There are two Ford Mondeo hybrid versions planned of the all-new Mondeo: a plug-in hybrid emitting less than 50g/km of CO2, and the one driven here.
Ford claims this car should emit less than 99g/km and return well over 65mpg – clean enough to be a tempting tax-free alternative to conventionally powered rivals. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 188bhp, and feels fairly nimble from a standstill.
At lower speeds and setting off from the lights, the motor drives the front wheels independently, and the top speed in EV mode is 85mph. Get too eager with the throttle, though, and the petrol engine fires noisily into life, and the switch between the two power sources isn’t very smooth, either.
The CVT gearbox whines loudly and fails to match up with the engine revs. Drive the car gingerly, though, and it ’s refined, even though it’s a lot less flexible while cruising than the equivalent 2.0 TDCi. Surprisingly, the interior is a bit like the Chevrolet Volt’s, with a wide centre console with touchpad-style buttons for all the major functions.
However, the build quality fails to meet the standards most European buyers will expect, and the plastics used for the glovebox are especially poor. The boot is also around 100 litres smaller than in the standard car, thanks to the battery.
We hope Ford can iron out these kinks before the Mondeo lands in the UK, as the current car is still one of the best-value saloons around.