Remember when driving a car was just, plain fun?
You don't have to look back at the good ol' days. The Ford Fusion and its first cousin, the Mercury Milan, offer economy, performance, and, oh yeah, lots of fun in a great-looking package in the low-$20,000 range. They're both here, for a while a least, at Rasmussen Ford-Mercury Inc. in Storm Lake.
If the upfront good looks aren't enough, there's plenty of tricks in store, under the hood and in the passenger compartment.
First of all, there's the beefed-up six that gives all the performance you could want (or at least your insurance company, anyway) for in town or on the highway. With a six-speed automatic, shifting is smooth and effortless.
The heir apparent to the Ford Taurus, the Fusion, as well as the Milan, offers so much more. Both boast 29 miles per gallon highway and the sticker price of the mid-priced models are $21,670 for the Fusion and $21,995 for the Milan.
Gone are the days of searching for that radio station and nearly getting in an accident. The Fusion and Milan have radio controls on the sheeting wheel. The MP3 player is standard on some models.
There are three models to choose from, the S, SE, and SEL, with the SE in stock at Rasmussen's as of Monday. The S and SE models are available with a four-cylinder and manual transmission. However, there is no six-cylinder/manual transmission combination available.
For those die-hard Taurus or Sable fans, there's no need to despair. The Taurus will continue to be available as a fleet or lease vehicle but will eventually be replaced by the more advanced Fusion built on a Mazda 6 platform and intended as Ford's answer to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
Handling is quick, responsive, and immediate. The engine is incredibly quiet, even when the gas pedal goes down to the floor. A great feature for travelers is that with the flip of a lever the back seat folds forward and with the oversized trunk you can haul just about anything within reason that you want.
The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan could quite possibly be a couple of the best road cars available in America today, if you're looking for great fuel economy and comfort in a mid-sized package.