Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi (140) Titanium X Estate - FORD MONDEO Car Review
Added: 10 May 2008
IT is probably something of an irony that Ford could be the victim of its own success, such is the quality of the Mondeo.
Slide into Ford's huge family estate and disguise the trademark Ford blue oval badge and you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from a BMW, Mercedes or Audi.
At the lower end of the market, the Mondeo estate starts at £16,455 and there is no contest with premium models, but take the tested top-of-the-range Titanium X Estate auto with a price of £24,195 and it is competing with the big boys and more than gives them a run for their money.
Throw in the £5,000 worth of extras on the test car, including the new adaptive cruise control, satellite navigation, sport suspension, electrically powered front seats, adaptive lighting system and parking sensors and the price is not a million miles away from the likes of the new Jag XF.
So the difficulty is persuading potential premium brand buyers to switch to the Ford.
But the Mondeo - and the latest Focus - continue to set the standard in their class and despite the firm's well documented problems, in Europe it seems Ford can do no wrong.
The standard and levels of equipment, plus the new soft touch trim put the car firmly in the driving seat in terms of quality.
It is a very large car, wider and longer than its predecessor and offers acres of room for five adults and a simply enormous cargo space.
Even with all the seats in place, the Mondeo offers an impressive 542 litres of space, but fold down the seats and this becomes a cavernous 1,733 litres.
It's the kind of practical car that could stem the haemhorrage of buyers from the large family car segment to MPVs.
Ford says the latest Mondeo marks a step change in terms of design and that the technology embodies Ford's 'kinetic design' language, expressing energy in motion.
I'm not quite sure what that means but it certainly looks more dynamic.
The car has a more muscular and aggressive look thanks to striking new headlights and grille and stylish alloys.
The interior is just as impressive. All the controls have a solid and well-built feel and car has a quality feel throughout.
It is hard to find fault as Ford seems to have ticked all the boxes.
The Mondeo has always been famed for its ride and handling and little has changed, even in estate guise. The steering is direct and responsive and the ride smooth and refined, if a touch on the firm side.
Handling on corners is still sharp at lower speeds, but can get twitchy if pushed hard.
On the motorway the diesel engine proves just as refined as the rest of the car with only a hint of road and wind noise detectable at higher speeds.
The tested 140bhp diesel engine, mated with the smooth Durashift automatic box, also proved lively. It hits the benchmark 0-60mph mark in just over 10 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 120mph. It also offers decent economy of around 40mpg, not class leading, but good for such a big automatic estate.
New features include keyless entry and keyless start with 'Ford Power' start button, a new instrument display, capless refuelling with fuel inhibitor to prevent misfuelling, 'follow-me-home' lights, trip computer, air conditioning, and an auxiliary audio input socket located in the glove box for external audio device connection
Safety is well catered for with a driver's knee airbag, steering column and full length side curtain airbags, plus anti-skid braking with electronic brakeforce distribution and stability programme.
Also available as options are hill launch assist - not really necessary on an automatic - collision warning adaptive cruise control that warns the driver of an imminent crash, tyre pressure warning system and run flat tyres.
The Mondeo offers a wide range of petrol and diesel engines and is available in four trim levels, Edge, Zetec, Ghia and Titanium X.
Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi (140) Titanium X Estate auto
Mechanical: 140PS, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6spd automatic gearbox
Max speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 10.1 secs
Combined mpg: 39.8
Insurance group: 9
C02 emissions: 189g/km
BiK rating: 27%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust
Keywords: FORD, MONDEO