What is it?
This is the Mondeo Econetic, the third member of Ford’s economy range after the Fiesta and the Focus. It is fitted with a number of fuel saving measures such as low resistance tyres, an optimum gearchange indicator and a tweaked ECU for slightly less power but improved efficiency. A lowered sports suspension and air deflectors reduce drag.
What’s it like?
Despite the lowered suspension the Mondeo rides incredibly well, which is perfect for all those trips up and down the country that fleet Econetics will be tasked with. There is enough low-end torque to make good progress even when short-shifting, as dictated by the blinking green shift light.
The tyres tend to break away sooner than on the standard model, giving way to understeer, but otherwise the Mondeo is composed and fluid through the bends. In fact, after a few miles the Econetic’s relaxed nature tempts you into a similar driving style. The 113bhp 2.0-litre diesel is also quiet and effortlessly smooth, which adds to the refinement.
Ford claims a combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg, rising to 64.2mpg on the motorway. On a 30 mile test route mostly consisting town driving and country lanes the dashboard read-out showed a respectable 41mpg.
Should I buy one?
Yes. Mondeos are stylish and spacious and more than capable of taking on pricier German rivals, with none of the big Ford’s qualities being too far compromised in the Econetic. The car comes at a small premium but this can be easily recuperated by the savings on fuel.