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A Buyer's Guide for Getting a Used Ford Fusion

The Fusion has been a popular midsize sedan for decades now, and it's not hard to see why. It's one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, which means lower operating costs, but also lower emissions. Plus it's spacious enough to give you plenty of room for all your friends and family. The trunk is roomy enough for bigger things, such as luggage or a 40-inch TV. It's also good looking, with a sleek design and a bold and stylish interior. You can get upgraded features on the top trim levels, such as leather seats and heated steering wheel. The downside of the Fusion is it's price tag. Even with savings from buying used, you can expect to pay more than $15,000 for a base model. And even with the new features and a few lucky deals, buying a used Fusion is still an expensive proposition. That's why I've decided to write this article, which will provide all the information you need to know before heading out to shop for a used Ford Fusion.

What Are My Options?

According to Ford, the Ford Fusion comes in three distinct trim levels: the base S model, the mid-grade SE, and the top-tier SEL. In terms of size, the S is smaller than the SE and SEL. Thus, it offers less space inside and a smaller trunk. The advantage to buying a base model is lower price tag, while the advantage to getting an SE or SEL is more features and better performance.

  • Base Model S - The base model is an affordable entry point to the Fusion line. It starts at $15,995 for a 2014 model with a manual transmission and $16,795 for an automatic. At that price, you get 14-inch wheels, a CD player and Aux jack, Bluetooth connectivity with voice control, dual-zone climate control, USB and auxiliary ports in the center console area, and a rearview camera. You get a loaded sticker price of $19,095.
  • SE - The SE is the mid-grade, and has many features that are more common to mid-level vehicles. It starts at $22,995 for a 2012 model with a manual and $24,795 for an automatic. The improvements over the base model include 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seats with heating and memory for the driver's seat, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats, push-button start, and upgraded sound system. The SE includes safety features such as blind spot monitoring and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The loaded price is $28,495.
  • SEL - The top-tier, SEL trim, starts at $30,995 for a 2013 model with a manual and $31,795 for an automatic. The SEL is the one that is getting all the attention lately. A few highlights of this model include LED fog lights and automatic high beams. But for this article, we'll focus on how to get them used.

How To Get A Ford Fusion Used

  • Consider Trading In - This one is pretty obvious. You're going to be trading in your old car or SUV, so you might as well take that as a chance to get a really good deal on a used car. Don't just trade it in for cash; find out what the best options are for resale value. Shop around at dealerships and ask them to give you an estimate of how much you can expect to get for your trade-in, as shown by US News.
  • Use a Certified Pre-Owned Dealership - Some local car dealerships are certified by Ford, which means they follow strict guidelines to maintain their certification. These dealerships are more likely to offer you a good price for your used car, since they can't sell it for less than its best price. There's also the warranty and service package that comes with the used car. Ask if its included or can be added onto the price of the used car.
  • Keep Your Eyes Open for Dealerships Making Special, Limited Offers - Ford dealerships occasionally have special offers on cars. These are usually limited to a specific number of models and sometimes to a specific region. If you see their offer, take advantage of it and contact the dealerships right away to make an appointment.
  • Get in Touch with the Competition - There are likely several dealerships in your area that sell Ford products, so contact them as well and ask for their best offer. You might be surprised how much you can save just by having an open mind.
  • Get a Good Inspection - Depending on where you live and/or the condition of your trade-in, you might want to get a professional inspection performed on the car you are about to buy. The dealer may be willing to have this done in order to seal the deal, or at least ensure that there is no issue with the car's condition.
  • Get Pre-Approved If Financing - If you choose to finance your used car rather than pay cash, get pre-approved for a loan beforehand. This will give you a lower interest rate and likely save you money on the car's final cost. You can go to multiple different banks to try and compare rates of interest for your loan, which will make you more prepared for when you enter the dealership. Nerdwallet has some additional tips on financing.
  • Use the Internet - Many dealerships have websites now, and that can be a real perk when trying to research special offers or contact them about a used car. Many sites allow you to browse inventory in your area, sign up for email alerts or view their inventory on line.

Final Thoughts

When buying a car and especially a used car, it's always best to negotiate. This is especially true with vehicles that are 6-8 years or older. They have much less value than a newer vehicle and can be sold for far less than they are worth. If you do decide to negotiate with the dealer, be prepared to come in with a good offer. The dealer is going to want you to drive your car away that day, so it's going to be tough for him/her to give you a good deal unless you come in prepared.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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