Ford updates its Fusion midsize sedan for the 2013 model year, radically redesigning the exterior, while offering exceptional technology under the hood and in the cabin.

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This model is in the top, Platinum trim, and includes all-wheel drive. It also shows off just about every optional package, with features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic parking.

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Ford chose to make its new Fusion stand out from the crowd with unique, attractive styling. The grille, also seen on the Fiesta and Focus, has become a signature design element.

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The top engine for the Fusion is this 2-liter four-cylinder, which uses direct injection and a turbo to achieve 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

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The roofline drops back to the trunk lid in fastback style.

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The ride quality is very good, and tends toward firmness, making the car feel more stable when cornering.

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The trunk is very deep, and the rear seats fold down for a full pass-through.

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This top-trim model features leather, power-adjustable front seats.

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Leg room in the rear is very good, making the Fusion feel almost like a full-size sedan.

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MyFord Touch, which brings in three LCDs, comes standard in the Platinum trim, as does the Sony audio system.

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The electric power steering is not big on road feel, and has a strong tendency to return to center.

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Where the Focus gets very chunky buttons between the steering-wheel spokes, Ford made them subtler on the new Fusion.

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The LCDs bookending the speedometer show vehicle efficiency information and infotainment features.

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The six-speed automatic transmission includes a sport mode, while paddles on the steering wheel allow sequential manual gear selection.

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The Sony audio system brings in a custom center touch panel with one big volume knob in the center.

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The optional navigation system stores its maps on an SD card, and shows some 3D-rendered buildings.

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The navigation system features a variety of ways to find a destination.

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The POI database includes Cityseekr entries, with more detailed information on certain landmarks.

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The fuel price listing comes from satellite radio, and shows per-gallon prices from nearby gas stations.

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The phone system not only offers contact list integration, but also text messaging with certain phones.

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Ford gives the Fusion two USB ports. Both can be used for music, or you can put a USB cellular modem in one, turning the car into a Wi-Fi hot spot.

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The Fusion's stereo displays music libraries formatted with categories for genre, artist, album, and track for any audio source plugged into the USB ports.

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The current track screen shows song title, artist, and album art.

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The rearview camera shows distance and trajectory lines, making parking easier and safer.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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