The competition for the best midsize sedan of the new year was fierce all throughout 2017. Improvements on older models made it tough to choose a new winner for 2018, but, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the decisions between one of these two vehicles: the 2018 Ford Fusion or the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu. As your Indianapolis Ford Lincoln dealer, we want to take the time to tell you a little bit about these two fantastic cars and why they’re so special.
The Fusion and the Malibu have very similar price points, but the Fusion has a definite edge in terms of budget and value. It starts at $22,120—around $500 higher than the Malibu. The difference is that the Ford Fusion comes with well over $500 worth of standard features compared to the Malibu. The Fusion also comes with an extra two years on the corrosion warranty, making this a better buy for those who live in harsh environments.
The 2018 models haven’t been rated by J.D. Power for their reliability just yet. Last year’s models scored nearly the same for reliability, so that may happen again this year. If the quality of the Ford F-150 series reviews gives any indicators of a winner, then the Ford Fusion should take the prize.
Surprisingly, the Fusion and Malibu have almost to-the-letter, exact dimensional cargo volume. The Fusion does have a slight edge, mostly due to a more convenient rear loading design, while the Malibu’s bumper is higher up. Unfortunately, that bumper can make it difficult to load some items.
For interior quality, once again, the best interior award goes to the Fusion. It has a high-class contemporary design with high-quality materials to match. More expensive Fusion models add in luxury features such as wood trim. This isn’t something that will be a make or break for everyone, though.
The Malibu does have a few more optional gadgets available than the Fusion, but you’ll pay extra for all of them. That might be a deal breaker, depending on your budget. The Fusion, on the other hand, comes with a rear parking aid and a sunroof by default.
Both these midsize sedans are very comfortable. That said, the Fusion may have an edge in this area as well. The 2018 Fusion has more spacious legroom and headroom, along with standard leather seats.
The 2018 Ford Fusion wins out decisively in this aspect. Its 325 horsepower and 350 torque are superior to the Malibu’s 250 HP and 260 torque. Ford’s twin-turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard with the Fusion. There’s also a few upgrade options available if you need more power.
Ride Comfort and Handling
The Malibu and the Fusion are comfortable and pleasing to drive. Noise- and vibration-dampening features create a smooth ride that’s simply unparalleled. However, the Fusion wins hands down when it comes to suspension and handling because it can turn sharp corners without swaying. Even on rough roads, the steering wheel feels tight and responsive.
The Fusion is also one of the only midsize sedans on the market to offer all-wheel drive. If you’re into off-roading, drive over rough terrain on a regular basis, or want a little extra control during the wintery weather, it’ll likely be the better choice.
Both these sedans have high scores in all safety areas, so you can drive them while feeling confident and relaxed, but the Fusion does edge out slightly over the Malibu because it includes additional safety features, such as blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems as standard in vehicles. The Malibu has plenty of safety features, too, but most aren’t included with the standard package for free.
The Ford Fusion and the Chevrolet Malibu come pretty close to being equal, so it’s hard to decide between the two. At the end of the day, we feel that either is a sound purchase, but we have to admit that the Fusion does edge out the Malibu just slightly in benefits. Stop by a Community Ford Lincoln dealership in Indianapolis or call ahead to plan a test drive today.