Ford Mondeo Estate review
A huge load space and excellent dynamics make the Ford Mondeo Estate easy to live with
How do you make the best family car on sale better? Add an even bigger boot. The Ford Mondeo Estate is well worth a look if you often carry large loads, or simply need the extra space. Like the hatchback, it’s brilliant to drive and comfortable with it. While lower end engines are a bit underpowered and flagships are expensive, stick to the Zetec-trimmed mid-range models and you’ll find a real sweet spot.
Our choice: Ford Mondeo 2.0-litre TDCI (138) Zetec
The extra length of the Ford Mondeo Estate's boot has been neatly integrated. It's a good looking car, although the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer runs it close. Basic Edge cars can look a little drab without the addition of optional alloy wheels, while top-end Titanium X Sport models are the business – although so they should be, at close to £30,000. Best bet is the 138bhp 2.0 TDCI Zetec, which gets alloys as standard. It may not be the most exciting cabin and is beaten for quality by the Volkswagen Passat Estate, but there are fewer cars that are more comfortable than the Mondeo. There’s plenty of adjustment in the driving position and with logically placed controls and supportive seats, it's one of the best places to be for long distances.
The Ford Mondeo Estate is a brilliant drive. It's slightly firmer than the hatchback so it can handle larger loads in the back, but still boasts a comfortable ride. It also has sharp steering, great body control and surprising agility for something so large. As for petrol engines, avoid the underpowered 1.6-litre petrol engine and go for the latest sporty but frugal 1.6 and 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost units. For most buyers, the diesels are the pick, and we’d go for the 138bhp 2.0-litre TDCI which does 0-60mph in 10 seconds and has plenty of torque for overtaking. Motorways are a Mondeo forte, thanks to sensible gearing and low noise levels.
Like the Mondeo hatchback, the Estate gets seven airbags and a five-star maximum score in the Euro NCAP crash test, so it’s one of the safest cars on the road. We have no reason to doubt it won’t be as reliable as the hatchback, either.
If there’s one thing the Ford Mondeo Estate has a lot of, it’s space. There’s 537 litres with the rear seats in place and an enormous 1,733 litres with them folded flat. That’s bigger than a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer. It’s all put to good use with a wide boot opening and a flat floor, so loading larger items is a doddle. There's plenty of little cubby holes in the cabin too. In the back, there’s even more headroom for passengers thanks to the extended roof and acres of legroom.
If you’re looking to cut costs at the pumps, the diesels are the ones to go for. Most economical is the 113bhp 1.6-litre TDCI Econetic which has stop-start, does 65.7mpg and emits just 114g/km of CO2. Best all-rounder is the faster 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel which does 53.3mpg and emits 139g/km. Running costs are generally quite low, but there are so many Mondeos on the second-hand market that resale values won’t be as good as the VW Passat, while lease rates can be high. As for equipment, even basic Edge models get air-con, cruise control and Bluetooth. At the top of the range, Titanium X models have MP3 integration, climate control and rear parking sensors to name just a few.