km, is undeniably easy on the pocket too. At the time of our visit to the Ford showroom, the car that we tested retailed at Dhs 108,000, which when coupled with the free service and maintenance contract, makes the Ford Fusion Ecoboost a lot of car for the money.