From £17,850
Range-topping 2.2-litre TDCi Mondeo combines performance and economy, but at a price
22 May 2008

What is it?

Ford’s answer to criticism of the relative lack of urge of the 2.0-litre TDCI engine already offered in the Mondeo.

The new 2179cc turbodiesel is a familiar unit, co-developed by Ford and Peugeot-Citroen, but this is the first time it’s been offered in the Mondeo. Power is up by 35bhp over the 2.0 TDCI to 173bhp, torque rises from 251lb ft to 295lb ft – with an additional 15lb ft of overboost under full acceleration.

What’s it like?

The new engine increases the 2.2 TDCI Mondeo’s kerbweight by 28kg compared to the 2.0 TDCI, explaining the slightly underwhelming performance: the claimed 8.7 second 0-62 mph time is just half a second quicker than the less powerful diesel.

The good news is that, subjectively, the 2.2 TDCI feels far quicker than that. Torque arrives in a seamless shove, and the off-boost lethargy of the 2.0-litre unit is all but eradicated.

The Mondeo’s well-mannered chassis is more than up to handling the increase in urge, with just the merest hint of torque steer over dry roads. And even on rougher road surfaces the Mondeo delivers impressive traction, even in first and second gears.

Any criticism? Well the engine produces more clatter than the 2.0-litre unit at start up – and the turbo is louder, too, with audible whistle under hard use.

The rest of the dynamic performance remains as before. The chassis combines excellent manners with plenty of enthusiasm for a backroad workout, refinement levels are excellent and the shift action of the six-speed manual gearbox is one of the sweetest in the business.

So should I buy one?

Ford are only offering the new motor with the top specification levels, meaning a hefty pricetag by Mondeo standards. The 2.2 TDCI is slightly less frugal than the 2.0 TDCI too, and CO2 emissions are higher.

That said, the 2.2 TDCI is definitely the pick of the range for those seeking to combine performance with economy.

Matt Rigby


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23 May 2008

It's worth noting that this Ford-PSA 2.2 engine makes the Mondeo a Band 'D' car, whereas the same lump in the Citroen C5 is rated Band 'E', presumably because of the extra weight.

However, neither car is available with an auto - which is odd, because towards the end of its life the old C5 had the same 173hp unit available with a self-shifter. The fact it ruins CO2 emissions means they've probably dropped it.

In fact, the current CO2-linked tax bands means petrol and automatic cars just aren't selling and their used values are tumbling alarmingly. Doesn't help that nobody has any money to spend in the first place. Ask anyone in the trade what's selling right now: cheap diesels and nothing else!

23 May 2008

Good, informative comment ThwartedEfforts. Regarding 'cheap diesels' when will the penny drop that diesel is 10-15p a litre more expensive wiping out about half of the fuel economy advantage to a comparable petrol. A self, well-tuned, cheaper secondhand petrol may soon be the way to go.

23 May 2008

Agreed, the fuel pricing/taxation policy takes away any advantage diesel used to have, don't forget that diesels generally cost more to buy. Therefore now making them almost defunct.

24 May 2008

From the point of mpg, a diesel car only has to achieve around 4-5mpg more to compensate for the increased cost of fuel. They cost more to buy but you get some of this back at resale.

The 2.0 litre Mondeo didn't have quite enough go and therefore I drove the 2.2 as soon as it was available at Ford in Abingdon with the aim of replacing my current car. It feels much quicker and 45mpg is adequate compensation for burning diesel.

25 May 2008

As someone who spends their day out on the road for work, if nothing else, I enjoy not filling up every day or at best every other day as was the case with the petrols I have had. On a quiet week I go can nearly the week, sometimes its quite a surprise to get my fuel card report and see how few stop it took to do 2500 - 3500 miles.

I do miss that extra few RPM in the odd situation though.

2 November 2008

They need to offer this engine with lower trim levels. The extra performance is worth the upgrade to the 2.2, but the cost of titanium x over the zetec isn't. £1000 extra for the 2.2, but £3.5k for a whole load of heavy kit some people don't want...

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