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Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan: Tell Ford What You Want!

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
What suggestions would you make to Ford for a better Fusion/Milan?

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Comments

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    is really a very good engine. This ending was developed by Mazda. Its reliability/HP/Torque/refinement are very good. I can see Ford boosting the HP from this engine to 170-180 in the coming years. Wouldn't be too hard to do either and very little cost to Ford. Are you listening Ford??
  • In the MazdaSpeed 6, that engine cranks out 274 HP, thanks to a turbo and direct injection. It is also EPA-rated at 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, not bad for a hot rod sedan.

    It would be really great if Ford would offer a performance model of the Fusion with this engine and the 6-speed manual transaxle from the Mazda.

    There's good reason for Ford to do it, since it doesn't appear to be in any hurry to put the 3.5 liter V6 in the Fusion or to offer a manual transmission with any V6 in the model. The Fusion is the model Ford chose to associate with its NASCAR racing effort, so it really has to do something to support that performance image on the street.

    Pimped rides and Roush "appearance packages" aren't enough. There has to be some serious "go" somewhere in the equation.

    Is anyone in Dearborn reading this forum?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You want performance? Ford has it: Mustang, with some of the performance versions coming out, you can get all you want and in a rear wheel drive platform that can handle it better. Does a midsize sedan really need a performance version?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,797
    Does a midsize sedan really need a performance version?

    Only when you want to put Mustang owners in their place. ;)

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    Certain ford performance vehicles in Europe (Focus ST, S-Max) seem to use the 2.5T from the Volvo parts bin, which produces comparable numbers to the Mazda engine...
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Does a midsize sedan really need a performance version?

    If Ford wants to sell more cars, then yes.

    I bet a lot of potential buyers are like me. They want a car that's fun to drive, with a firmer ride, tighter steering, and better braking. A sedan that doesn't ride like a boat or fall over on itself in a tight curve. These people also have a family, or carry items for a business. In other words, they NEED a four-door, because kids, potential clients, even their boss doesn't want to climb into the back seat of a two-door. Folding rear seats are nice to have as well.

    The ideal solution is to have two cars, obviously. But most people (like me) can't afford two cars, or don't have the room. Hence the "performance" sedan...

    Granted, they won't out-handle or accelerate faster than a Porsche 911, but they allow a driver to feel more connected to the road, making the drive more enjoyable. They're not as big as an SUV or minivan, but they do have a real back seat and four doors. In essence, it's the Jack of all trades, but master of none.

    These sedans are rare, and due to the (unfounded) popularity of the Camry (which rides like a Buick and plows through highway off-ramps worse than a bus), other automakers are abandoning them to sell more "vanilla" sedans. Look at the '07 Maxima for example. Nissan decided to DROP the 6-speed manual transmission completely from it's flagship sedan, a decision that they'll soon regret I bet...

    Ford has the opportunity of stepping up and marketing a "performance" sedan, with the 3.5L or the turbo-4 from the MS6, a genuine 6-speed manual (as an option to replace the pathetic "manu-matic" slushbox or CVT that's now being peddled these days), a firmer suspension, more agressive looks (without the boy-racer airplane wing on the trunk), at a price that undercuts BMW, Audi and Acura.

    I know it'd make my short list, and a lot of others as well.
  • Does a midsize sedan really need a performance version?

    The Fusion does.

    1. As I mentioned, the Fords in NASCAR's Busch and Nextel Cup series all have "FUSION" painted in bigt letters on their noses. This racing effort needs to be backed up by serious street cred.

    2. The Fusion has such good handling that it begs for more power or at least a manual transaxle to compliment it. Then it will be a true "driver's car."

    3. Midsize sedans are the most competitve class of cars on the market. For Ford to win this segment, the Fusion has to offer equal or better performance than the best runners in the class. The Altima 3.5, Legacy 2.5 GT and Passat 2.0T are all performance-oriented. And the Pontiac G6 and even the Accord V6 at least offer potential drivers the choice of shifting for themselves.

    4. For a young couple with small children who can only afford one vehicle, a Mustang just isn't practical. For those who fit this description and desire a car which rewards its driver, the "sports sedan" is their answer. I can remember when the only sports sedans came from Europe and were limited to the Alfa Romeo Berlinetta and the BMW Bavaria.
  • mf15mf15 Posts: 158
    I too would love to see the 3.5 in the Fusion with AWD all for about 22500 street price. Otherwise by next year when I am out of my Jeep GC lease the 07 Altima looks good, but no AWD. I suppose I can live without AWD since we also have an AWD 05 Escape but I like AWD.
    Why cars cost so much today, I think the American people have succumbed to what is taught in marketing 101.
    Old Mike
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I bet a lot of potential buyers are like me.

    I guess not...you point out yourself the popularity of the camry. If there were a lot of buyers looking for what you are, I don't think Camry would be #1.

