Wednesday, 9 September 2015

REVIEW - Ford Mondeo Titanium Estate

The Mondeo has been a success for Ford since it went on sale in 1993. It has BTCC success in its DNA, and with the previous model being on sale since 2006 is was definitely time for a fresh look. And that’s exactly what we have here. I grabbed hold of a Titanium model for a week, to see what all the fuss was about. So would I be calling myself a ‘Mondeo Man’ by the end of the week? And is the new model likely to be a success?...

Looks – 9/10

The new Mondeo is only just recognisable from its predecessor. Ford’s design team have done a stellar job on the exterior; making the large estate car look sleek and stylish. Being the Titanium model and having the optional ‘X’ pack (£2,000) and 19-inch alloys (£500) this is one of the best looking Mondeos you can get. The daytime running lights are bold underneath the dynamic LED headlights, and ‘sweeping’ indicators at the front are a really premium touch. There’s privacy glass and chrome window surround, and then when you get to the back I think the estate actually looks better than the hatchback. The rear lights are LED which is a nice touch. My test car was finished in Frozen White (£250) which is striking on such a large car.

Inside the ‘X’ pack adds leather seats to what is already a well-equipped cabin. The centre piece is an 8-inch colour touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 2 media system. The instrument cluster is digital, which gives a crisp, stylish appearance. The panorama roof (£900) makes the cabin light, and with the electric sun blind has a touch of class too. The plastics are nice looking and have a good feel to them, but I did find there wasn’t really enough contrast in the colours. The dashboard and door trims are all a bit dark, and when coupled to the black leather seats could have used some silver or brushed aluminium trim to break it up.

Handling/Performance – 8/10

The engine in my test car is one that’s likely to be one of the most popular; the 2.0-litre Duratorq diesel. Mine came with 150PS and 350Nm of torque, which is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox. There is a lot of car to get off the line, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. That being said the torque is impressive and in-gear acceleration plentiful. On the motorway the engine is smooth and quiet, whilst maintaining a bit of overtaking ‘oomph’. There are many other engine options available, and my choice would be the 180PS version of the 2.0-litre diesel, and I’d go for the 6-speed automatic as well.

The Mondeo handles well for a large car. The steering is direct and cornering is surprisingly flat. The ride is firm too; helped by the 19-inch wheels with low profile tyres. The balance is still right though, because once on the motorway you can sink into the leather seats and enjoy a comfortable cruise. What surprised me the most about driving the Mondeo is that once you got behind the wheel it felt like a driver-focused car. The driving position was great, and the seats comfortable. One of the biggest improvements over the previous model is the addition of an AWD system. This is available on the 2.0-litre diesel models (150PS as a manual and 180PS as an automatic). This will benefit those wishing to utilise the Mondeo’s towing ability or just those looking for a bit of all-round grip.

Economy – 9/10

The new Mondeo is available with a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, or even a 2.0-litre TiVCT Hybrid engine for those who are looking for a bit more economy. That being said, the 2.0-litre Duratorq isn’t too bad at all. Combined fuel consumption in the 150PS manual version I tested is 62.8mpg and with CO2 emissions of 119g/km this large car is in VED band C. That’s £30 a year, and free in the first year, which I don’t think is bad at all. There’s start stop technology to help keep emissions down, and Ford has spent a lot of time in making their cars more frugal. It seems to be paying off, and even the 180PS AWD auto emits 138g/km (£130 per year).

Practicality – 10/10

If you’re looking for a practical car, then the Mondeo Estate should tick all the boxes. This looks like a big car, and the interior space therefore comes as no surprise. There’s plenty of legroom for rear passengers, and inflatable seatbelts in the back for added safety. The estate comes with boot space of 500 litres. Fold those rear seats down though and you turn the back into a vast space of 1,605 litres. The Titanium also comes very well equipped, including satellite navigation, Bluetooth, lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, dual-zone climate control and cruise control with speed limiter. Throw in the ‘X’ pack with 10-way power front seats, keyless entry and heated front seats and it’s a properly luxurious car. From a school run, to a shopping trip, to a camping trip, the Mondeo will do it all.

Fun – 7/10

There’s something very likable about Ford’s current models. They have the visual appeal, and when you add a few options or climb higher up the trim levels, are well equipped too. Ford have spent time improving the driver experience, and this shows in the Mondeo. The new SYNC 2 multimedia system is brilliant, operating Bluetooth audio, iPod control and utilises an 8-inch touchscreen to improve ease of use. I think a more exciting engine and some AWD grip would only improve things, and I’d be keen to try the Mondeo with this drivetrain. Then there’s the Vignale to think about; Ford’s new range-topping model which offers customers exclusivity and a high specification.

Concluding Remarks

So that’s my week with the Mondeo Estate. I really enjoyed having it. Catching my reflection with the sleek new design was always satisfying, and in particular those sweeping indicators never failed to impress. The level of equipment on the Titanium with the ‘X’ pack meant every journey was a pleasure. I liked the engine too, but I would really like to try a model with a bit more power and AWD just to see the difference. The Vignale might be the range-topper, but this car was luxurious enough for me. Price for the Titanium Estate with the 2.0-litre 150PS diesel start at £24,745 and even with the ‘X’ pack and various other options will stay the right side of £30,000. For more information visit your local dealer or log on to the Ford website. One thing’s for sure; Mondeo man’s got style.

Total Score – 43/50

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