Best & Worst Ford Fusion Years

We've ranked each Ford Fusion model for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Ford Fusion years and pick the best one.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Ford Fusion generations, highlighting Ford Fusion’s best years to buy and the worst Ford Fusion years to avoid.

Harnessing extensive data from varied sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and VehicleHistory, I’ll provide facts with user reviews and a thorough assessment of each model year’s performance, reliability, and overall satisfaction.

Expect to know the most reliable Ford Fusion years and those with severe transmission and power steering issues.

Let’s dive right in.

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Table of ContentsShow

Ford Fusion Generations

The Ford Fusion first entered the automotive market in the 2006 model year, encapsulating a blend of style and functionality that was quite innovative at the time.

Below is a table summarizing the distinct generations of the Ford Fusion between 2006 and 2020.

GenerationYears
1st generation (CD3)2006-2012
2nd generation (CD4)2013-2020

Generational changes, often in style, technology, and mechanical enhancements, potentially determine the finest and poorest Ford Fusion years within the model’s production history.

Ford Fusion Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In our thorough examination and subsequent rankings and categorizations of Ford Fusion’s best and worst years, we diligently consider many factors:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

Now, glance at the graph below, presenting a synthesized view derived from all the above-listed sources.

Ford Fusion Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

In the following table, we’ve categorized each model year of the Ford Fusion into best, neutral, and worst years based on our extensive analysis.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (CD3)2008
2009
2006
2007
2010
2011
2012
2nd generation (CD4)2017
2018
2019
2020
2015
2016
2013
2014

Neutral years denote models that did not exceptionally outshine aspects like reliability and customer satisfaction nor exhibited substantial shortcomings or problems.

Some factors, like higher counts of NHTSA recalls and complaints, would adversely impact our reliability assessments for the respective year.

Let’s dive into the Ford Fusion’s best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Ford Fusion 1st Generation (2006-2012)

Ford Fusion 1st generation 2006 model
The 2006 Ford Fusion

With its entrance into the automotive scene in 2006, the Ford Fusion quickly became a notable contender in the midsize sedan segment.

Post-facelift years of the generation – 2010-2012 are the Ford Fusion years you should avoid, while 2008 and 2009 are the first-gen Ford Fusion’s best years.

The Best Years: 2008, 2009

2008 and 2009 – the last year pre-facelift years of the first generation were Ford Fusion’s best years in terms of overall user experience and reported issues on NHTSA.

Regarding powertrain options, the 2008 Ford Fusion was offered with a 2.3L Duratec 23 inline-4 engine producing 160 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque with a fuel efficiency of 20 city / 29 highway mpg or an upgraded 3.0L Duratec 30 V6 engine providing 221 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque, tethered to a six-speed automatic transmission.

On the other hand, the 2009 Ford Fusion brought along a sporty V6 AWD variant and a hybrid model debuted, catering to a spectrum of consumer preferences.

Technological advancements were significant, such as the addition of the Ford SYNC infotainment system.

These years also witnessed the implementation of additional safety features, such as the inclusion of anti-lock brakes and stability control in some trim levels.

The Neutral Years: 2006, 2007

Navigating through 2006 and 2007, the Ford Fusion earned a reputation for being a solid and reliable vehicle despite a few obstacles.

The 2006 Ford Fusion was introduced with two engine options: a 2.3L four-cylinder engine providing 160 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque and a 3.0L V6 engine generating 221 hp and 205 lb-ft of torque.

The 2006 model offered an appreciable 20 city / 28 highway mpg fuel efficiency, available in three trims- S, SE, and SEL- and with a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Nevertheless, it was afflicted by issues related to the electrical system, airbags, and transmission, particularly concerning the massive “Takata” airbag recall.

The 2007 Ford Fusion, while enjoying praise for its smooth ride and stable handling, similarly struggled with issues like reduced braking performance attributed to problems with the ABS valve, prompting a recall.

The Worst Years: 2010, 2011, 2012

With a tremendous number of NHTSA complaints, 2010, 2011, and 2012 are the worst Ford Fusion years to “avoid like the plague.”

