The 2010 Ford Fusion has been named MOTOR TREND’s 2010 Car of the Year, the 60th anniversary selection for the automotive industry publication’s award. Despite the economic turmoil, the industry still delivered a large field of 23 new or significantly improved vehicles launched in the U.S., all of which were evaluated by MOTOR TREND editors.
After tallying the judges’ feedback, the redesigned Ford Fusion came out on top.
The 2010 Ford Fusion range demonstrates impressive bandwidth, from a fun-to-drive entry-level model with a four cylinder engine and six speed manual transmission, to a high-tech, highly fuel efficient hybrid, to a sporty version with a 3.5-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive.
According to Motor Trend’s editors the 2010 Ford Fusion offers a “sweep across one of the market’s more hotly contested segments.”
The extensively revised and redesigned 2010 Fusion is a better, smarter, nicer, comfier and greener car than its predecessor. “It looked, felt and drove like an entirely new machine,” the magazine’s editor noted.
The For Fusion took top honors from a field of 23 diverse contenders that included a number of highly anticipated models loaded with luxury, plenty of new features and a great range in price, size, and style. In addition to the Fusion, contenders included:
BMW 7 SERIES, BMW Z4, BUICK LACROSSE, CHEVROLET CAMARO, FORD MUSTANG, FORD TAURUS, HONDA INSIGHT, HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE, KIA FORTE, KIA SOUL, LEXUS HS 250H, MAZDA3, MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS COUPE, MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS, NISSAN 370Z, NISSAN CUBE, PORSCHE PANAMERA, SUBARU LEGACY, SUZUKI KIZASHI, TOYOTA PRIUS, VOLKSWAGEN GTI, VOLKSWAGEN ROUTAN
To judge contenders for the award, MOTOR TREND’s editorial staff conducts an exhaustive evaluation process. Phase one of the process includes a tech check and weigh-in, then full track testing to establish baseline data for acceleration, braking, and handling. Each judge also drives each contender on special vehicle proving ground roads. Phase two involves the judges driving the contenders on 28 miles of real-world road surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind/road noise, and ergonomics. Throughout the process the judges discuss, debate, and evaluate how each contender performs against the six criteria. At the end of the week-long process each judge votes in a secret ballot to determine the winner.
Newly Expanded Testing and Evaluation Process Until recently, the editorial staff of MOTOR TREND has evaluated eligible vehicles based on three key criteria: Superiority, Significance, and Value. This year, the editors updated and expanded the judging criteria to six new categories:
• Design Advancement – well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
• Engineering Excellence – total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
• Intended Function – how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.
• Efficiency – low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle’s competitive set.
• Safety – a vehicle’s ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
• Value – competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
Car of the Year is not a comparison test and is only open to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year. MOTOR TREND looks for the pick of each year’s crop of new cars, and does not revisit vehicles that have been on sale for the past few years.
The complete report on the MOTOR TREND 2010 Car of the Year testing and selection is available online now at www.motortrend.com, and will be published in the January issue of MOTOR TREND, available on newsstands December 1, 2009.