From £17,850
Improvements help push the excellent Mondeo closer to more premium rivals
7 September 2010

What is it?

Maybe a Ford Mondeo can never be classed as 'premium' because of its blue-collar badge, but in every respect that matters, this new facelifted model is the quality-equal of an Audi.

The visual update is subtle but effective. The new nose has an enlarged lower grille and a slimmer upper one, chrome-slatted in the top Titanium models to give an oddly Kia-like look. Lesser Mondeos' black mesh looks purer and neater.

An air shutter gradually blocks off the lower grille according to airflow needs, improving aerodynamic slipperiness by up to six per cent. LED running lamps share space with the front foglights, and the bonnet is less bluff. LEDs fill the rear light lenses, too, and high-end models get a bright outline for the entire side 'daylight opening'.

What’s it like?

Inside all is calmer, with a one-piece centre console, soft-touch black paint on the plastics and simpler graphics. There's more soundproofing, better door seals and a sound-absorbent windscreen. New technology abounds: blind-spot alerts, lane-departure steering-wheel vibrators, an alertness assessor, a rear camera, automatic headlight dipping and more.

We’re testing the new 2.2-litre TDCi Duratorq turbodiesel with its piezo-electric, vibrating-crystal injectors, enlarged turbocharger, startling 197bhp and massive 310lb ft of torque (332 on transient overboost). It's mated to a six-speed manual; a double-clutcher arrives later.

This is one muscular engine. Once past some low-speed lag you just feel a smooth surge of thrust almost regardless of speed or gear, even from 1600rpm in sixth. It makes the Mondeo a supremely relaxed and quiet cruiser, with a new-found suppleness from higher-profile tyres. The Sport comes with adaptive dampers, too, but the differences between the three modes aren't great and soon you just leave it in Normal.

Where the Mondeo really scores is in its accurate, intuitive steering, its progressive brakes and its great mix of stability and agility. There's a natural flow here not always evident in premium German rivals.


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Should I buy one?

Many will struggle to accept that a Mondeo can be worth this price, but given the equipment levels and the improvements that have been made – and the fact that it still undercuts the nearest premium rivals – the Ford makes a strong case for itself. Worth sacrificing the prestigious badge for, we'd say.

John Simister

Ford Mondeo 2.2 TDCi 200 Titanium X Sport

Price: £27,145 (est); Top speed: 143mph; 0-62mph: 8.1sec; Economy: 47.0mpg; CO2: 159g/km; Kerbweight: 1524kg; Engine: 4 cyls in line, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Power: 197bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 310lb ft at 1750-3000rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed manual

Join the debate


8 September 2010

Looks like a good car but will be an excellent one second hand .

8 September 2010

[quote Autocar]

Many will struggle to accept that a Mondeo can be worth this price


Well a Insignia Elite with only 160PS is £27,095 RRP according to their site without any options.

A Passat Highline Plus with a 170PS engine with options to bring it close to the same spec (but missing a bit) is £26,900 RRP

8 September 2010

Interior looks vastly better, although the steering wheel is still Amstrad so well done Ford and the new engine is finally competitive.

Question is, considering there is no rocket science in a decent power output engine and some good plastics / soundproofiing - why wasn't it like this in the first place?

8 September 2010

This Mondeo hasn't aged well and isn't as good-looking as the previous model in ST form. The tweaks seem to have improved it but I'm not sure it'll prevent this car from ageing fast.

The engine is a good development and I'd like to see it in the current Focus again in ST clothing, perhaps as an end of line model before the new Focus arrives next year.

9 September 2010

Liking the improvements to engine, soundproofing and (most of) the interior look/feel.

From the outside the car still looks boring, verging on ugly.

Anyone who needs a car this big and likes Fords should just get an S-Max. Better residuals will easily outweigh slightly higher new prices. Anyone who doesn't need a car this big shouldn't buy either !

When this engine finally gets into the S-Max, complete with Powershift box, then I'll be getting my chequebook out.

9 September 2010

I wonder if JLR will buy this engine to put into the XF ?

9 September 2010

This first drive review is interesting. In all objective respects, this Mondeo appears to be at least the equal (interior ambiance, materials quality, refinement etc.) of the 'premium' competition. in some areas (ride, handling etc.) it would seem to be superior.

The residuals argument is largely irrelevant, as most cars of this class are not purchased by the driver.

The pressure is now on the word 'premium' to explain itself...

9 September 2010

[quote Dan McNeil v2]The residuals argument is largely irrelevant, as most cars of this class are not purchased by the driver.[/quote]

That may be true, but the residuals still affect the lease cost, and you know your fleet manager is looking at that.

9 September 2010

The XF can use this engine as a base model. Will be a good competitor for the 520d, E220 CDi and the A6 2.0TDi 170ps.

Hope it doesn't sound like a tractor though

9 September 2010

Maybe I'm too conservative, but I'd never buy a used diesel car with so high specific output...


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