Ford Mondeo vs Vauxhall Insignia

3 Dec, 2013 9:45am

Revised Vauxhall Insignia hopes to regain the edge in the family saloon class. Can it beat Ford’s evergreen Mondeo?

Sales of traditional five-door hatches have taken a battering of late. Family buyers have turned their back on the class in favour of practical SUVs, while company and fleet users have migrated upmarket to the compact executive sector.

Ford Mondeo in-depth review

Vauxhall Insignia in-depth review

This means models such as the Insignia have struggled to make an impact on the sales charts. However, rather than roll over and give up, Vauxhall’s updated the car with a fresh look, more kit, lower emissions and competitive pricing. Here, we try the 2.0 CDTi Design Nav in clean ecoFLEX guise – and we’ve pitched it against its arch rival, the Mondeo.

The big Ford is getting on a bit. It’s due to be replaced next year, but in the meantime a range of great-value Business Edition models has been launched. We try the Zetec version, powered by Ford’s cleanest diesel: the 1.6-litre TDCi ECOnetic.

These rivals have always fought a close battle, but can the updates give the Insignia the edge?

On the motorway

These cars are designed to be relaxing motorway cruisers, and this is where the Insignia excels. It has a more comfortable ride than the Mondeo, even with our car’s optional 18-inch wheels, and it’s quieter, too, with less engine noise in the cabin. The powerful diesel doesn’t need to be worked as hard as the Ford’s smaller engine, which helps economy, while the 70-litre fuel tank gives a range of nearly 800 miles.

Tax costs

A cleaner engine puts the Insignia ahead for company car tax. It falls into the 14 per cent bracket, and higher-rate earners will face an annual bill of £1,108. This is £350 less than for the Ford, which sits in the 17 per cent tax band.


Although sat-nav and climate control are included on both of these cars, there are some glaring omissions from the Insignia’s kit list. For example, you only get wind-up windows in the back (powered operation is an optional extra, at £170), while front and rear parking sensors will set you back a further £395. However, as there’s a £1,646 difference in list price between the two cars, you can specify these options and still come in well under the Mondeo’s asking price.

1st place - Vauxhall

The facelifted Insignia marks a new start for Vauxhall’s family car. Updated engines, a revised interior and a new pricing strategy aim to revive its fortunes in this hard-fought market. As before, it’s available as a hatchback, saloon or Sports Tourer estate, with a long list of trim levels available.

In this first test of the revised Insignia, we try the entry-level Design with satellite navigation. It’s powered by the most efficient engine in the range – the 138bhp 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX – which emits 98g/km of CO2. It’s not as entertaining to drive as the Mondeo, but in terms of comfort, style, emissions, performance and value, the Insignia is very attractive.

While the touchpad controller takes some getting used to, and the touchscreen is arguably better to use, the slightly superior kit list and extended options earn the car victory.

2nd place - Ford

It’s the old-stager in the hatchback class, but the Mondeo still has plenty going for it. Ford has consistently refreshed the car, and the last round of updates earlier this year saw the introduction of two new Business Edition models that maximise the amount of equipment you get for your cash.

Further up the range is the Titanium version, but here we’ve lined up the Zetec Business Edition because it has similar kit to the Insignia, while the 1.6-litre TDCi is the closest engine for emissions. But still, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Mondeo is an old car. The interior is the biggest giveaway, with its blocky displays, hard plastics and dated switchgear.

Add poor emissions and performance, and the sharp driving dynamics and big discounts can’t make up for the Ford’s shortcomings.

