Ford Mondeo review
The new Ford Mondeo is more refined, spacious and high-tech than its predecessor, but it no longer sets the class handling benchmark
The fourth-generation Ford Mondeo is the biggest and most expensive version of Ford's family car there has ever been, but it's also more upmarket, more refined and considerably more high-tech. These are all key attributes in a very tough sector that includes rivals such as the Skoda Superb, Mazda 6 and VW Passat.
Its dimensions make it a very practical family car with both hatchback or estate guises offering plenty of room for passengers and luggage. And while none of the engines are particularly energetic, the diesels at least offer reasonable performance and efficiency, and they're pretty smooth.
The Mondeo's problem, however, is that it's lost some of the handling sparkle that made previous versions the stand-out dynamic benchmark in their class. It's not hopeless, but agility and fun has made way for softness and motorway cruising ability. That will put some buyers off, yet the Mondeo is still a good family car regardless.
The Ford Mondeo hatchback and Ford Mondeo Estate have been for sale for more than 25 years now. While the Mondeo used to be a staple of the company car park, a move to upmarket brands has seen its popularity wane, but the current Mondeo Mk4 is a comfortable and well-equipped family car that offers some upmarket touches.
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Whether you choose a basic Mondeo, an upmarket Vignale or the Mondeo Hybrid, you're getting a spacious family car with plenty of kit and handsome looks. An update in 2019 saw those looks given a subtle revision, although the Mondeo still has hints of the Mustang sports car about its appearance, especially up front.
Under the skin, the Mondeo shares its platform and running gear with the Ford S-MAX and Galaxy MPVs, as well as the Ford Edge SUV. Unlike past models that used a platform developed by Ford Europe, the current Mondeo platform was developed in the US, and its bias towards comfort over sharp handling was a distinct change for the Mondeo when it arrived in 2014, some 12 months after it had gone on sale in the US as the Ford Fusion.
As of 2019, engines comprise 1.5 EcoBoost 165PS petrol and 2.0 EcoBlue 150PS and 190PS diesels, plus a 2.0 TiVCT 187PS petrol hybrid. All Ford Mondeos are front engined, and the majority are front-wheel drive, with AWD four-wheel drive available as an option with the most powerful diesel. Gearboxes comprise 6-speed manual and 8-speed autos, although the Mondeo Hybrid gets a 6-speed auto as standard.
Ford offers a broad range of trims on the Mondeo. The Zetec version used to be the bread-and-butter variant, but today it's the entry point to the range. Then there are Titanium, ST-Line and Vignale variants available, with Titanium and Vignale cars offering luxury, and the ST-Line being a sporty looking variant, albeit without a boost in performance.
Prices for the Mondeo range start from around £22,000 for Zetec models, while Titanium is around £2,000 extra and ST-Line is around £1,100 more than that. Vignale cars are a bit pricey, starting from around £32,000. If you want an estate, there's a premium of around £1,800 to add to all models, including the estate.
The main rivals for the Ford Mondeo, both as a five-door and an estate, are the Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6, Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, Skoda Superb and Peugeot 508. Further afield, the Kia Optima and Hyundai i40 should provide reliable, well equipped transportation, while the Toyota Camry should do the same, albeit only in a saloon car body.
Beyond that, the Mondeo has aspirations to take on cars such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Volvo S60 and Lexus IS. However, the Mondeo struggles to match these cars, both in terms of quality and driving enjoyment.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe new Ford Mondeo is more refined, spacious and high-tech than its predecessor, but it no longer sets the class handling benchmark
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Mondeo's engines balance power and efficiency, but the big Ford lacks the sharpness of the old model
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThere's the potential for very low running costs, but you need to secure a good discount when buying new
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Mondeo feels much more upmarket than before, both inside and out
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA large boot and plenty of room for passengers make the Mondeo a highly practical choice
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Ford Mondeo certainly doesn't have the best reliability record, but safety standards are very high