Ford Mondeo Hatchback review
With a composed chassis, premium looks and a cabin stuffed with standard equipment, the latest Mondeo has the measure of prestige rivals.
The latest Mondeo has grown - it's now almost as big as a BMW 5-Series! The Ford is handsome, although some of the detailing around the nose is fussy. Bigger alloys help disguise the car’s bulk, so either 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels are worth considering. Lowered sports suspension is standard on the ECOnetic and Titanium X Sport. Like the smaller Focus, the estate version offers the most balanced looks.
Fortunately, the vast exterior translates into a huge cabin. There’s more than enough space for five adults, while those in the back get masses of leg and headroom. Unsurprisingly the estate serves up the most carrying capacity, with an incredible 1,745-litres available with the rear seats folded flat. Trims include Edge, Zetec, Ghia, Titanium and Titanium X. Equipment levels are high, and even the entry-level Edge gets air-con and cruise control. Range-toppers are available with the impressive Convers+ system that controls audio, sat-nav and trip computer functions via steering wheel-mounted controls and large LCD screen.
The refined 2.0-litre TDCi diesel is the pick of the extensive engine line-up, providing a perfect compromise between performance and economy. There’s a cheaper 1.8-litre unit, but it lacks pace. Buyers wanting a petrol engine have a choice of five units, from 1.6 to 2.5-litres. It’s best to avoid the smallest motor, as it struggles to overcome the Mondeo’s hefty kerbweight. Range-topping models get Focus ST’s tuneful 222bhp five-cylinder powerplant, which is as fast as it is thirsty.
Keen drivers will love the Mondeo’s polished driving dynamics. No other family car can match the Ford’s fine ride and handling balance. Despite its size, the car feels remarkably agile, while the steering is well weighted and gives good feedback. Plump for the optional sports suspension and you’ll gain slightly sharper responses at the expense of ride comfort, while the hi-tech adaptive damping is well worth the extra outlay.
Unfortunately the Mondeo still has a ‘sales rep’ image, which means it can’t match the residual figures of premium rivals. After three years, the Ford will have retained on average 37 per cent of its value. For the strongest resale value, we’d recommend sticking with the diesel-engined versions. The oil-burners are also the most eco-friendly, with the 1.8 and 2.0-litre TDCi both emit less than156g/km of CO2 and will return 48mpg at the pumps. However, with 30mpg fuel economy and Band F tax rating, cost conscious buyers should avoid the 2.5-litre petrol motor.
Ford’s Intelligent Protection System sits at the heart of the Mondeo’s impressive safety package. Front, side and curtain airbags help protect occupants and help toward the five-star EuroNCAP rating. Elsewhere you’ll find an anti-lock braking system and standard electronic stability control. Optional at extra cost is an electronic tyre pressure monitoring system.
Our Choice - 2.0TDCi Zetec Hatchback