Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Fusion VS 2014 Nissan Maxima Near Cumming, GA

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2014 Ford Fusion

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VS

2014 Nissan Maxima

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the Fusion inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Maxima doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Maxima doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Fusion offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Maxima doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Maxima doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Maxima doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Maxima doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Fusion has standard SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Maxima doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Fusion and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

125

127

Neck Injury Risk

28%

30%

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

255 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

96 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/333 lbs.

855/891 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

254

348

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

52%

77%

Neck Stress

197 lbs.

235 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

14/11 lbs.

767/665 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

17 inches

HIC

268

270

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Fusion earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Fusion’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Maxima was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Fusion with standard seats is safer then the Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

11 mm

32 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

1 mm

32 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

MARGINAL

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Neck Force Rating

Low

Medium

Max Neck Shearing Force

18

148

Max Neck Tension

619

766

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Maxima is not even a standard “Top Pick.”

The Ford Fusion has a better fatality history. The Fusion was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 59% lower per vehicle registered than the Maxima, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 27th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The Fusion’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion ECOBoost FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

FWD

1.6 ECOBoost/Manual

25 city/37 hwy

n/a

1.5 ECOBoost/Auto

23 city/36 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

V6

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

FWD

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/33 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

V6

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/31 hwy

n/a

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Fusion 1.5 ECOBoost offers an optional system to automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Maxima doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fusion uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Maxima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fusion stops much shorter than the Maxima:

Fusion

Maxima

80 to 0 MPH

216 feet

219 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fusion has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Maxima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Maxima (112.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Fusion SE handles at .87 G’s, while the Maxima 3.5 SV pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Fusion may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Nissan Maxima.

The front grille of the Fusion uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Maxima doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Fusion SE is quieter than the Maxima 3.5 SV (71 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (102.8 vs. 95.8).

The Fusion has .7 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 3.7 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the Maxima (16 vs. 14.2 cubic feet).

The Fusion’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Maxima SV Premium Package doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Fusion offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Maxima doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Fusion’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Maxima’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The Maxima doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Maxima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Fusion SE/Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Maxima doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Fusion’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The Maxima’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The Fusion’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Maxima’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Maxima doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard SYNC AppLink for the Fusion allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Maxima doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Maxima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Maxima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fusion will cost $1430 to $3645 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

The Fusion will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Fusion will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the Maxima.

Fusion

Maxima

Five Year

40% to 43%

30% to 35%

Three Year

53% to 58%

42% to 49%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because it costs $105 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the Maxima, including $116 less for a water pump, $109 less for an alternator, $87 less for a starter, $265 less for fuel injection, $68 less for a fuel pump, $6 less for front struts, $332 less for a timing belt/chain and $272 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fusion will be $7268 to $12785 less than for the Nissan Maxima.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Fusion has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Fusion

Maxima

Consumer Reports® Recommends

FALSE

TRUE

Kiplinger’s Awards

2

0

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The Maxima hasn’t been picked since 1996.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The Maxima was Import Car of the Year in 1995.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The Maxima has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The Maxima has never been chosen.

The Ford Fusion outsold the Nissan Maxima by over five to one during 2013.

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