Ford’s latest performs well in the toughest crash test yet devised. [fflash=left]http://www.youtube.com/v/odOhvmhM48M?version=3[/fflash]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 20, 2012 To put the crash energy dissipated into perspective, watch closely and you will even see the driver’s side front wheel separate from the car! The 2013 Ford Fusion is not only great to look at (think Aston Martin) and more fuel efficient than its peers (1.6L EcoBoost with the stick is rated at 25/37 mpgUS city/highway combined), it is also one of the safer vehicles currently available under the IIHS’ new far more stringent small overlap crash test. A test that makes crash test engineers whimper and grown men cry… Regarding those drivetrains, I will skip the 2.5L as that is old news but the 1.6L EcoBoost ($25,290 incl. D&H) with an available Start/Stop system, ($295 option) and an atkinsonized 2.0L in the Hybrid ($27,995 incl. D&H) appear at first glance to be midsize sedan standouts. The Fusion will also soon arrive as a PHEV-21 while still providing its 47/47/47 mpgUS rating(s). The details of this story however has to do with the all-new 2013 Ford Fusions just recently released IIHS crash test results. The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion has now earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highest rating, a Top Safety Pick+, receiving an Acceptable rating in the new small overlap front crash test. This new rating, Top Safety Pick+, applies to all Fusions produced after mid-December 2012. As in our previous two IIHS small overlap crash test write-ups, New IIHS Frontal Crash Tests Will Change the “Top Safety Pick” Landscape and Toyota Takes another Hit on IIHS’ New Small Overlap Crash Tests, to earn the “+” distinction, Top Safety Pick Plus winners must jump through some pretty tall hoops. Meaning they must earn at least good ratings for occupant protection in 4 of 5 IIHS evaluations, with no less than acceptable in any one single test. Saying that, the front airbag and side airbag gap show the drivers head sliding between but it is a far superior result than what the MKZ offered in which the drivers head completely missed both during this horrific crash test. 2013 Ford Fusion A good looker parked in front of the Santa Monica Pier. The All-new 2013 Ford Fusions Safety Additions Are Truly Class leading Tech Here is a whole slew of crash test hardware changes and addition details that must have had Ford’s PR Content factory running back and forth to the tech center to get the details just right The all-new Fusion features the Personal Safety System which according to Ford is a network of components that work together to tailor the deployment of the front airbags during frontal collisions. The restraint control module (RCM) translates information collected by the front crash sensors, front outboard safety belt buckle switches, driver-seat track position and passenger seat weight sensor. Using this information, the RCM activates the safety belt pretensioners and determines how the dual-stage front airbags will deploy. This tailored deployment is designed to help better protect an occupant by adapting its release to the size and position of the front seat occupants. The redesigned seat-mounted side airbags deploy lower in the pelvis area and incorporate new venting technology. The tunnel vent on the seat mounted side airbag is lined up with the shoulder area of the occupant. On larger passengers, the shoulder engages the vent and keeps it from venting so the gas stays inside the airbag. On smaller passengers, the effect is just the opposite: Because the occupant’s shoulder is below the vent, the gas vents out of the airbag. According to Ford, the driver’s airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a pocket that is designed to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes. Deploying at the same time is a driver’s knee airbag. Extra’s as in big time cost extra’s Parking lots and open roadways are safer with Fusion’s available sensor-based BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert. BLIS sounds an alert when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert warns if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when Fusion is leaving a parking space in reverse. Parallel parking the Fusion is also virtually stress-free with the available active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into the space. Drivers remain in control of gear selection, acceleration and braking. Maybe if you live in the city but I am not all that stressed when parallel parking, are you? Other driver assist technologies that are offered or standard on the 2013 Fusion include: Lane Keeping Assist Lane Keeping Aid Driver Monitoring Adaptive Cruise Control Rearview Camera Front/Rear Park Aids Hill Start Assist Electronic Parking Break 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid from the drivers perspective With the availability of the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid MIA until spring, I have a request in to drive either the 1.6L EcoBoost with the 6-speed stick or 6-speed AT. The stick in particular should prove worthwhile given its “hot: looks, nicely designed and completely new interior appointments and an over top 178 HP on premium fuel (only recommended thankfully ) and a healthy 173 lb-ft. of torque could make for a world class ride and possibly even better than our recent outing in the 2013 Honda Accord Sport with its 6-speed stick. Besides, I need some more exterior shots of Ford's best mid-size offering anyway.