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Outgoing Ford Mondeo STill good. Image by James Jenkins.

Outgoing Ford Mondeo STill good
The Mondeo "World Car" lacked the wow factor that its predecessor had so enjoyed at launch. What the Mondeo did have, however, was a genuinely engaging range of dynamic capabilities...

 



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Many Ford fans were sad to see the demise of the Sierra back in the early '90s; the Mondeo "World Car" lacked the wow factor that its predecessor had so enjoyed at launch. What the Mondeo did have, however, was a genuinely engaging range of dynamic capabilities alongside room and practicality. It was a huge step up from the Sierra and has sold by the million over the last 14 years since its inception. The current model is beginning to reach the end of its lifespan, set to be replaced by a car, if the concepts are to be believed, that will bring back that wow factor. We borrowed the latest version, the ST TDCi for a final goodbye.

The current Ford Mondeo is beginning to look its age now, regardless of nips and tucks many younger more contemporary rivals make it look a little ordinary and plain old. The ST benefits from a subtle body kit including some nice large-spoked alloy rims and mesh grilles that complement in particular the Performance Blue paintwork. The lights, front and rear, and nicely detailed too.

The Mondeo's interior is comfortable and spacious with generous accommodation for four adults and all their luggage, or indeed a family of five. The driving position is excellent and the sports steering wheel is great to hold. The part-leather trimmed seats (heated for those cold winter mornings) are supportive and cosseting, so much so that a five-hour stint at the wheel was broken by discomfort caused by hunger rather than the need to stretch. The dials are clear and easy to read and the majority of the controls are good to use, the exception being the optional satnav that dominates the centre console.

It isn't the most intuitive system to use and at £1,750 (including the internal 6 CD changer) is a luxury many can do without, particularly when a 6 CD changer is standard fitment on the ST anyway. Our test car was also fitted with Park Assist, a worthwhile option in a big car such as this at £350, self-levelling Xenon lights that form part of the £550 Technology Pack, metallic paint and Bluetooth phone compatibility. These extras took the reasonable £22,795 list price up to an entirely more serious £25,850 - verging on premium brand territory.

The benefits of Ford's decision to spend a bit of time with Peugeot's diesel engine gurus are clear to feel, see and hear. Diesel engines used to be something of a weak link in Fords; not so anymore. This engine, that also sees service in the Jaguar X-type, and therefore by implication is a decent unit, is a vast improvement upon previous Ford efforts.

Four cylinders totalling 2.2-litres of swept volume provide 151bhp with a nice fat torque curve peaking at 266lb.ft at 1800rpm, although this is accentuated further with an overboost facility that pushes this figure up to a heady 295lb.ft temporarily. Six sensibly spaced ratios, swapped via a nice slick shift, ensure the diesel's raison d'Ítre (i.e. fuel economy) is excellent; we averaged 47mpg, but not at the expense of performance. Flat out figures show a decent turn of pace with a nigh on 140mph maximum and a 0-60mph time in the mid eight second bracket.

These numbers may not be overly impressive in isolation but the torquey nature of the engine means that in normal driving the ST is deceptively quick; quicker than the bear figures suggest it should feel, pulling with alacrity from 1700rpm or so right through the speed range. It's perfectly possible to make rapid progress short shifting through the 'box with fast A and B-road motoring a real strength, as is the motorway cruise. Only on twisty give and take B-roads with lots of second gear corners does the ST TDCi fail to be overtly sporty-natured as second and third gears tend to be slightly too short or long respectively. I found myself using third rather than grabbing a gear mid corner. It makes for smoother progress but takes a slight edge off the sporting experience.

Part of the issue is self cultivated due to the overall ability of the chassis; it can blatantly cope with significantly more power, as found in the 220bhp 3-litre petrol version. Even though it's drawing its automotive bus-pass the Ford Mondeo continues to excel and the ST, being the more focused version, takes the abilities to new levels. Mondeo chassis have been fun since its launch, but the latest iteration has moved the game on. The steering is well weighted and feelsome, although less so than older cars due to the need to quell the dreaded torque steer, and the wheel is good to use.

