Ford Mondeo: 11,101 miles

Third report: Our estate becomes a grand tourer as we travel the length of Britain – and France, too!

  • The huge cabin and luggage area make light work of long journeys and packing – whatever the load! The generous equipment list also impresses, while I never tire of the Ford’s quality interior, or its sharp steering and chassis. Then there’s the design, which treads a fine line between purposeful and chintzy. Most people I speak to seem to think the balance is just right.
  • For a car with so much space on offer, there’s no excuse for the lack of stowage bins. And why do the seats not fold flat in the back? Ironically, Ford has done a better job with the S-MAX, which offers a one-touch folding rear bench. I’d also like a bit more power... 20bhp would be enough!

Think it was my wife who looked least impressed. But then who could blame her? I had just announced we were fine-tuning the final days of our holiday – allowing me an extra 24 hours to drive to this year’s Le Mans spectacular.

Problem was, we were in the Isle of Skye in Scotland, and the extra day happened to be the very same one I was using to break the news of the update... On the other hand, I was pretty confident our Ford Mondeo was the right car for the job. Only days earlier, I watched the odometer rotate to display 8,000 miles as I drove up the M6 on my way to Inverness. Complex travel logistics aside, the bare facts of the following two weeks read like this...

Distance travelled: 3,100 miles, passengers carried: nine, stops for fuel: six, luggage carried: 550kg (including two tents, guitar, bike, walking gear, bucket of live lobsters and a fishing net). Oh yes, and a large, bearded man slept in the boot for three nights. Versatility clearly isn’t something you could suggest the big Ford lacks. It proved to be more than up to the challenge of long-haul travel, and the demands of the cross-country dash were dealt with well. Scotland’s superb roads and fantastic scenery meant I really enjoyed the driving. My daughter used the built-in booster seats for the first time, while the boot and its sliding floor meant the space provided more than just storage, but seating and an impromptu changing room.

I had a minor worry over the tyres, which wore more quickly than I expected. The distance ate right into the tread blocks, while a sharp rock bit into a sidewall. With no spare, and only a can of goo, a puncture would have been a major event.

I also found myself wishing for a bit more power from the 2.2-litre engine. At more than 1,800kg, the Mondeo is no lightweight, and it could do with an extra 20bhp for overtaking. I’d also like additional interior storage. The centre console can only take nic nacks, and the glovebox is too compact to hold much more than the owner’s manual. Secure extra space, either under the seats or in the rear footwells, would be useful.

That said, on the open road, there can be few better cruisers than the Mondeo. Comfortable and beautifully built, it’s one of the finest motorway mile-munchers in its class. 

Second opinion

Like Dan, I’ve been hugely impressed by our Mondeo’s ability to effortlessly cover huge distances. No matter how long you’ve spent at the wheel, it leaves you relaxed and refreshed when you arrive at your destination. However, with a list price of £28,895, the flagship Mondeo Estate’s comfort comes at a cost. For an extra £545, you could have a BMW 520d Touring with similar equipment and performance! So I think lesser trim levels provide better value for money

James Disdale Road tester

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