From £17,850
Fine dynamics and impressive economy, but it's just too expensive

Our Verdict

Ford Mondeo 2007-2014

The Ford Mondeo is a fine car in most areas. The family hatch is still a class leader even as its replacement nears

Mark Tisshaw
30 November 2009

What is it?

A range-topping version of Ford’s Mondeo Econetic estate equipped with the firm’s plush Titanium trim level. The Econetic model was previously a standalone model in the Mondeo range, with badging to match, but it can now be had with the extra features of a Titanium-spec model.

Power comes from the same 113bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine as the standard Econetic, giving it combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

Econetic features include low resistance tyres, front grille air deflectors, a gear change indicator and lowered sports suspension.

Standard Titanium features include automatic headlamps and wipers, a six-disc CD multichanger, new 16-inch alloy wheels, as well as some extra metal trim inside. It has a standard list price of £24,545, but our test car was supplied with Ford’s full range of mod cons including heated Alcantara and leather seats, Bi-Xenon headlights and a touch-screen DVD sat-nav system. This gives it a list price less than a £1000 shy of £30,000, which puts it past that of its conceptual rivals and very nearly into BMW 5-series Touring territory.

What’s it like?

Dynamically, it is excellent. The Mondeo has class-leading ride and handling and there’s no exception here. The ride is composed and smooth, especially when travelling at motorway speeds. It absorbs both minor and major imperfections in the road and is able to cover the miles in an elegant and comfortable fashion.

Around town, the ride suffers a bit from the optional 17-inch wheels fitted to out test car, but even then only larger cracks and potholes catch it out. The low resistance tyres they are fitted to are noisier than their traditional counterparts (particularly at motorway speeds), but don’t have much of a negative impact on the ride quality when up to speed.

The handling is excellent, and the big Mondeo feels like it has the poise and composure of family hatchback. Even on wet roads and in this eco guise, it has levels of grip that would see off more sports focused estate cars.

Its engine, however, is somewhat disappointing. The 113bhp feels underpowered to propel its 1578kg kerb weight and initial progress is slow. The 236lb ft of torque feels unusually absent (it can’t quite pull away in second gear), especially around town, leading to slow getaways and blunted progress on the motorway.

There’s also a nagging issue with the gearchange indicator, which only advises you of when to change up for maximum efficiency and not to change down. If you follow the indicator’s commands, it’s possible to get caught out in too higher gear, which again exposes the lack of urge.

On the 300 miles covered on our test route, which was mainly dual carriageways, the Mondeo returned shy of 40mpg, some way short of the official figure but respectable for a car of its size and weight.

The optional seats are firm, yet comfortable and a suitable driving position is easy to find with reach/rake adjustable steering wheel. The controls are well laid out, although the interior does feel a tad dated now, sharing more in common with the Focus than the Fiesta. That said, the Titanium touches aid a suitably premium feel, although it’s not at the same level as the Vauxhall Insignia.

Should I buy one?

This model confirms to us what we already knew - the Mondeo estate has superb, class-leading dynamics and an impressive 1733 litre load capacity. It’s just hard to make a case for this particular model given the limitations of its engine and that eye-watering cost.

The Mondeo estate will be looking over its shoulder very carefully with the imminent arrival of the Skoda Superb estate on UK shores early next year. It’s bigger and cheaper than the Mondeo trim for trim, engine for engine, and can certainly challenge the Ford on the dynamic front.

Join the debate

Comments
22

7 December 2009

Even without the press office options added, the base price of £25k is just hilarious. Actually, the current Ford UK price list is best described as 'optimistic'.

I don't expect for one minute that anyone would pay list price for one, but even with a £5k discount the depreciation will be horrendous over 3 years.

In real world driving I would be surprised if the economy of the regular 2.0 TDCI 140 is much (if any) worse, as you won't have to work the engine so hard.

The forthcoming Skoda Superb estate would be my choice, with the 2.0 TDI 170 engine.

7 December 2009

I kind of think that, when everybody realises that the turbo is going to blow on their secondhand turbodiesel just after the warranty runs out and the EGR valves go, these crazily over-complex, needlessly heavy, plain silly lumps of pig iron will be confined to the history books. It's only the fashion for them that keeps secondhand prices high. Otherwise they make NO sense.

Bring back steel wheels.

7 December 2009

[quote Autocar] its 2275kg kerb weight [/quote]

been on the pop at lunchtime?

7 December 2009

Don't know much about these large estate cars, but from what I've read there doesnt seem to be any better option than the Superb estate...

7 December 2009

Yep, about 1000 litres of pop is my guess :-)

Unless of course, someone's confused gross vehicle weight with kerb weight?

Or they've done that top gear test where they fill the car up with water?

Seriously, though, I'd have one like a shot - the perfect combination of economy + all the bells and whistles. Except that I can't really justify getting a new one just yet as my '97 mk2 mondeo's still going strong at 317,500 miles and never been apart. How good must they be now!

7 December 2009

While reading that article i glanced over to the price & specs column, wow , £ 19,895 for a basic Mondeo 1.6 110 Edge. I don't why Im shocked but £20k for the base model?. My mum is looking at a Fiesta zetec in the scrappage scheme and speccing it with automatic and a few extras like mp3 connectivity and the price is over £16k :S

7 December 2009

This, like all Ford cars these days are overpriced. I know there are substantial discounts available, but the benefit in kind (tax) is based on the list price, not the transaction price.

I think it is the only tax based on a theoretical price.

7 December 2009

The top of the range Skoda Superb with 4x4 DSG and (ok a thirsty 3.6), with leather SAT NAV etc. etc. will cost less than this Mondeo, Plus is better built and has more room, to boot.

SDR

7 December 2009

[quote bangertastic]bangertastic wrote the following post at Dec 07, 2009 4:06 PM:

Even without the press office options added, the base price of £25k is just hilarious. Actually, the current Ford UK price list is best described as 'optimistic'.

I don't expect for one minute that anyone would pay list price for one, but even with a £5k discount the depreciation will be horrendous over 3 years.

In real world driving I would be surprised if the economy of the regular 2.0 TDCI 140 is much (if any) worse, as you won't have to work the engine so hard.

The forthcoming Skoda Superb estate would be my choice, with the 2.0 TDI 170 engine.

[/quote]

What he said. Yesterday the £20k 1.6 5 speed Focus, today the £29k hopelessly underpowered Mondeo with who knows how many gears... if it has 17 I still wouldn't be tempted. Easily 10k too much in my view. Ford should quit making cars and take to the stage.

7 December 2009

[quote trocadero]

This, like all Ford cars these days are overpriced. I know there are substantial discounts available, but the benefit in kind (tax) is based on the list price, not the transaction price.

I think it is the only tax based on a theoretical price.

[/quote]

I had an early 2.0tdci Ghia 5 dr back in 2007 and it cost £20k. The same car is now £25k. It was priced about right at £20k but is now well overpriced and makes even the 'prestige' competition seem good value.

I'm glad I no longer have a company car but if I did Ford wouldn't get a look in. When it comes to company cars I can well understand why the 3 series is so popular.

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