The Fusion won KBB's 2013 Best Redesigned Vehicle award in a large part because the midsized sedan has the hottest looks in what's often a boring class of cars, Nerad says.
"When you look at the Fusion's exterior design you say: 'Wow, that's pretty cool,'" he says. "That also extends to the interior design, while the choice of available power trains is almost mind-blowing."
On the outside, the Fusion takes its styling cues from
, the sporty British brand that Ford once owned. (Actors Daniel Craig brought James Bond's Aston Martin back to cheers in the recent
-- then blew it up.)
Inside, the new Fusion boasts a larger cabin than its 2012 predecessor, plus options such as automatic parallel parking and a system that can keep you from drifting out of a lane if you're dozing off.
But the second-generation Fusion really shines under the hood.
KBB editors love the car's three available four-cylinder engines -- a base 175-horsepower version and optional 178- and 240-horsepower turbocharged versions. The turbocharged engines, new for 2013, come with "EcoBoost" technology to improve fuel efficiency.
There's also a Fusion Hybrid that gets 47 mpg city/highway, while a plug-in hybrid version due in showrooms later this year rates 108 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) in combined city/highway driving.