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My views of the 2012 Ford Fusion SEL + Davis Moore Nissan, Wichita

Last weekend, the wife and I bought a used 2012 Ford Fusion SEL from Davis Moore Nissan, E Kellogg Ave in Wichita. I will write about the dealer later, for now I am going to write about the car.

I’ll start with the specs; 3.0L V6, 24v AWD powertrain, 6 speed auto/SST, 240BHP using standard unleaded fuel, four wheel disc brakes with ABS, electric power steering, electric windows, mirrors, front seats, sunroof, satellite navigation, premium Sony sound system with nine speakers.

2012 Ford Fusion SEL

I probably am not the best person to compare the cars handling characteristics as I have spent the last 3 1/2 years driving a Crossover/SUV; but the handling is sharp and responsive with the minimum of body roll; traveling through 40mph turns comfortably at 65-70mph. Although the steering does have a slightly disconnected feel through it’s electric power steering after coming from a hydraulic power steering system on the Saturn. The throttle is nicely weighted, not too heavy or too light and acceleration is swift as far as saloon (sedan) cars go; it’ll hit 60mph in about seven seconds and launches well. If I do have a complaint; it’s that the Fusion does suffer from quite bad torque steer. The brakes are very powerful with it’s all round disc brakes with ABS, although the brakes can be a little grabby at speeds lower than 10mph.

The gearbox is smooth; shifts nicely through the gears in auto mode, shifting into top gear at 43mph; but I do wish that sixth gear was a little longer; to bring the revs down at highway speeds for better fuel economy. While traveling at 70mph, the revs will hit 2500rpm, my 2006 Saturn Vue V6 sits at about 2000rpm at the same speeds. The SST (selectable Shift Transmission) is pointless, it’s too restrictive; it’ll shift down automatically and won’t let you shift up until you reach a predetermined speed. It feels more like a gimmick for drivers who have never driven a full manual than a meaningful manual mode.

Fuel economy is pretty good for a 3.0L 24v V6; the 16.5 gallon fuel tank will take you approximately 370 miles and in my testing, in the city I get about 22.5mpg and on the highway I get about 29.5mpg, which is about 4 mpg more than the specifications and I am not the most subtle of driver.

Inside it’s a very pleasant place to be; leather seats, two-tone interior, faux wood accents and a premium entertainment system including Microsoft’s Sync with voice control; which doesn’t work well for me; but I guess my English accent confuses the system. The Fusion features a touchscreen display with navigation which isn’t the best; far too many options in my view, but it does work relatively well once you figure out how it works. The downside is that map updates cost $199 + tax each and the display is mounted too low in the car, forcing you to look away from the road to check the nav, it would have been better placed where the storage space is on top of the dashboard, but that really is just a minor quibble.

The sound system features Sony Premium audio with eleven speakers which allows playback of CD/DVD (with video when in park), mp3 and Bluetooth audio with ripping of CD’s to the internal 10GB drive. While inside the center console storage, you will find USB connectivity and a 3.5mm line input. Sound quality is very good, good bass response and great clarity thanks to medium drivers in the doors and large drivers rear parcel shelf with separate tweeters in the corner of the A frame.

2012 Ford Fusion SEL Interior

The Fusion SEL also has automatic climate control; you set your desired temperature and leave it to turn on the heat/air and required fan speed to maintain your desired temperature, which works fantastically well and it a nice change for me personally, I never thought that I would own a car with automatic climate control as that was the realm of the expensive luxury cars like Lexus, BMW etc.

Trunk space is more than adequate; you can easily fit an average load of groceries in the trunk; rear leg room is great even with the driver seat in my driving position and the inside the car is illuminated by any one of seven colour LED’s with illuminated storage spaces and the dashboard is very futuristic with it’s blue electronic backlight, I truly love the look and feel of the interior!

Now moving onto Davis Moore Nissan in Wichita; first of all, we were just talking to the salesman about credit to buy a car. I asked what an average payment for the car would be; which led to him running my credit 18 times, knocking 19 points off my credit score, despite me specifically saying I didn’t want any hard enquiries on my credit. Then after getting the car home and cleaning it; I discovered a number of dings on the front bumper, cracked upper grill and the lower grill was loose. The car was being used as a shuttle for customers and was filthy on the exterior. I take the car back to the car dealer and say that there as a few body issues with car and he swore up and down that there was no damage on the car when we took possession; I know that I hadn’t dinged the car since owning it, I think I would have remembered!

The moral or the story, if you’re going put $20,000 on a car, make sure you examine every part of the car before signing anything; it appears that these dealers will lie through their teeth to make the sale and avoid further fees on their part; I won’t be returning to Davis Moore for my next car!

Six Month Update: After six months I am still happy with the Fusion. However there are some little niggles such as only having one stalk on the steering column, I would have preferred one on each side so everything is not so cluttered. Of particular annoyance is the high beam being operated by pushing the stalk forward; often accidentally turning on high beam when using my turn signals. Build quality is a little suspect; every now and again, the front bumper clip near the right headlight will detach especially when driving on rough roads and I have to pop it back in. Finally when getting the car serviced, I found out it’s actually front wheel drive and not all wheel drive as sold to me by Davis Moore, so they lied to us again.

2 thoughts on “My views of the 2012 Ford Fusion SEL + Davis Moore Nissan, Wichita

  • James Millard commented on March 18, 2014 at 06:19

    If someone was to ask me years ago, “if Jason was going to spend about £12k (Today around $20k) on a car, which manufacturer would he least likely spend his money.” I would without hesitation have said Ford. I just did not have you down as a Ford man. Actually maybe I would have said Renault, with Ford a close second.

    Of course a lot has changed since then on both sides of the Atlantic, mostly amazingly good things, the only bad thing is you and your family are living in the US. But I just got to know why you and Erin chose this vehicle and what your other options were.

  • I like Fords, especially the new 2008-2015 models; I have liked the Fusion for some time; but the one we bought comes fully loaded with all the optional extras. The equivalent Japanese cars were much more expensive and what we would have got in a Toyota, Nissan or Honda for the same price was lacking! I’ve never wanted a Renault and they are not on sale here in the USA, I don’t really like French cars; nothing really wrong with them, just not for me.

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