Just a few days ago, I got my first up close look at the new Ford Fusion. It wasn’t in the sterile setting of a dealership or an auto show — it was sitting right next to me at a light. I looked over, and it took a minute to realize that I was actually looking at one of Ford’s economy-class cars; this car was nice. I may be a little old school, but when I first heard the name Ford Fiesta, all I could picture was Ford Focus … cringe.  The Focus was one of those cars that got passed down to you from your mother, and she’d bought it used herself!

I pictured cheap design, a clunky hatchback and some of the cheesiest hubcaps, but when I saw this baby sitting next to me at the light, I was a little embarrassed to be driving my late model Altima — the most common car on the streets of metro Atlanta. The lucky guy who owned this Ford comeback had tricked her out with some 10-spoke 20-inch Lexanis that made the Fusion look like a million bucks. To finish out the look, he had just the right amount of chrome accents on the body (without making the car look like it was dipped in chrome). It had sweet factory halogens and bluish-looking fog lights; I think he pulled out all the stops on this one, but I don’t know how much credit to give the driver and how much to give to Ford, because it looked like it was pretty tight coming off the factory line.

When my lease is up on the Nissan Altima, I will be taking a trip over to the Ford dealership to give the Fusion a test-drive, but it’s definitely got my attention already. –mark anderson