Ford Mondeo Estate review
The Mondeo Estate is more practical than the other versions, just as refined and only a mite more expensive. It’s a stellar machine
The new Ford Mondeo Estate follows a long and successful line-up of big Ford wagons, but drivers of Sierras and Granadas simply wouldn’t believe how technologically advanced and refined the new Mondeo has become. In paper, the Mondeo Estate doesn’t score well against its obvious rival, the VW Passat Estate, which is roomier and more efficient, but on the road, the Mondeo Estate turns out to be a hugely likeable, accomplished car.
The critical estate information is as follows: 525 litres of bootspace with the five seats in place, or 1,630 litres on hand once the rear backrests are folded. All of this is contained in a handsome body that shows the new Mondeo’s clean-cut look at its absolute best. And unlike Estates on old, there’s no echoey pay-off in cruising refinement on account of the more capacious cabin.
We'd go for the top-dog Titanium-spec car, but there’s the usual range of Ford trims to choose from, with Style and Zetec versions making up the mainstay of the range which kicks off at around £1,250 more the hatchback model.
Our choice: Ford Mondeo Estate 1.5 EcoBoost Titanium
The Mondeo Estate is hardly an exciting looking car, but its unfussy clean lines actually have an effect of making the car look more expensive than it really is. The proportions of the estate and spot on – it doesn’t look like a boring box on wheels, but rather mature and packing a little presence.
Of course, if you’re on the regular 16-inch or 17-inch alloys instead of the optional 19s, the effects isn’t as attractive, but that should help the ride and enhance the Mondeo Estate’s already handy road manners.
The interior forward of the boot is of course all familiar from the hatchback Mondeo. The dashboard is dominated by the seven-inch SYNC 2 touchscreen which is Ford’s best infotainment centre to date, though only Titanium models get sat-nav thrown in. Material quality is generally good though the ambience may be a little grey and dull for some. One benefit of the estate’s elongated roofline is much better headroom in the rear of the car.
The days of estate cars feeling heavier, less stiff and more echoey than their saloon or hatchback counterparts are gone. The Mondeo Estate feels, to all intents and purposes, identical to the hatchback from behind the wheel. You’re simply not aware of the extra 20kg of bodywork you’re hauling, and there’s no appreciable dent in the new Mondeo’s excellent refinement.
Tyre and engine noise are very well suppressed, especially in the case of the rev-happy 1.5-litre EcoBoost version, and the ride is nicely compliant. The new Mondeo Estate follows the hatch’s lead in being more comfort orientated than its predecessor, and losing some of the fun factor, but in this class of car, it’s simply not the disadvantage it would be if we were talking superminis or family hatches.
In 2015, you’ll be able to pair the roomy estate with a tiny engine. Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine will make its debut in the Mondeo range, offering 123bhp.
Ford’s reliability record has cased the Blue Oval to take a pasting in recent ownership surveys, with the Auto Express Driver Power survey in 2014 placing Ford 25th out of 33 carmakers. The new Mondeo feels like a much higher-quality item, but only time will tell if that’s a sign of improved owner satisfaction.
Safety has a more positive outlook, with a suite of driver assist tech available – if you’re willing to shell out for the optional packs. Airbag-equipped inflating rear seatbelts are a wonderful innovation that sadly costs £175 on all models, while autonomous emergency braking and a self-parking assist that works with both parallel and bay-parking situations are also available in the new Mondeo.
While the estate’s seats-up volume is 25 litres smaller than the hatchback’s, the seats down volume is 194 litres superior. The loading lip is low and flat, and the boot aperture wide. There’s not too much wheel intrusion into the space and you can lash cargo to the hooks inside to keep it secure on the move.
Occupant space is, as mentioned, slightly better than the hatchback Mondeo on account of the straighter roofline. As a holdall or family wheels, in isolation, the Mondeo is great. A VW Passat does offer more room in wagon guise, so consider that if you’d like to match even more space with a similar level of refinement, plus typically Germanic fit and finish.
You can’t have the Mondeo Estate as a hybrid – that’s reserved for the four-door saloon – but the petrol-electric car struggles to match up to its near-70mpg claims even with very careful driving. Instead, the cheapest Mondeo Estate to run is of course diesel-powered, specifically the 1.6 TDCi Econetic manual which can reportedly achieve 72.4mpg and 99g/km – the same CO2 output as the hybrid.
Pick of the petrols is the 1.5-litre EcoBoost four-pot, which delivers up to 47.8mpg and 137g/km. The penalty for having the estate over the hatch is an extra £1,250 in purchase cost.