Illustration by Ben Summerell-Youde/Fox SyndicationCar and Driver
- The Ford Fusion Active will be wagon version of the Fusion sedan with a mild lift, all-wheel drive, and rugged-looking body cladding.
- Power will likely come from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
- Prices should range from $30,000 to $40,000 when the Active hits dealers lots next year.
This story originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Car and Driver as part of our 25 Cars Worth Waiting For package. Our sneak preview of the most exciting cars coming in the next few years draws on knowledge from leaked product-development plans, spy photos, and loose-lipped insiders mixed in with information that has already been officially released. The reporting for this story was completed in February and early March, before the auto industry began feeling major effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As many automakers are now delaying or pausing development programs, the debut and on-sale dates reported here may change.
Selling a station wagon in an American car market infatuated with SUVs is a risky play for a manufacturer. But once Ford kills off the Fusion sedan later this year or early next year, a lifted version of that stigmatized-yet-highly-practical type of vehicle will soon be as close as shoppers will come to finding a new family car in a Blue Oval showroom. Enter the Ford Fusion Active.
Engineering the Active is not a huge lift for Ford, as the company has long offered a conventional wagon variant of the Fusion’s European clone, the Mondeo. With that model as a base, think of the Active as a Subaru-ized long-roof version of the brand’s mid-size sedan with all-wheel drive, a slightly raised suspension, and a name that says, “I’m outdoorsy.”
Just don’t call it a station wagon, okay? That’s why the Active will likely be butched up with chunky lower body cladding for tackling the trail to Costco. Power should come from Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission; a plug-in-hybrid variant is all but inevitable. Prices should range from about $30,000 to $40,000.
The success of the Subaru Outback proves that there is a market in the U.S. for a vehicle like the Fusion Active. But establishing a cult-like following like the Outback’s is another matter entirely. If shoppers aren’t convinced enough to think of the Active as a crossover but rather a station wagon in cross-trainers, they’ll probably avoid it like week-old sushi. You can decide for yourself when the Active hits showrooms likely late next year.