“She’s a Saturday out on the town,
and a church girl on Sunday.”
Webster defines a fusion [fyoo-zhuhn], (noun), as “the process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.”
When Lebanon Ford drove up the “metallic tuxedo black” Ford Fusion I’d be test-driving for a week, I had no idea what was so “fused” about it, or honestly why I should be so enthused about this car that fell under the Grandma category for me. So you can imagine my surprise when it rolled up, shiny and pitch black to my Oxford condo, it was enough for me to stop eating my grapefruit and to look away (only for a second, but still) from Oprah’s special on the season’s hottest ankle boots.
After a quick orientation with the car—the sheer amount of buttons for various functions needs a good hour, not five minutes—it was already worked into my life. I sped off to physical therapy for a session after a recent back surgery, but didn’t expect the reaction I had when I pulled up. The floor to ceiling windows in the office means the therapists there always know who just pulled up, and what they pulled up in. So the Ford Fusion was a major improvement from my usual arrival in my 1995 Toyota Camry, which has a little situation called the seats fly back when you sit down and the shocks are pretty much nonexistent. So when I drove up to therapy, people noticed—as they did throughout my week.
“What car are you driving first, Alex?” –The Ford Fusion.
“Ohhh, do you like it?” –Well, it seems a little old for me.
“Old? Are you crazy? That’s a nice car. What is it, a 6 cylinder?” –I have no idea it just pulled up in my driveway.
I may not know if it’s a six cylinder, what the engine’s like, blah blah blah, but I can sure tell you that when I hopped back in my new ride after back therapy, it was like settling into your favorite recliner, mixed with the most supportive desk chair around. And that’s a fusion I can feel good about.
I decided that even though I wasn’t convinced yet that the Fusion is a 22 year old’s car, I was definitely convinced that it is for someone who needs to drive. Commuters, businesses people, deliverers, whatever. I secretly took the long way during my week with the Fusion, did an extra lap around the neighborhood, and jumped up first to go pick up the take out Chinese. It’s a car you just want to be in.
The chaos of the Fusion’s arrival in the middle of a busy workweek settled, and it was finally time to really get to know what she had to offer. Justin (my boyfriend, who can really appreciate the technical aspects I seem to overlook) had been looking forward to this like he does a huge pile of chicken wings. We jumped in, armed with our handheld video camera (see our Getting to know the Fusion video). He settled into the seat and, as he does in any car, immediately slid the seat back as far as it would go. At six foot five inches, this is his test of roominess, and to say the Fusion passed that test would be a sore understatement. He started to slide back, and slid. And slid. Finally when I decided he looked like he was in the backseat, and I had to look back to talk to him, it stopped. More surprisingly, this still left a significant amount of foot room in the backseat as well. The Fusion is tall-people friendly, we concluded.
Roominess was not the only comfort factor. Ride around with any guy, and you are usually freezing in your own car. Not the only typical car ride fight. There’s the GPS telling us to turn where there is no road. There’s the search to find a ringing phone, turn off the radio, and roll up the windows before the phone stops ringing in my black hole of a purse. And the worst, there is backseat driving from whichever partner is not driving. So one less fight is worth more than those Fusion-makers knew. Enter the dual controlled heating system. My half of the car can be 85 degrees while his is still a frigid 60 degrees. Now only if they could invent separate knobs to control where that heat comes out! Until then, Justin will just have to deal—feet heat is best.
The only time I didn’t feel comfortable was getting used to the larger blind spot in the Fusion. The higher back means a sporty-hot look, but the flip side is that you really end up using your side mirrors more than the rearview mirror to see over the high back. After a few scary merging experiences, you learn to physically look back more often to double check that sporty back isn’t hiding any cars from you.
After a few close friends got in the Fusion to take a little test drive, a heated discussion ensued (see Mike and Jess argument) about the demographic the Fusion is meant for. Is it perfect for a teenager looking for a first car? A young professional? A retired senior looking for a leisurely ride? Listening to them argue, the Brad Paisley line sang through my head. A “Saturday out on the town,” a “church girl on Sunday.” Although he was talking about the love of his life, the Fusion matches the description perfectly. They were arguing because the car really would work for all of those demographics.
I felt luxurious getting into the car in my red velvet high heels for a party night “on the town.” On the other hand, the car is perfect for taking my grandparents to church “on Sunday”, to lunch, or anywhere else. It reminded me of the endless womens magazine articles that give the best “day to night” outfits. The Fusion is the sturdy pair of black pants that becomes an eye turning outfit when the interior lights come on, illuminating the cup holders and the floorboards with a variety of changeable colors. It has ambiance. The “Sync” functions allow you to set up your cell phone to talk to clients during a long commute. But after work, your iPod sync function becomes more important for driving some friends to cocktail hour.
The last day with the Fusion came as the weekend rolled around and everyone was ready for a little relaxation. Justin, in an awesome moment of spontaneity, proposed an impromptu trip to Easton shopping mall in Columbus. It was a 65-degree day, and with the sunroof down it was easy enough to pretend we were on a beachside drive—in the middle of Ohio farm fields. The illusion worked until we got stuck behind a massive truck of hay bails, and the only sun beams I was receiving were literally pieces of hay in my lap. And hair.
As we pulled in to Easton, I noticed all the male shoppers turning their heads, mouths dropped. I followed their stares, half-expecting to see a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Instead, a burnt-orange Lamborghini Murcielago had pulled up to the mall. Minutes later we also saw an Aston Martin something something. Regardless, I felt substantially better about driving past these two “beauties” in the Fusion than in my old white clunker. So, for the comfortable price of $25, 590, you too can fake some major style until you can buy an Aston—well until later.
And speaking of fight prevention, when the new Gloriana song came on during the final two minutes of the Villanova vs. Robert Morris game, Sirius radio came to the rescue. The Fusion’s display screen showed Justin the score of the game while we flipped channels to the song I wanted to hear. We barely had to stop on the game channel. Conclusion: the Fusion is tall people, relationship, and country music fan-friendly.
At the end of the week, I had concluded that the Fusion was not only the opposite of an old granny car, but that it truly was a fusion of comfort and sexiness. It was hard to watch its tuxedo-black, sporty-high be-hind drive away to the next black tie dinner party. But the cinnamon red Ford Edge was right around the corner…literally.
Read more articles on our Cincinnati Ford Dealer blog.