2014 Fusion 1.5 Ecoboost review

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For the last week, I've been piling on the miles on a 2014 Fusion Ecoboost 1.5L Rental. Overall, it's a very nice car. It's comfortable, nimble, quiet and rides/handles quite well. In fact, I'd say the handling is taught and the steering is quick, nice! But, really, I wanted to talk about the TINY ecoboost engine powering a reasonably big and quite heavy car. It's a non issue. It makes plenty of power for normal driving, gets off the line quickly, with almost no delay. Gear ratio's and shift points are well calibrated to this engine. The engine makes peak torque quite low in the RPM range, so there is no need to rev it out. Keep it around 2500 during acceleration and it will keep up with traffic. I found that I let it upshift, then press the accelerator at 2500 and it pulls nicely. Talking about revs, the engine's redline is 6300 (or so) and it runs out of steam well before that. Too bad really, as it could be a good bit more fun if it made power well up towards redline. MPG's since new (24,000 miles on the odo) showed 26.8 on the display. Since I'm mostly highway driving at the speed limit (70 MPH) , I'm getting 31 MPG with AC on MAX, since it's hot here in the South. Slowing to 65 and turning AC off brings MPG to about 33. I could not do any better than that at any typical highway speed around here. Even 65 was a bit slow for folks in the RH lane. The engine is remarkably quiet. I'm absolutely unable to hear it during normal driving at speed. However, I do have one gripe. It shakes at idle, when in gear. It feels like idle is somewhat unrefined and a bit noisy. That's too bad, as it's otherwise extremely well refined. Does this matter? Well, when stuck in a traffic jam for 2 hours, yeah, it does. As compared to a 2014 Accord Sport 2.5L with manual transmission, the Fusion gets the same MPG, is slightly smaller feeling in the back seat (plenty of room in either car though) and the engine is a touch less refined feeling at idle. The Accord is head and shoulders faster. A better comparison would be Accord 2.5L to Fusion 2.0 EB. Where the Fusion should be considerably faster in real world conditions. Overall, a very, very nice car with great driving dynamics.
 
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Cujet

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I wanted to add that I rent this class of car all the time. Typically, the Camry's, Malibu's and Corolla's and other mid sized rentals get 26MPG with me driving. It's seems to be a universal truth. Yet, this thing actually did better on the highway. But, 26MPG around town. So, it's not a complete win, but it is better.
 
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Originally Posted By: Cujet
I wanted to add that I rent this class of car all the time. Typically, the Camry's, Malibu's and Corolla's and other mid sized rentals get 26MPG with me driving. It's seems to be a universal truth. Yet, this thing actually did better on the highway. But, 26MPG around town. So, it's not a complete win, but it is better.
26mpg in a Corolla??!! Maybe your driving style? I average about 32 on my 2007 and I tend to have a heavy-ish foot at times. With rentals I typically get about 34-35.
 
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Originally Posted By: Cujet
Since I'm mostly highway driving at the speed limit (70 MPH) , I'm getting 31 MPG with AC on MAX. Slowing to 65 and turning AC off brings MPG to about 33. I could not do any better than that at any typical highway speed around here.
I still find it quite hilarious how these new cars with tiny motors are supppsed to get better fuel economy. Both cars in my sig can get 30mpg on the highway (contrary to the EPA) and both have probably twice the power of the Fusion, with 6-10 year old technology. Not to mention both of my engines will probably last much longer because they are not working as hard to meet the power demand. Op - thanks for the review, rentals are perfect for "sampling." But I will stick to my V8s. drive
 
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I get 38 mpg US with my 2013 Sonata 2.4L at 65 MPH, with AC on. At a steady 62 MPH, I see 40 MPG. Power is never lacking and has quite a bit of low end torque. The Ford Ecoboost program has to be an EPA loophole thing.
 
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Originally Posted By: tony1679
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Since I'm mostly highway driving at the speed limit (70 MPH) , I'm getting 31 MPG with AC on MAX. Slowing to 65 and turning AC off brings MPG to about 33. I could not do any better than that at any typical highway speed around here.
I still find it quite hilarious how these new cars with tiny motors are supppsed to get better fuel economy. Both cars in my sig can get 30mpg on the highway (contrary to the EPA) and both have probably twice the power of the Fusion, with 6-10 year old technology. Not to mention both of my engines will probably last much longer because they are not working as hard to meet the power demand. Op - thanks for the review, rentals are perfect for "sampling." But I will stick to my V8s. drive
And how do you know you wouldn't exceed the EPA ratings of the Fusion by the same amount if you drove one? That would put it quite a bit better than what you are bragging about.
 
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Originally Posted By: badtlc
And how do you know you wouldn't exceed the EPA ratings of the Fusion by the same amount if you drove one? That would put it quite a bit better than what you are bragging about.
I don't. But when an engine works harder, it uses more fuel. Here's a perfect example for you: My Impala came with Active Fuel Management (Variable displacement). When I bought my tuner, I tested my fuel economy with and without AFM (V8 mode vs V4 mode. Yes, V4.). There were no other variables. The results were pretty clear, V8 mode was better. In town, I gained about a half mile per gallon (21.5 -> 22). But on the highway I gained over 2 mpg (26 -> 28.xx). My engine also instantly stopped drinking a quart of oil every 750 miles, but that's getting off topic. Yes, I understand, "ymmv." But when I rent cars, I get cars similar to the op's. Small 4 cylinders. I consistently average very high 20s to low 30s, mostly highway. They have to work harder to maintain the same speed. So yes, I do brag about my V8s...
 