Turn in is sharp and once in the corner the ST remains well balanced and neutral, in spite of the weighty lump of engine up front. Eventually understeer will set in but the ST resists gamely courtesy of generous mechanical grip and a well sorted suspension set-up. It is genuinely fun and engaging as well as impressively quick point to point with excellent body control and damping ensuring it doesn't deviate from its chosen path due to mid corner bumps or crests. The agility is impressive for what is a big car and the long wheelbase adds some stability to the equation. Fast sweeping roads are a happy hunting ground.

It would be a shame if the fun were at the expense of comfort, but thankfully this isn't the case and the ST proved itself to be equally adept on motorways, where if we're being realistic many Ford Mondeos spend much of their lives. Ridges and expansion gaps are felt through the car but are not obtrusive and are well dealt with by the suspension. The car shows its age in terms of refinement though with the distant thrum of the diesel engine drowned out by excessive wind noise not found in many newer rivals.

The Ford Mondeo may now be showing its age in some key areas but the competition still hasn't closed the gap dynamically. With a new model looming on the horizon rivals must be shifting slightly uneasily in their seats. If Ford addresses the weaknesses in the package it may well have an all-rounder capable of justifying the price tag. As an everyday proposition the diesel TDCi version probably outpoints the ST220; it may lack the aural delights and straight-line pace against the clock but it has much of the real world capability and travels a not insignificant twice as far on each gallon of fuel.
Ford Mondeo UK range overview

Four and five-door versions are the same price (that shown below). Estate is approximately £1,000 more for a given model.

- Ford Mondeo LX 1.8i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (125PS) 5 speed manual : £15,995
- Ford Mondeo LX 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £16,520
- Ford Mondeo LX 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £17,520
- Ford Mondeo LX 2.0 16V TDCi (90PS) SIV : £16,495
- Ford Mondeo LX 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £16,995
- Ford Mondeo LX 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £17,495
- Ford Mondeo Edge 1.8i Duratec 16V (125PS) : £14,995
- Ford Mondeo Edge 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £15,520
- Ford Mondeo Edge 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £15,995
- Ford Mondeo Edge 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £16,495
- Ford Mondeo Edge 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £16,995
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 1.8i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (125PS) 5 speed manual : £16,995
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £17,520
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £18,520
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £17,995
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £18,495
- Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £18,995
- Ford Mondeo Zetec Nav 1.8i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (125PS) 5 speed manual : £17,495
- Ford Mondeo Zetec Nav 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £18,020
- Ford Mondeo Zetec Nav 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £18,495
- Ford Mondeo Zetec Nav 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £18,995
- Ford Mondeo Zetec Nav 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £19,495
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 1.8 Duratec SCi DOHC (130PS) : £18,495
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £18,520
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £19,520
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £18,995
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £19,495
- Ford Mondeo Ghia 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £19,995
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 1.8 Duratec SCi DOHC (130PS) : £20,495
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £20,520
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £21,520
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.5i DOHC V6 24V Duratec (170PS) Durashift 5-tronic G2: £23,040
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 3.0i Duratec V6 24V (204PS) : £22,290
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £21,495
- Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £21,995
- Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £18,520
- Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £19,520
- Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0i 16V TDCi (115PS) SIV : £18,995
- Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £19,495
- Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £19,995
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) 5 speed manual : £20,520
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.0i DOHC 16V Duratec-HE (145PS) Durashift Automatic : £21,520
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.5i DOHC V6 24V Duratec (170PS) Durashift 5-tronic : £23,040
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 3.0i Duratec V6 24V (204PS) : £22,290
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.0i 16V TDCi (130PS) SIV : £21,495
- Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £21,995
- Ford Mondeo ST TDCi 2.2i 16V TDCi (155PS) : £22,795
- Ford Mondeo ST220 3.0i Duratec ST V6 (226PS) : £24,540

Dave Jenkins - 12 May 2006









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2005 Ford Mondeo specifications: (ST TDCi 5-door)
Price: £22,795
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Top speed: 136mph
Combined economy: 46.3mpg
Emissions: 161g/km
Kerb weight: 1495kg

Full technical specifications

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.



2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2005 Ford Mondeo ST TDCi. Image by James Jenkins.
 






 

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