Ford Mondeo review
The Ford Mondeo is more refined and high tech than ever, but that’s not enough to save it
The Ford Mondeo - now in its fourth generation - is the largest and priciest it has ever been, although the family car is also a more premium, refined and high-tech offering than it was before. It faces fierce competition from the likes of the Skoda Superb, Mazda 6 and VW Passat, but its core strengths ensure that it holds its own.
The Mondeo is available as either a hatchback or an estate, and both body styles have an abundance of space for passengers and luggage, making them very practical for families. The engine line-up is not blessed with performance, it has to be said, but the diesels are very smooth and efficient, and offer enough power to get by on the road.
The disappointment with the current Mondeo is that it lacks the handling characteristics that made its predecessors shine. It’s not woeful by any means, but the fun of the old cars has been lost to a more comfortable set-up that’s more at home on the motorway than on a fast country road. That’ll deter some drivers, but the Mondeo is still a good family car nonetheless.
About the Ford Mondeo
The Mondeo arrived in a blaze of glory in 1993 hen it was hailed as Ford’s new ‘world car’ to replace the old Sierra. It’s been massively popular over successive generations, but it isn’t any more. In fact, sales of this once ubiquitous model have slumped to the extent that Ford is killing off the nameplate in March 2022. Which is, to some extent, a shame.
That’s because the Mondeo is still a very likeable car, but the writing has been on the wall for some time nonetheless. The shift in mainstream tastes towards SUVs is fundamental to the Mondeo’s imminent demise, but the car also has an image problem amongst business and company car users - the problem being that it’s not an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class.
Car group tests
- New Ford Mondeo Hybrid Estate 2019 review
- Ford Mondeo Vignale Nero 2017 review
- Ford Mondeo ST-Line 2016 review
Used car tests
The Mondeo was last refreshed in 2019, when it received subtle exterior tweaks and some updates to the interior trim. New eight-speed automatic versions were also treated to the rotary gear selector as seen in the latest Focus. However, the pictures of the Mondeo you'll see in this review are taken prior to this facelift.
Despite the shift upmarket, the Mondeo is still behind the curve compared to the premium German models mentioned. It also faces highly competent and generally more desirable mainstream rivals including the Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6, Skoda Superb and Peugeot 508. The Vauxhall Insignia and Toyota Camry are also alternatives to the Mondeo, though unlike the Ford they aren’t available as estates.
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 - the Mondeo 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. 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.
Engines comprise of the 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 six-speed manual and eight-speed autos, although the Mondeo Hybrid gets a CVT 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 £25,300 for Zetec models, while Titanium is less than £27,000 and ST-Line around £1,000 more than that. Vignale cars are a bit pricey, starting from just under £33,00. If you want an estate, there's a premium of around £1,800 to add to all models.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Ford Mondeo is more refined and high tech than ever, but that’s not enough to save it
- 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