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If you haven't been to a Ford dealer lately, you really owe it to yourself to test-drive the Fusion Sport before you buy your next car.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2017 Ford Fusion can be ordered as a very nice basic mid-size car or an exceptional Sport version that competes against Europe's best.The mid-size sedan market is about as competitive as it gets in the automobile industry. These cars make up a huge chunk of every automaker's annual sales. But there are really two parts of the mid-size sedan market — the low-priced bargain leaders, and the more powerful and luxurious models at the top of the range.

You can buy a Ford Fusion for as little as $21,245, and you'll get a nice car for that money. But if you're willing and able to climb the price and trim ladder to the Ford Fusion Sport at $32,730, you'll find a truly special car waiting for you. The 2017 Fusion Sport can easily compete with the more expensive European and Asian brands on performance, build quality, tech and comfort.

The Fusion sport gets a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine rated at 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Power is delivered to all four wheels through a crisp 6-speed automatic transmission. The Fusion feels solid on the road, with plenty of muscle under your foot.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Inside, the 2017 Fusion Sport offers a comfortable luxury interior, with a dial-based gear selector on the console, similar to the design you'll find in a Jaguar. You also get heated suede and leather seats and a nice big touch screen infotainment interface with optional GPS navigation. Inside, the Fusion offers a comfortable luxury interior, with a dial-based gear selector on the console, similar to the design you'll find in a Jaguar. You also get heated suede and leather seats and a nice big touch screen infotainment interface with optional GPS navigation.

The Fusion Sport is also very quiet inside, in large part thanks to Ford's active noise control system. This system uses a microphone inside the cabin to monitor ambient road noise — the noise made by engine, tires, wind, and surrounding traffic. Then the car generates precisely "opposite" vibrations and plays them through the car stereo speakers. The noise and generated vibrations cancel each other out, with the result that you perceive the car as being very quiet.

The Fusion Sport has all the usual safety equipment you expect in a modern sedan, including rear-view camera, stability control, and a full basic safety suite. Optionally, you can get features like blind spot monitoring and automatic high beams.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Yes, that's a rear seat suitable for three adults in the 2017 Ford Fusion. And they all fold down to increase cargo space.One optional feature to mention is active park assist. With this feature, the Fusion Sport will automatically parallel or perpendicular park itself. You simply activate the feature, then drive forward until the car finds a spot big enough to fit into. Press the button and the car deftly swings into position. It takes some faith to let the Fusion park itself, but it works.

If you haven't been to a Ford dealer lately, you really owe it to yourself to test-drive the Fusion Sport before you buy your next car.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Base price: $21,245

Price as tested: $32,730

Type: Mid-size sedan

Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 (325 hp, 380 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 17/26

Road Noise: Very quiet

Overall length: 192 inches

Curb weight: 3,681 pounds

Final assembly: Hermosillo, Mexico

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