The finalized fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Ford Fusion’s turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder have been released and can be seen at the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website. Joe Bakaj, Ford’s vice president of powertrain engineering, said about five months ago that the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost is expected to offer the same power as the 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, while offering better fuel economy.
Several weeks later, Ford released details about the Fusion-grade EcoBoost 1.5, which has a rating of 178 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t much different from the output of the EcoBoost 1.6L of 178 hp and 184 lb-ft. Sad to say, Ford failed to deliver its second promise on the 2014 Ford Fusion with the 1.5L EcoBoost.
The EPA said that a front-wheel drive 2014 Fusion SE powered by the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost and a six-speed automatic offers 23 mpg on the agency’s city test cycle, and 36 mpg on the highway. That 23/36 rating is capable of meeting but not surpassing the rating for the comparably-equipped 2013 Fusion that uses the 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4.
The only case that the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost isn’t better than a 2013 Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost is when the 1.6-liter was bundled with an optional engine start/stop system. The option, which costs $295, raised the 1.6-liter’s EPA ratings up to 24/37 mpg city/highway.
All 2014 Ford Fusion SE models that have the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost have start/stop; however, EPA figures for an engine that has this system haven’t been announced yet.
In a previous report, we learned that the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost, which is very similar to Ford’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, was initially launched so that the company can comply with tax requirements in other markets, specifically in China.
The 1.5-liter is meant to function as the Fusion’s volume engine, but it won’t instantly replace the 1.6-liter in the U.S. Fusion lineup. Those who order a 2014 Fusion SE with a six-speed manual transmission will be pleased to know that it comes with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost.
Chris Hamilton, chief exterior designer for the next-generation Fusion, called the previous model as an easy purchasing decision for customers. He remarked that for the next-gen of the Fusion, the design team aimed to provide customers with a top-drawer visual experience. This means that an already sensible vehicle has now become more emotionally appealing.
The design team for the new Fusion was guided by five key elements as they pen the exterior styling of this new car. First of these elements is silhouette innovation, which ultimately gave the Fusion a sleek profile that stands out from "three-box" designs (powertrain/cabin/trunk) typically associated with midsize sedans. Second element is perceived efficiency, which resulted to the addition of character lines sweeping to the rear and thin roof pillars.
Third element is refined surface language, which led designers to provide the Fusion with a well-executed design sans any further decorations. Technical graphics were also considered, prompting the team to give the Fusion several functional design elements such as headlamps and LED rear lamps, as well as polished exhaust tips. Designers also considered endowing the Fusion with a new face as the fifth element, thereby allowing this new car to usher in a new evolution of Ford’s global design language for midsize and smaller cars.
Meanwhile, the interior of the new Fusion is designed to be sporty yet driver-oriented. Likewise, the interior of the new Fusion features next-generation seating that boasts of expanded functionality. This driver-oriented cabin is supported by the fact that it offers a higher center console with clever storage. Moreover, the cabin is now more spacious; thanks to the fact that the instrument panel has been moved towards the windshield. The car’s next-generation seats -- trimmed with fabric employing recycled sustainable yarns -- are supported by thinner, lighter frames.
With these design details, Ford is able to deliver on its promise to provide high visual quality, improved materials, and higher levels of craftsmanship.