Ford Mondeo

What is it?

The Mondeo is Ford's long-serving large family car. It's been around since 1992 in various guises and the current version, introduced in 2007, has been treated to three new engines - two diesels (a 1.6 and a 2.2 TDCi), one petrol (1.6 EcoBoost) and a special grille to improve its aerodynamics.

Is it any good?

Sharp looks and handling to match have always been strong points for the Mondeo and there's no change there. All three new engines are remarkably quiet and refined, but they behave differently. The 1.6 TDCi diesel is relaxed in the way it delvers its power, but it's very competent in most situations, especially on A-roads and motorways. By contrast, the 1.6 EcoBoost petrol engine responds well to hard driving. It's punchy from the off, but runs out of steam as the revs rise, so it's better suited to town driving.

The 2.2-litre TDCi diesel engine is as smooth as they come. With 197bhp, it's hardly short of poke, but its additional weight makes itself felt at low speeds. However, you couldn't ask for a more relaxed, long-legged motorway companion.

As for the fuel-saving aerodynamic upgrade, Ford is now offering the Mondeo with its 'Active Grille Shutter'. This automatically opens and closes the slats on the grille when the engine doesn't need cooling and can reduce aerodynamic drag by up to six percent on the move.

Should I call the bank manager?

Price is the Mondeo's sore point. Although it's not a rip-off, it is, in typical Ford style, a bit more expensive than the competition. Prices start at £17,705 for the most basic model, but you'll pay £18,700 for the entry-level 1.6 EcoBoost Edge, while an equivalent 1.6 TDCi 115 costs £19,795. The 2.2 TDCi is only available in higher trim levels and starts at £24,105 in Titanium spec. The most expensive Mondeo of them all is the 2.2 TDCi automatic estate in Titanium X guise, which costs £30,610.

The Ford's saving grace in this respect is its impressively low running costs. The new 1.6-litre TDCi engine emits only 114g/km and returns 65.7mpg, which is a big draw for anyone who covers high mileage. The 1.6 petrol returns 44.1mpg and 149g/km, while the 2.2 TDCi offers 47.1mpg and 159g/km.

Summary

The Mondeo has long been regarded as the car to beat in this class and it's still at the top of its game. The new engines and lower emissions make it even more appealing, especially for business car users, who make up the bulk of customers for cars like the Ford. Handsome, cheap to run and good to drive, the Mondeo is as good as it's ever been.

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