The new Ford Mondeo combines good looks, comfort, space, equipment, efficiency and low running costs – in other words all the qualities you would expect in a vehicle vying for attention from company car drivers.
It’s been well-documented that this new Mondeo has taken a long time to arrive – in fact it’s three years late to the UK. During that time the erosion of the space occupied by volume manufacturers by premium German rivals and by various exciting new shapes such as crossovers has continued apace, so the new Mondeo has even more of an uphill battle on its hands.
Not much revolution to report here – but this is the fairly conservative company car battleground. Our test car featured a 2-litre turbodiesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. There are more interesting powertrains available, including a 1-litre petrol engine (yes, really!) and a Hybrid. However the 2-litre diesel was a typical reflection of Mondeo ownership – this is likely to be the option of most company car drivers who spend the majority of their time on the motorway.
In terms of styling, all observers unanimously thought that the new Mondeo looked upmarket – although the new front end and headlights are the main key changes.
The interior and dashboard is pleasant enough, but lacks the premium feel of certain German brands.
The Mondeo is an understandable evolution of the Ford formula. It’s a large, spacious, comfortable car, with a good driving position, especially with the powered seat adjustment of our test car. It combines a good ride with enjoyable handling. It’s front-wheel drive, so people wanting BMW or Mercedes-style rear-wheel drive will have to look elsewhere. The 150PS 2-litre turbodiesel delivers sufficient performance, and respectable economy, the 6-speed manual gearbox is slick, and the whole package feels smooth and refined.
The Mondeo is certainly at home on the motorway, helped by 350Nm torque, but is also enjoyable on A and B-roads. This is something that you can’t say about some rivals.
One slightly strange feature is that although the temperature controls are on the dashboard, to direct the source of the heating and ventilation you have to go delving into the touchscreen menus.
The Mondeo’s official combined economy figure of 62.8mpg is impressive for a car of this size (and weight – at 1597Kg, the Estate is quite heavy). Unfortunately real-life economy wasn’t quite as good. However, there was a bike roof rack fitted to the car for much of the week, which would obviously have a negative impact on economy. Overall we achieved 43.8mpg, which is way down on 62.8mpg. Without a roof rack we would imagine that 50mpg is achievable in real-life. There’s also the potential for a large driving range.
The base price of our test car was £24,745. Basic equipment levels were good, however it also had a number of options including Titanium X Pack (incorporating items such as LED lights, leather seat trim and powered front seats) (£2000), opening panoramic roof (£900) and 19-inch alloys – all options which took the total price to £29,220.
The new Mondeo has a lot of safety kit, including Lane Keeping Aid (which thankfully can be switched off), Emergency Assistance and Traffic Sign Recognition. One of the fitted options was inflatable rear seatbelts.
The Mondeo is available as a 5-door hatchback and a 5-door Estate, as tested. Trim levels are Style, Zetec and Titanium.
There’s also a 2-litre petrol Hybrid model, which emits just 99g/km CO2 and 67.3mpg, which, strangely for the UK market, is only available as a 4-door saloon, in Titanium trim.
If you had this Mondeo as your company car you would be happy with it. It’s comfortable, spacious, has a good ride, enjoyable handling, decent performance, and respectable economy. It’s also decent value and promises sensible running costs. In other words it does everything that you would expect a large family saloon/estate to do.
The trouble is, in the years since the last version of the Mondeo appeared, lots more exciting new concepts have appeared to tempt the car buyer, such as crossovers and five-door coupes, not to mention the likes of Ford becoming sandwiched between the Germans and the Koreans.
So the new Mondeo is a perfectly accomplished all-round package, but there’s now more tantalising competition than ever, and how many more choices will appear in front of the company car buyer during this Mondeo’s lifetime?
The new Ford Mondeo achieves a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10 for being an accomplished all-round package, even if it’s not the most exciting prospect on offer.