Punchy diesel generates smooth performance in a new, quieter bodyshell

What is it

Ford is juggling the engine line-up in the facelifted Mondeo and we’re testing the most powerful of the 2.0-litre Duratorq diesels, producing 161bhp.

For six months, since the demise of the late, lamented 173bhp 2.2-litre diesel, it was the beefiest oil-burner you could get in a Mondeo. Now that position has been ceded to a new super-diesel, the 197bhp 2.2-litre Duratorq.

In practice for the bulk of buyers, however, the 2.0 TDCi is still the most desirable diesel because it’s available with a fuller range of trim levels, from mid-spec £20k Zetec up to bells-and-whistles £26k Titanium X Sport. For the time being, the 2.2 is limited to Titanium X Sport, where it carries a hefty £3k premium over the 2.0-litre unit.

What's it like?

We’ve already tested the 161bhp Duratorq, having driven it with a dual-clutch Powershift transmission. Now we’ve got it with a six-speed manual ’box, which offers slightly better economy and 10g/km lower CO2 emissions over the Powershift.

It’s more of the same, really. It pulls cleanly and is strongest in the mid-range, pulling into traffic or loping effortlessly along a dual carriageway. The manual ’box adds that extra edge of control and ensures the diesel is always pulling the right gear.

A strong advantage over rival diesels is the Ford’s linear power delivery, which builds torque smoothly rather than delivering a sudden lump. Equally impressive is the refinement of the refreshed Mondeo. There’s a little vibration at idle, but noise is well suppressed. That makes the coarseness higher up the rev range more noticeable.

Usually a facelift means a few blobs of chrome, but this refresh is backed by engineering substance. The roof has no traditional gutter to cut wind noise at speed. The smooth roof panel is now laser-brazed onto the upper structure and the seam hidden behind the door frame. Ingenious. The windscreen is thicker, too, in the search for more hush at speed. Of course, the usual Mondeo steering precision and balanced control weights that make it such a joy to drive are undimmed.

Should I buy one?

With the extra refinement of the engineering revisions, added to the punchy yet refined diesel, here’s another Mondeo that deserves to be on your buying list.

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium X 5dr

Price: £24,395; Top speed: 136mph; 0-62mph: 8.9sec; Economy: 53.3mpg (combined); CO2: 139g/km; Kerb weight: 1575kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1997cc, diesel; Power: 161bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 251lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Ligier 26 June 2022
Purchased one in 2014 (Titanium X 2.0 Diesel) on an 11 plate, 40k miles for £10k. Have since put on 90k miles. Nothing has gone wrong, it eats the motorway miles like an S class Merc I used to own but it is a lot better on twisting roads. Decent performance, practical interior, 45 MPG if driven energetically, over 50 MPG if Driving Miss Daisy. No corrosion and my indy garage says it is good for another 100k miles. Quite simply the best car I have ever owned.
walterjohn 6 June 2012

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 163 is

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 163 is truly amazing! Ford truly unveils the best car in town. This can be a perfect time to purchase a new vehicle, and also you would not want to miss out on the amazing costs and bargains being offered. You can go to this good website I came across to find a dealership near you. I wound up going to a dealership in Spokane to find a Ford with help from the website. Will you be in the market to buy or sell a new or used Ford F 150|Ford Expedition|Ford Explorer|Ford Flex? If this describes you, don’t go any place else before you have a look at used car sales Spokane WA. Have  a safe drive guys!

Lupe 3 December 2010

Re: Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 163

Very good car overall but Its a bit ugly now isn't it? The Insignia is better looking.