China’s New Ford Mondeo Could’ve Been Our Next Fusion

If you want a Ford passenger car right now, the Mustang is your only non-van choice. At least, it’s the only choice in the US. Overseas customers can still buy things like a Fiesta hatchback and a Focus ST wagon. But now the taste of forbidden fruit has gotten even stronger. Because while the Fusion sedan is dead, the new Ford Mondeo is a vision of an alternate universe where it’s still going strong.

The Ford Fusion—er, Mondeo is back with some Mustang Mach-E style

A silver 2022 Ford Mondeo
2022 Ford Mondeo | Ford

First, a bit of history. The car that Europeans know as the Ford Mondeo was initially sold in the US as the Ford Contour. But the Fusion and Mondeo became one when the second-gen Fusion launched in 2013. And when Ford discontinued the Fusion after 2020, the Mondeo died, too.

At a recent press conference in Shanghai, China, though, Ford brought the Mondeo back in a sleek new form. In front, the reborn sedan wears the same kind of angular grille seen on the Evos crossover, which we also don’t get. Meanwhile, its rear has some resemblance to the Mustang Mach-E. And not only is it slightly wider and longer than the old car, but it also has flush-fitting door handles to maximize its sleek appearance.

As of this writing, Ford hasn’t released the new Mondeo’s powertrain details. However, based on Ford’s other Chinese offerings, it likely offers at least a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, Car and Driver muses. And seeing as Ford offered the last Fusion as a hybrid, its successor probably has hybrid options, too. The interior likely features a large screen, too, again, like the Evos.

Ford is keeping the new Mondeo in China

The rear 3/4 view of a gray 2022 Ford Mondeo
2022 Ford Mondeo rear 3/4 | Ford

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Unfortunately, like the Lincoln Zephyr, the new Ford Mondeo isn’t coming to the US. Nor is it coming to Europe. Instead, it’s a Chinese-market-only sedan.

If it seems strange that Ford is launching a new sedan just for Chinese customers, it shouldn’t be. Automakers are increasingly offering China-only variants of their products or China-specific models. For example, Buick only sells the GL6 MPV, er, minivan, in China. In addition, Honda just launched an electric HR-V in China that might not come to the US. And Lotus, which is owned by a Chinese company, just set up a Wuhan HQ.

So, for the foreseeable future, Ford Mondeo fans will just have to look enviously upon Chinese buyers. But the Fusion’s US chances aren’t necessarily over just yet.

Will the Fusion ever return to the US?

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Early in 2021, some photographers spotted a camouflaged crossover-shaped Ford vehicle running around. This supported long-running rumors of an upcoming ‘Fusion Active,’ a lifted wagon/crossover designed to take on cars like the Subaru Outback. These rumors were strengthened even more after studio photos of the camo-covered crossover leaked.

However, Ford hasn’t officially confirmed if the Fusion Active is indeed a thing. For what it’s worth, though, Car and Driver says that it’s coming for the 2023 model year. And with how popular the Outback is right now, Ford has a strong financial incentive to launch a rival.

Regardless, if you want a new Fusion sedan, looking at pictures of the new Mondeo is the closest thing you’ll get.

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