October 5, 2011

Review: Ford Fusion / Ford Mondeo

When CelloMom helped her dad look for a new car, we came across the European Ford Fusion, a cute and versatile mini-MPV just 4m long. It turns out the US Ford Fusion is a different beast altogether: it is a "mid-size" car, most closely related to the Ford Mondeo; in Europe the latter is labeled a "large family car". Go figure.

After befuddling herself for a while over the nomenclature, CelloMom has decided to stick to her own size indication: length of the car only. No matter what anyone chooses to call it. After all, a name is just a name. A length is a measurement. US Ford Fusion (pictured below): 4.84m; European Ford Mondeo (pictured left): 4.78m. Simple.

So then, about the Ford Fusion: In the US it replaced the Ford Taurus (which has surreptitiously grown into the "full-size" class), and in Latin America it has replaced the Ford Mondeo, which has also been very popular in Europe. Don't ask CelloMom to describe the differences in the body: they both look like large sedans to her. The grilles are slightly different; the Mondeo has some extra LED lighting up front. The Fusion is a bit heavier, and probably has cushier seating.

Under the hood are the differences that matter to CelloMom. The Fusion (US) comes with a choice of 2.5L, 3.0L and 3.5L gasoline engines, all of the Duratec variety (and the 3.5L of the egg-breaking variety), with combined cty/hwy mileage of 26, 23 and 21 mpg respectively. There is also a hybrid version, which gets 39mpg combined cty/hwy mileage. The Mondeo comes with 1.6L and 2.0L gasoline engines, and 1.6Lm 2.0L and 2.2L diesel engines. As with many other cars, the European versions come with smaller engines than the American versions, with no overlap in the ranges of engine volume.

The table shows a comparison of the Fusion 2.5L, the Fusion Hybrid, and the Mondeo 1.6L diesel with start/stop technology. All of these versions are new enough that there is no data yet on actual fuel economy, but comparing to similarly sized engines made by Ford, CelloMom estimates that the Fusion 2.5L gets around 27-28mpg, the Fusion Hybrid about 41-43mpg, and the Mondeo 1.6L diesel close to 50mpg. That is really more than decent in a car this size. Allright, it's excellent.

To get a feeling for how much this car would cost if sold in the US, remember that diesel versions of the same trim tend to be more expensive; the "Edge" trim level with 2.0L gasoline engine starts at £18,295. CelloMom's rough estimate for the 1.6L diesel version would be in the $20,000 - 22,000 range, in any case well below the MSRP for the Fusion Hybrid, which would make the total cost of ownership for the Mondeo 1.6L diesel significantly lower than for the Fusion Hybrid. This is quite apart from having (slighly) lower carbon emissions.

For CelloMom personally, frankly this car is too large. It's one of many cars in which, when the front door has swung open completely, CelloMom finds she has to climb out again to catch the door handle: her arms are simply too short. CelloDad would have no problem, but the priority should really go to the arm that does most of the driving, in this case CelloMom's.


Ford Fusion / Ford Mondeo

Fusion Fusion Hybrid Mondeo
Type 2.5L Duratec Hybrid 1.6 DV6 TDCi
Start/Stop 5-door "Edge"
Year 2012 2012 2012
Emissions rating
MSRP $ 19,645 $ 29,395 £ 19,895 ($30,800)
CelloMom Rating
Fuel Economy:
City/Hwy quoted 22 / 32 41 / 36
Avg. quoted 25 39 55 mpgUS
Avg. actual
Engine 2.5L 16V 4-cyl 2.5L Atkinson
I-4 Hybrid
1.6L DV6 TDCi Start/Stop
Power 175 HP @ 6000 156HP @ 6000 115 HP
Gears 6-spd manual e-CVT (auto) 6-spd manual
Fuel Reg. unleaded Reg. unleaded Euro unleaded
Length, mm(in) 190.6in (4.84m)

190.6 in

Width, mm(in) 80.1 in (2.16m) 80.1 in 2092mm
Height, mm(in) 56.9 in (1.45m) 56.9 in 1500mm
Weight, kg(lbs) (3720) 1435 (3164)
Trunk volume, liters(cuft) 16.5cuft (467L) 11.8cuft (334L) 540 / 1560 L
Turning radius, m(ft) 37.5ft (11.4m) 11.6m
Top speed, kph(mph)

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