The new Ford Mondeo is a far nicer car than ever before. The front looks like it was taken straight from an Aston Martin - which is a good thing. The Mondeo sits in an incredibly competitive market place. The competition is tough and there is a genuine race to the top between the Volkswagen Passat, the Skoda Superb, the Mazda6, the Toyota Avensis, and even the Skoda Octavia. All of these models are really strong for their individual manufacturers.
Ford has a wide range of diesel engine variants for the Irish market. They have one petrol engine, the 1.5 litre EcoBoost. This gives big-car performance in a small engine. 120 PS is the power output of the petrol engine and it’s a quiet engine once you get to cruising speeds.
The diesel power comes from a 1.6 litre TDCi engine that offers 115 PS, a 1.5 litre TDCi engine that gives 120 PS, and a 2.0 litre TDCi (choices offer 150 PS, 180 PS and 210 PS).
All Mondeos come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed double clutch PowerShift automatic transmission.
The Mondeo is available as an estate or as a saloon. Both have very light steering and it lacks feedback. The estate offers a surprising amount of grip for a wagon and on country roads it deals well with turns. It also soaks up bumps with ease. The saloon version is just as good. It enjoys cornering and it hugs the road on twists and turns. Remember, this is a large car and sometimes length can impact on body control. Thankfully this vehicle seems to have been well engineered and it drives like a smaller car. Of course, common sense has to be used on corners – because if you approach them too eagerly there will be some roll.
The Mondeo is a very refined vehicle. The only real issue that will arise is if you opt for bigger wheels, which can make things noisy and firm. Both the manual and automatic transmissions are smooth and precise. For the most part the Mondeo seems like a very well insulated vehicle and in general road and wind noise from outside the cabin are kept to a minimum.
The interior of the Mondeo is nicely laid out. If you do come in at entry level you may find things a bit dull, but Ford has a myriad of options and trims available to choose from. In fact, they may have too much choice for consumers. In general the quality of the interior is good and it’s certainly a case of “the more you spend, the better you get”. The dash doesn’t appear to be overly cheap, and the new Mondeo benefits from Ford’s latest SYNC infotainment system, SYNC 2. The system is much easier to use than the outgoing offering, but there are still one or two things that are difficult to understand. For example, why have a digital compass but no SATNAV available?
The Mondeo traditionally scores well in the Euro NCAP safety tests and in 2014 they scored a full five stars. The best scores achieved by the vehicle were 86% for adult occupancy and 82% for child occupancy.
Most cars in this segment score high in terms of practicality. These are all big cars. The Mondeo offers plenty of space to the front and rear. Leg and head room is certainly not an issue for many adults. The Skoda Superb would offer more space - but the Superb is an exception to the size rules.