Ford has made a few changes for the 2012 Fusion. The American automaker decided based on low sales numbers that the six-speed manual transmission will only be available on the base Fusion S for 2012.
Fuel economy wasn’t much of an improvement with the manual transmission anyways. With a manual transmission, the Fusion was rated 22/32 mpg while the automatic six speed was rated at 23/33 mpg. There is a general trend currently, to eliminate manual transmission midsize sedans, with Mazda doing so with their ostensibly sporty Mazda6.
The other ‘major’ change for the 2012 Fusion are the 17-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the Fusion SE. In fact, Fusion SEs came with 17-inch steel wheels and plastic wheel covers, an odd choice given that the base Fusion S came with 16-inch alloy wheels.