Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Ford Fusion performance options include petrol and diesel engines.

Petrol engines

There are two petrol engines available in the Fusion - a 1.4-litre and a 1.6-litre, both of which are quiet and smooth enough at lower revs but lose their composure when asked to work harder, such as ascending a steeper section of motorway or country hill. Of course, the Fusion is hardly bought for its performance capabilities and can be a little slow away from the lights, but there is sufficient power available at higher revs to allow it to happily keep up with motorway traffic. All models come with a positive shifting five-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the 1.6-litre engine is available with a four-speed Durashift manual. The 1.4-litre petrol is available with the Durashift EST gearbox - a clutchless manual system that retains most of the control of a manual gearbox but only requires a push or pull on the gear selector to change gear.

Diesel engines

The smaller diesel is a 1.4 TDCI unit which takes a leisurely 16.3 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill and feels very sluggish. The 1.6 TDCi is far better for everyday driving as it offers more in-gear punch than either petrol. However, both diesels are noisy and feel outdated when compared with the latest units in competitor models, though the 1.6’s 61.0mpg and 122g/km carbon dioxide emissions do not punish your wallet.

Parkers recommends

The 1.6-litre petrol engine is the best of the bunch in the Fusion as it delivers reasonable performance, economy and refinement. We’d stick with the standard manual gearbox rather than the four-speed Durashift as it’s cheaper and the manual ’box is light and crisp to use. However, 42.0mpg and 158g/km CO2 emissions are a mark of this model’s impeding dotage.

As it's based on the excellent Fiesta, the Fusion is very similar to drive with safe and predictable handling. It does however feel more top heavy and isn't as nimble on twisting roads. Body roll is just about kept in check and is only noticeable when pushed through corners a little harder than most Fusion owners are likely to experience. All round visibility is excellent and thanks to a tight turning circle the Fusion is a doddle to park and manoeuvre in and out of tight spots.