Ford Mondeo review - Engines, performance and drive
The Mondeo's engines balance power and efficiency, but the big Ford lacks the sharpness of the old model
Thanks to the fact the latest Mondeo is part of Ford’s ‘One Ford’ philosophy, more emphasis has been placed on ride comfort and interior quality than driver enjoyment and handling agility. Where the old car was the sharpest steer in this class, the new one feels softer and less focused. The steering, for example, feels much lighter and has less feel, and the body leans more when you’re cornering at speed. It also feels cumbersome around town thanks to its sheer size and tricky visibility. ST-Line cars with sports suspension do handle with a bit more composure, however.
That said, the Mondeo is a far more refined prospect than before, with a notably better ride quality. It's softer around town, particularly on models with smaller wheels and standard suspension, while it's excellent on the motorway too, thanks to well isolated wind and road noise.
It’s still reasonably pleasant to drive, but it has lost its sparkle that made the older models special – or the class-leader, the highly enjoyable Mazda 6. The estate version’s optional self-levelling rear suspension is worth considering if you’re towing or carrying heavy loads regularly, while four-wheel drive is also available on some models.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The Ford Mondeo is available with a pair of diesel engines and a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid option, with the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesels making up a bulk of Mondeo sales. It comes in 150PS and 190PS forms with 148bhp and 187bhp outputs, although Ford also sold a punchier 207bhp version in the past. As it stands, the 148bhp model is the manual and the 187bhp version is found with the auto gearbox, although neither feel especially rapid.
The petrol-electric Mondeo Hybrid accounts for only a tiny handful of UK sales. Emissions range from 127g/km to 134g/km depending on the spec. These figures aren't particularly competitive, and the car's increased weight blunts the Mondeo's stodgy handling even further, while the CVT transmission makes the powertrain unpleasant to use under acceleration.
A decent array of petrol options were also available, though they’re no longer offered on the Ford Mondeo. One now-dropped petrol engine that greatly impressed us was the 163bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost: it doesn't have a major slug of low-down torque, but it revs very cleanly, sounds good and is supremely quiet when cruising. Ford also used to offer a 237bhp 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol Mondeo, which was the fastest model in the range when it was for sale.
- 1VerdictThe Ford Mondeo is more refined, spacious and high-tech than ever before, but rivals have leapt ahead in this class
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe Mondeo's engines balance power and efficiency, but the big Ford lacks the sharpness of the old model
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThere's the potential for very low running costs, but you need to secure a good discount when buying new
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Mondeo feels much more upmarket than before, both inside and out
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA large boot and plenty of room for passengers make the Mondeo a highly practical choice
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Ford Mondeo certainly doesn't have the best reliability record, but safety standards are very high