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Old 02-18-2008, 06:22   #1 (permalink)
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The Fusion/Contour auto transmission: awful

I read in the latest Car and Driver about the Fusion and how it;s transmission will seem to hunt for top gear at any speed.

Since the Ford website doesn't seem to allow feedback, and Ford seems to not want any feedback, I took the trouble of posting this rant here, because I feel it is important that this gets noticed by future purchasers of the Fusion. I looked for an email on the Ford site, found a link that directed me to another page with no email address.

I have my Grandmother's Contour, 4CYL auto, and the transmission does the same things mentioned...plus with added nonsense.

It is a constant fight when driving this car to get it into a proper gear. The fight is made more intriguing on Michigan's icy roads when it will shift unpredictably into a low gear and try to send you off the road with wheelspin.

The question I have is: Did the Ford powertrain engineers know how awful this transmission is and still keep it around, putting it in the Fusion, or is this transmission purposely designed to behave this way for some unknown regulatory reason, or pricing reason?

Because it is simply awful. Some shifts will be as hard as dropping the clutch in a manual at 5000rpm. I know that that is not good for the health of a drivetrain, but it is a common occurrence when trying to accelerate. The downshifts take forever and actually fight the brakes when trying to stop quickly, I have to push the lever into neutral to make sure that I can stop when need be. And the interesting thing about that is that the level doesn't have a lock to keep from accidentally hitting the lever and setting it to neutral. I wonder if that was designed to get around the slow shifting problem and absolve Ford from any litigation.

I have owned Toyotas and Acuras. They were lightyears ahead of the Contour in all areas and were much earlier models. This car is dangerous to drive, with this crazy transmission and a suspension that is putrid and simply unsafe to drive on a highway that isn't straight and smooth.

I can see that the management at Ford is still trying to dupe the consumer into thinking that their cars are good. I wonder if they care about the product anymore.

They had better get their act together. The Contour is a pile of junk, if they are unaware of how terrible that transmission is, what else are they blind about?
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The Fusion/Contour auto transmission: awful

It's nothing a software update cannot fix. There are a few after-market companies available that can 'flash' the programming to make the power train a touch more responsive, but it'll cost!

I noticed in my Taurus after I bought it that it too likes to stay in the tallest gear possible at any given speed. Around town I drive it in 3rd just for better responsiveness and engine braking when loaded. I noticed when I was at the dealer, the Fusion only had Low and drive! WTF! I imagine the I4 is a fine engine for everyday driving, but putting it against a transmission that you have very poor control over is a bad idea for sure.
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