2017 Ford Fusion vs Chevrolet Malibu

December 29th, 2017 by

When you want both sporty performance and thrifty fuel economy, test drive popular mid-size sedans like the 2017 Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu. Inside, these models are roomy and comfortable. But they’re also stocked with all the latest tech features to keep you connected. Which is right for you?

2017 Ford Fusion vs Chevrolet Malibu

Cabin Comfort: 2017 Ford Fusion

In this category, we like the Fusion. It makes an excellent commuter, because both rows offer plenty of room for heads, legs, and elbows. Options like heated front seats give you the star treatment. The 2017 Ford Fusion even offers a luxe new Platinum trim, which takes comfort to new heights with quilted leather upholstery and an exclusive power-adjustable steering wheel.

Seating comfort is one of the Chevrolet Malibu’s strong points. The newly elongated wheelbase also means increased leg room for rear-seat passengers. However, the Malibu’s cabin materials don’t feel quite as upscale as those in the Fusion.

Power & Performance: 2017 Ford Fusion

No matter which Fusion powertrain speaks to your budget, you can expect smooth, responsive power. Choose from a range of turbocharged engines to tailor performance toward speed or fuel economy – whichever you prefer. This mid-size sedan earns up to 23 city/34 highway mpg. In the Fusion Sport, you’ll get hot-rod-like engine output and adjustable suspension dampers for the most athletic ride in the segment.

The Chevrolet Malibu squeezes out the most miles for your money. Depending on which powertrain you prefer, this sedan earns up to 27/36 mpg. The Malibu delivers an effortless performance, with smooth, quick acceleration from a standing stop. It’s not quite as sporty as the Fusion, but it’s a pleasant cruiser.

Tech & Convenience Features: 2017 Chevrolet Malibu

Here, the Chevrolet Malibu excels. Its MyLink infotainment system has a sleek, modern look, like an iPad that’s been slipped into the dash. Its responsive touchscreen delivers tablet-like colors and clarity, so you’re unlikely to hit the wrong app icon by mistake. Each model offers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, so your kids can stay busy – and happy – surfing the Web.

The 2017 Ford Fusion comes in close behind. It may not offer a Wi-Fi hotspot, but the Sync 3 infotainment system does an ace job of keeping you connected. Use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity features to interact with apps like Phone and Messages on your central touchscreen. There’s even a 110-volt, household-style plug, so you can keep your laptop ready for action.

Safety: 2017 Ford Fusion

In government crash tests, the Fusion earned a perfect five-star rating for overall protection. If that’s not enough to put your mind at ease, check out this sedan’s wide-ranging driver aids. They do everything from keep you in the proper lane to apply the brakes in the face of a crash. All Fusions come with an emergency crash-notification feature that works with your cellphone to automatically dial 911 after a collision.

The Chevrolet Malibu also earned top scores in government crash tests. We like that every model comes with OnStar telematics. If you decide to subscribe, you’ll enjoy emergency features like on-demand roadside assistance. However, you get more standard features with the Fusion – such as a rearview camera to help you back out of a tight spot. You also have to upgrade to get the Malibu’s Teen Driver function, which sets speed limitations for young drivers (Ford’s version, MyKey, is standard equipment for the Fusion).

Learn More about the Ford Fusion

When it comes down to it, the 2017 Ford Fusion is our ultimate pick. We’re impressed with its turbocharged power and sporty ride. This mid-size sedan also supplies all the comfort and convenience features you could want, including heated front seats and complete smartphone integration. And, with so many high-tech driver aids available, the Fusion can even help you spot danger before it strikes.

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