Before PCPs allowed car buyers to realise their wildest dreams, motors such as the practical, spacious and good-to-drive Mondeo were what families bought and fleet bosses leased.
The big Ford is still practical, spacious and good to drive, but times have moved on and it, and other large hatchbacks like it (it’s available in saloon and estate forms, too), are being left on the shelf.
That’s good news if you’re a used car buyer, because while other people are paying top dollar for an SUV, the bargain hunter has the pick of Mondeos at lower prices.
The model was launched here in 2014, two years after its US unveiling. In the interim, Ford of Europe had been tuning Henry’s world car for our tastes. The chassis might have lost a little engagement but its handling was as fluent as before and its ride and refinement stronger than ever. The cabin had lost none of its famed roominess, either.
And then there were the engines: 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0-litre Ecoboost petrols spanning outputs from 123bhp to 237bhp, and 1.5 and 2.0-litre TDCi diesels ranging from 113bhp to 207bhp. Over the years Ford has refined the line-up, among the casualties being the 112bhp 1.6 TDCi, which, in 2015, was replaced by the 118bhp, Euro 6-compliant 1.5 TDCi.
The pick of the crop? Depending on your requirements, it’s a toss-up between the 158bhp 1.5 Ecoboost petrol, the 148bhp 2.0 TDCi or a 118bhp 1.5 TDCi. Meanwhile, if you must have an automatic, the Powershift gearbox hurts economy but is a sweet-shifting thing.
Only in its interior finish and design does the Mondeo betray its workaday roots. On the upside, infotainment is provided by Ford’s Sync 3 multimedia set-up. It’s not the most responsive but it’s got full phone integration and a digital radio.
Every car has its orphan and in the Mondeo’s case it’s Style trim. Actually, it’s a big improvement on Edge, its equivalent in the previous-generation Mondeo, since it has alloy wheels, air-con and, crucially, colour-coded door handles, but the rear windows remain manual only.