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Mondeo, but not at its best. Image by Kyle Fortune.

Mondeo, but not at its best
Ford's Mondeo is a good car, but we'd have one of the lesser models.

   



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| A Week at the Wheel | Herts, England | Ford Mondeo Titanium X 2.5i |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

There's no denying that Ford has done a good job in creating its new Mondeo. If it were a contest on size alone the Mondeo would be a clear winner, as it's simply massive. Park it alongside the car it replaces, or better yet the one preceding that, and the Mondeo's growth is notable. It's a striking-looking machine rather than a particularly handsome one, but previous experience with Mondeo designs reassures us it'll be a grower in the looks department. As ever three body styles are offered: five-door hatchback, four-door saloon and an estate.

Inside Ford has clearly been very busy looking at its premium badged rivals; even so the finish isn't quite as polished as its Honda or VW rivals. There is a solidity to the cabin that's new to the Mondeo though, and those generous exterior proportions make for a spacious interior, the boot in particular being absolutely enormous. In Titanium X guise featured here there's Alcantara and leather trim and Ford's new Convers+ premium instrument cluster with a colour display. A keyless go system with a starter button comes as standard at this level. However, as a press of the 'key' is required to open the doors and the ignition barrel remains on the steering column with a cheap cover over it we'd actually rather just have a proper key.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

With the range-topping 217bhp 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine under the bonnet, we should be excited by the Mondeo's performance, but it's not a particularly inspiring engine to drive in this installation. It's very slow to build revs, the torque it offers low down in the rev-range meaning it's a bit turbodiesel-like to drive. Ford quotes a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds, which is undeniably rapid, it just doesn't feel it on the road. Perhaps some of that is down to the Mondeo's refinement, the engine's fruity five-cylinder burble only really audible when the rev-counter's needle is in its final quarter sweep. And in truth it's more than likely you'll have changed up before it gets there.

The six-speed gearshift is a sweet one; quick and accurate through its gate, shifting very positively. Even driven with consideration to economy the 2.5-litre turbo unit will struggle to match Ford's quoted 30.4mpg official combined consumption figure, while 222g/km of CO2 is difficult to justify for the way it drives. Better to opt for one of Ford's excellent turbodiesels and enjoy similar torque-rich performance without being punished so severely at the fuel pumps or in carbon dioxide emissions.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

'Mondeo' has always been a byword for decent ride and handling characteristics and the new car is no exception. However, the gap between the Ford and its rivals is no longer quite as obvious today. The steering is nicely weighted and pleasingly direct, but some of the feel from the previous Mondeo has been lost. The front end is also more prone to wander under power, the front wheels pretty keen to follow cambers with a light torque-steering action that makes the Mondeo's helm an overly lively one. It's still an enjoyable drive, but in range-topping guise its price puts it up against some pretty serious competition.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

Being a range-topper the Titanium X is massively equipped as standard. However, in a hugely competitive market, and at this price level we'd like to see Ford throw in things like satnav and the excellent hands-free 'Advanced' Bluetooth system as standard. Economy, as mentioned previously isn't this engine's strong point, and being a 'mere' Mondeo means that when you come to sell it what you're likely to get back for it isn't going to be brilliant. However, and bizarrely, the Mondeo is now outsold by some premium rivals, so if you want something different from the masses then it could be just the thing!

Overall: star star star star star

A great car that's let down by its flagship petrol engine choice. A simpler trim and more efficient turbodiesel engine would impress more and cost a good deal less all round.

Kyle Fortune - 12 Nov 2007



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2007 Ford Mondeo specifications: (Titanium X 2.5i 20v manual hatchback)
Price: £23,145 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Top speed: 152mph
Combined economy: 30.4mpg
Emissions: 222g/km
Kerb weight: 1631kg

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.



2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2007 Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 






 

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