Ford Mondeo Hybrid 2014 review

22 Oct, 2014 10:00am Oliver Kew

Ford Mondeo Hybrid could be attractive for company car buyers, but it should probably be avoided

Verdict

2
Not as economical in the real-world as a diesel Mondeo, nor as sweet to drive as the petrol, and pricier than both, the Hybrid also falls down because of its noisy powertrain, which is completely at odds with the sublime manners of conventional new Mondeos. Unless it’s a company fleet must-have, this is the version to be avoided.

Here’s what Ford would have you believe is a pocket-friendly benefit of its new ‘One Ford’ world car policy, which sees cars like the Ford Mondeo, Fiesta and Focus sold in almost identical guises in markets like Europe and the US, rather than having costly specific models. There’s never been a petrol-electric Mondeo before, but such is the demand for hybrids in North America, Ford has developed this car and it’s now arriving in Europe.

Ford claims the Mondeo Hybrid can achieve 67.3mpg and is as yet the only Mondeo to emit less than 100g of CO2 per kilometre. The Hybrid’s fuel tank is only 53 litres, while all other Mondeos swallow 62.5 litres, limiting its range. That’s not the only sacrifice you make for the hefty battery pack either – the Mondeo Hybrid (available only as a four-door saloon) has just 382 litres of boot space, compared to 550 litres in the hatch. And as it’s a saloon, you can’t fold the rear seats down. The price you pay for this is £24,995 - £750 more than a top-notch Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titianium.

The hybrid drivetrain itself mates a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine with a front-mounted electric motor, which delivers a combined power output of 186bhp. It uses an Atkinson-cycle engine to deliver decent mid-range economy, and electric power to fill in the torque gap this creates. However, Ford has actually plumped for two electric motors. One is exclusively tasked with regenerating electricity under braking, leaving the drive motor to get on solely with the job of maximum-torque thrust.

Ford Mondeo Hybrid 2014 rear

That’s the theory, but on the road the Mondeo doesn’t feel close to 190bhp’s worth. Taller sidewalls with less tyre grip and a lack of outright body control really hobble the Hybrid. Equipping the car with a droning, slow-to-respond CVT ‘gearbox’ saps power and leaves the engine pitched in a droning resonant revband that’s in complete contrast to the rest of the new Mondeo range’s fine road manners.

That said, the petrol engine does cut in almost imperceptibly at low revs – e-motor power can be used exclusively up to 85mph, and regenerative braking replenishes the juice used up. There’s an initial grabbiness to the brake pedal as a result, but mostly the pedal feel is very consistent for a mild hybrid.

On a short test route, our Mondeo Hybrid averaged an indicated 43mpg. Obviously spending more time at urban speeds would improve that, but Mondeos are hardly natural city cars. Your real-time energy consumption is displayed on a nicely rendered readout in the new instrument cluster, which uses an analogue central speedometer and ancillary screens left and right.

Ford Mondeo Hybrid 2014 interior

Predictably, the double bad news of too much weight and low-rolling resistance 16-inch tyres upsets the Mondeo’s neat and tidy handling characteristics. There’s more body roll and tyre squeal even at sensible speeds than an American movie car chase, and the brakes dislike a workout.

With the diesel versions cheaper and more frugal in the real-world, and the petrol cars a far sweeter drive, it’s no wonder that Ford only expects to sell a few hundred Mondeo Hybrids in the UK annually.

Disqus - noscript

Dude get your facts straight. This latest "mondeo"-fusion is already very well regarde about the interior quality. Better fit, better finish, soft touch all around. And the centre console has nothing to do with the volt, it was there on ford's larger US saloons and is even better implemented on the fusion.

You are so easily open as to who manufacturer you are favourable to. Lots of commercials?

Shame.

Oh and, ante gamithite re mounia ths lasphs, hlithia patoklania. Try finding out about this glove box quality, ha ha.

Would rather buy a quality BMW 3 Series 320D Efficient Dynamics diesel it gets much better average MPG than this, with a build quality & residual values to die for.

Mondeo will be lose half its residual value almost as soon as you drive it out the showroom, Mondeo's unpractical useless boot will be as big as a BMW glovebox. Mondeo diesel estate is very useful lots of space, l would not say no to that.

No wonder the BMW 3 Series finished No7 best selling car in the UK last year with 44,521 sales, Ford Mondeo finished No21 with 21,662 sale, Ford of Europe have lost the plot. Bring back the good ole Cortina that used to sell nearly 200,000 a year not 20,000 in the UK.

What?

The reason the BMW was 7th in the UK was that they were brought with company money not people putting their hand in their own pocket and paying for it. The Ford Fiesta was the best selling retail car that's a car that people pay for themselves. The Fiesta and Focus 1st and 2nd doesn't sound like a company that has lost the plot to me.

Err yes but that is the point; the BMW 3 series is today’s Cortina! Who would want a ubiquitous BMW when everyone and their mum has one? Surely the whole point of a prestige brand is that you aspire to reach that level?

Having driven both there was not that much between them in terms of dynamics. However, unlike the 3 series you can use the front wheel drive Mondeo all year round. The rear wheel drive is great in the summer (or rain for keen drivers) but realistically in this country it is not the ultimate driving machine it's a pain in the butt when you cannot get it off of your drive, or you end up in a taxi after a day at work when you cannot get up the ramp from the underground car park due to surface ice! Never again thank you BMW!

As for depreciation, well you are paying for it at the front with the BMW; you pay with the Mondeo at the end.

I have just done a quick exercise:

Check this; virtually equivalent models available on Autotrader now

New BMW M Sport 2.0 £27,990

Used 3 year old 54k £12,980

Total depreciation: £15,010


New Mondeo Titanium X sport £21,990

Used 3 yr old 57k Titanium X S £9,300

Total depreciation £12690

So the BMW actually costs more. Then factor in servicing, parts, tyres, insurance and after 3 years has cost you an additional £2700. If I had time to work out all of the addtional figures with all of the other costs I would work them out too. I know with the BMW all of these costs were higher. We could be talking a total cost of £4k to £8k for a car that is useless for over a month a year, oh yeah so add up that taxi money too!

I love the new Mondeo, but for me, I prefer the Wagon version.

Key specs

  • Price: £25,000 (est)
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl petrol plus electric motor
  • Power: 190bhp
  • Transmission: CVT automatic, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62/top speed: 9.2 secs/116mph
  • Econ./CO2: 67.3mpg/99g/km (est)
  • On sale: Now
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