From £19,9958
It's been a long wait, but Ford's new Mondeo estate delivers on the space and comfort that's required to be competitive in this class

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?

7 January 2015

What is it?

Is there another model that says ‘company car’ louder than the Ford Mondeo? Probably not, but the big Ford's ubiquity has never taken anything away from its brilliant driving dynamics and, in estate form, its serious amount of space and practicality.

While the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel will account for the bulk of sales, this 114bhp 1.6-litre version will be the one starring on posters on the walls of your company's accounts department. It emits just 99g/km of CO2, is claimed to be capable of 74.3mpg and isn't woefully short of torque, with 199lb ft available from 1750rpm. 

So it stacks up financially and has a history of being entertaining to drive, but does the new Mondeo estate prove to be a better proposition today than rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf estate and Skoda's similarly capacious Octavia estate?

What's it like?

There's enough performance from the 1.6 diesel for it to feel comfortable around town and when overtaking on the motorway, but you need to keep a closer eye on which gear you're in than with the 2.0-litre at low speeds.

Unfortunately, however, the new Mondeo estate has lost some of it's handling prowess. There's plenty of grip, yes, and body control is tidy enough, but the new electronic steering just doesn’t give the same feedback as the old car’s hydraulic rack, and it doesn’t weight up enough in fast driving. 

The ride is far more impressive. On its standard 16-inch wheels, the Mondeo Zetec deals with speed bumps brilliantly, while it smoothes out patchy asphalt and expansion joints well at all speeds. The cabin is a peaceful place in which to spend time, with very little road or wind noise intruding even up at motorway speeds. 

The boot is suitably large, with an official 525 litres of load space with the rear seats in place. On paper that's less luggage capacity than you get in the rival VW Golf estate, but in reality the Mondeo’s boot is longer and wider, if not quite as tall. 

Better still, the floor of the Mondeo's boot lies flush with the boot aperture, meaning there’s no lip to negotiate when you’re lifting things in and out. Folding down the rear seats leaves a totally flat extended load bay, with a Golf-beating 1630 litres of space.

It's just a pity that you can only drop the rear seats by pulling levers next to the headrests from inside the rear cabin; there are no handles in the boot compartment or spring-loaded seatbacks to make life easier when your arms are full of stuff.

This Mondeo is one of the longest cars in its class, so there is loads of rear legroom. Carrying three in the back is also relatively easy, thanks to the car’s broad cabin. There’s considerably more rear headroom than in the hatchback version, too, and even tall adults will fit comfortably.

The centre of the dashboard is dominated by a new 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, which controls most of the car's multimedia functions. It’s undoubtedly a big improvement on the outdated system in the old Mondeo, but even so it’s often slow to respond to inputs and the menus could be more intuitive. DAB is standard on all trims, but sat-nav costs £300 on Zetec trim, although it's standard with Titanium spec and above.

Should I buy one?

The Mondeo Estate remains a spacious, comfortable and refined way to travel, but those climbing out of the previous model and into this new one are likely to be disappointed by its steering. It isn't awful, and overall the Mondeo remains the handling benchmark in this class, but it no longer stands head and shoulders above its rivals.  

There are other estates to consider, though. In 1.6 TDI form, the Skoda Octavia isn't especially refined, comfortable or fun to drive. However, it’s almost as big, similarly frugal and cheaper to buy. The new Passat estate is also likely to provide strong competition – and we’ll be driving that in the UK later this week.

Ford Mondeo Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec

Price £23,045; 0-62mph 12.3sec; Top speed 116mph; Economy 74.3mpg (combined); CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 1515kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1560cc, turbodiesel; Power 114bhp at 3600rpm; Torque 199lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
18

TS7

7 January 2015
... model that says ‘company car’ louder than the Ford Mondeo? These days: Audi A4.

7 January 2015
TS7 wrote:

... model that says ‘company car’ louder than the Ford Mondeo? These days: Audi A4.

And the BMW 3 Series and VW Passat!

7 January 2015
TS7 wrote:

... model that says ‘company car’ louder than the Ford Mondeo? These days: Audi A4.

Nah, A3 is more of a company car these days. That or an Insignia

7 January 2015
Golf Rival? Surely the Focus is the Golf's rival?

7 January 2015
I will say, looking at the Mondeo in this spec, it really does need the bigger wheels of the launch cars to look good. They look really weedy otherwise. Still think it is a good looking car overall though.

7 January 2015
Every review I read of the new Mondeo says the same thing, that its lost its USP of being the driver's car in its class. Shame. And isn't the Passat the Mondeo's competitor, not the Golf?

7 January 2015
The pictures in this article are a 2.0d Mondeo (source: DVLA check the registration on DVLA's website) but the review was referring to 1.6d .. Hmm..

The other thing I doubt is if that car is a UK spec car, the centre console looks different to one shown the motorshows, most likely a Irish spec

7 January 2015
ironrose wrote:

The pictures in this article are a 2.0d Mondeo (source: DVLA check the registration on DVLA's website) but the review was referring to 1.6d .. Hmm..

The other thing I doubt is if that car is a UK spec car, the centre console looks different to one shown the motorshows, most likely a Irish spec

You can find the factory build spec using Fords ETIS. Yes it is a 2.0d but you're assuming the car in the pics is the car Autocar tested. Regarding others saying the wheels look too small, the car was built with 19" Alloys. At a guess, whoever took delivery of the car has swapped them for other alloys with winter tyres?

A34

8 January 2015
I thought the 1.5 was replacing the 1.6?

7 January 2015
Mr White fresh from whatcar I presume has used too much VW and Skoda references in his review - most of them are misplaced too. Passat is Mondeo's only rival out of those mentioned - but you would expect a motoring journalist to know that?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again