2019 Ford Fusion vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The rear seatbelts of the Fusion Titanium 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 A4 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Fusion’s 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 A4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion and the A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front and rear parking sensors.

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 Audi A4:

 

Fusion

A4

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

26 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

232/354 lbs.

431/395 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 flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Audi A4:

 

Fusion

A4

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

172

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

258

333

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

47 G’s

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

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Fusion 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 10 times as many Ford dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Fusion has a standard 500-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion third among midsize cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Fusion has more powerful engines than the A4:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Fusion 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Fusion Sport 2.7 turbo V6

325 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

A4 40 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

188 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

A4 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fusion 2.0 turbo is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

Fusion

A4

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Fusion FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (16.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Fusion AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (18 vs. 15.3 gallons).

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 A4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Ford Fusion higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Audi A4 (3 to 5). This means the Fusion produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Fusion stops much shorter than the A4:

 

Fusion

A4

 

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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 A4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the A4 (112.2 inches vs. 110 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Fusion is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the A4.

For better maneuverability, the Fusion’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the A4’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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 A4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Fusion Sport/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Fusion a Mid-size car, while the A4 is rated a Compact.

The Fusion has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (102.8 vs. 92).

The Fusion has .3 inches more front headroom, 3 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the A4 (16 vs. 13 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Fusion easier. The Fusion’s trunk lift-over height is 24.4 inches, while the A4’s liftover is 26.9 inches.

Towing

The Fusion has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The A4 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 A4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Fusion SEL/Titanium/Sport’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the Fusion the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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/SEL/Titanium/Sport’s exterior keypad. The A4 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Consumer Reports rated the Fusion’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the A4’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The Fusion (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The A4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion (except S)’s optional Enhanced 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 A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fusion will cost $1080 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $288 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the A4, including $523 less for a water pump, $100 less for a muffler, $550 less for a starter, $48 less for fuel injection, $326 less for a fuel pump, $708 less for front struts and $84 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fusion will be $10110 to $11294 less than for the Audi A4.

Recommendations

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The A4 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The A4 has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The A4 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 A4 has never been chosen.

The Ford Fusion outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over five to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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