The Ford Fusion has done well for Ford since it debuted as a 2006 model. Not only did it carve out a niche for the automaker in the midsize sedan market, it framed the new look for Ford with its bold three-bar grille.

However, the Fusion is showing its age and for 2009 it will get a slightly revised look and a new more powerful base engine. The 160-hp four-cylinder in the current S and SE trim levels will be replaced with a 170-hp four-cylinder and will be teamed with a six-speed automatic instead of the current five-speed. That likely means better fuel economy; the Fusion is currently rated at 20/29 mpg city/highway. Ford told dealers it would deliver “best in class” fuel economy, which is currently the 2009 Hyundai Sonata at 22/32 mpg.

A more powerful and fuel-efficient V-6 may also be in the works for the Fusion. Expect to learn more specific details when the 2009 is announced later this year.

Ford adds power to Fusion (Detroit News)