    I doubt Nissan will regret dropping the manual transmission on Maxima. Instead I think it's more likely that Mazda regrets not having an automatic available for the Mazdaspeed6.
  • "...I think it's more likely that Mazda regrets not having an automatic available for the Mazdaspeed6."

    Hardly. Mazda designed the Speed 6 for a niche market of demanding drivers. As Car and Driver said "The Mazdaspeed 6 comes only in sedan form, with a base price of $28,555 and a six-speed stick. No wagons, no wussy automatics." :)
  • pdxtauruspdxtaurus Posts: 16
    "Ford has the opportunity of stepping up and marketing a "performance" sedan"

    I wonder if they would be reluctant to do so so as not to step on Mazda's zoom-zoom toes.

    Remember, they did this before (performance FWD sedan) with the Taurus SHO. Not saying it's not a good idea, just that the market may not justify the effort.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    How many Speed6 models is car and driver going to buy? There are 54 of them on dealer lots within 50 miles of me, according to mazdausa.com inventory search. There are 133 Mazda6 sedans in that same radius. This seems like a pretty big niche, if the speed6 is expected to be nearly 1/3 of the total sedan sales...or could it be that they are not selling and have accumulated on the dealer lots???
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,538
    My guess it's the latter. It's noth that easy to sell any $30K+ car, but if most of your offerings are in teens and low 20s, it's even harder.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • The staff of Car and Driver are not the only folks who have given the Mazdaspeed 6 rave reviews. I seems to recall that the Mazdaspeed 6 won a comparison test against the Subaru Legacy GT spec.B right here on Inside Line. Autoweek said of the Speed 6, "... among the vast swath of Camry/Accord/Fusion/Five Hundred/Malibu/etc. cars that make up the midsize sedan market in America, this is the one to choose if you need a practical four-door but can still recognize a proper apex when you see one."

    In the first quarter of 2006, Mazda sales were up 5% over a year ago. What's more, Mazda, after years of losses, is running in the black. In the year ended March 31, consolidated profits were a record $568 million. It seems that "zoom zoom" sells cars.

    The Mazdaspeed 6 hasn't even been on the U.S. market for a full year yet. The first units came here in November. Only 5,000 units of the model per year are allocated to ship to the States, keeping sales volume relatively low. Mazda has hardly even begun to market this model yet, and were it not for reviews in a few magazines and on a few websites, I would have never heard of it.

    I don't know what you have against performance sedans, but the performance image certainly hasn't hurt BMW or Audi any. Likewise, Subaru has benefitted from its participation in World Rally Cup competition, and Ford's NASCAR effort makes the Fusion conspicuous for the lack of a sporting version. There's an old saying among the manufacturers about racing - "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday."

    Pontiac sees fit to offer a 4-door G6 GTP sedan with a 3.0 liter HO V6 with 240 HP and a 6-speed manual. VW dealers have the Passat 2.0T with a 200 HP Turbo Four and a 6-speed stick to sell. Even conservative Honda makes the Accord 4-door sedan available with a 244 HP V6 and a 6-speed manual box. Even the plain old Mazda 6 can be purchased with a manual transaxle mated to the 3.0 V6.

    All I want Ford to do is to give is to give me a choice, like Subaru, Pontiac and Honda do. I would really rather buy a Fusion, but if Ford doesn't offer a performance option for me and others like me, we will wind up taking our business to the competition.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    There's an old saying among the manufacturers about racing - "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday."

    You forgot the biggie which is the Monte Carlo SS. GM was wise to drop that V8 in there and spruce up the exterior (not that I like the ugly beast myself). I see them around here all the time with #24, #3, #8, etc. stickers in the windows and framing the plates. Those guys don't care that the torque steer will rip your arms off, all they want to do is be like their Sunday heroes. Ford NEEDS to tap that market especially since Toyota will be racing the Camry next year. :sick:

    Mind you, this is not a NASCAR town either. Sure we have our fair share of fans, myself included, but a certain NFL team always takes precedence.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The Mazdaspeed 6 hasn't even been on the U.S. market for a full year yet. The first units came here in November. Only 5,000 units of the model per year are allocated to ship to the States, keeping sales volume relatively low.

    This seems to indicate they are not selling even at the anticipated low volume rate. Total Mazda 6 sales ytd are nearly 40,000 units. For a full year projection might be 70,000 to 80,000, based on ytd number. This would put the speed 6 at about 6% of total volume...yet in my 50 mile radius they represent 30% of current inventory. Sure seems to indicate that the car is not selling.

    I don't know how much of a factor the manual transmission being the only choice is. But, few americans want a manual transmission, not sure what Mazda was thinking in not making an automatic available here :confuse: . I'd be surprised if Ford made any car with manual only. Having a choice of manual trans is much different than having only manual available.

