From £19,9958
Small Ecoboost engine never feels overwhelmed, but nor does it sparkle in Mondeo body

Our Verdict

Ford Mondeo

Ford's family car is now in its fourth iteration, but is the Mondeo ready to take the fight to a world burgeoning with rivals?

Matt Prior
17 February 2015

What is it?

It’s the Mondeo, the longest passenger car Ford sells in the UK, with a 1.0 EcoBoost three-cylinder petrol engine, the smallest motor Ford sells in the UK.

Less than ideal companions, you might think, what with a kerb weight of 1476kg. There are, however, reasons to fit this 124bhp engine to this large family car – mostly centred around the fact that it returns 55.4mpg on the combined cycle and has a 119g/km CO2 figure. The next most efficient petrol engine in the range is the 158bhp, 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, with 134g/km.

What's it like?

We’re fond of the Ecoboost engine in Ford’s other cars, but can it hack the Mondeo’s kerb weight? Just about. It helps that it revs extremely smoothly and quietly, with a muted three-pot thrum that’s very appealing. It drives the front wheels through a slick six-speed manual gearbox, so there’s pleasure to be had in working it. Turbo lag is minimal at higher revs. It's worse at low revs, but peak torque is developed from 1400rpm, so you don't have to wait long for it to come on song.

In that way, the 1.0-litre feels not unlike a small-capacity diesel, only better sounding and with a broader rev-band. On paper it can’t match the 78.5mpg of Ford’s most efficient 1.5-litre diesel, and on the road I suspect the gap will be bigger still, such is the way you’ll rev an engine that, even giving its all, can accelerate the Mondeo from 0-62mph in only 12 seconds.

Can you tell it’s a lightweight unit? Not overtly. It’d take better helmsmanship than I can muster to know that this Mondeo was 28kg lighter in the nose than a 1.5 petrol I tried four days previously. It just drives like a Mondeo, although that’s no bad thing at all. In terms of ride flatness, steering accuracy and response, and honed control weights, the Mondeo is best in class.

Where it’s not is inside; a legacy of the One Ford programme that has the Mondeo doing service in markets where interior feel and perceived quality isn’t on a par with Europe’s.

Ford has done what it can for us, but you can’t disguise it completely. Park a Mondeo next to a Volkswagen Passat and pore over both interiors, and you can see why VW thinks the Passat can hold its own among BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Classes. The Mondeo cannot, but it is spacious front and rear, has comfortable seats, a big boot and easy cruising refinement. 

Should I buy one?

Perhaps, but it’d take a specific set of circumstances, mostly financial. In this form the Mondeo starts from under 20 grand, which the aforementioned VW Passat does not. The Mondeo also has an increasingly large model range, through three body styles, including four-wheel drive (although not with this engine) and a diesel with up to 210bhp. There’s likely to be a Mondeo for everyone, then, but the reasons for choosing this variant are less compelling than you’d hope, and will most likely appear on a spreadsheet.

Ford Mondeo 1.0 Zetec

Price £19,995; 0-62mph 12.0sec; Top speed 124mph; Economy 55.4mpg; Co2 119g/km; Kerb weight 1476kg; Engine 3cys in line, 998cc, turbocharged petrol; Power 124bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 125lb ft at 1400-4500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
16

17 February 2015
No mention of the economy achieved on test... I'm all for including petrols in the range given the numerous issues emerging with diesels (reliabilty, complexity and emissions etc) but I'm not convinced by this 1.0 ecoboost in the Mondeo. I'd be interested to know if the reviewer would prefer the Mondeo Hybrid or this ecoboost.

17 February 2015
Go back to the 1970s an you'd have a two litre Granada in this segment. It would be smaller in and out, much slower and much less economical. Probably comparatively more expensive too. And if you crashed it you would die. Folk from 1975 would be staggered by this Mondeo. We forget that sometimes.

17 February 2015
Good point, Will86, about the real world (as opposed to official) fuel economy figures. Moreover, I'm probably being overly pessimistic, but I would worry about the long term reliability of such a small and highly stressed engine hauling around such a large car. Will mini-cab drivers be buying these secondhand in future years? I doubt it. By way of comparison, the new model MINI Cooper has a 1.5 litre turbo triple hauling around a car that's under 1,100kg.

17 February 2015
It is clearly an engine for the buyers who want to save on taxes but can't stand the stench of diesel. The 3-pot may just be enough to haul the Mondeo around but the mighty economy figures would shrink outside the pro-manufacturer EDC labs.
By the way just as an addendum Volkswagen Passat does not offer petrol engine hence the comparison is inappropriate. This version of Mondeo is among the best in the class short of Mazda 6's 2.0.

17 February 2015
Autocar wrote:

the reasons for choosing this variant are less compelling than you’d hope...

And yet this version still receives four stars?! The Autocar is clearly fond of Fords, almost as much as JLRs one might say.

17 February 2015
I don't think it's a good buy,great though the idea of a small engine in a big car is supposed to be good,the real World economy will most likely be 20% below Ford's figure,most cars MPG are at least that,no, i don't think it will sell.

Peter Cavellini.

17 February 2015
I've just grabbed a dozen or so old 80's car magazines from the loft. One thing is really apparent, the old magazines gave you a lot more technical information. Actual speeds achieved. Actual economy achieved. Not manufacturers figures.

We all know that the fairytale economy figures should be challenged, why no mention of what you actually recorded? This, and how the 1.0 performed are the only two real facts required in the 1.0 test. We all know that otherwise it's a very good machine.

17 February 2015
It's a fantastic engine, we have the same version in our fiesta but it is not without shortcomings, minimum revs are 2000rpm, 50mph in the fiesta before 5th can be selected. thrives on revs & sounds great above 4000rpm but not designed for economy apart from the ridiculous govt tests. add 300+kg in a larger car & I just cannot see the attraction or logic

Curly

17 February 2015
I imagine this will do 30 to 35mpg in the real world, just like the 1.6 it effectively replaces. Both will be nasty slow things. I bet you wouldnt have to try too hard in this to get it to do half the EU test figures.I would love to see Autocar run a test to see what eco car is actually the worst liar comparing EU figures with the real world

17 February 2015
Outrageous that this site has still not been fixed. Is nobody at Autocar paying any attention to all the user comments? Appears Autocar just don't give a sh*t!!!

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