Fun fare for the common man
22 September 2006

Still want that 3-series? BMW's talented family car might have squeezed the Mondeo out of the top spot in the sales charts in recent years, but this bold new concept shows that Ford isn't taking it lying down.

The really good news is that, while this is still officially a concept car to be unveiled at the Paris motor show in just over a week, Ford says it's in "near final production form" ahead of the car's launch early next year.

So while the show car's 20-inch wheels will be replaced by more modest items, and the vibrant leather interior and super-sporty bumpers will be toned down, the basic body and overall architecture will remain the same. In fact, the show car's body is a pre-production shell taken from the production line in Belgium.

The new car uses Ford's "Kinetic design", as seen on the S-Max and Galaxy, and the company reckons it should be as good to drive as it is to look at. That's what we've come to expect of the Blue Oval in recent years, but more significantly Ford says this will be the highest-quality car it has ever produced. It will need to be if the company is to steal sales back from prestige brands.

The Mondeo will also come as a hatch and saloon – and will use the same range of drivetrains as the S-Max, including the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol engine. More details will be revealed early next year, with the Mondeo going on sale soon after. We're looking forward to it.

Our Verdict

Citroën Grand C4 Picasso

The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is a stylish, spacious and well-priced compact MPV with seven seats. Auto 'box is not good and residuals poor

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