Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2014 Ford Fusion VS 2014 Lexus ES Near Surprise, AZ

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2014 Ford Fusion

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2014 Lexus ES

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the Fusion inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The ES Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Fusion offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Lexus ES Series:


ES Series



5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

200 lbs.

388 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

45 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/333 lbs.

446/567 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the ES Series:


ES Series

Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces



Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

7 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

14 cm

18 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1.2/.5 kN

6.1/1.76 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

1.3/.5 kN

2.1/2.5 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Lexus ES Series:


ES Series

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

16 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ES Series is not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2014.

The Ford Fusion has a better fatality history. The Fusion was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 9% lower per vehicle registered than the ES Series, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 20 times as many Ford dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Fusion’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 248) than the ES 350’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fusion 2.0 ECOBoost is faster than the ES 300h (automatics tested):


ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.6 MPH

90.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion 2.0 ECOBoost FWD gets better fuel mileage than the ES 350 (22 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/31 hwy).

The Fusion has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The ES Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Fusion’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:


ES Series

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11 inches

The Fusion stops much shorter than the ES Series:


ES Series

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Fusion SE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES Series (235/50R17 vs. 225/45R18).

The Fusion Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Fusion Titanium offers optional 19-inch wheels. The ES Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fusion’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The ES Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the ES Series (112.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Fusion Titanium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the ES 350 (27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Fusion may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Lexus ES Series.

The front grille of the Fusion uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ES Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fusion has 2.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ES Series (102.8 vs. 100.1).

The Fusion has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fusion has a larger trunk than the ES 350 (16 vs. 15.2 cubic feet).

The Fusion’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Fusion and the ES Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ES Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/Titanium’s exterior keypad. The ES Series doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Fusion’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The ES Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Fusion’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The ES Series’ power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Fusion SE/Titanium offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The ES Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion SE/Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ES Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fusion will cost $790 less than the ES Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the ES Series because it costs $133 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the ES Series, including $42 less for a water pump, $17 less for front brake pads, $154 less for a starter, $185 less for fuel injection, $32 less for a fuel pump, $213 less for front struts, $1228 less for a timing belt/chain and $446 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fusion will be $887 to $9493 less than for the Lexus ES Series.

Recommendations Comparison

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The ES Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion as their 2010 Car of the Year. The ES Series has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The ES hasn’t been picked since 1991.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The ES Series has never been chosen.

The Ford Fusion outsold the Lexus ES by over four to one during 2013.

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