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Originally Posted By: tony1679
Originally Posted By: badtlc
And how do you know you wouldn't exceed the EPA ratings of the Fusion by the same amount if you drove one? That would put it quite a bit better than what you are bragging about.
I don't. But when an engine works harder, it uses more fuel. Here's a perfect example for you: My Impala came with Active Fuel Management (Variable displacement). When I bought my tuner, I tested my fuel economy with and without AFM (V8 mode vs V4 mode. Yes, V4.). There were no other variables. The results were pretty clear, V8 mode was better. In town, I gained about a half mile per gallon (21.5 -> 22). But on the highway I gained over 2 mpg (26 -> 28.xx). My engine also instantly stopped drinking a quart of oil every 750 miles, but that's getting off topic. Yes, I understand, "ymmv." But when I rent cars, I get cars similar to the op's. Small 4 cylinders. I consistently average very high 20s to low 30s, mostly highway. They have to work harder to maintain the same speed. So yes, I do brag about my V8s...
mechanical systems are most efficient when operating at 100% rated load. I don't think you are very familiar with that of which you speak.
 
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Originally Posted By: gregk24
The Accord has a 2.4 engine, not 2.5. Nice review! For some reason I thought the Fusion had a 1.6 ecoboost.
It was originally equipped with a 1.6 EcoBoost engine built in Wales. This engine is still used in the Escape and in 2014 was used only in the manual gearbox Fusion (discontinued for 2015). The 1.5 EcoBoost engine is a new design and is built in Romania.
 
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Originally Posted By: badtlc
mechanical systems are most efficient when operating at 100% rated load. I don't think you are very familiar with that of which you speak.
Dictionary.com: Rated load - the power an engine, dynamo, etc., is rated at or designed to produce. My engine puts out 303 hp @ 5,600 rpms. So, if you're correct, my engine is most (FUEL) efficient at 5,600 rpms? I think not. Perhaps you could enlighten us...
 
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Originally Posted By: tony1679
Originally Posted By: badtlc
mechanical systems are most efficient when operating at 100% rated load. I don't think you are very familiar with that of which you speak.
Dictionary.com: Rated load - the power an engine, dynamo, etc., is rated at or designed to produce. My engine puts out 303 hp @ 5,600 rpms. So, if you're correct, my engine is most (FUEL) efficient at 5,600 rpms? I think not. Perhaps you could enlighten us...
You are talking about open loop mode, but sure. You go with that.
 
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Originally Posted By: badtlc
mechanical systems are most efficient when operating at 100% rated load. I don't think you are very familiar with that of which you speak.
Max efficiency does not equal best fuel economy overall.
 
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Turbo engines are a superb example of this If your always boosting, your always richening the mixture to prevent fuel starvation. Hence the complaints people made when the EB engine came out, they'd enjoy the power,then complain about the economy.
 
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Originally Posted By: michaelluscher
You didn't have the 1.5 EB 1.5 EB was manual only. 1.6/2.0 is Auto Base 2.5 I4 NA is base
Other way around: 1.6 = manual, 1.5 = automatic. For 2015 no more manuals, so the powertrain lineup for the Fusion is 2.5 normally aspirated, 1.5 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost, all mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic.
 
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Originally Posted By: tony1679
My engine puts out 303 hp @ 5,600 rpms. So, if you're correct, my engine is most (FUEL) efficient at 5,600 rpms? I think not.
Mechanical efficiency and fuel consumption are different things. It's fascinating to look at Brake Specific Fuel Consumption curves for different engines. This measures fuel consumption per work done (power output). Essentially, it measures how efficient an engine is at producing torque. Look at the torque peak; not the horsepower peak. Consider this, from a Saturn 1.9L: The lowest BSFC occurs at near full throttle in the 1500-3500 rpm range. That doesn't mean that that's where the lowest fuel consumption is. However, you CAN see that the engine is much less efficient at producing torque at lower engine speeds and at lower engine output (the lower left of the graph). Engines are usually most efficient at producing torque near their maximum rated load. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_specific_fuel_consumption
 

Cujet

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I understand my mpg is lower than others. I drive with a passion. So heavy throttle is regularly used when possible. That does not change the fact that I set the cruise at the speed limit and leave it there for hours. So my highway mpg is a valid test. Also, some cars I simply don't like to rent. The fusion EB is one that I like. Overall, it's a comfortable and agile car that is a bit fun to drive. It really does handle and corner well. 235-50 tires do help that. But it's taught too.
 
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Originally Posted By: Danh
Originally Posted By: michaelluscher
You didn't have the 1.5 EB 1.5 EB was manual only. 1.6/2.0 is Auto Base 2.5 I4 NA is base
Other way around: 1.6 = manual, 1.5 = automatic. For 2015 no more manuals, so the powertrain lineup for the Fusion is 2.5 normally aspirated, 1.5 EcoBoost, 2.0 EcoBoost, all mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic.
I see, Ford changed for '15.
 
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