Ford's big Mondeo Econetic estate can now be had in top-spec Titanium trim
Grip levels are excellent, even on the wettest roads
The handling is also sharp and the ride is excellent, especially on the motorway
Titanium touches add a premium feel inside
There's loads of space inside, and the front seats are comfortable
Plenty of space in the back, too
The 2.0-litre diesel feels underpowered
The Ford Mondeo is a fine car in most areas. The family hatch is still a class leader even as its replacement nears
First DriveTrim and equipment upgrades make the Mondeo a viable company car option, but it's starting to look dated inside
First DriveThe Ford Mondeo Econetic makes a huge amount of sense in Business Edition trim for company car drivers
What is it?
A range-topping version of Ford’s Mondeo Econetic estate equipped with the firm’s plush Titanium trim level. The Econetic model was previously a standalone model in the Mondeo range, with badging to match, but it can now be had with the extra features of a Titanium-spec model.
Power comes from the same 113bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine as the standard Econetic, giving it combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
Econetic features include low resistance tyres, front grille air deflectors, a gear change indicator and lowered sports suspension.
Standard Titanium features include automatic headlamps and wipers, a six-disc CD multichanger, new 16-inch alloy wheels, as well as some extra metal trim inside. It has a standard list price of £24,545, but our test car was supplied with Ford’s full range of mod cons including heated Alcantara and leather seats, Bi-Xenon headlights and a touch-screen DVD sat-nav system. This gives it a list price less than a £1000 shy of £30,000, which puts it past that of its conceptual rivals and very nearly into BMW 5-series Touring territory.
What’s it like?
Dynamically, it is excellent. The Mondeo has class-leading ride and handling and there’s no exception here. The ride is composed and smooth, especially when travelling at motorway speeds. It absorbs both minor and major imperfections in the road and is able to cover the miles in an elegant and comfortable fashion.
Around town, the ride suffers a bit from the optional 17-inch wheels fitted to out test car, but even then only larger cracks and potholes catch it out. The low resistance tyres they are fitted to are noisier than their traditional counterparts (particularly at motorway speeds), but don’t have much of a negative impact on the ride quality when up to speed.
The handling is excellent, and the big Mondeo feels like it has the poise and composure of family hatchback. Even on wet roads and in this eco guise, it has levels of grip that would see off more sports focused estate cars.
Its engine, however, is somewhat disappointing. The 113bhp feels underpowered to propel its 1578kg kerb weight and initial progress is slow. The 236lb ft of torque feels unusually absent (it can’t quite pull away in second gear), especially around town, leading to slow getaways and blunted progress on the motorway.
There’s also a nagging issue with the gearchange indicator, which only advises you of when to change up for maximum efficiency and not to change down. If you follow the indicator’s commands, it’s possible to get caught out in too higher gear, which again exposes the lack of urge.
On the 300 miles covered on our test route, which was mainly dual carriageways, the Mondeo returned shy of 40mpg, some way short of the official figure but respectable for a car of its size and weight.
The optional seats are firm, yet comfortable and a suitable driving position is easy to find with reach/rake adjustable steering wheel. The controls are well laid out, although the interior does feel a tad dated now, sharing more in common with the Focus than the Fiesta. That said, the Titanium touches aid a suitably premium feel, although it’s not at the same level as the Vauxhall Insignia.
Should I buy one?
This model confirms to us what we already knew - the Mondeo estate has superb, class-leading dynamics and an impressive 1733 litre load capacity. It’s just hard to make a case for this particular model given the limitations of its engine and that eye-watering cost.
The Mondeo estate will be looking over its shoulder very carefully with the imminent arrival of the Skoda Superb estate on UK shores early next year. It’s bigger and cheaper than the Mondeo trim for trim, engine for engine, and can certainly challenge the Ford on the dynamic front.