Insignia 2.0 CDTi (140) ecoFLEX Design Nav Mondeo 1.6 TDCi Zetec Business Edition
On the road price/total as tested £19,849/£20,644 £21,495/£22,140
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000) £7,801/39.3% £8,063/37.5%
Depreciation £12,048 £13,432
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £554/£1,108 £729/£1,458
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £1,467/£2,445 £1,647/£2,746
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 18/£377/A/£0 17/£340/C/£30
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £189/£240/£180 £390 (3yrs/60k)
Length/wheelbase 4,842/2,737mm 4,784/2,850mm
Height/width 1,498/1,856mm 1,500/1,886mm
Engine 4cyl in-line/1,956cc 4cyl in-line/1,560cc
Peak power/revs 138/4,000 bhp/rpm 113/3,600 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 350/1,750 Nm/rpm 270/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd man/fwd 6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 70 litres/£95 70 litres/space saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down) 530/1,470 litres 540/1,460 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,538/622/1,700kg 1,496/659/1,600kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient 11.4 metres/N/A 11.6 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (60k)/1yr AA 3yrs (60k)/1yr Ford
Service intervals/UK dealers 10,000 (1yr)/404 12,500 (1yr)/781
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 26th/18th 23rd/29th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 94/79/40/71/5 05/04/2002
0-60/30-70mph 9.5/8.8 secs 11.4/11.1 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 4.2/7.4 secs 4.9/6.9 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 8.1/13.2 secs 8.2/11.5 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 127mph/1,600rpm 118mph/1,900rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 49.0/35.2/9.0m 48.6/35.6/9.7m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph 69/46/60/67dB 63/46/59/70dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 51.2/11.3/788 miles 45.6/10.0/702 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 62.8/88.3/76.3mpg 55.4/74.3/65.7mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 13.8/19.4/16.8mpl 12.2/16.3/14.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 148/98g/km/14% 166/112g/km/17%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camera Six/yes/£395/£300 Seven/yes/yes/no
Auto box/tyre monitor/stab/cruise ctrl £550^/£110/yes/yes No/no/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/£1,045/£695 Yes/no/no
Met paint/adaptive xenons/keyless go £525/£890/£190 £545/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/£100/yes

Disqus - noscript

Dull Mondeo LOL, sold just 4,000 Mondeo's to the whole of Europe last month, the Cortina used to sell 16,500 a month in the UK just as it was going out of production. Mondeo just a shadow of its former self the Cortina No1 UK best seller for decades.

Mondeo is a epic failure, lets hope the next one thats coming 3 years to "LATE" will be out of date the moment it arrives, currently sold in the US will sell a bit better seller.

Insignia residual value like the Mondeo will drop like a brick. That why it won the award of best second hand car buy, as its only worth 1/3 of the value after one year of ownership from new.

Would not touch either NEW, but they both make great second hand buys as they become worthless after a year in value.

what on earth did they do with the front of the Insignia? that grille is huge now, and quite ugly.

It seems that AE was given much money by Vauxhall... Insignia will never beat such cars as mondeo, mazda6,passat or superb, while opel/vauxhall is a part GM. No ANDROIDABLE features in car can be better than great drive.

Judging by your terrible grammar, I doubt you can afford either of these from new anyway...

Kings of Depreciation!!

Thats all l need to know.

Mondeo £13,345
Insignia £12,048

Great second hand buys, as they both become worthless junk in next to no time.

Now now. Thats enough of the cheek.

"Great" second hand buys, as they both become "worthless junk" in next to no time.

Contradiction: A combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.

Spot on! Nobody wants a Mondeo, seeing one on the road is so rare it makes me turn my head lol.

The survivors of the old Sierra / Cavalier class.
The Bluebird lineage shuffled off this mortal coil, replaced by the tonka truck-like Qashcow.

The Mondeo is absolutely huge inside, easily as big as a mk3 Granada. I've heard horror stories about the 1.6 TDCi/HDi engine.
The Insignia seems a little classier, sold in the US as a Buick. Have heard of reliability woes with this too. On the used market, there are plenty of decent ex-fleet models between the 6 - 10k mark.
Having had the misfortune to be a passenger in a 3 series and an A4, I don't see what these pair do any better than the Mondeo/Insignia. Other than an expensive badge?

Why a 1.6 tdci Ford against a 2.0tdci? For do have a 163bhp 2.0 tdci.

Why a 2.0 tdti against a 1.6 tdci and mention the difference is power when FORD do have a 2.0 163bhp tdci diesel who can compete.

You nailed it, its about badge, sadly posing is more important than a quality product now (true in so many things now a days!). Go out and talk to an Audi or BMW driver and see if any of them can even point to something as simple as an exhaust manifold, they can't its all about the look.

Yes because 2013 and 1982 are comparable on so many levels. No one car firm sells that many a month any more and haven't done for decades. What a completely pointless post.

I think this a great match up, as the two cars are extremely similar, although the Vauxhall won I think I personally prefer the Ford, which one do you guys prefer? - James, The Car Loan Warehouse

The 3 series is the new Cortina/Sierra/Mondeo.

LOL how sad but true.

Cortina was always No1 best seller in the UK & top of the European sales charts with Taunus (Rebadged Cortina). Fast FWD to 2013.

European Car Sales Charts - Jan to Oct.
RWD Cortina/Taunus 300,000
No 9 RWD BMW 3 Series 171,620 +19%
No 43 FWD Vauxhall Insignia 61,069 + +47%
No 80 FWD Ford Mondeo 42,219 -33%

Mondeo is an EPIC failure. quality producers have stolen the mass producers market, thats just how crap the Mondeo is.

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