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
Ford’s latest Mondeo is easily identifiable, as it has a look that’s similar to its predecessor, but with a sharp new edge. The car is slightly smaller than before, although it’s still longer and wider than its rivals in this test, and looks imposing on the road.
Up front, you get slim, angular headlights and a bold grille that’s also been seen on the facelifted Focus and Fiesta. The roofline is low and the glass area small, while this Estate model has an elongated rear with integrated roof rails. The tail-lights look similar to the previous generation’s, although they now get extremely bright LEDs, while the small rear window adds to the car’s sporty appearance.
Overall, the new Mondeo is attractive, and its straight edges are distinctive, but it remains to be seen if the design will be just as striking in a few months’ time when the car becomes a common sight on UK roads.
Climb aboard, and you’ll immediately notice the step up in quality that the latest Mondeo takes over its predecessor. There are soft-touch plastics everywhere, while the new touchscreen infotainment system has a big screen with a user-friendly interface.
The dials look a bit cluttered thanks to the computer displays and the excessive markings for the speedo and rev counter, but it’s easy enough to navigate your way through the trip computer using the multifuncton steering wheel.
The quality of the Mondeo’s switchgear is on par with rivals here, with the sort of solid feel you get in an executive saloon, while the excellent sound deadening means the Ford provides a quiet and relaxing ambience.
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.
It’s too early to tell how reliable the new Mondeo will be, but it’s been on sale in the
US for two years as the Ford Fusion, so the fundamental running gear should benefit from the US model’s production run. UK cars will be built in Valencia, Spain, unlike the previous model, which was produced at the now-closed plant in Genk, Belgium.
The 2.0 TDCi diesel has been carried over from the old car, so should prove reliable, while the new 1.5 EcoBoost petrol is a downsized version of the 1.6-litre, which has a decent reputation.
The Mondeo has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, with good scores across the board. There are seven airbags, an advanced stability control system, lane keeping and traffic sign recognition, and optional safety kit includes city braking (£200), inflatable rear seatbelts (£175) and blind spot monitoring (£500).
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.