2020 Audi A4 vs. 2020 Ford Fusion

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The A4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Fusion doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the A4 and Fusion have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Fusion’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Fusion doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Fusion doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Fusion only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the A4 and the Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Ford Fusion:

A4

Fusion

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

236

400

Neck Injury Risk

25%

65%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

230 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 Audi A4 is safer than the Ford Fusion:

A4

Fusion

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

219 G’s

269 G’s

Hip Force

308 lbs.

338 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

327

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

777 lbs.

805 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

16 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

721 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The A4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fusion’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Fusion’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Fusion’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the A4’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fusion’s camshafts. If the Fusion’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A4’s reliability 43 points higher than the Fusion.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 2 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

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The A4 has more powerful engines than the Fusion:

Horsepower

Torque

A4 40 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

188 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

A4 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Fusion S 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder

175 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Fusion SE/SEL 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder

181 HP

185 lbs.-ft.

Fusion Titanium 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the A4 45 TFSI is faster than the Ford Fusion:

A4

Fusion SE/SEL

Fusion Titanium

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.2 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

9.2 sec

7.4 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.1 sec

6.1 sec

4.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

17 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

84.5 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion:

A4

Fusion

FWD

n/a

21 city/31 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

27 city/35 hwy

23 city/34 hwy

1.5 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

21 city/31 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/32 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

Regardless of its engine, the A4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Ford only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Fusion ECOBoost FWD.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi A4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Fusion.

The A4 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Fusion doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A4’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Fusion doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A4’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion:

A4

A4 Quattro

Fusion

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.9 inches

The A4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Fusion are solid, not vented.

The A4 stops much shorter than the Fusion:

A4

Fusion

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A4 has larger standard tires than the Fusion (225/50R17 vs. 215/60R16). The A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fusion (245/40R18 vs. 235/50R17).

The A4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires. The A4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Fusion Titanium’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A4 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

The A4 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Fusion; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The A4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Fusion’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Fusion Titanium (25.3 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis

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The A4 is 5.7 inches shorter than the Fusion, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A4 offers cargo security. The Fusion’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A4’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Fusion doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The A4’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Fusion’s (3968 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The A4 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fusion uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the A4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Fusion. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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The A4 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Fusion doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A4’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fusion’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Fusion doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Fusion doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Fusion doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the A4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Fusion doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The A4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Fusion and aren’t offered on the Fusion S.

When the A4 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Fusion’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A4 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Fusion, and aren’t available on the Fusion S. The A4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Fusion.

The A4 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion.

Both the A4 and the Fusion offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A4 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fusion doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A4 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Fusion doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The A4 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Fusion doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the Fusion, including $39 less for front brake pads and $333 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi A4 and the Ford Fusion, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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