The 2010 Ford Fusion was touted as the most problematic year and witnessed an influx of nearly 5,000 complaints across various domains, including steering, transmission, and engine.

Owners mainly complained about the unexpected power steering assist loss, transmission glitches, and reduced braking performance due to ABS malfunctions.

Additionally, recalls were triggered due to prevalent issues such as a fuel leak from a cracked fuel tank and ABS valve defects, diminishing braking performance.

A class-action lawsuit focused on Electronic Throttle Body malfunctions was also propelled into the limelight.

Are the 2011 and 2012 Ford Fusion good cars? Not. The shadows of these problems loomed into the 2011 and 2012 Ford Fusion models.

Persistent issues and recalls, notably concerning power steering issues in vehicles devoid of the 3.5L engines, cast these years into the spotlight for being the most problematic in Ford Fusion’s first generation.

See NHTSA 2010, 2011, 2012 Ford Fusion recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Ford Fusion 2nd Generation (2013-2020)

Ford Fusion 2nd generation 2013 model
The 2013 Ford Fusion

The second generation of Ford Fusion, from 2013 to 2020, carried the torch from its predecessor, introducing innovative features and a new design.

Post-facelift years of the generation – 2017-2020 are Ford Fusion’s best and most reliable years to buy. 2013 and 2014 are the Ford Fusion years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

The top used Ford Fusion years to buy are unquestionably 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, with excellent VehicleHistory and Cars.com ratings and significantly fewer complaints and recalls on NHTSA.

Diverse powertrain options included a 2.5L Duratec 4-cylinder engine, a 1.5L EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and even a V6 Sport engine, catering to a spectrum of performance preferences.

The V6, a 2.7L turbocharged engine, offered a robust 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, providing an exhilarating driving experience. For the 1.5l model, Consumer Reports indicated the fuel efficiency at 16 city / 34 highway mpg.

Furthermore, various hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants were introduced, nodding towards an eco-friendlier drive with the Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid.

The introduction of advanced driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist, significantly enhanced safety and convenience.

The model years also marked a stark improvement in the SYNC 3 infotainment system.

The Neutral Years: 2015, 2016

Navigating through 2015 and 2016, the Ford Fusion upheld its position in the midsize sedan segment, albeit with tempered enthusiasm.

While reliability and owner satisfaction retained a steady graph, issues such as brake fluid leaks and steering problems overshadow its performance credibility.

The 2015 Ford Fusion brought forth a new recall concerning brake light malfunctions while maintaining its general reliability in other domains.

Additionally, the 2016 Ford Fusion experienced a few echoes from prior years, like some steering problems.

However, it manifested a relatively stable performance, securing its place in the neutral category, neither particularly outstanding nor critically problematic.

The Worst Years: 2013, 2014

With many NHTSA recalls concerning various domains and some persistent issues from the worst years of the first generation, 2013 and 2014 are the Ford Fusion years you should avoid at all costs.

Is 2013 good for the Ford Fusion? Not. The 2013 Ford Fusion was mired with coolant leaks, overheating, transmission issues including slipping and erratic shifting, and dangerous power steering assist losses.

A substantial number of recalls encompassed concerns over oil leaks from cracked engine cylinder heads, coolant fluid leaks, overheating in 1.6L engines, fuel leaks from compromised fuel delivery modules, malfunctioning door latches, unintentional rollaway due to detached shift cables, and front brake hose cracks leading to brake fluid leaks.

These issues perpetuated into the 2014 Ford Fusion and were even observable in some 2015 and 2016 models.

Consequently, these initial years of the second-generation Ford Fusion have been primarily characterized as problematic, citing them as potentially best avoided by prospective buyers.

See NHTSA 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Ford Fusion recalls and complaints.

Ford Fusion Average Resale Values

Explore the journey of Ford Fusion’s average resale values through the years, highlighting noteworthy fluctuations in the market.

Ford Fusion Average List Price

Conclusion

After going through all of the Ford Fusion’s years, I recommend the 2017-2020 models as they are Ford Fusion’s best years to buy, marrying performance, reliability, and advanced features in a compelling package.

Did you have any experience with one of the best or worst Ford Fusion years listed in our guide?

Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.