2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid gear shift dial and handbrake lever

From the title of this article, you might think that I hate my 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid. But actually the opposite is true. I love my Fusion and I highly recommend it! Read my article, Top Ten Things I Love About My 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

But, no car is perfect, and there are definitely some things that Ford could do improve in the Fusion (or, in many cases, things that Ford should have left alone and not changed).

But without any further ado, here’s are the top ten things worst things about the 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid:

1. No Spare Tire

It sounds ludicrous, but more and more cars today are being sold without a spare tire. If you remove the trunk liner of the Ford Fusion – surprise! No spare tire:

Fusion tire repair kit
The spare tire has been replaced by a tire repair kit

Instead, you get a tire repair kit.  But, if your sidewall is badly slashed, the repair kit is useless. AAA doesn’t carry spare tires. At that point, your only option is to get towed and hope the shop carries your size tire.

I ended up buying a Fusion spare tire on eBay.

2. The Rotary Dial Shifter

In the 2017 model, Ford decided to eliminate the gear shift lever and replace it with a wimpy rotary dial. This is industry trend, which saves space, cuts costs, and allows the car to have the feature of shifting itself into park when you turn it off.

Fusion rotary dial shifter
Fusion rotary dial shifter

While those are beneficial features, the gear shift lever was one of the last remaining bastions of direct man-to-car connection. Even though I always drove automatics, grabbing the shift lever and rocking it into position used to give me a tiny bit of macho satisfaction.

Operating the rotary dial shifter, on the other hand, is about as macho as toe-nail painting. Turning the dial into the “Drive” position just does not satisfy. Even worse, my muscle-memory has me still reaching for the non-existent shift lever whenever I need to shift from park to reverse.

3. The Electronic Handbrake Switch

Similarly, yanking on the hand brake after a long day of defensive driving used to be a mild form of stress relief for me. I could take out my aggression by really yanking on that thing.

But, Ford has replaced the mechanical lever with an unsatisfying small electronic flip switch which probably saves cost and space. But bleh… How I yearn for good old-fashioned mechanical controls that actually took some muscle to operate!

Ford Fusion parking break switch
Ford Fusion parking break switch

4. Too Much Junk in the Trunk

Hybrids require batteries which must be stored somewhere. Since the Fusion hybrid was derived from the gas-only version, space for batteries was an afterthought and they just threw the batteries in the trunk.

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrd trunk
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid trunk

A big chunk (4 sq. feet) of trunk space is taken up by the batteries as a big step behind the seats. But that’s not actually my real beef. My true tinge of regret stems from not being able to get the Energi plug-in hybrid version because it had virtually no trunk space due to the batteries.

5. The Length

The 2017 Ford Fusion is a long car.  It’s 14 inches longer than my 2006 BMW 325i. Living in a crowded city, that is definitely a minus when it comes to parallel parking in tight spaces.

Ford Fusion Hybrid SE side view
Ford Fusion Hybrid SE side view

6. The Massive Key Fob

Ford key fob next to Lexus key fob.
Ford key fob (left) next to Lexus key fob. The Ford key is longer and much fatter.

Maybe this is a minor beef, but the Ford key fob is ridiculously huge. Having this thing in your pocket when wearing tight jeans might prompt the question, “Is that a Ford key fob in your pocket, or are you glad to see me?”

7. The Side-View Mirrors

My Fusion came with side-view mirrors that had a smaller “blind spot” bubble mirror in the upper outer corner.

Fusion side-view mirrors
Fusion side-view mirrors

Some people do like these but my beef with it is that it requires me to re-focus my eyes to use. As I get older, focusing my eyes is getting slower so this is a pain. In practice, I don’t use it. It’s actually a hindrance because the reflections in it are a distraction. I’m looking to do an after-market replacement someday.

8. The Rear

Ford Fusion Hybrid SE rear
2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE rear

Ford has done a great job of improving the look of the front of the Fusion over the years, but the look of the rear has not kept up, in my opinion. For 2017, they added some chrome trim to the rear which doesn’t really do it for me. The spoiler doesn’t add much to the appearance for me (so I opted not to get that option). What do you think?

9. The Antenna

Someone on the Ford Fusion Facebook Page said that the antenna on the Fusion makes it look like a toy remote-controlled car. Being used to the BMW “shark-fin” antenna, I agree the Fusion antenna is not sexy.

On a more practical note, it causes a “tent pole” effect when you try to put a car cover on, and could possible break if the cover is pulled hard.

Happily there is an easy fix for this.  You can get an after-market shark-fin antenna for your Fusion! This is on my “to do” list. People tell me it’s easy to install and works well. Be sure to order the correct color (each color is a different product in Amazon).

DISCLOSURE: This is a professional review site that receives compensation from the retailer or manufacturer when you purchase through the affiliate links such as the ones below. I test and/or research each product or service thoroughly before endorsing it. This site is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are my own.

10. Snow Chains Not Allowed

Ford does not approve of using snow chains on the Ford Fusion. When I asked the Ford salesman, “how am I supposed to go skiing?”, his reply was, “rent a car”. I’ve actually only had to use chains once before in my life, but this is a bit annoying.

Also, It’s Assembled in Mexico

Mexican flag

After owning foreign cars up to now, I wanted to do something patriotic and buy American. My dreams were crushed when I found out that Ford makes the Fusion Hybrids in Hermosillo, Mexico. I have nothing against Mexico, or the factory there (which is award-winning and state of the art); I just wanted to support American workers in Detroit.

But Really, It’s a Great Car

You’ll notice that none of these are fatal flaws; most are pretty nit-picky in fact. That’s because I believe the Fusion Hybrid is fundamentally a really good car. It drives great, looks great, and has amazing gas mileage! I’m really happy with it so far, but there’s always room for improvement!

What do you think of the 2017 Ford Fusion? What do you like about it?  What are your gripes? Leave a comment or question below! – Brian



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