Ford Mondeo: 16,134 miles

Final report: Ford’s great estate is going to be sorely missed

  • Luxurious kit and versatile cabin set the Mondeo apart in its class. I really liked its easily adjustable heated seats. But more impressive was its steering, plus its ride and refinement on motorways. It was whisper-quiet at speed, and regularly topped 40mpg.
  • Despite the estate’s huge length, the lack of stowage was frustrating. The door and seatback pockets were always full to overflowing, and there was only the footwell to store the small, easy-to-reach items all families need to carry around.

Good to look at, great to drive – that will be the epitaph carved in the logbook of our now-departed Mondeo.

As the 2.2-litre diesel-engined estate left our office car park for the final time, I’ll admit I felt an odd pang across my chest. You can read about some of the highlights of the past 12 months’ motoring above – suffice to say, those 16,134 miles have passed without any hiccups!

Of course, when the Ford arrived way back in December 2008, I had high expectations. Luxuriously appointed and fitted with what was then the most powerful diesel the firm produced (this unit will shortly be replaced by a new 2.0-litre TDCi), the Titanium X Sport machine certainly had all the ingredients required to be a truly great family model.

But while it was easy to be wowed by the in-car DVD set-up – plus the touchscreen satellite navigation system – what left a more lasting impression was the Mondeo’s raft of hidden talents.

If you are thinking about getting behind the wheel of a similar model, I’d recommend you make sure your car has the sports seats, which are fantastically comfortable.

And if you have a growing family – and can stretch to the cost – go for the integral rear child seats, too. I found this feature really useful, as it meant the Ford could be driven on family trips as well as business outings. I also specced a sliding boot floor, which at around £409 was an expensive experiment – and one that didn’t necessarily pay off. This extra didn’t work very well, and it took up valuable load space.

On the other hand, while the DVD players were also a costly luxury, they entertained my kids on long journeys. Even more valuable were the blacked-out rear windows, which helped keep the cabin cool and the children asleep.

Up front, I really appreciated the heated and cooled seats; these offered comfort on cold mornings and a couple of long-haul summer trips. And on the subject of those epic journeys, my car also featured radar-equipped automatic cruise control. This not only helped make motorway jaunts less tiring, but saved fuel, too. If I could have improved anything, it would have been to increase the amount of cabin storage space. The centre console bin was too small, and once the logbook was stuffed into the glovebox there was virtually no room left there, either. As this car was used on business a lot, I would also have appreciated some secure, lockable stowage.

Access to the boot was first-rate, but with the tailgate up the Mondeo seemed to double in height – a real problem in low-ceilinged, multi-storey car parks. An opening rear windscreen would be a useful addition.

Finally, although back seat practicality was excellent, with plenty of space for adults, I was never fully convinced about the cabin’s versatility. The Mondeo was certainly no match for its S-MAX big brother, with its one-touch, fold-and-stow chairs.

Extra Info

Large alloys usually spell trouble for ride and wet handling, but neither proved the case here. While the rims made their presence felt, the compromise wasn’t as severe as I’d feared. That’s down to the quality of the chassis and suspension. A revised Mondeo is on the horizon, and I can’t wait to see what it serves up.

Stuart Morton Chief sub-editor

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