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.
Economy – 9/10
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.
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.