2020 Ford Fusion vs. 2020 BMW 3 Series Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fusion have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fusion are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Fusion 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The 3 Series Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Fusion uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Fusion Titanium for maximum performance). The 3 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Fusion FWD’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan (16.5 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Fusion AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan (18 vs. 15.6 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 3 Series Sedan 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 BMW 3 Series Sedan (3 to 7). This means the Fusion produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 3 Series Sedan every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Fusion stops shorter than the 3 Series Sedan:

Fusion

3 Series Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

129 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Fusion SE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sedan (235/50R17 vs. 225/35R20).

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Passenger Space

The Fusion has .5 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sedan.

The front step up height for the Fusion is .7 inches lower than the 3 Series Sedan (15.8” vs. 16.5”). The Fusion’s rear step up height is 1.1 inches lower than the 3 Series Sedan’s (15.25” vs. 16.3”).

Cargo Capacity

The Fusion has a much larger trunk than the 3 Series Sedan (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 3 Series Sedan’s liftover is 26.7 inches.

Towing

The Fusion has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The 3 Series Sedan has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Fusion SEL/Titanium’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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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’s exterior PIN entry system. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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’s exterior PIN entry system. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Consumer Reports rated the Fusion’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the 3 Series Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Fusion Titanium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Ford Fusion outsold the BMW 3 Series by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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