What is it?
When the Ford Mondeo Mk1 first appeared in 1993, its agile handling and responsive steering turned what was expected to be a run-of-the-mill fleet car into a driver’s delight. It’s grown a bit since then – by around 400mm in length and to more than 250kg – but it’s also grown into a more refined proposition.
The Mondeo ST-Line and more expensive ST-Line X introduced in 2017 were part of Ford’s strategy to split ranges above the entry level into sports and luxury trim levels (Titanium and Vignale). Thus, both versions of ST-Line are sporting trims akin to Audi’s S line rather than a return to true sports ‘ST’ versions of the Mondeo. For the 2018 model year, ST-Line X has been renamed ST-Line Edition. ST-Line is not aimed at fleets but fair and square at the retail buyer.
The Mondeo ST-Line comes with sports suspension that is slightly stiffer and 10mm lower than standard. Outside, there’s a full body styling kit and 18in Rock Metallic alloy wheels. Inside, there are front cloth sports seats with red contrast stitching, alloy pedals, accented red stitching on the steering wheel, centre console and door trims, and dark headliner.
ST-Line Edition gets Titanium equipment such as traffic sign recognition, lane keeping aid and 10-way electrically adjustable driver's seat (passenger seat remains manual), and adds further enhancements including rear privacy glass, ST-Line branding, coloured stitching and sports trim items. It, too, gets the sport suspension but 19in Rock Metallic alloy wheels. Seats are trimmed in partial leather that is black with red stitching.
Powertrains are either 148bhp or 178bhp 2.0 Duratorq TDCi diesel, with either six-speed manual transmission or PowerShift dual-clutch automatic on the more powerful engine. There’s also an all-wheel-drive option tested here, in conjunction with the 178bhp diesel and auto 'box.