From £19,9958
In larger estate form the new Ford Mondeo continues to impress, offering increased practicality and passenger comfort
Nic Cackett
9 October 2014

What is it?

The estate version of the new Mondeo. It’s launching alongside the hatchback, with the same engine lineup and starting at £22,045 for the entry-level Style model - a £1250 walkup from the five-door car that’s reflected across the board. 

That buys you around 20kg more bodywork, and all the usual advantages that come with it. The hatchback is hardly short on boot space, but load the wagon to the ceiling without moving the seats and there’s close to 100 litres more on offer if you forgo a spare wheel, at 755 litres. 

Flatten the back row (which is child’s play) and the advantage is closer to 200 litres, to 1630 litres. Total load capacity is less than that which Volkswagens quote for the new Passat - and up to the parcel shelf, a Mondeo hatch will actually offer marginally more space if you opt to keep just a tyre repair kit under the boot floor. 

Peering in from the rear end, though, it’s hard to imagine anyone complaining at the carpeted cavern on offer.

Certainly not rear passengers, anyway. The increased headroom afforded by the estate’s more generous roofline is obvious from the inside; Ford itself measuring the gap at a useful 31mm, without a sunroof to accommodate. 

In the Mondeo, that’s the difference between hosting a six-foot teenager comfortably in the back, and not just tolerably. 

There is a price to pay at the business end, of course - but it’s fractional. In the 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol we tested, the estate emitted 3g/km more CO2 than the five-door, was less than 1mpg thirstier and 0.1 second slower to 62mph. So, in the real world, effectively the same. In Titanium spec, with a substantial amount of toys, the starting price creeps up to £23,495. 

What's it like?

Rather like the hatch we drove earlier in the week, unsurprisingly. Which is to say very good in many ways and entirely satisfactory everywhere else. 

Comfort and refinement are undeniably and impressively enhanced; Ford’s chassis engineer privately conceding that the Mondeo’s dynamic compromise is now as much about driver contentment as it is about obliging their enthusiasm. 

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That approach will have some in mourning, but, frankly, the trade-off feels about right. The estate we drove swapped out the adaptive damper system for the standard passive setup, and still rode on 18-inch wheels as though it had twice the suspension travel of its predecessor. 

The new rear axle, with quieter subframe mounts and superior stiffness throughout, has clearly delivered the better bump absorption and NVH improvements intended. 

A quieter, more considered, possibly more ponderous Mondeo estate is the result. 

It’s more detached, certainly - chiefly as a result of the electric power steering, which inevitably falls short of the previous hydraulic rack’s crisp feedback and responsiveness. But there’s accuracy enough in the new system to keep the almost identical MacPherson front struts aimed at the right piece of road - and sufficient resistance to convey stability at high speed. 

The chief difference here then is the 1.5-litre EcoBoost, a petrol unit very much in the modern template: responsive without being fast, industrious without being shrill and not quite frugal enough to suggest itself as a serious alternative to Ford’s diesel engines. 

It develops 158bhp at 6000rpm, but truthfully you’ll have lost interest by the time 177lb ft of torque starts trailing off beyond 4500rpm. 

That’s sufficient for covering 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds, with some flexibility in a long sixth gear and otherwise decent progress without the need for an endless flogging of the throttle - but only just. Which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the cheaper, more familiar 1.0-litre EcoBoost due next spring. 

That’ll be a touch lighter over the nose, although almost certainly not enough to make up for the significant shortfall in power. 

Should I buy one?

The combined petrol engines will likely comprise less than 10 per cent of Mondeo sales in the UK, and if you’re using the new model as intended (i.e. racking up painless miles) the 1.5-litre EcoBoost doesn’t offer any compelling reasons to buck the trend. 

The estate, meanwhile, ought to make up around 35 per cent of the volume - and that seems like being a minority which merits membership. Not only are the dividends in interior space and (arguably) looks well worth the premium, the roomier body probably better suits the unflappable, unashamedly big-boned identity of the chassis tune. 

Alternatively, if you prefer your estates to come with a bit more vim at turn-in, the as yet untested passive sports suspension ushers the Mondeo 10mm closer to the road and swaps out the shocks and springs for firmer alternatives. Potentially, in a car striving to completely fill out the middle ground, that may yet prove to be the happy medium. 

Ford Mondeo Estate 1.5T EcoBoost Titanium

Price £23,495; 0-62mph 9.3 seconds; Top speed 135mph; Economy 47.9mpg; CO2 137g/km; Kerb weight 1504kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1498cc, petrol, turbocharged; Power 158bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 177lb ft at 1500-4000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

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Add a comment…
fadyady 10 October 2014

Curious pricing

For a little bit more (just over £25G) you can buy a 2L hybrid Mondeo, if I'm right!
FastRenaultFan 10 October 2014

I do apologise for my

I do apologise for my opinions. Oh no, hang on, I dont. At all. If your idea of a nice car is a Ford Mondeo estate and this is what you lust after then, in my opinion, you are a dullard and gave no place on a motoring forum.

I never said my idea of a nice car was a Ford Mondeo estate or that I lust after one. I Just said the new Mondeo was a good lucking car and you gt to admit it is certainly a lot better looking than the new VW Passat. I like a nice fast Renault myself.

Zadster 9 October 2014

Dear Ford

Dear Ford...

Remember the Escort? Remember how you decided that having okay handling was good enough? Remember how saving a few pennies was a great financial idea, and people wouldn't notice? Remember also, how people left Ford in their droves.

Now remember how you brought the Focus and Mondeo to market (and later the Fiesta) and people bought them because they were sharp, great handling cars which were designed to be driven?

Now fast forward nearly 20 years. The market in which the Focus and Mondeo both compete is full of competent, worthy, and dull machinery. From reading reviews of the current and "new" Focus and Mondeo, the mediocrity seems to be returning to Ford. Without the driver appeal, what compelling reason is their to buy your cars? 0.1mpg and 0.05g/km saved with electric steering (something which even Porsche cannot get right) is turning your product into another average box.

The Fiesta ST is a superb example of what you can do when you do it right. Shame your other products are increasingly wide of the mark. The "new" Mondeo is supposedly delayed because it was re-engineered for European buyers. From the faint praise being issued by reviewers, it seems this re-engineering didn't go far enough.

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