While about half of new cars sold in Europe come with a shift-for-yourself manual transmission, the take rate in America is much, much lower. It is estimated that less than 10% of new car sales in America came with a manual transmission, and the Ford Fusion was one of the last midsized sedans to still offer the option.
I say “was”, because for the new 2015 Ford Fusion, the Blue Oval has dropped both the six-speed manual transmission and the 178 horsepower 1.6 liter EcoBoost engine from the options list. The writing was already on the wall for the slightly-larger EcoBoost engine when Ford introduced the 1.5 liter EcoBoost last year, the only engine you could pair with a six-speed automatic, which proved to be overwhelmingly popular with buyers. With more than 9 out of every 10 Fusion buyers opting for the automatic transmission, executives made the obvious business decision and stopped offering the option.
It’s unfortunate, because it is an increasingly rare feature in sedans these days, and by many accounts a Fusion equipped with the 1.6 liter EcoBoost and six-speed manual transmission were exceptionally fun to drive. Unfortunately, not too many people are looking for a manual transmission sedan these days, and the additional fuel economy boost is pretty much negligible. The only benefit was the lower cost of the manual transmission.
For 2015, the Ford Fusion now offers just three engine options; the base 2.5 liter motor, the mid-tier 1.5 liter EcoBoost, and the range-topping 2.0 liter EcoBoost which offers 240 horsepower and an optional all-wheel drive system. The 1.5 liter engine is the fuel economy king for Ford’s pure combustion engines with a combined 28 MPG (22 city/34 highway), and an optional stop-start system boosts to a combined rating of 29 MPG. Meanwhile, sales of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi models have soared past even the Chevy Volt.
There’s no point in crying over spilt milk, and to boot in a few years manual-equipped turbo Fusions will become a hot ticket on the used car market. If you can get your hands on one now, I’d suggest you do, because I can already see people paying a premium for one of the few turbocharged, manual transmission sedans on the American market today.
Source: Green Car Reports