Ford Mondeo Estate vs rivals

Has Ford's new Mondeo been worth the wait? We find out as the Estate meets key rivals from Skoda and Mazda in its first test

To say we’ve been waiting a while for the arrival of the new Ford Mondeo is a bit of an understatement. It was launched in US showrooms as the Fusion back in 2012, but it’s only just landing on UK shores now. Ford delayed the car over factory capacity issues after closing its Genk plant in Belgium and shifting production to Valencia, Spain, and has taken the chance to move the Mondeo upmarket and battle compact executive cars in the sales charts.

The big question is, has it been worth the wait? To find out, we’ve lined up a new diesel-engined Mondeo Estate against two rivals that will challenge its family friendly credentials to the limit. The Mazda 6 is a current Auto Express favourite – it was crowned Best Family Car at our New Car Awards 2014 – and in Tourer estate guise it mixes sharp handling with even greater versatility. Meanwhile, the Skoda Superb Estate delivers huge carrying capacity for luggage and passengers at a brilliant price.

Can the new Mondeo serve up a mix of performance and practicality that will have the edge over rivals? Or is it a case of Ford delivering too little, too late?

Ford Mondeo Estate review

Mazda 6 Tourer review

Skoda Superb Estate review

Read full reviews by following the links above, and scroll down to see which car comes out on top...

Head-to-head

Boot space

The Mondeo’s 525-litre boot is 108 litres smaller than the Superb’s, but ahead of the 6 Tourer’s by 19 litres. Fold the seats flat, and the Ford has 1,630 litres, although that’s 18 and 235 litres down on the Mazda and Skoda respectively. All three cars have flat floors; trouble is, in the Skoda you need to flip up the seatbases to achieve this. The Mazda has handy back seat releases in the boot, which makes folding them a lot easier.

Emissions

Thanks to its 110g/km emissions, the Mazda is the cheapest company car choice here. Business users might also want to check out the Mondeo ECOnetic and Superb GreenLine III models, though. While they won’t perform nearly as well with a full load, they offer cheaper tax rates than our 6 2.2D SE-L Nav.

Safety kit

The new Mondeo has lots of safety kit. Titanium cars get lane assist and traffic sign recognition (it’s £525 on the Zetec), but adaptive cruise is a £900 option. Inflatable seatbelts in the rear (above) are another option. They cost £175, and help to spread crash forces across the body in an accident.

Verdict

1st place: Mazda 6 Tourer

We’ve always thought the Mazda 6 is a strong contender in the family car class, and that belief hasn’t changed with the arrival of the new Mondeo. The 6 Tourer is practical and spacious, while the 2.2-litre diesel is a punchy performer that doesn’t compromise efficiency. Add in engaging driving dynamics that don’t come at the expense of comfort, and the 6 is a clear winner.

2nd place: Ford Mondeo Estate

It’s close, but the new Mondeo comes second to the Mazda 6. Ford has improved its family car in many areas: it’s comfortable, relaxing to drive, has a spacious interior and a user-friendly infotainment system. Yet some of the driving sparkle that made the previous model stand above the family car pack has been lost, while the estate isn’t the roomiest or most practical choice.

3rd place: Skoda Superb Estate

If you want the biggest boot for your cash, the Superb Estate won’t let you down. It’s also the best car this side of a luxury limo for rear legroom. But the current car is showing its age, as it’s short on kit compared to rivals, and isn’t as enjoyable to drive or comfortable on the motorway, either. We’re sure the new Superb will be a closer opponent when it arrives in the summer.

Ford Mondeo Estate vs rivals: key specs

 Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2D 150 SE-L NavFord Mondeo Estate 2.0 TDCi 150 TitaniumSkoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 140 SE
On the road price/total as tested£24,395/£24,395£24,745/£29,220£23,410/£23,410
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£10,929/44.8%£10,022/40.5%£10,815/46.2%
Depreciation£13,466£14,723£12,595
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£876/£1,753£938/£1,876£887/£1,775
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,567/£,2612 19/£349/B/£20£1,543/£2,571£1,616/£2,693
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost19/£349/B/£2023/£356/C/£3023/£357/C/£30
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£172/£233/£236£690 (3yrs)£479 (3yrs/30k)
    
Length/wheelbase4,805/2,750mm4,867/2,850mm4,833/2,761mm
Height/width1,480/1,840mm1,501/1,852mm1,511/1,817mm
Engine4cyl in-line/2,191cc4cyl in-line/1,997cc4cyl in-line/1,968cc
Peak power/revs148/4,500 bhp/rpm148/3,500 bhp/rpm138/4,200 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs380/1,800 Nm/rpm350/2,000 Nm/rpm320/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel62 litres/repair kit62.5 litres/sp saver60 litres/£100
Boot capacity (seats up/down)506/1,648 litres525/1,630 litres633/1,865 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,503/573/1,600kg1,597/663/1,800kg1,479/638/1,800kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.8 metres/0.26Cd11.6 metres/N/A10.8 metres/0.30Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers12,500 miles (1yr)/17018k miles (1yr)/781Variable/135
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.8th/12th25th/27th1st/5th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars92/77/66/5 (2013)86/82/66/5 (2014)90/81/50/5 (2009)
    
0-60/30-70mph 9.8 (damp)/9.2 secs9.3/8.7 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.6/5.4 secs4.3/6.9 secs4.2/6.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th6.8/9.1 secs9.5/13.5 secs8.2/11.6 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph130mph/1,900rpm130mph/1,800rpm131mph/1,850rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph55.3/39.8/10.2m (damp)52.0/36.9/9.8m (damp)54.8/37.4/10.6m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph60/41/56/64dB67/45/55/64dBN/A
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range43.4/9.5/592 miles44.1/9.7/606 miles42.1/9.3/556 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 55.4/76.3/67.3mpg55.4/68.9/62.8mpg50.4/70.6/61.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined12.2/16.8/14.8mpl12.2/15.2/13.8mpl11.1/15.5/13.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket174/110g/km/18%172/117g/km/19%180/119g/km/19%
    
Airbags/Isofix/parking sens./self parkSix/yes/yes/noSeven/yes/£450/£450Seven/yes/rear/£540
Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl£1,200/yes/no£1,370/yes/£900£1,440/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/no/noYes/£2,000^/£300Yes/£1,355/£200
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£540/no/no£545/£1,050*/£250£535/£1,000/£375
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/no/yesYes/yes/yes/yes£535/£185/£535/yes

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