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First Drive: Ford Mondeo. Image by Kyle Fortune.

First Drive: Ford Mondeo
Ford's Mondeo gets a new look and new powertrains: it remains as impressive to drive as ever.

 



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| First Drive | Munich, Germany | 2010 Ford Mondeo |

Sharper looks, more equipment and a revised engine line-up keep the Ford Mondeo ahead of the game.

In the Metal

No real surprises with this 'new' Mondeo, Ford pretty much following the mid-life refresh rulebook to the letter. There are new head- and taillights, revised bumpers, a reshaped bonnet, different grilles on the nose and some chrome highlighting on the front and around the windows. Inside there's a new centre console and instrument pack, while the doors feature different lining too. Nothing too radical then, but combined the changes are enough to freshen up the whole package inside and out.

What you get for your Money

The styling changes have done nothing to lessen the scale of the Mondeo: it's huge. That does mean it offers lots of space inside for passengers and the boot is vast. All new Mondeos benefit from a Smart Regenerative Charging system, which helps with efficiency, while a Ford Eco Mode Driver Information System also helps drivers achieve lower fuel consumption. The new Mondeo also signals the introduction of new optional safety equipment like lane departure warning, blind spot information and a driver alert system.

Driving it

Ford's Mondeo remains the benchmark in the mainstream family car marketplace behind the wheel. With either of the two new powerful engines - a 2.2-litre turbodiesel with 197bhp or a 236bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol - the Mondeo is quick. The fine handling, exemplary wheel control and crisp, nicely weighted steering only add to its appeal. Of the two engines tested it's the petrol that impressed the most. It's beautifully refined, while the standard fitment of Ford's twin-clutch Powershift transmission makes it easy to drive. The manual-only 2.2-litre turbodiesel suffers from a firm clutch, which makes traffic heavy work.

Clutch aside the 2.2-litre turbodiesel is brilliantly flexible, but real world its performance isn't so much better than its 2.0-litre diesel relatives to say it's a must buy. That's much the same with the most powerful 2.0-litre petrol option on offer, particularly as both push the Mondeo right up into the realms of the premium players in terms of price.

The Powershift automatic gearbox is smooth and quick, with our only real criticism of the Mondeo being that its considerable width makes enjoying its excellent handling a sometimes fraught experience on narrow country roads. That and finding a parking space for it can be problematic.

Worth Noting

Only two body styles will be offered with the revised Mondeo, the hatchback and estate. The saloon dies thanks to only managing one percent of Mondeo sales in the UK. Highlighting the amazing progress of engine and transmission technology is the fact that the 2.0-litre 237bhp petrol-fuelled EcoBoost engine, mated to the Powershift automatic, has nearly 50 percent more power and 60 percent more torque than the outgoing 2.3-litre automatic, but reduces CO2 emissions by 19 percent.

Summary

Neither of the two big-output engines Ford has launched the revised Mondeo with is likely to make a huge impact in the sales charts. That's not saying either is bad - quite the contrary - but so-equipped the Mondeo strays too close to premium cars to appeal to buyers. With middling engine choices and mid-specification trim levels the Mondeo remains as impressive to drive and appealing as ever. Only now it looks smarter inside and out.

Kyle Fortune - 8 Sep 2010









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2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Ford.2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Ford.2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Ford.2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Ford.2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Ford.



2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2011 Ford Mondeo Estate. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 






 

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