What is it?
The Mondeo 2.5T, which with its 217bhp five-cylinder turbocharged motor and optional Sport pack is the closest thing to a Mondeo ST.
The S-Max, many of whose underpinnings the Mondeo shares, has made half of its sales to people who haven’t had a Ford before. Many have come from premium brands. Ford is hoping to pull the same trick with the Mondeo.
The difference between premium and mainstream brands has never been smaller. It exists more in the mind of the buyer than in reality. This is the car to break the spell, even if Ford expects just two per cent of the range’s sales to come from this turbocharged range-topper.
What’s it like?
Genes shared with MPVs make the Mondeo a wide car with a very wide track, but its big wheels fill the prominent arches and it doesn’t look over-bodied. The Sport pack includes fussy-looking, five-spoke 18in wheels plus firmer springs and dampers, and there’s always a worry with ‘sport’ suspension that the ride will go to pieces. Not here, though.
A new Mondeo on standard suspension is an extraordinary car for insulating you from road noise and bumps while steering accurately, handling with fabulous fluidity and refusing to slither. Fluid-filled suspension bushes help here, and even the relatively heavy five-cylinder engine doesn’t spoil the balance. Amazingly, the Sport suspension keeps all this intact.