    If Ford did the opposite of Mazda and made a particular version of the Fusion (or even all Fusions) with automatic only, they really would not lose many sales in the US. I am not saying that I think they should do that, just that having a manual trans available is not an issue for probably 99.44% of Americans.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Even BMW doesn't sell that many manuals (IIRC it's less than 20%) and all their cars are touted as sports sedans. Even Corvettes are 65% automatic now. The majority of Americans just don't want manuals.

    I'd like to see a manual performance version of the Fusion with 250+ hp but not having it won't hurt overall sales. Besides, they're selling all they can make as it is and that's before the AWD version arrives.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,797
    To be honest I don't think the majority of Americans can drive a stick.

    I'd like to see a manual performance version of the Fusion with 250+ hp

    So would I, I really think Ford should make a 300+HP Zephyr with a 6 speed manual.

    My Caddy has a manual (this trim only comes in a manual) and its a blast. But it is hard to find a regular trim CTS with a stick (autos are an option). :(

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    To be honest I don't think the majority of Americans can drive a stick.

    Yep and there are fewer who can as time goes by. I did my part and taught my 3 kids to drive a manual. However, my next car will be an automatic...even though the kids will cricize me for it :) .

    I'm very surprised to hear that any Cadillac would come only in manual trans...or even be available with a manual. And I thought we were unusual when we used to have a manual transmission minivan :) .
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,797
    The CTS comes standard with a 6 speed manual and a 5 speed auto is optional on all models except the V series. The V series only comes in a stick. Its the only caddy with a stick and the first one in 50 years to have one.

    My daily drive is, and always will be, an auto simply because of my daily commute.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    And let's not forget the Lincoln LS came with a manual way back in 1999. It also underwent suspension tuning on the Neurburgring while the CTS was still on the drawing board. Unfortunately it was only available on the V6 and the Lincoln dealers not only didn't know how to sell it - they wouldn't stock any for test drives. So very few were sold and it was killed in 2003.

    Traffic is one factor, but I really think many Americans are just getting lazy. BMW has a new system that will park your car for you in the garage. Not parallel park, mind you - just pull your car straight into the parking space. If you can't pull your car straight into the garage by yourself then you probably don't need to be driving. I guess the theory is you can squeeze the car into tight spots without having to open the driver's door to get out but the demo didn't say anything about the ability to back the car out automatically.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,451
    Actually, BMW is also demonstrating a car that parallel parks for you, too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjtIhLyUy74&search=bmw
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Actually, BMW is also demonstrating a car that parallel parks for you, too.

    I know, but that makes more sense since parallel parking is hard if you don't practice it a lot. And it doesn't require a reflective sticker on the wall.

    Here in the northern suburbs of Atlanta there aren't any parallel spaces left anyway. I haven't parallel parked in years and don't expect to anytime in the near future.
  • Add a 3.5 V6 and power adjustable pedals for taller drivers.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    I believe there is a small, very small market for performance family sedans. Personally, I would not buy one. I just want a good handling, solid value family sedan. For image reasons Ford should offer a sport version of the Fusion/Milan. A 3.5 265HP, 6speed manual, choice of AWD or FWD sport tuned suspension. Offer some sort of subtle body changes to distuinguish between regular Fusions/Milans. This car would sell but I believe the market would be small. :shades:
  • "For image reasons Ford should offer a sport version of the Fusion/Milan. A 3.5 265HP, 6speed manual, choice of AWD or FWD sport tuned suspension."

    Consumer Reports is saying that future plans for the Fusion include a turbocharged version and a hybrid. Sounds like the Fusion performance model we've been talking about is coming, and it will use a version of Mazda's MZR 2.3 four that powers the Mazdaspeed6 and the new CX-7 sport ute.

    Although I would be happy if Ford would simply make the 3.0 V6 available with a 6-speed manual, the zoom-zoom engine with the manual transaxle would make the Fusion highly entertaining to drive.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,923
    way back when, those 200 hp/5 speed taurus sho's were a lot of fun. well, at least as much as i needed. :)
  • iglooheatiglooheat Posts: 32
    With all this talk about performance, I'm interested in better fuel economy from the 4cyl 5 speed. 31 mpg highway ?!?... Camry gets 34 (or 10% better). I'll probably by a 07 Fusion if I can get 4 cyl 5 speed SEL with NAV, but I'd prefer 34 (or more) over 31. Maybe an engineer can tell be why 5th gear can't be super tall for better economy.

    BTW - those manual taurus models had 220 hp ... I had one.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    We had a taurus 4cyl 5spd,that was the MT5. Ford dropped
    it after a coupla' years to give room for the sho. West-Central IL winters(and salt) were Brutal to the body. It
    fit my needs,at the time, and was a blast to operate and easy at the pump.
  • pontiacgtppontiacgtp Posts: 15
    1. a manual V6 option
    2. satellite radio, mp3 player input, navigation
    3. hybrid engine option
    4. xenon headlight option
    5. traction control or AWD

    If any of my wishes are in the pipeline does anyone know when Ford plans to introduce these upgrades?
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