During the 1997 General Election Campaign, the Labour Party led by Tony Blair identified ‘ Mondeo man’ as the voter that they most wanted to target. Mondeo man is in the urban dictionary & is defined as “A typically average British man who would steroetypicaly live in Kent, own a semi-detatched house, have a wife, two kids & drive a Ford Mondeo.” It’s hard to believe 18 years on, that political parties would still use this mantra in targeting would-be voters, particularly with the growth of SUV’s which didn’t really exist back then.
Ford’s family of cars have been a staple of the UK fleet customers since the 1960’s. The new Mondeo is sure to continue that trend particularly as the latest incarnation looks great with a bold grille, 17” alloys, LED tail lights, slim headlights, silver roof rails, & clean lines. The new Mondeo is actually smaller than it’s predecessor, but still manages to offer 525 litres of bootspace with the five seats in place, or 1,630 litres once the rear seats are folded. The saloon is great car to drive & even though it weighs about 20kg more than the saloon, the estate drives just as well. It’s smooth & quiet on the motorway & light & precise around town with comfortable front seats & a soft suspension compared to Mondeos of old.
The Mondeo’s cabin in line with all Fords cars & vans, has been given a makeover. Gone are the multitude of buttons seen on the previous-generation car in favour of a clean touchscreen that’s divided into four quarters for the climate, phone, SatNav & audio functions. In addition, you get new dials with a pair of TFT displays within them, while the multifunction steering wheel has a number of buttons including ones for the radio, cruise control & Ford’s SYNC voice control system. A quick word about this. You can utilise this function from your phone so that you can make handsfree calls. Many similar systems I’ve tried in other cars cause confusion i.e.when you call out a contact it mis-hears you & you end up calling the wrong person. I had no such problems with Fords SYNC system which even in noisy traffic, worked really well.
The dash board layout will be familiar to existing Ford customers. Although functional, it appears cluttered compared to those found in competitors such as the Passat or Insignia. Quality is okay but again not as good as that found in the Volkswagen or even the Peugeot 508. Fords radio system still flummoxes me. Even after several days in the cabin, I cannot work properly.
My test model was the fleet favourite Titanium model which comes laden with amongst others, sports seats, DAB, SatNav, traffic sign recognition, power folding door mirrors, dual zone climate control, cruise control wit sped limiter, a rear ski hatch, a quick clear heated front window & an electric parking brake. My test model the Mondeo Titanium Estate costs £24,745. Ford had added £4475 of extras to my test car including the Titanium X Pack which included dynamic LED headlights, leather seat trim, 10 way power front seats, hated front seats, a keyless entry system & privacy glass, which will set you back £2000. There was also a panoramic opening roof £900, Active Park Assist, £450- front & rear parking sensors with parallel & perpendicular parking- & Active City Stop for £200.
The Titanium I drove, was powered by the 2 litre Duratorq 6-speed TDCi engine & very nice it was too. Acceleration is good, with 62mph reached from a standing start in 9.4 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph. The engine is quiet & nicely refined & it’s particularly impressive when cruising on the motorway where the miles disappear in front of you. Even in town it’s very capable & with the parking sensor pack, it’s easy to park.
The cheapest Mondeo Estate to run is the 1.6 TDCi Econetic manual which achieves 74.3mpg & 99g/km of CO2. The 2 litre isn’t bad though, with a combined economy of 62.8mpg & CO2 emissions of 119g/km. If you must have the estate, it will set you back £1250 more than the hatchback version.
If you want an estate it’s for the space. Access to the boot is excellent with a low floor & no boot lip to contend with. Unfortunately, Ford don’t offer easy access levers in the boot to get the rear seats down quickly, nor is there a spit-level floor nor any load bay dividers, all commonplace in cars like the Passat & Octavia estates nowadays. Rear leg & headroom are good with plenty of space in the back for two six-footers & a little one in the middle.
Having driven 600 miles in the Mondeo, I can safely say that it is the best Mondeo yet. It looks good, comes very well equipped, drives well & offers good fuel economy with low emissions. However, Ford have missed the opportunity to make the Mondeo the best in it’s class by not offering those extra touches to make life simpler for it;s customers. Extras, such as quick – release rear sat levers & a split floor in the boot. It is after all an estate & therefore will in theory be bought for it’s practicality.
Not quite a Henry Ford, but a George Ford 4/5.