2013 Ford Fusion
Ford introduced a new Fusion even though the existing Fusion is the country's sixth-best-selling vehicle and third-best-selling car.

The change speaks to the brutal competition in the midsize sedan segment. Among the other top five cars in the segment, Toyota ( F) has a new Camry, GM will soon have a new Malibu, Hyundai and Nissan have popular vehicles -- the Sonata and Altima -- and Honda ( HMC) unveiled a new Accord at the auto show. (The next car you will see is the Accord.)

As for the new Fusion, it represents "a complete departure from the Fusion's previous styling," said Brauer of TotalCarScore. The midsize market is home to brutal competition, he said, "but that's where the volume is."

Ford's design goal was "to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice," said Chris Hamilton, chief exterior designer, in a statement.

Among the new technologies in the Fusion is a lane-keeping system, which uses a small camera to trigger an alert for drivers drifting out of a lane and can even apply pressure on steering to help bring the car back to a proper position.

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