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2013 Ford Fusion Titanium

Bottom line: You can get a better deal on the new Fusion by shopping at the bottom of the line, especially if you are buying the car primarily for fuel economy. Try the mid-grade Fusion SE, which starts at $23,720. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter, in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine that gets 22 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The top-of-the-line Fusion Titanium starts at $30,200 and tends to move up the price ladder from there.

Head-turning quotient: If you want to immerse yourself in an Aston Martin fantasy, the Fusion Titanium is the one to get. It is one of the best-looking midsize family sedans available, equipped with all of the latest electronically controlled active safety systems.

Body style/layout: The 2013 Ford Fusion is a front-engine, standard front-wheel-drive, gasoline-fueled, midsize family sedan that delivers all-around excellent value for the money … if you can control your fantasies and penchant for options. There are three basic trim levels — S, SE and Titanium. The new Fusion also is available with all-wheel drive and gas-electric hybrid technology.

Engines/transmission: There are two available engines, a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder model (175 horsepower, 175 pound-feet of torque) and a turbocharged, 2-liter four-cylinder model (231 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque). In terms of performance and fuel economy, the turbocharged 2-liter engine is the better deal. Both engines get about the same fuel economy (22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway using regular gasoline). Both are linked to six-speed automatic transmissions that also can be shifted manually.

Capacities: Seats five people. Maximum cargo capacity is 16 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 16.5 gallons of gasoline. Regular grade is recommended.

Real-world mileage: I averaged 19 mpg in the cities (congested Baltimore and New York City traffic). I averaged 31 mpg on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment on the 2013 Ford Titanium includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front/solid rear); four-wheel antilock brake protection; adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation and brake support; electronic stability and traction control; side and head air bags; headlamps.

Price: The base price of the 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium is $32,200. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $29,705. Price as tested is $34,855, including $2,975 in options (onboard navigation, backup camera, blind-side inspection system, among other items) and a $795 destination fee. Dealer’s price as tested (excluding unavailable advertising fee for the Fusion Titanium) is $32,101.

— Warren Brown