Ford Mondeo

Ford has introduced its own cabin control system on the new Mondeo

Thanks to BMW's iDrive, Mercedes' COMAND and Audi's MMI, centralised cabin-control systems are all the rage in the executive and luxury classes. However, the new Mondeo introduces similar technology to a family car.

While it's not as far-reaching as the systems in more expensive models, the awkwardly named Ford Convers+ Human Machine Interface (HMI) is great to use. Standard on Titanium X and optional on Ghia trims, the display sits between the rev counter and speedometer. You control a series of screens via a simple keypad on the steering wheel. As a result, navigation on the move is a breeze.

HMI can control in-car audio (MP3 players are linked via a glovebox socket), as well as everything from sat-nav options to the trip computer.

While simpler models come with a monochrome display, the top-spec, full-colour HMI unit can also control a Bluetooth mobile phone.

But that's not all the technology packed into the dash. A screen to the left of the HMI display shows details of Hill Launch Assist. Even though the Mondeo has a manual handbrake, this stops the car rolling back as you move from the brake pedal to the accelerator. It works very well at junctions, enabling you to safely stop and start without the handbrake. It's less intrusive than VW's system, too.

Also, while the Mondeo's front was devised to limit minor-impact damage (resulting in class-leading insurance groupings), you can specify radar-controlled adaptive cruise control to help avoid crashes altogether.

Mondeo driven

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